The Franklin Street Fact Factory

September01/ 2014

Saturday was a VERY good day for yours truly.  The Fighting Fedorians (maybe we need to change that name, huh?) are now five Ws from bowl eligibility.   I had a heck of a fun time Under The Bubble – aka “in Chapel Hill”.

This Fall The Good Sports are broadcasting from Ground Zero – Legendary Franklin Street.   Those famous “Carolina Girls” were in abundance AND are now eight years younger than our Kid.   OUCH!

Being at an internationally renown citadel of learning….. I “learned” that everybody – but ME – knows exactly what happened in that Aloft hotel room several weeks ago.  I heard NINE different versions of “exactly what happened”.   Like I said….. it was a fun time with a very high Hoot Factor.

I say “nine” versions because I simply stopped counting at nine.   I felt lonelier than The Maytag Repairman.  Imagine being the only guy in Chapel Hill /Carrboro last Saturday who doesn’t “know some guys on the team” or “heard from a guy who knows a guy” or “is certain that the Boyer Family has a book deal with Dan Kane”.

My personal favorite was this one fellow (who admits he posts on InsideCarolina…. uh oh!) that “my buddy heard from Consuelo (apparently a housekeeper at Aloft) that ‘the walk-on’ once had a class with (our pal) Jay Smith ergo he (the walk-on) is also out to destroy Carolina Football”.  That was actually one of the more less imProbable versions I heard.

Many of the “exactly what happened” accounts somehow involve (our friend) Mary Willingham and, of course, Dan Kane.  Pat Forde is gaining a lot of “fans” on Franklin Street too.  “The BusinessWeek guy” not so much.    I was surprised that neither Thom Tillis nor Pat McCrory have been linked YET.

I haven’t heard UNC Prof Lew Margolis’ version yet.  Lew tends to be a tad cynical as regards UNC athletic emphasis.  Just “a tad”.

The Everybody Is Out To Get Us ‘Cause We’re So Fine movement still seems very popular over there.   It would appear to be an impenetrable shield to any criticism.  Kennel’s kevlar should be so durable.OompaLoom

Fifteen years ago I did a column regarding a very very secret room in one of The Rathskellar’s catacombs where Carolina Oompa Loompas churned out salacious rumors about Mike Krzyzewski.  I submitted my personal favorite that Micki K was operating an escort service out of the tennis shop at Hope Valley Country Club.   It was rejected as “everybody already knows that.  It’s old news”.   I told that one to a Kiwanis Club in Charlotte.  Sure enough, they knew it.

Speaking of Oompa Loompas…. I did get the feeling Saturday that I had entered something akin to Willie Wonka’s “Factory”.  Instead of chocolate confections, the Franklin Street Factory churns out “facts” but only “facts” that are popular with that specific market.   Not unlike the Internet….. “the ultimate buffet for any/all the versions of Truth (giggle, giggle) you can stomach.”

Speaking of “confections”, whatever happened to Jeff’s Campus Confectionary which was a front for what passed as “porno” on Franklin Street back in the 60s?   That Cheryl Tiegs fishnet swimsuit was Jeff’s alltime bestseller.  I digress.

This website enjoys a national ne’ international reader base.  Google Analytics regularly confirms viewers in over 45 states and six foreign countries including, of course, “Thai” our longtime correspondent in Phnom Penh.   We enjoy a significant following Under The Bubble but because we tend to broaden our perspective a tad (eskewing the Kool-Aid) our buddies over there pass around these columns like North Korean Christians sharing The King Jimmy.  On “the down low” as they say.

Outside The Bubble, the racial component of “what happened at The Aloft” seemed obvious to everyone else on The Planet.  Not so Under The Bubble.   I proffered that POV and you coulda heard Burgess Swain spinning in her grave.   Oops.  My bad!  When in Rome etc etc.

I decided NOT to use my line on-air that:  Bill Barber’s logistical expert Peter Anlyan has estimated 80,000 thug-aletes were in that room whuppin’ up on the walk-on.  

All of the nine plus versions of “what really happened” were decidedly anti-Boyer.   So much so that a Nexus search already has “Boyer” behind only Krzyzewski, Kane, and, of course (our friend Mary) Willingham among least likely baby names at the UNC Maternity Center.

Not being a Franklin Street habitue, I had forgotten there is a group over there who, for various reasons, REALLY have their own reality.   Their Kool-Aid having been laced with Agent Orange and the like.

So I’m standing off to the side waiting to go on-air and this fellow walks up and asks “Are you with the radio station?”   “Sorta, for twelve hours a year” I replied.   I pointed to Ron Stutts and said “That’s Da Man.”   My first thought – Could this be Ken “$900/hour” Wainstein?   Nope.

This guy – call sign “Lex” – launched into an amazing monologue that involved The Warren Commission, Area 51, and alligators in the sewers of Carrboro.   I was fascinated.

I asked him “what really happened at The Aloft?”  Sure enough, he knew too.   His version linked “the walk-on” to Robert McNamara and The Tet Offensive.  I was hoping for a link between “Call me Dickie” and Pablo Escobar.  No such luck.

We did the show managing to avoid FCC goons pulling the plug.   I headed to University Mall to catch a shuttle to Kenan.   I arrived at the U-Mall shuttle station at 5:10 to learn the freakin’ shuttle stopped at 5:00 PM – an hour before the 6:00 PM kick-off!!!   Not sure what Wizard of Smarts decided THAT.   When in doubt blame “Dickie”, The $300,000 Vice Chancellor of Spin, or, an old favorite – Dave Huxtable.

On Kenan Gameday, I am “who’s in charge” of the Choo Choo Lounge for UNC’s Former Football Lettermen.  My duties include (1) invite “comely coeds in cowboy boots” to come in and enjoy the air conditioning…. (2) tell people we don’t have a rest room….. and (3) try and calm down Danny Talbott who tends to over-react if Carolina is not up by 50 at the half.

I get to The Lounge and the outside gate is padlocked.  Uh oh!  Same Wizard of Smarts who screwed up the U-Mall Shuttle ?   No, another one.   No shortage of wizards around UNC apparently.

What to do?  Not too many options….. I climbed over the seven-foot chain link fence.  Later to learn, in doing so I became the oldest guy to ever shinny over a 7’ chain link fence at Kenan Stadium.    I figured Blondie would be proud.   Nope, she was NOT.   #23 From Garden City is getting me a key to the gate.

A hundred or so of “the fellas” came by for their halftime hot dog and, of course, THEIR VERSIONS of “exactly what happened at The Aloft”.   Some of them had themselves been “walk-ons” back in the day but exhibited little/no sympathy for “the walk-on” in question.

The major topics of conversations in The Lounge were (1) “what happened at The Aloft” ….. (2) Micheal Sam being cut by the Rams….. (3) jokes about State’s squeaker win and…. (4) why no potato salad.   The answer to #4 was “a new catering service” screwed up.   No connection to the U-Mall shuttle or the locked gate.

Oh…. and there was a game.   For 57 minutes it was waaaay too close.  Luckily there was a three minute period in the 3rd quarter when it wasn’t.   No word on whether scouts from any Whozit Bowls were impressed.

Before you ask.   Am I planning to have lunch with The Boyers?   Not at this time.

Among all the many many “exactly what happened” versions I did learn exactly where The Aloft is.   At Glen Lennox on Hwy 54.  At least “according to Consuelo the housekeeper who knows this guy who knows a guy who is really tight with the team.”

I still don’t know “exactly what happened” but…. Life IS Good!

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