Thursday, February 10, 2011

On Being a Carolina Fan

For those of you not living in in the heart of Carolina Country, (or for those of you living here but under a rock) last night the Carolina Tarheels played Duke Dook at Cameron Indoor.  At least half of my friends' facebook status's proclaimed this big event. 

(Now, I am going to let you in on something of a secret.  Math Man is flawed.  It's not his fault really.  Poor thing was raised rooting for the evil empire.  His dad went to Dook and now he's even there for grad school.  So needless to say, watching basketball together isn't exactly an activity we participate in often.)

Now, I won't pretend to be the world's best basketball fan.  Not that I'm fareweather, just that I never seem to do an adequate job keeping up with players and games.  Last night, after a fun dinner catching up with my dear friend from study abroad in Chile H (after way way too long), I went over to the home of my fellow-Carolina-fans D & L.  I'd missed the first half but was feeling optimistic.  Dook was down at the half by 14 points.  Amazing.  We were beating the number 1 ACC team in the nation--and on their own turf.

D & L however knew what was up.  They referred to the players by their names and screamed at the tv.  And their enthusiasm was catching.  If my almost 87 year old granny, can sit alone at home in VA, rooting for those Tarheel boys even when they're down, then certainly they're the team for me too.  Surely, this would be their chance.  We were going to beat those Dookies on their own turf.

But then. . . somehow in the second half Dook came from behind and scored 50 points.  Our Tarheels just couldn't keep up.  The evening ended with something of a deflated feeling.  It was like victory had been ripped from our fingertips. 

I root for Carolina because I always have.  Since I was a little girl, I'd been soaked in UVA and UNC lore.  My Dad went to UVA.  Granny grew up in Chapel Hill (and her Daddy, my great-grandfather, was a UNC professor).  (and I root for both of those teams too--But let's not even talk about how they're doing this year)  And then when it was my turn, I chose the smaller, less intimidating (or so I thought) Wake Forest, but I am not a fareweather fan, and so I remained a steadfast Carolina fan.  Somehow the love of college basketball and the sense of community associated with Carolina is contagious.  It doesn't matter that I didn't go there.  Chapel Hill is still one of my family's schools.  It's still the pride of our state.  It is the team I rooted for as a toddler and the team I'll root for when I'm old.  It's the state school of my adopted home state--where I moved when I was old enough to choose for myself--and of the state where my grandparents are from.  It's a glue that ties us all together and we root for the Tarheels because they're our team and what's not to love about that? 

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