There wasn’t much on Saturday night that didn’t make me beam with pride. I had almost no complaints about anything that happened on the field of play (although we have to do a better job of not allowing opposing offenses to convert on third down), but there were a few things from the fans that were more than a little frustrating.
- A few of the students left early. If you’re a current student, I think you just don’t understand. You have no idea how bad Carolina football was 15 years ago, and how for the last decade it’s been the ultimate tease, coming tantalizingly close to big wins before succumbing down the stretch to teams with superior athleticism. People like me who have been around the program long enough to remember the dark days (that weren’t that long ago) relish every moment of wins like this. Do you realize that before 2009 we had NEVER beaten a top-five team at home? Do you realize that in 2007 we started the year 6-1 and ranked #6 before losing to VANDERBILT and every other team on our schedule, finishing 6-6 and missing a bowl game. Do you realize that for three straight seasons last decade we didn’t have a bona fide quarterback, and our offense was unable to move the ball at all? Do you realize that in 1998 and 1999 we lost 21 consecutive games? You people that are juniors or younger right now have never known anything other than winning football. And believe me, I’m the happiest man in the world because of that fact. But it never gives you the right to leave early when we’re beating a top caliber team at home. ECU is excusable, especially with the temperature. Mizzou is questionable. Georgia is despicable.
- Chanting “Overrated!” You’re obviously not using your head on this one. Think about what you’re implying when you’re heard on national TV yelling about how overrated Georgia is. “Hey, national TV audience! This team we’re playing today? They’re not very good. Not very good at all, in fact. We just wanted you to know how wrong you were about how good you thought they were. This win isn’t actually very impressive, come to think of it. Since Georgia’s not very good and all. So thanks for putting us on TV! We’ll just keep on beating up on this not-very-good opponent and hope that you still want to slide us way up in the rankings tomorrow!” What possible reason do we have for wanting Georgia to be overrated? We want Georgia to be EXACTLY as good as everybody thought they were. We want Georgia to finish with the same number of SEC losses as us (if we lose a conference game, that is), so that we’d go to Atlanta with the tiebreaker over them. That would help our BCS standing. If Georgia sucks, our win looks less impressive to the computers and opens the door for someone else to get a big bowl bid over us. If Georgia is really good, the computers like us as much as the humans do, and we can all prance down to the BCS Promised Land together.
- Doing the wave. The wave is a fun stadium tradition. Sometimes. It is not fun when we’re playing in the biggest game in the entire country. Do we look like serious football fans when we’re more concerned about whether the big donors on the West side understand that they’re supposed to leave their hands up for the “reverse wave?” No. We look like idiots that don’t care about what’s happening on the football field. Against ECU or UAB, wave away. But when we’re on national TV playing a showcase game, let’s try to be more concerned about the game on the field than anything else.
- Cheering to band songs instead of making noise between plays. I love the way the band has taken their performance up a million notches since the arrival of Dr. Rebecca Phillips in Columbia to whip them into shape. And it’s really cool that they play a song during every stoppage in play–it really adds to the overall atmosphere of the stadium. But think about it. Is it more important to finish chanting “L-I-N-A Cocks!” or to make noise while the opposing quarterback is in the huddle telling his offense what play to run? Disrupting the opposition is far more important. I’m not saying we ignore the band songs. But I do think it makes more sense to make it so loud that the other team can’t even hear what play they’re supposed to run, much less when the ball is snapped. And think about this. Even if we break off from cheering to the band songs to make noise while the offense is in the huddle, they’re not going to stop playing. 85,000 voices screaming at the same time 340 band members are playing will take the noise up a notch or three. It was already described as deafening. Let’s make it eardrum-rupturing.
Photo Credit: Anderson Independent-Mail