February 2, 2004
Ah, what a sad weekend for the Carolina boy.
My little girl becomes a traitor!
It started on Saturday while I was watching the Tar Heels play Clemson. The Heels had started a run and I pumped my fist to cheer them on while saying, "Letís go, Carolina!" My little five-year old girl was trying to get into it with her dad (though she didnít quite catch what was going on). "Go! South Carolina!" She exclaimed and beamed up at me.
"No, no, honey, it is North Carolina," I said to her. She replied by giving me a quizzical look. I went on to explain, "See, when daddy was your age he lived with Mema and Papa in North Carolina. I used to cheer for this team when I was a little boy. So, even though I live in South Carolina now, I still cheer for the Tar Heels."
"Oh," she replied with a sudden look of decision on her face. "Well, I was born in South Carolina and I live here, so I will have to cheer for South Carolina." I didnít have the heart to tell her that, at least in basketball, she was getting the short end of the stick in the long run. Hey, there is still time. However, my wife told me that after I left before the game concluded (I had to go do an interview with a reporter), my little girl kept cheering for Clemson until the end of the game.
Things could be worse. She could have decided to cheer for Duke!
Panthers, Patriots and Paps.
Iíve been trying to feel bad about the Pantherís loss to the Patriots last night, but it is hard to feel to down about it. Dehlomme and the boys acquitted themselves quite well, I thought. Maybe it is true what Bart Wright said in todayís The Greenville News. Perhaps this is the beginning of something big.
Growing up in the Carolinas I didnít really have a NFL team I followed. We folks in the swamps of southeastern North Carolina (about an hour north of Florence) got our sports fix from college teams Ė or the local high school. Sure, I can remember friends cheering for Dallas, Washington and Miami, but for the most part the allegiances werenít all that strong.
After moving to Greenville the focus seemed to be a little Atlanta-leaning, but it was just kind of hard to get onto the bandwagon. Then Wofford grad Jerry Richardson started a team that at least made an attempt to include all us folks in the "Carolinas." Finally, there was a team with which I felt I had at least some identity. That interest increased all the more when Julius Peppers (Tar Heel standout in both football and basketball) was drafted to the team.
I tuned in on a regular basis to watch number 90 do a number on the opposing quarterbacks. I was disappointed when he was suspended but kept watching Ė even when the team was not doing to well. With Fox they might have been losing but it was obvious he was instilling something in those guys that was going to rise to the top.
Well, it did rise and brought those "no name" players to the top. They didnít crest the hill, but they certainly got a view of the top and my bet is that they will be back sooner than later. No predictions here, but wouldnít it be great if the Bank Of America ad came true, "Hey, New England. Double or nothing?"
As for the paps (or pap as the case might be), Iíll leave that for the comments of others. I didnít see it. I changed the channel as soon as the first half ended. I knew before it ever started that I wasnít going to be interested. All I know is that it is interesting that Janet gets herself all of this exposure right at the time that her latest single is "inadvertently" released. They say press agents try to do things in threes. Wonder what her next revelation will be?