Storm Clouds Part O’er Kenan’s Lofty Pines

December12/ 2011

MON 12/12:  After many months of “The Agony of ….”, UNC fans finally got a taste of “The Thrill of….” sports this past week amid Kenan’s Lofty Pines. 
After a lengthy portrayal as The UNC Titanic; The Flagship Home of Silent Sam & Choo Choo finally made a few birdie putts.  Try these on:

UNC Won The NCAA Soccer Championship:  It wasn’t Anson’s Flying Ponytails this time around.  It wasn’t Elmar either.   Former UNC coach Elmar (not Elmer) Bolowich was there but coaching Creighton.
Elmar’s  former assistant – Carlos Somoano – is UNC’s Men’s Soccer Coach.  One Year – One Ring.  Whatchagonnado for an encore Carlos?   Somoano is UNC’s first Head Coach in any sport named Carlos.
UNC defeated it’s UNC System sister – “Charlotte” – in the Finals.  UNC-Charlotte is now “Charlotte”.   Where was Cornbread Maxwell this time the 49ers were on the national stage?  Its soccer so the final score was 1-0.  Not exactly a Larry Fedora wide-open offense.  If you “got up to get a Coca Cola” you probably didn’t miss a score.
For trivia buffs, “Chapel Hill” also won a Men’s Soccer Natty back in 2001.

T.J. Yates is the NFL’s most talked-about young QB not named Tim.   BobLee’s favorite Tar Heel footballer of recent vintage has Houston NFL fans forgetting Dante Pastorini.  T.J.’s Texans made the playoffs for the first time EVER as T.J. engineered an 80-yard TD drive in the final seconds.  A 17-yard Yates’ scramble was a key play in the drive.
For trivia buffs, the last time a former Tar Heel made big news in Houston, it was James Worthy ordering a hooker.  YIKES!  This time is way better.
It took UNC forever to get an NFL QB.  It looks like the once much-maligned T.J. will be around awhile.  Go T.J. Go !!!!

Even for Roys Boyz it was a good week as the other power programs (UK, tOSU) suffered Ls this week.

A Soccer Natty and an NFL star QB makes for a pretty good week….. but those weren’t the BIGGEST NEWS amid Kenan’s lofty pines.

On Wednesday last, UNC unveiled its latest 5-Star recruit – Director of Athletics Lawrence “Bubba” Cunningham.  Bubba then unveiled UNC’s latest Head Football Coach – Larry Fedora.  UNC’s first Head Football Coach named Larry.
The Bubba&Larry Meet&Greet took place in The Phyllis George’s Boyfriend Center For Excellence (PGBC4E) aka “The Blue Zone”.    Phyllis George’s main squeeze – Aaron Rents Mogul Charlie Loudermilk – ponied up $7,000,000 for the much-maligned East End Zone Edifice.  Who knew renting folding chairs and portable TVs could be so profitable.
As a setting for UNC press conferences, the PGBC4E replaces the Skipper Bowles Hiring/Firing Room.  BobLee (and Ol’ Roy) WAS on-hand.  Butchie, BOTBob and Don Stallings were not.
How determined was I to be there?  On the way over, “the differential” on my F-150 went kaput.  When “a differential” goes kaput it makes a racket like nobody’s business.  I cussed and nursed the F-150 into the RamsHead parking garage joining local media hacks and a contingent of former lettermen for The Bubba&Larry Meet&Greet.  I informed Blondie that she could give me a new differential for Christmas.

Most of you have seen B-roll of the presser.  You know what Larry Fedora looks like, sounds like and likes as far as “the spread offense” is concerned.  You’ve heard/read his comments about recruiting his wife, his career path, his love for Hattiesburg, AND – his 2-hour sit-down with Bubba in a New York hotel suite.

Yes, that’s right….. for the first time in 15 years a UNC Athletics Director sat down with a coach and had a two-hour get-to-know-you conversation.  WOW!  What a concept!  Maybe Little Johnny did that with a Tulane coach named Mack way back when but I guarantee you it ain’t been done since then.

Larry Fedora not only said all the right things right, he said them with a relaxed sincerity that UNCers haven’t witnessed in several decades.   Larry used plural pronouns like “we” and “us” NOT personal pronouns like “I” and “me”.  There was no “I cleaned up Miami”….. “I have two Super Bowl rings”…. “I was a (failed) NFL Head Coach”.
 Larry Fedora had me at the first “we” and “us”.  A team-centric coach coaching a team makes sense to me.   Sgt Schultz is Dead – Long Live Larry Fedora.
Larry Fedora referenced UNC enough to show he had done superficial homework.  Larry Fedora indicated more sincere interest in UNC on Day One than his predecessor did in five years.  Call me silly.  I think that’s a good thing.  I bet he learns a lot more about UNC and UNC Football in the days, years to come as he contributes to its history.
UNC is not Notre Dame or Southern Cal or Alabama when it comes to football tradition.  Only demented board monkeys would claim that.  There WAS UNC Football before Larry Fedora arrived and those players, coaches and memories “matter” to UNC fans just as such provincial memories matter to NC State, Duke, Wake, ECU and Southern Miss fans.
I’m betting there won’t be any navy unis.  🙂
As a fan, I enjoy high-scoring games.  Anyone who claims they prefer low-scoring defensive tug-o-wars will lie about other things too.  God invented soccer and hockey for such goobers.  “Everybody Go Long” beats “three yards & a cloud of dust” in 2011.
Offense Schmoffense….. Larry Fedora will succeed IF he is a good solid Football CEO who actually knows what his staff and players are “up to”.   I think he will; based on first impressions.
Every word Larry Fedora says henceforth will be sliced thinner than a hobo’s shoe sole…. and dissected for secret meaning by board monkey pundits.   Each staff hire will be evaluated by desperate fans who don’t know squat or diddly about building a football staff.  Such is life in the fishbowl of BTCFb in 2011.
Be advised, I will NOT be doing Fedora-Hat references.  Such references reek with “droll”.  I don’t do “droll”.
Day One of The Fedora Era went very well, I think.

