I touched on this subject in my recap of the North Carolina/Middle Tennessee State game, but I want to go a bit more into it now… If the fan base wants head coach Larry Fedora to push the UNC Football program to the next level it must do it’s job as well.
That job is pretty simple: come to the game and stay for all of it (or at least most of it)!
Now, by all means, there are always going to be reasons why someone has to leave prior to the end of the game, or for that matter, can not make it at all. I could list many, but that is not the point. The point is that I keep reading and/or hearing fans saying how football in Chapel Hill is not treated like basketball. When Kenan is not as full as Carter-Finley Stadium for their respective games one could argue that this could be a major reason why the disparity between the hardwoods and the gridiron.
As I say all the time, one of the fun parts of being a blogger is going all over the internet to check out what the cyber world is saying about the Tar Heels. Usually, when Carolina is playing at home, Inside Carolina of Scout.com (by subscription) has a feature about the recruits coming to check out the game at Kenan Stadium.
I have to wonder, when these young men that we want playing for UNC Football see 48,000 people at the home opener, while other schools they are considering are packing the fans in like sardines, you going to blame them for going elsewhere? I can not, no one should! Or are you going to yell and scream if the coach that we have now, and want to keep, leaves for the greener pastures of a school where its fan base backs their program a lot more? Again, I can not, and neither should anyone else!
If you browse some of the UNC web boards you can read many threads where at any mistake players made, college players that is, get ripped to shreds. But then, when it’s time to put the spot light on the one and only thing that a fan base can do, go to the game, the excuse run like a wild fire out of control. My only question is… why is that? Why should young men who make a mistake (or a few) get ripped for it, but that same mentality can not be installed into a lot of the fans?
Maybe I take it too personally, maybe I should listen more when people say “well, if someone gets mad by what is said on a web board they don’t have the mentality to be a college player”. Maybe, or maybe we should remember that those players decided to don the carolina blue. That they came here to uphold the tradition we live for… remember “The Carolina Way”? Maybe, just maybe we should comment about the game, not bash about it. We should use constructive criticism about the game, the team, the coaches, and not just criticize anything and everything that is in front of them.
Maybe if that happened we would wake up one morning and see that at North Carolina football is just as important as basketball. And that would be great for all, the school, the program, the coaches, the players… and yes… it would be great for us fans as well.
Pictures by: Christy Robbins LeBoeuf