Now Playing: Grindstone, by Uncle Tupelo. “If you find yourself standing At the end of your line Looking for a piece of something, maybe a piece of mind. Fed up, lost, and run down, nowhere to hold on, tired of, take your place at the end, son. We’ll get to you one by one.”
When I posted on Facebook this morning what I’d be blogging about, a dookie friend of mine (and yes, I do have them) commented that I must be sick and that Karen should get me to the hospital. Fact is, I am sick, and not just with Carolina Fever. I’ve been fighting a cold/sore throat for days. Actually, Barbara, even the hospital wouldn’t do the trick. I’ve listened to a Carolina game from a hospital – Onslow Memorial in Jacksonville. It happened the day after I broke my arm. I had surgery that morning, where the docs inserted a pin in my wrist, and a plate, anchored by four screws, in my forearm. The pain medicine had me loopy, but I still listened as my Heels lost, I believe in overtime, at Clemson.
There was another time when I contemplated watching or listening at the hospital. It was on Jan. 5, 1995. That was the night Austin was born. It so happened that we played N.C. State that night. Karen went into labor and I was able to catch the first half at home. I tried to talk her into waiting for the game to end, but we left for Gaston Memorial at halftime. As it turned out, the birthing rooms didn’t have TVs. (The Heels lost that one, too, by the way.)
So let’s just stipulate that I haven’t missed too many Tar Heel games when I wasn’t working at one job or another.
But let’s also stipulate that I’m a bit superstitious when it comes to the Heels. How superstitious? You’re going to be sorry you asked.
In 1993, I owned two lucky pairs of Tar Heel boxers. One was a plain blue pair that Karen had monogrammed UNC on – lucky for obvious reasons. The others were blue paisley boxers. I figured out their luck when I moved to Gastonia and arranged to wear them every time the Heels played the rest of that season. Usually washing them in between games. Anyway, we didn’t lose the rest of the year, and Dean Smith ended up winning a second national championship because of them.
I’ve tried to find other lucky garments over the years, but there really hasn’t been a pattern I could discern. I wear Carolina Blue most game days, but there’s never been a real streak with any garment.
Which brings me to Saturday’s game with Kentucky. Which I missed (except for the final 50 seconds or so). And we won.
Why’d I miss the game? Because Garrett, my 12-year-old, was taking the SAT at Porter Ridge High School. It ended at about 1:15 or so (about halftime), and I’d promised to pick him up. (He was taking the SAT as part of the Talent Identification Program at, you guessed it, Duke (which I’m going to spell this way for this one time only). Anyway, after a pretty grueling test that had taken up a good part of his Saturday, we had to go pick up his new pair of glasses. Then I told him we’d go anywhere he wanted for lunch as a reward. We ended up splitting a Philly at Jersey Mike’s and then made it home for the end of the game. Which we won.
Which, I hate to say, has been pretty unusual – a win over a good team – this season and last.
So I’m chalking it up to my not watching. I won’t watch Wednesday’s game with Evansville either. If we win again, who knows?
Although, as a backup plan, I’m trying to remember which underwear I had on Saturday.