Lucas: Turning Afghanistan Blue
It wasn't long ago that Green Beret/Tar Heel fan Rusty Cotterman gained a measure of internet fame by refusing his captain's order to wear a Duke shirt. The incident was (mostly) in fun, but it resonated with the Tar Heel fan base, as did the photo of Rusty standing disgustedly to one side while the rest of his unit in Afghanistan--including the bomb-sniffing dog--was decked out in Blue Devil gear.
And it wasn't just the fan base that noticed the picture. Current players passed the photo around on an iPad, and it even made its way up to the head coach's office. With the help of Roy Williams, Bobby Frasor (who'd spotted the picture on Twitter) and Chapel Hill Sportswear, we were able to put together a care package for Cotterman's unit to see if we could turn them to the proper shade of blue.
But as you can see, with Carolina and Duke set for their rematch tonight at the Smith Center, the Tar Heels have now taken over in Afghanistan. Rusty will be back stateside in a matter of weeks, and he and his wife, Shana--who deserves the credit for converting Rusty to Carolina--are expecting their first child shortly thereafter.
Our very best wishes to Rusty and all our servicemen and women across the globe, who enable us to treat games like tonight as if they're critical even if they are perhaps something less.