Tuesday, September 8, 2009

i'm a tar heel born, i'm a tar heel bred...

My family and I attended the Carolina Alumni Basketball game this past weekend which kicked off the 100th anniversary season of UNC-Chapel Hill basketball. The list of players, coaches and staff that were in attendance is much too long and would probably bore you, so I will not indulge. However, you should know that Coach Dean Smith was seated next to Michael Jordan. Those two alone were worth the price of admission.

A lot of people were honored throughout the evening, including former-head coaches Bill Guthridge and Dean Smith, the reigning national championship team and of course MJ (who will appropriately be inducted into the Hall of Fame later this year).

Growing up a tar heel is one of the great experiences of my life. It is about family, tradition, sportsmanship and hating dook. If you don't wear navy and call yourself a blue devil, I'll respect you. Chapel Hill has been a significant part of my life. My parents took my brother and I to Franklin Street to tell us we were gaining a baby sister. I had my first night on the town in Chapel Hill. I walked across the stage in my cap and gown and received a degree in Chapel Hill.

I have obviously experience a lot in this town, but my evening with the members of the greatest NCAA basketball family of all time and 22,000 of their closest fans was something that may just top the list. I was in tears when they rolled through footage of Tyler Hansbrough chasing across the floor in Detroit after capturing his national title dream. I cried some more when Dean Smith rose out of his seat and joined the many players who literally cannot but will always look up to him. I cried when my sister turned to me and started cheering the exact same cheer I was chanting when Danny Green took the floor. We made it up last season. I'm not sure that we'll ever forget it.

At half-time they unveiled the sixth championship banner, the fifth NCAA National Championship title in the school's history. I've only felt that building shake from the crowd erupting with excitement a few times in my life, and that was one of them.

Being a Tar Heel is about loyalty, family and friendship. And these three things were never more apparent than in the Dean E. Smith Center that night.

I'm a Tar Heel born, I'm a Tar Heel bred
and when I die, I'm a Tar Heel dead.
So it's rah, rah Carolina -lina,
Rah, rah Carolina -lina,
Rah rah Carolina
Go to hell dook!

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