For me, the emerging Superstar from Wednesday’s soiree is Lawrence “Bubba” Cunningham.  Bubba did not say all that much but his “touch” was clearly evident in the way the shebang was orchestrated.  For the past fifteen years UNC Athletics had an Accounting Manager who oversaw Accounts Payable & Receivable very adequately.  UNC Athletics is in good shape financially all things considered.  There has been no hands-on directing of UNC Athletics.  Now there will be.  Hark The Sound of Hallelujiah!

I spoke briefly with Chancellor Holden Thorp.  That conversation shall remain confidential except for my final comment.  “Doog, now you can go back to being a full-time Chancellor”.   Holden smiled.  Holden smiling again after 18 months of Hell On A Soda Cracker is what this is all about.

Holden Thorp never pretended to know the ins/outs of every UNC department be it Athletics, UNC Hospitals, the IT Dept, the solid-waste plant, the legal staff, et al.  No chief executive is an expert in the intricacies of a complicated bureaucracy.  He depends on his department heads to advise him on what’s going on within their areas of expertise.  That was not happening in UNC Athletics.  Now it will.
Bubba Cunningham WILL KNOW what is going on especially in the high-profile programs.  Should an Uncle Julius or a Jennifer The Tutor fall into the institutional punchbowl, UNC’s new AD will not learn about such scallywaggery via the media.   On Bubba’s Watch, Bubba will actually be “watching”…. and taking action.  Wow!  What a concept!

Bubba Cunningham will be a very Aware and Competent Real Athletics Director who will hold his coaches responsible for daily goings-on within their programs.  Plus he will hold himself responsible for them doing so to a high standard.  Ergo, no Sgt Schultz’ on TeamBubba.  Freeing Chancellor Holden Thorp to do what Chancellor Holden Thorp is charged to do.  A double Wow!

Butch&Blake&Julius&Jennifer Mess is not over yet.  Messy messes have consequences. Those consequences have not all been determined but they will be.  The Flagship will navigate thru Scylla & Charybdis into the open ocean under Carolina blue skies with a now quite competent crew at the helm.


RG3 – Heisman
…… If you just watched The Heisman Show with the sound muted, you mighta gotten the wrong impression.  You saw a young black man with abbreviated “dreads” win the award.  Hairstyles do not always reflect the man.
Robert Griffin III is definitely NOT the latest eubonic-spoutin’ tatted-up gangsta to be center stage in American sports.  This young man is “the package” – a top student who was accepted at Harvard, received his undergrad degree in three years and is well into his Masters at Baylor.  He is an eloquent public speaker and BOTH his parents were on-hand.   Mr & Mrs Griffin are both retired US Army officers.  AND, he apparently is also “a Christian”.  Oh NO!  Not another one of those!!
Cheer for RG3.

Xavier v Cincinnati
….. Alas, RG3 does not play basketball for Xavier or Cincinnati.  That was Crips v Bloods in an alley fight with the usual street bluster about “disrespect” – “gangstas” – and “zip’em up”.   The two schools have suspended their respective thugs amid the usual “we are shocked” admin platitudes.  “Shocked” that they had recruited teams of street thugs ????

Albert says adios to St Louis
….. I wanted Albert Pujols to be Stan Musial, George Brett, Robin Yount, Cal Ripken, Derrick Jeter, Tony Gwinn but Albert didn’t want to be them.  One Career in One Uniform has gone the way of sanitary hose and Knothole Gangs.  The bidding for Albert got silly and Albert is now an Angel.   Good for Albert ….. and good too for St Louis.
St Louis is still America’s #1 Baseball Town and they will still field a very competitive team wearing that beautiful “birds on the bat” uniform.

Will Tebow EVER Lose?
…… The ESPN-fueled Tebow-haters were thwarted yet again.  Eagle Scout Tim The Christian engineered yet another 4th quarter comeback for yet another Bronco W.  When/If Tebow ever loses a game, his pointy-teethed haters will screech – “We told you he was a loser.”  Because that’s what pointy-teethed haters do.

The NBA & Chris Paul
….. NBA Commish David Stern is ordering Chris Paul back to Wake Forest in order to restore competitive balance to The Big Four.   Wasn’t it nice to have NO NBA for a few months?

“Greenville” …. hummm I wonder
…. If UNC-C got into “an NCAA Championship” after changing it’s sports name to “Charlotte”; could ECU get into The Big East by changing it’s name to “Greenville“?

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