Who are THOSE Guys (In Blue)?

January18/ 2000

… We promised equal time to an explanation of “who are those fans” who support Carolina sports…  Our report on State fans and the malignment by their own administrators drew record views and numerous thanks from Wuff partisans….  Lord knows, we just try to be fair…. Today we focus our attention on that eclectic human stew known as “Carolina fans” and “the culture of Carolina Football”.  Look Out “INCOMING”!

Who in the heck am I to discourse on “Carolina fans”?  I’ve been one for 50+ years which oughta count for something.  I have a picture of Baby BobLee in a “22” sweater.  The number “22” doesn’t even register to some of the severest critics within the Tar Heel Nation, which tells one something.  “22” was quite famous long before “23” was even born.

When “Burly John” made his prodigal return to Kenan six years ago, it was me and “General Bill” that organized “BKS Alive”, a focus group specifically designed to examine the various elements associated with being a fan of UNC sports.  We had the full support of the UNC Athletic Department and got to ask a lot of questions to those paid to have the answers.  NOTE: The exception to this was His Eminence Prince Tassel Loafer who always had “sock drawer organization” on his schedule for the four times our focus group met.  Phineus Teague represented Dickie as his proxy.  Dickie’s absence meant more pizza for the rest of us.

I was reminded why I ran screaming from corporate America a decade earlier and no long serve on civic and church committees.  Accomplishing anything is indirectly proportionate to the number of individuals who opinions are needed.  When that number got beyond General Bill and Phineus it started getting dicey.  But I did come away with a realistic view of the Tar Heel fan base and the myths and assorted yadda yadda that swirls around that human crock pot.

How “others” see an entity from outside normally has relevance in an appraisal, but not in this case.  Do not put any stock in what a Wuff or Duke fan might say.  It is easy to present grossly unpleasant images of any group by finding the most radically unpleasant example possible and dogmatically declaring said example represent “all those no-account sumbitches”.  We know because that’s exactly how we UNCers choose to define Wuffs and Dookies.

Critics of any societal sub-set that begin a treatise with “ALL those (Democrats, Republicans, Hispanics, Blacks, Gays, faculty squirrels, State fans, Fat Cats, people east of I-95, powers that be, et al) ….” lose their credibility as soon as they lazily group “all of’em” together.  NOTE:  The exception to this rule is “people who live in Carrboro” – ALL those crazy sumbitches are indeed “crazy sumbitches”.  Even Derm has a few humanoids capable of rational thought … but not Carrboro.  A small nuke and a bulldozer and VOILA … no more Carrboro!

In a state with about three too many Division 1-A sports programs than it can safely accommodate, Carolina arguably is the most well-known and most maligned.  ABCers (Anybody But Carolina) abound from Murphy To Manteo.  Much of that can be blamed on Yea Olde Legend In The Basement – Dean E. Smith.  Dean’s three + decades of consistent success caused many Carolina fans to think “they” were achieving his success and a heightened sense of institutional arrogance grew with each victory.  ABCers united in their intolerance of those aforementioned “arrogance bunch of pricks from Chapel Hill”.

   We could just come clean and say 95% of “Carolina Fans” are just good “salt-of-the-earth” normal folks (just like NC State fans are!) but thats not especially humorous or provocative so we have to focus on the extremes.  BUT 95% ARE simply “good people” (just like NC State fans are!). 

Carolina’s insistence that it is really an Ivy League school includes an inflated sense of self-importance from its alumni … and even from its “sidewalk alumni” who figure they might as well glom on to this ego-fest too.  Nobody can touch an academic community when it comes to self-generating lists that prove “we” are definitely THE BEST there’s ever been or ever will be.  Such meaningless lists are devoured by Carolina fans faster than Double Gamblers at The Rat.

Like Ol’ Roy signing more 5-stars, Carolina fans do love the latest mumbo jumbo generated by some “blue ribbon panel” proving conclusively that “all things Carolina are simply WONDERFUL” … not that any “real” Carolina fan ever had any doubt.  Or that any non-Carolina fan gives a damn about. ……… BobLee’s epic horror story “Escape From Lake Norman” recounts telling a joke ON Carolina fans TO a roomful of Carolina fans … a near-death experience.

In our BKS Alive study we discussed the “myths and legends” relative to “Carolina fans”.  BobLee’s classic “Gimghoul Starchamber” came out of that doozy about “a sinister cabal of fat cats” who conspire (a favorite nitwit verb) to suppress Tar Heel football in favor of Tar Heel basketball.  The utter nonsense of this quite popular myth is shown by just how deep-rooted it is among the tin foil hat crowd.

Do “Carolina fans” consistently show up year after year regardless of the team’s on-field success?

