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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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Cry havoc! and let slip the underdogs
Jonathan Pait
September 24, 2001

The Clemson Tigers had a rough weekend. A nail-biter of a game took place in Death Valley that left Virginia fans jumping for joy and Tiger fans wishing for a few more seconds. You can't win them all, but some hurt more than others.

I should know. I am a Carolina fan. No, not that one--the mascot isn't a rooster. It's a ram. Most know the team as the Tar Heels.

Now, there are loads of Tar Heel fans during basketball season, but the population of Tar Heel town migrates when the fall leaves appear on the trees. While the University of North Carolina is considered a top dog in basketball, during football season they become the underdog.

Making matters worse, the program has suffered through some hard times over the last several years since Mack Brown left for the big state of Texas. His successor entered the program under a cloud. Carl Torbush was a man of character of which any Carolina fan could be proud. He just couldn't win the games he had to take.

2001 had us UNC football all excited. You couldn't help it. You figured if you didn't new head coach John Bunting would come to your house and sit on you! John "Mr. Intensity" Bunting has brought a new attitude to the alleged "Wine and Cheese" crowd of Chapel Hill.

You have to admire the man. He tacked National Champion Oklahoma to the front of an already brutal schedule. Wham! that game hurt. Yet, out of the loss remained a shred of pride and respect because Bunting demanded 100% effort 100% of the time--and the players gave it. Maryland followed, once again the Tar Heels destructed near the end to drop a “must win” game. Still, the Bunting mantra remained the same. Practice hard. Practice fast. Give 100% and good things will happen in time.

After Texas, even those who wanted to believe were getting a little discouraged. Once again the team showed flashes of brilliance but to no avail. Chalk up another L in the loss column.

Then Saturday all the frustrations were wiped away. The Heels played a game that we knew they were capable of. Bunting’s mantra became more than just often repeated phrases. They became a 41 to 9 drubbing of the mighty Seminoles. The first Carolina team to win against a top 5 opponent and the first team to beat the Seminoles was a 17 point underdog with a 0 and 3 record.

Go figure.

So, what is the deep social or political point of this editorial? There isn’t one, just. . .


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