Wristy Business

Kendall Marshall UNC
March19/ 2012

Can it get any better for a provocateur?  Two local teams advance to the Sweet Sixteen.  That delights the normal “have a real life” fans for both UNC & NC State which is great.  But to scratch the itches of their respective goonie bird contingents, there is also manufactured controversy.   Something for everyone as Peyton chooses Denver and yours truly renews cherished friendships at “da beach”.

Congrats to NC State and UNC as they “survive and advance”.   Duke…. didn’t.  What is a “Lehigh”?

Less than a week after being canned by SMU, Matt Doherty has his very own stool among ESPN’s Fired Coaches Roundtable along with Dino Gaudio.   For those with selective memories, last year this time a fellow named Gottfried was pontificating from one of those stools.

OK, lets take care of the goonie birds.  Last Monday The NCAA handed down The Verdict.  Yes, they purposely waited until NC State had “gotten in” to make the announcement….. so as to (drum roll) detract from all the regional and national publicity that would otherwise had befallen The Wolfpack.  Yes, some sad wretched humanoid actually “said that” on a comment board.

Now Kendall Marshall breaks his wrist.  The above sad wretched soul has a brother by different mother who has suggested that THAT TOO was purposefully to divert any good publicity for State advancing to the next round.   Yes, THAT was actually said “on the Internet” too.  I know what you are thinking.  Are people really THAT stoopid?  Yes, they really are.

The C-blue goonie birds roaming the sewers of Franklin Street are, of course, accusing Creighton of high crimes exceeding 9/11.  The Blue Jay were “out to purposely hurt” the Tar Heels or so says the “short bus” crowd in Chapel Hill.

The refs are “out to get” the Wolfpack !!!  Other teams are assigning “hit men” to take out Royz Boys !!!  Methinks a lot of folks are wearing red & blue tin foil hats along Tobacco Road.

If you ever start to feel sorry for yourself for what liabilities or shortcomings you must overcome each day…. come back and reread the above four paragraphs and take heart that, on your worse day, there are humanoids sooooo far below you in the reality spectrum.

Any casual Tar Heel fan can recite the laundry list of UNC post-season injuries going back 50-60 years.  Hearing that list recited can get tedious.  Other schools, of course, can recite similar lists of their own.  UNC’s is lengthy because there have been so darn many NCAA Tournament appearances.

Of the many many positive changes that Bubba is bringing to UNC as a for-real AD, he apparently has not solved this nagging issue.  Two blown wrists in ten days is an auspicious first March for B’rer Cunningham.

IF State & UNC should meet in the Elite Eight…. howsabout State wearing the Unitards and Carolina those yucky “grays”?  OK, maybe not.

This will be the first UNC trip to The Sweet Sixteen in 15 years when Dickie Baddour does not bring his entire extended family along at UNC’s expense.  Oh, to clear up an unfounded rumor about Dickie’s infamous Farewell Fandango.  UNC did NOT fly in Elton John to sing “He Was The Wind Beneath My Wings”.   It was proposed, but did not happen.

Factoid:  Of the remaining sixteen…. ten teams come from four states – Ohio (4) – NC (2) – Kentucky (2) – Wisconsin (2).  Baylor is the farthest West school still playing.

Factoid:  The best coaches seem to always be around in late March – Roy, Rick, John, Jim, Billy, Tom, Thad….. Mike (oops, nope – Lehigh ????).

Tom Izzo has to be the most consistent, less heralded high achiever in Big Time college basketball.

Are The Wolfpack truly “back” after only 25 years as an after thought?  Quite possibly.  Coach Gottfried seems comfortable in the surroundings.  The only question to be answered is the “character question” of his highly-rated recruiting class.  No reason to be suspect, but simply not proven yet.  If he can avoid the thug element, he apparently has the “stuff” to be a consistent Top Twenty program or higher.

I was with a group of longtime friends this past weekend who “know their ACC sports”.  I was, of course, bombarded with the usual “why do I support Holden so” question and, “how long will the dark cloud of Butch Mess hover?”

To the first one – because he did the right thing albeit with convoluted timing.

To that second question I used a one word reply – “Amphibious”.  “Amphibious” has been an active part of the local rivalry since the mid 80s.  Absolutely no reason to expect Butch, Blake, Jennifer and Uncle Julius to not “enjoy” an equally long run.

Are you as tired of Peyton Place as you were of Favre Foolishness?  If so, don’t blame Peyton.  Blame the boys in Bristol.   It is ESPN that determines which sports dramas will be beaten to a pulp 24/7 for how long.

Speaking of Peyton… ya know it had to irk some Chapel Hill goobers that Duke and Dave Cutcliffe were in the news for hosting Peyton’s workouts.   Again, the “no life whatsoever” bunch in action.

I haven’t done the math but – How many Natty Championships are represented by the surviving Sixteen?  Has to a bunch.  Yes, NC State does indeed have two of’em.


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