Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Five four three

Where did the Saturdays go? I traveled in recent weeks and neglected my weekly countdown. Yesterday I went to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg and saw one of my best buds. People say he is quiet, but the truth is he only talks when he has something to say.

"Eighteen days until it starts," he said with clear eyes. True.

The news this week for the Heels was pessimistic. Our offensive linemen dropped like flies in physical practices. One player left after a misdemeanor assault charge, and another gave up his last year of eligibility to move on with life. A third tore his ACL. The coaches talked about changing player positions while forging ahead with early afternoon practices in stifling heat. As a fan who never played football, I have to wonder why hundreds of beastly offensive linemen don't knock down doors to play in Chapel Hill. I know it has to do with NCAA scholarship limits, but come on.

I would adjust my diet to lard, whey and whole milk and apply for graduate school in the next two weeks if I knew it would help my team. The problem is that I play for another team that needs me to stand on my feet, deliver instruction and maintain normal bowel movements during an eight-hour workday.

But the economy is bad. You know it is. You probably have unemployed male friends. You might have unemployed female friends who would forgo their figures for one season to get a piece of this gridiron action. Tell them all to apply for medical school and gorge themselves. All we need is a line!

All the other pieces are in place. The wide receivers will come around soon enough. The offensive backfield has experience. We finally have the smash-mouth defense that makes watching football fun. Our kicker's last name is Barth. A few more big bodies are all we need.

Sometimes even a little body can get the job done. Ask Kendric Burney. My friend Will raised his glass after this hit and exclaimed, "That is University of North Carolina Tar Heel football."

This game put Carolina up against Rutgers on their turf in the shadow of the New York skyline on Thursday, September 11. The nation watched Carolina win its first out-of-state game in too many attempts with a blowout win. The victory set the 2008 pace in the same way Connecticut and East Carolina could pave the way for a 2009 BCS run. And we got to sing our song in Jersey.

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