Ask Twitter: Bringing Opposing Fans to the Game
My dad called me last week. Mom was headed to her hometown for the weekend, and Dad said he'd like to come up from Goldsboro to the East Carolina game. "How hard would it be to get tickets?" he asked me. Not hard at all, actually. I had two he could use. "Great!" he said. "Looking forward to it."
"Wait a minute, Dad. Who are they for?"
"For me, of course."
"Who are you bringing?"
"I hadn't thought about it."
"You may have the tickets as long as you bring someone who will actively cheer for Carolina."
"So . . . George* is out?" (name changed to protect really a decent guy who happens not to be a Carolina fan)
*sigh* "Yes, George is out."
George is a close family friend, and a good guy. But George* is an East Carolina alum. While I enjoy George and don't mind some good-natured ribbing from time to time, the football game was not one of those times.
"OK, I understand," Dad said. "No problem."
Dad came to the game with a fellow Carolina alumnus, the Tar Heels won 27-6, and a good time was had by all. It turns out, I would have been fine if George had come to the game, because Carolina won.
Your probably know your own George, that person you'd probably be OK with bringing to the game as long as they were polite, quiet, and Carolina won. So Monday, Adam posited this question to our Twitter followers:
Need a ruling: is it OK to bring friends who are fans of opposing team into Kenan/Smith Center? We'll publish best responses tomorrow.
— Tar Heel Monthly (@TarHeelMonthly) September 24, 2012
We got a lot of responses to this one, some of which were published in Tuesday's Tar Heels Today. The prevailing attitude seemed to be "It depends." Many of you advocated for a tiered system. If your friend is a fan of a rival, then the answer is no. As you get further away from rivalry status, say Clemson or Florida State, it's probably sport-dependent. ECU too. Elon, Guilford, Wofford or Gardner-Webb? Probably fine.
@tarheelmonthly depends, if it's Elon or ECU fine. If it is an ACC rival, leave them at home or at least make them wear blue — McKenzie Sumner (@MacHeel09)
Jeff Watters poses an interesting idea. Bring a friend to Chapel Hill if it helps you see the Tar Heels when they're on the road.
Of course, some of you were less friendly toward visitors.
@tarheelmonthly Best responses? Is there a response other then HEEL NO! that would be acceptable?— Ari Braun (@CoachBraun13) September 24, 2012
Ward Gibson had an idea that would seem difficult to pull off.
@tarheelmonthly No. At-best they should be forced to sit in the car and listen on the radio. AND have paid cost for parking.— Ward Gibson (@wardgibson) September 24, 2012
Still others have conditions on bringing unfriendly fans to Kenan and the Smith Center.
@tarheelmonthly I would say yes, but the Student Section is absolutely off-limits.Bringing opposing fans there causes nothing but problems— Joshua Hudson (@hud_JP) September 24, 2012
@tarheelmonthly unwritten rule: family - be in the visitors section (see you at the tailgate).friends - don't even ask.— Jim Nichols (@nasaHEEL) September 24, 2012
Robert Veronee chimes in with something I think Roy Williams would agree with.
@tarheelmonthly it's ok to bring a friend who is a fan of opposing team with you but not ok to give seats away to fans of opposing teams.— Robert Veronee (@tarheelguy50) September 24, 2012
Finally, some of you thought, 'why not?' if bringing fans of the opponent has a chance to show them the error of their ways.
@tarheelmonthly not showing off all the beauty Chapel Hill has to offer would be a dishonor to the town and University.
— Jon Howes (@big_jon_howes) September 24, 2012
If you didn't get to respond on Twitter or Facebook, leave your thoughts in the comments below. Personally, I'm of two minds of this issue. On the one hand, I'd rather not have to hear trash talk about my team, on the other hand . . . well, there is no other hand. I can't guarantee a Tar Heel victory, so I'll see you after the game. Sorry, George.