Sweating Bullets Under Bright Lights

April08/ 2008

I asked for examples of absurdum in the wake of “WE LOST ‘08”.  You responded, providing a glimpse into the dark recesses of genus “Homosapius Tar Heelus”.  When the Good Lord divided up the nitwits, Carolina didnot get short-changed.  I’m not saying UNC has any more in quantity or in lethal toxicity than any other institution of its size.  But Lord Luv A Duck …. We got ourselves some LooLoos. 

This column is the closing ceremony to 72 Hours of Mourning.  You only have another 3-5 minutes depending upon your reading speed to wallow in despair.

 The Award for Absurdest Comment was submitted by long-time BLS Buddy, Reverend Mac in Derm.  Despite knowing better, Mac frequents a “boutique” message board populated by guys that Mac claims “aren’t as totally insane as most”.  One of Mac’s “not as insane as most” board monkeys proffered the following deep thought:

   UNC lost because Roy did not HATE Kansas enough.  Roy had too much good feelings towards Lawrence so he did a poor job of getting the team ready.  He (Roy) lost on purpose as a favor to KU. …. He also did too many ESPN interviews.

Mac swears this demented loon is a gainfully employed adult.  An “adult” who perhaps has watched a few too many Gladiator movies during his lunch breaks at “the plant”.  This is the mentality that has turned college sports into ridiculous morality plays where our “good guys from TruthGoodness Tech” battle the “evil villains from Hell A&M”.

 UPDATE:  I did NOT see “Roy wearing the KU sticker” Monday Night but apparently every CaroLoonie in the Galaxy did and their heads are exploding as a result.  I figure that was Ol’ Roy’s intended purpose.  Timing might be questionable but otherwise “bless his heart”. (see above comment about “morality plays”) ….. at least we know the #1 question on the Spring Rams Club Tour now.

   (Since I always pull for Tim Duncan and Philip Rivers to do well, mine is probably not the typical response to such issues.)

My suggestion to Mac for his quite daff cyber-buddy applies to all who are so deranged.  Take a 4’ long 2×4 …. drive a 8” spike thru one end of it …. Track down these loons and beat them so viciously that neither their mammas nor a CSI unit can ID them.  It’s a drastic measure. These are drastic times.

The Runner up for Most Absurd Comment was:

 “They were supposed to win it for Eve.  

This is so unfair.”

 Memo to ditzy coed:  Eve Carson’s tragedy is real.  Sports is a game.  As you grow up hopefully that difference will become clear.

 Most Popular Absurd Comment was:

 “I could tell during the player introductions that ….”

  Apparently Vegas oddsmakers now have a “chest-bump” factor.  Players who do that silly “run real low and touch everybody’s hands in the gauntlet” then “jump up really high and chest-bump my teammate” win 67% of the time.  Who knew?

Roy needs to practice “jive intros” more?  Damn, I thought it was those unpatriotic national anthem stances.  What ever happened to high 5-ing the mascot?  If Marcus had high-5ed Ramses we would have made up those 4 points …. By golly.


    Long time pal “Big Bobby” provided the anchor that mainstream UNC fans should grab ahold of during this turbulent time.

 “Fortunately, I associate with people 

who keep things in perspective…”

  “Big Bobby” was a varsity athlete at UNC in the 70s.  He knows the lockerroom, the practice field and the playing field.  He knows coaches and teammates and opponents.  He understands “the media” and “officials” and, as much as he cares to, he understands “fans”.  He also knows “pressure”.

 “Big Bobby” plays high stakes poker in the corporate investment bizness.  He puts together investment groups to back large real estate development.  He manages OPM.  He routinely sits in tension-filled boardrooms sweating bullets over the details of a mega-deal with A LOT on the line.  No different than Roy putting his fate in the hands of 20 y/os.

It has been said of Erskine Bowles …. “Can he handle the academaniacs?”  For 30 years Erskine has played very high stakes monopoly in the unforgiving back alleys of Wall Street …. with billions of $$$ of OPM.  That is Pressure.  A goggle-eyed faculty squirrel is just a goggle-eyed faculty squirrel.

 High achievers don’t achieve highly without “sweating bullets”.  Surgeons, trial attorneys, and CEOs have all been “in Roy’s Nikes”.  High achievers lay it on the line under bright lights….  Nitwits buy lottery tickets.

Guys like “Big Bobby” and CokeDaddy and Dr Tim and Prez Erskine and Bill in Ponte Vedra and Coach Reed …. They know what Roy deals with.

