Nightmare On Franklin Street

May15/ 2000

Nightmare on Franklin Street:  This column’s inevitability was preordained.  Watching the final minutes of Thursday’s UNC v VaTech game I wondered, “if we win should I delay this column”.  Will Graves’ desperation 3 dipped in and spun out.  A clear sign from the basketball gods – “BobLee, go ahead and write that dadgum column”. 

The last time UNC basketball was this woeful:

……  All of you who are 60, were “just” 52.

……. Current college sophomores were in middle school with puberty awaiting.

……. Barack Obama was an obscure Chicago political wannabee sitting in Jeremiah Wright’s pew every Sunday (1) daydreaming about becoming a messianic anti-christ or (2) having his afro-centric radical racism fine-tuned ….. depending on which version you choose to believe.

……. Rush Limbaugh was the King of New Media on over 600 stations with a weekly audience of 20,000,000 and driving Libs and the jealous stooges in the old media even more nutz than they already were.

……. Yes …. The last time UNC Basketball was this woeful was eight years ago – 2001-02.  The “8-20” year.  That was two rings ago during a dark period known as “The Doherty Era”.   If you have a small child you have never told them about that year, preferring to wait until they are older.  Like Andrew Young is not telling his kids about “daddy’s former best friend, John and the skanky videographer”.

How did you survive “the 8-20 season”?  You put that trauma out of your mind like that leisure suit you bought in 1978 or that roommate you had your freshman year.  But I do remember.  You rationalized thru that long, cold “winter of extreme discontent” by  blaming it on Roy Williams.  I don’t mean that wide receiver for the Cowboys.

That damn Roy Williams” saying “I’m staying at Kansas” meant UNC was stuck with Matt Doherty.  Ergo if Roy had been here, “8-20” woulda never happened ….. by golly.

One of those 20 losses.  December 21, 2001 was in Charlotte and to College of Charleston 60-66?  This really isn’t helping your current state of mind very much yet is it?

The “highlight” of that season was February 27, 2002.  Every single “streak” of any significance was in the dumpster but ONE – The Clemson Win streak.   The lead-up to that game had Tar HeelNation perched on a ledge holding a pair of sharp-pointed scissors in each hands.  If “we lost to Clemson at home” 1,000s of Dean disciples were prepared to jump.  If the fall didn’t kill us, we’d stab ourselves with the scissors.

With most of you alive and reading this – we won that game 96-78 keeping THAT streak in tact.   Matt recruited the ’05 Natty Champs.  A year later Roy did the prodigal son thingy and we all wrote off the Matt Era like “a Bobby Ewing shower”.

Leapfrogging over two net-cuttings in the interim, we find ourselves now thanking either a diety of choice or Little Johnny Swofford that we do NOT play Clemson at home this year.  The same digestive disorders, migraines and irritating State fans have all returned to torment us.  (Wait a minute BobLee, how can State fans torment us – we at least beat “them”?  Doesn’t matter …. They revel more in our misery than their unliklihood of any success.  Our “sucking” every eight years is more likely than them being successful ….. except when it comes to head-head football which is another subject for another day)

Now we find ourselves limping thru this current mell of a hess like Napoleon’s army admitting the Russian winter (or lack of a go-to-guy) was more than can be overcome.  Will some of you retreat to that old hiddy hole of “blaming Dicky Baddour”?  (“Wait another minute BobLee.  “That makes no sense at all.”  ….. it very rarely ever has but times are tough so we go back to “the fundamentals” of disappointed Tar Heel fans – i.e. “blame Dicky”)

Enuff historical retrospective ….. my personal knowledge of teaching/coaching basketball is limited.  I cannot describe “posting up” any better than I can explain “the public option”.  I know the difference between man-man and zone but can never remember which one Coach K hates.  As for “the secondary break” and “the transition game” ….. don’t even go there.  I know Roy knows.  Neither Dicky nor Holden probably know but they doesn’t need to either.  97% of you don’t know either despite what you might think.

My assigned area was upgrading the dance team.  I did my job.

No one in the sound of my cyber voice wants the Tar Heels to win basketball games more than Roy Williams.  NOT  Wanda, Scott, Dicky, Holden, Lennie Rosenbluth, “Woody”, Gene Nichol, Rita from Chester, the kids on the 4th floor of Granville Towers ….. NONE of’em want to win as much as Ol’ Roy2Rings wants to win.  PERIOD.

That old breakfast analogy – who is more important to breakfast ….. the chicken or the pig?  ANSWER: “The pig” ….. for chickens (fans) it’s a contribution – for the pig (Roy) it’s a full commitment.  Roy2Rings is fully committed to the success of UNC Basketball. “You” have a life, hopefully, beyond UNC hoops.  Roy does too but he can not escape this current torment.  As frustrating as this all is for “True Blues” ….. your digestion and sleep is not as discombobulated as Roy’s.

You can get excited about Butch getting a verbal from some QB kid in Myrtle Beach ….. or Mike Fox’s drive to get to Omaha again.  Roy can’t escape to any of that.

Roy’s folksy little Royisms aren’t as cute these days.  If he comes out of the tunnel throwing t-shirts and wearing a “Jayhawk sticker” it would get nastier than Rick Majerus attacking a turkey leg.  “Insisting on drinking Cokes” ….. “dropping f-bombs in pressers” ….. “having a cuss-fight with a Presbyterian fan” …… “just being Ol’ Huckleberry Roy” ….. those lovable Royisms ain’t so lovable when it’s mid-February and “will we even qualify for the NIT” is the question being muttered along quaint Franklin Street.

Connecticutt sucks this year …… Louisville sucks this year …… UCLA sucks this year ….. State still sucks of course.  Does any of that help?  NO.  OK, howsabout Scott Brown winning “the Kennedy Seat”?  I don’t suppose that meant the same on Franklin Street as it did in my neighborhood.  Hey, I’m trying to hand you a straw to grasp.

Roys Boyz WILL win a few more games this year.  With each one many of you will think “Yippee, they’ve turned it around.  That asteroid headed at the Dean Dome has changed course.”  They may even win two in a row somehow.   But face it my fellow fans ……

Don’t be the die-hard LA Clippers fan pretending Mike Dunleavy resigning as head coach really matters.  Or a Pittsburg Pirate fan getting excited about a walk-off homer in June.  Passing out NIT brackets for an office betting pool is about as silly as counting that Helms thing from 1924.  Please, don’t do it.

We all survived 8-20.  This season can not statistically be that bad.  In 2002 many of you blamed Roy for NOT being here.  Will you now blame Roy for BEING here?  Hey,  lets blame it on John Wall for NOT being here ….. and, of course, on Dickie Baddour too.

“Whoa, wait a minute again BobLee.  Up at the top there you described Rush Limbaugh’s media dominance then and now.  That has NOT changed in over twenty years has it?”  – Nope.    “What’s your point?”  Unlike even UNC Basketball …… some traditions NEVER change!


   If you just gotta “blame Dicky” for something, check out next season’s UNC Football schedule.  He still has us playing TO’B’s Wolfpack (Nov 20).  Geeeez Baddour, ENOUGH with THAT!

Follow up to that latest Deep Thought: ….. CBS has compromised to the outraged LibLoons over the Tim Tebow “I’m glad I wasn’t aborted” ad.  The Compromise –  Every time the word “Katrina” is mentioned during the Super Bowl  telecast ….. a little animated Katie Couric will dance across the bottom of the screen wearing a “It Was All George Bush’s Fault” t-shirt.  Watch for it!

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