"The Heels broke my goddamn heart," my friend Jesse said in June 2006. Carolina had just lost to Oregon State in the College World Series championship on an impossible throwing error. Baseball sucked for an entire year. I couldn't watch the pros. I went to minor league games for the cheap beer and barely watched the games. I made little effort to get out and throw, and when I did, it gave my girlfriend a black eye.
Baseball was supposed to redeem itself this year when the Heels tangled with the Beavers yet again in the championship series. I made the requisite solo road trip to Chapel Hill, but the boys in blue fell over in two losses. Baseball sucks again. The Heels broke our hearts again.
Heels fans are freaks. We don't talk if we lose. I couldn't release the vibe, so I left Chapel Hill without looking back. I had never done that before.
Lightning tore through heavy rain on I40/85. I searched for a solid frequency before I got back to the Charlotte area, but this was the only song that poked through the static. I looked back. But the Heels still broke my heart.
"Country roads, take me home
to the place I belong.
West Virginia, mountain mama,
take me home, country roads."