  • High inside 95mph fastballs coming out of shadows
  • A critical zoning variance
  • 45 yard field goal on a frozen field with a wicked crosswind
  • A witness changes his story on the stand
  • 16’ downhill putt on 18 with a double break … to tie
  • A loan committee approval by 5 PM Today
  • Design on out-of-bounds play with 00:02 to go and down by one

Pressure comes in many forms for those who choose to play on the big stage. 

EVERY person in this data base is aware of the recent unpleasantness in The AlamoDome.  Kid in far-off Columbia MO was watching with her KU-hating Mizzou pals …. pulling for the Heels and Show Me home boy Tyler.  Kid called me when the score differential got to 26 pleading …. “Dad, DO SOMETHING!” Alas, even a Legend has his limits.

“Our Tar Heels” got whupped on the biggest stage in college basketball.  Not just defeated by a buzzer-beater or a bad call or an injury to a key player …. but an old-fashioned country whuppin’.  The valiant comeback gave false hope to frantic Heel fans.  “Hope” that met a fatal end during the high-risk gambles of the last three minutes.  The final 18 point differential pretty adequately defined the mismatch on that particular night. …..

Is Kansas 18 points better than UNC?  Is Bill Self a 18 point better coach than Roy?  If a KU freshman can so frustrate Tyler is he ready for Ben Wallace and Amare Stodamire every night?  The answer to those questions is “on April 5, 2008 Kansas defeated UNC by 18 points PERIOD.”

The TarHeelNation was force-fed a shovel full of humility …. bleech, gag, ptui.

Its Tuesday morning and only two fan bases in America are “happy”.  Kansas …. and Davidson.  KU won and little Davidson so exceeded their expectations as to be quite proud of themselves.  At the beginning of every NCAA major college BB season, 6-8 fan bases automatically assume they deserve to be in The Final Four because of who they are and who they might once have been.  Those 6-8 include …. UNC …. Duke …. Kansas ….. UCLA …. Indiana …. Kentucky …. Georgetown …. Connecticutt.  Florida and Texas are moving into that “all or nothing” category.  Texas and Florida are certainly there in Football.

Their respective nitwits’ opinions without consequences dooming their coaches and players to fulfill unrealistic expectations.  “Winners tell jokes and losers say deal” …. When “One bright shining moment” is played only one is telling jokes and that may not even be one of the 6-8 “we are entitled because ….” crowd.

I am not one who believes “Don’t criticize the kids.  They are doing their best blah blah …” BS …. These kids get BMOC privileges of all varieties because of who they are as campus celebrities.  That adulation comes with a price.  Welcome to freakin’ LIFE.  If a “kid” is afraid to step out on “the big stage” wearing a UNC, Duke, KU, UK, Indiana uni then he should go where the bright lights don’t shine.

Coaches understand that risk-reward challenge.  Certainly Roy does or he would be coaching youngsters at Lees McRae instead of UNC.  Roy has come up empty-handed at Final Fours before.  Dean did many many times.  Self had never even gotten there before.  Howland is 0-3.  Unless one’s name is Wooden one will taste defeat more often that victory in that unforgiving crucible.

As noted in my “list” ….. in the past 51 years, 46 of those years ended with a UNC defeat.  That’s 46 years of heartbreaks and tears in exchange for 4 NC banners and a NIT crown.  Over 90% “come up shorts”.

Who is “the best darn coach there’s ever been?”  Rupp, Wooden, Deano, Phog or any of the current crop of X & Oers ???  That title probably goes to some Division III or high school guy laboring in a drafty gym with a leaky roof, making $40K and having to drive the team bus as his wife makes bolonga sandwiches for the pre-game meal.  Until Wanda is willing to slice the Oscar Meyer, Roy will have to be content with the life he has.

Roy has survived “this week” before.  Just as Pitino, Tubby, Knight, Calhoun, Coach K, Donovan, Boeheim, Lute, Self, Calipari, Dean, Howland, Barnes et al have all survived them.  All of these men know well how quickly fawning adoration turns into critical disdain …. one errant pass or a free throw brick and the cheering crowd becomes the angry mob.

  Bill Self is a conquering Caesar riding into Lawrence … 

his kid hit a buzzer-beating 3.

  John Calipari gets no love at Graceland …. 

his kid missed a free throw


  Most of you have already returned to your normal routines as befits rational adults.  That’s healthy.  Just remember to live your life like BobLee and Big Bobby do ….

“…. associate with people who keep things in perspective”


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