The Carolina offense rushed for 17 yards behind Georgia Tech's 317 yesterday. It was a slower death than the numbers suggest. The loss came between two grueling six-hour car rides in flooding rain. Friday night we went out in a strange part of Atlanta and talked to several homeless people about whether we were Tar Heel fans or all wearing the same color. They felt sorry for us and for a small fee directed us to the nearest public house, which was not as public as we hoped. The blocks around campus seemed dead for a Friday night. We retired to our six-for-the-price-of-four club hotel room and struggled through a snorer. I did not learn to plug my ears with the pillow until 4 a.m.
Saturday morning was exciting. We saw plenty of Carolina fans walking among the Georgia Tech barbecues and fraternity houses. I saw the Georgia Tech xylophone choir play Radiohead's "Everything in Its Right Place." I ate some good pizza while talking to a Carolina senior who drove like we did to see the first big win. Then the game started.
No, it was not worse than Virginia. Yes, I still plan to go to Charlottesville in 2010 and come back with a win.
"You should not go on any more football road trips," nobody has yet had the gall to say.
I spent the weekend with a few of the best football fans I know. We are not going anywhere and will be around for Carolina's first perfect season. We flew our car flags in the rain on the way to Atlanta like Iwo Jima but lay them in the trunk for the ride home. Someday we will come home happy.