First Person

First Person: The Must List

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A few weeks back, I interviewed wrestling coach C.D. Mock, who is a joy to speak with. He loves his University, he loves his program, and he loves wrestling. We spoke at length about a common and necessary practice in college wrestling: weight cutting. Not a conversation most people have before the holidays and I only felt slightly guilty about eating and drinking liberally while writing the story. The most interesting part of the conversation was our discussion about hydration. I knew wrestlers had to limit their food intake, which sounds terrible enough, but I had no idea they had t…

The 2012 Christmas Playlist

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I used to write a Tar Heels Today feature called 'One More Question,' which consisted of me asking an off-the-wall question to Carolina student-athletes. It was a way to get to know the Tar Heels a bit away from the field of play. I found out that Brooks Foster's favorite cartoon was Rocko's Modern Life, and that Ryan Houston is "sweet at soccer." 'One More Question' kind of ran its course, but I still like to throw in an oddball question every now and then. Last weekend, I asked three men's basketball players to name their favorite Christmas song, and I thought I'd share this exchang…

First Person: Stack And Sheed

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When we’re very lucky, our Tar Heel basketball stars come in pairs. Lewis and Miller, for the old schoolers among us (don’t laugh: it won't be long before those of us who remember the pre-argyle days will be the equivalent of  fondly recalling the White Phantoms).  Jordan and Perkins. Carter and Jamison. Felton and May. Lawson and Ellington. It’s hard to think about one without the other, difficult to imagine one of Carter’s soaring, one-handed dunks without also seeing Jamison posted up, then slipping by his defender and dropping the ball in the hoo…

First Person: Tar Heel in Atlanta

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Woody Durham may have retired as the voice of the Tar Heels, but he has not changed the level of preparation he puts into a presentation.  Neither has the legendary broadcaster given into staying at home.  Since stepping down, Durham has managed to keep quite busy.  He continues to do commercials, he has written and published a book, and he has been promoting that book by traveling across the country.  Throughout these endeavors, the retired Durham still finds time to be the keynote speaker at various events. I was fortunate to attend one of these events in Atlanta,…

Brownlow: The State of Things

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Roy Williams has said he’d rather beat State than eat, and certainly his results have proven that (19-1 against them over his nine seasons at UNC), but it’s not a concept some of the younger UNC fans out there can really wrap their heads around. If you’re 30 or younger, you likely don’t remember an era when NC State was consistently good at basketball. Under Jim Valvano, they were always good, but he left in 1990. If you’re 30, you might have some vague memory of that, but not much else. Up until I was 15 or 16 years old, I thought the 8-seed versus 9-seed…

First Person: Running Ashore

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When Marquette faces Ohio State on Friday in the 2012 Carrier Classic, the visuals for the television viewer will be stunning. The game is being played on the deck of the USS Yorktown in Charleston, and there will still be the same gorgeous shots you saw last year when Carolina defeated Michigan State. It will still be intriguing to watch college basketball teams play where fighter jets once took off and landed. The big gray behemoth will still be imposing. Except one essential thing will be entirely absent: the people. The Yorktown is a museum, not an active ship. At home, it will lo…

First Person: The Highest of Highs

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If you’re a Carolina Football fan, there is a good chance your face closely resembles the jack-o-lantern sitting on your neighbor’s front porch.  Not the frightened one with the crazy eyes, but the happy one with the glowing face and the unbending smile. It’s hard not to smile this Halloween.  The feelings from the weekend are slow to leave, and I’m thankful for that.  At church on Sunday, a fellow church member stood up in front of the congregation to report on the budget.  He admitted it was difficult for him to address the congregation, a…

First Person: Tommy Tackles T.A.

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Yesterday, Adam ranked the top three Tar Heel wins of the games he's seen in person between Carolina and N.C. State. Coming in second on that list was the 2004 battle between the 25th-ranked Wolfpack and the 2-3 Tar Heels from October 9, 2004. Carolina led 13-9 until there were 45 seconds left in the third quarter, when T.A. McLendon gave the Wolfpack the lead. The home team struck back quickly with touchdown tosses to Adarius Bowman and Jon Hamlett in the span of less than two minutes, with help from a 54-yard Larry Edwards (remember him?) interception return. State got back within th…

First Person: Night Game Facts

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After five long years of losing to NC State, plus a full two years of watching them revel in the investigation into Carolina athletics and academics, most Tar Heel fans would tell you that the Oct. 27 football game between the two schools could be played in the parking lot of the News and Observer offices (in other words, a home game for the Wolfpack) and Carolina fans would still be there. 12:30 p.m.? Fine, whatever. 12:30 a.m.? Sure, I’ll bring the biscuits from Time-Out. So the game time for this particular Carolina home game doesn’t really matter. It would be more fun…

First Person: Inked in Carolina

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The sight of tattoos often comes with mixed reactions. To some, it is much like getting your ears pierced. Others may have a negative reaction.  Either way, most can agree that a tattoo is a sign of permanence.When I met my husband he had two tattoos. I was with him for the third inking and quickly realized this was a long and thoughtful process. First, he had to decide on a concept for the tattoo. This was given to an artist to design something that would look good on the body part intended. In this case the middle of his shoulder blades. After several iterations the final produc…