Sort of, Yes … SOUTH “Carolina” fans do and they are the ONLY fan base in America that can make that claim.  Texas A&M is a close 2nd to Gamecock fans.  FACT: Teams that are consistently under .500 play to more empty seats at home than teams that win more.

Will UNC ever have the “football frenzy” of an LSU, Florida, Texas, Ohio State, etc?  

   No, not in the lifetime of anyone who consistently reads this website.  Is that OK?  … yes, it is OK. Would it happen if Dickie and/or Meezie were replaced?  No, it would not.  Would it happen if the Internet nitwits were in charge?  Yes, of course it would … and by noon their first day in charge!

Should UNC expand Kenan to 70,000 to impress a handful of 18 y/os with 3rd grade reading comprehension?

   Yes, UNDER THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS … Since the board loonies so despise “the fat cats” who financed Dean’s Dome, let’s have the “loonies” finance the East End Zone expansion.  Let the human hairballs raise $20,000,000 among “their own kind”.  Surely a few of those flatulant galoots actually have jobs and spare change.  Once “they” build it, the loonies get all the new seats and can stand up all game and be “real fans” to their little hearts content. …. And a 5th grade reading comprehension should be as low as we recruit.

Does Dickie get a commission on every liquor citation issued to tailgaters? 

   Since there are less than a dozen such citations issued each season, this “nitwit myth” should be buried forever.

What would it take for UNC to win the ACC and a BCS bowl?

(1) Replace Miami, FSU, and VaTech with Elon, Catawba and St Pauls … and (2) Bring Referee Jim Knight out of retirement.

Should new student housing andclassrooms take over football parking ground? 

“Real Colleges” make Football its first priority!

Is Carolina “the sleeping giant of college football”?  

   Sure, if Bobby Bowden said it, it must be so … which means his 50+ arrested players over the years were all totally innocent.  Bobby says that too.

Must Burly John consistently win 7-9 games each year or risk “the hot seat”?

  Of course not.  He should (1) always be “competitive” with NCSU, UVa, and GaTech and (2) his recruits should not embarrass the institution with their behavior.

Could Carolina ever return to the “fun place” it was in the 50s and 60s?

   No, the faculty squirrels seized control in the 80s and pretty much wiped out everything you fondly remember.  That should not prevent you telling “those old stories” to your grandchildren another 100 times though.  

Which game will be “the most critical game in John Bunting’s coaching career”? 

   Same as the past five years … the “next one”.

What about Carolina STUDENT Fans … are they “different”

   Only in that an increasingly higher % are girls (or “undecideds”) each year.  Students are students are students … arrogant, know-it-all, and resisting anyone trying to exert authority over them … just like we all were when we were “students”. 

With a new season of Kenan Saturdays beginning this week, prepare for the annual battle between “the real fans” and their arch-nemesis “the fat cats”.  The “real fans” are locked and loaded hiding behind their keyboards and flooding cyberspace with their well-beaten dead horses and gross misinformation.

I actually don’t object to the annual class envy ranting.  Like that tree falling in the deep woods, if you don’t read their foolishness you aren’t affected by it.  “Fat Cats” are too busy contributing to society and maintaining their legendary “country club” lifestyle to pay much attention to the bug-eyed bigot bunch.

In the epic struggle twixt nitwits and nabobs, BL Swagger is firmly in the corner of “the landed gentry” … “the silverspoons”… “the lucky sperm” … aka “the hard working successful guys” … .  I LOVE UNC’s FAT CATS!  My season ticket is in Section 225 – Seat 13 … plumb on “the 50” the epicenter of Kenan Stadium’s fabled “Napa Valley”.  My dearest friends and respected associates are within a hearty “hey, how y’all doing” of me.  Hail fellas and gals well-met every one.  Actually we all hoot and holler and cheer like hell …. but PLEASE don’t tell the nitwits.  We kinda enjoy their silly insults.

I have attended every home game in Burly John’s coaching career.  I’ve witnessed my fat cat pals arriving late, leaving early, sitting down, standing up, wearing nice clothes, talking bidness, comparing wallpaper patterns, and in one memorable moment several years ago one fat cat lady turned to her fat cat lady friend and asked “now which team is Carolina?”  … and thru it all, I just love those folks …. And all those $$$$$$$ they so generously donate year after year after year after year.

A college football game IS a socio-entertainment event.  It is a reason to revisit one’s alma mater each Fall … a reason to gather the family for a day’s outing … a chance to socialize with old friends one does not see often enough … an opportunity to entertain bidness associates in a casual environment … the unmatched “color and pageantry of college football” is quite simply a most enjoyable experience REGARDLESS of who wins the freakin’ game.

Many fans obviously put more emphasis on “winning” than I do, but even most of them manage to keep the whole “social entertainment” element in perspective.  Like a movie, a concert, or a day at the lake … attending a college football game is simply a pleasant diversion from the rigors of a week’s reality.

If nitwits want to attend a “war” they can go to Baghdad or southeast Derm.  If “attitudes like mine” are why Carolina will never win a BCS Championship then lay the blame squarely on BobLee Swagger.

Every Time I “go to a game” in Chapel Hill I “have a good time”.  I design my game-day to insure that I do by where I park, my pre-game activities, what I bring, what I wear, who I see and what I expect.  If Carolina wins that is simply splendid and my preference all things considered.  I dress casually for a Kenan game with comfort a primary consideration and moderate concern for making a fashion statement.  I usually don’t wear socks for a game, or for church.  If I wear khakis and loafers w/ no socks I suppose the nitwits will hate me too (like they don’t already!).

I always visit Tar Heel Town and watch the masses of blue-bedecked humanity mill about.  Short, tall, fat, slim, city, country, old, young, ugly, pretty … same as you’d see at any mall in America and at any college football game in America.  There was an infamous picture posted on the Internet four years ago of two Tennessee Vol fans.  The picture was titled “Junior and Lulu” … think Hee Haw.  UNC has its very own “Juniors and Lulus” too.  I see’em every game.   Carolina has it’s share of “funny-looking” fans. Another nitwit myth debunked.

On two occasions I have been in “The Chancellors Box”.  Now THAT is a royal hoot of epic proportions.  Wanna see the over-the-top stereotype of Carolina’s Fat Cat Snoots?  That’s where they be.  Walk along the buffet line in the Chancellor’s Box at halftime and offer cups of John Edwards’ bathwater to anyone who can tell you (1) the score of the game OR (2) who are the two teams playing in the game that day… you might give out one, maybe two, cups of John’s essence.  But WHO CARES … Meezie should be able to surround himself with “his own kind”.  I sure would if I was Chancellor.

Speaking of John Edwards, I’m thinking of showing up at the elevator to Meezie’s Box dressed as a homeless bum and tell the security guy that UNC’s Poverty Prince invited me to come up for a free BeefMaster.


   The Kenan game day experience is different from a Carter-Finley experience … not better/worse … just different.  It has naught to do with civility, class, or couth but everything to do with an on-campus stadium versus an off-campus stadium.  That the two stadium environs are so different simply adds more combustibility to the 100 Year War between the two partisan camps.

Whose fans are “better” … Carolina’s or State’s.  State has sold more season tickets and had higher average attendance the past several years.  Is that the acid test?  Burly John has beaten Chuck 3 out of 5 … what does that mean?  Carolina and State fans live side-by-side in every cul-de-sac in the Triangle, Triad and Charlotte so the “lifestyle” factor is a wash.  (a MAJOR nitwit myth busted there!).  Fan message forums for both programs are filled with identical threads obsessing about the other program … so one school can’t even claim nitwit superiority!

Being “a Carolina fan” offers a unique opportunity to really enjoy oneself.  The delusional faction of UNC fans who actually buy into the “we are the GREATEST simply because ….” hyperbole drive rival loonies crazy with their pompous arrogance.  Providing great sport for the rest of us.  For the rest of us we simply appreciate our association with a fine institution with a lovely campus, cool traditions, and Ol’ Roy under a multi-year contract until forever.  Works for me.

Are either Carolina or State fans legitimately “among the very best in loyalty and fervor” in college sports?  Probably not.  Give any of 20 major universities the “Dean Smith scenario” for 35 years and they would respond likewise.  Is it OK for any partisan fan group to tell themselves they are “the best”?  Absolutely! … why not … it’s only silly games.  It’s not like it really matters.



What big time college’s deep pocketed “fat cat fans” 

are disrespectfully referred to as “tea sippers”?


 BLS sez cheerleaders never marry guys who quote Monty Python.


   Tom Hanks said “Houston, we have a problem” in Apollo 13.

   On Wed (today) BLS is having lunch with a principal in one of THE three most influential plays in modern UNC FB history.  It’s NOT Derrick Johnson, Khalif Mitchell or Connor Barth.  Take a guess ……. (his daddy was “a Dooley Junction Boy”)

   We chatted w/ Ol’ Roy on Sunday … told him the folks at Mizzou still remember him.  He said “I bet they do!”  Actually BLS and Ol’ Roy are helping out Prince Albert on Wed at Governors Club.  Wonder if Visor Boy/Urban Meyer/Rick Majerus/etc still “has his lot” out there?

Want to e-mail BobLee?

[email protected]

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