Weekend Wrap August 13
We've reached that point in Carolina football training camp where you're kind of tired of hearing about practice ("Player X looked great! Player Y has dropped 10 pounds! Player Z has gained 10 pounds!") but you're also long past ready for the Tar Heels to put on the helmets--even, say, helmets that are part of a Kenan Stadium white-out, but more on that later this season--and play a game. Players got a welcome respite on Saturday, when they held the first scrimmage of camp. Turner will have much more from training camp this week. If you missed it, one of his best from last week focused on the differences he's observed under a Fedora-coached training camp.
The Olympics wrapped up Sunday night, which means we won't see water polo or the steeplechase in prime time again until Rio in 2016. You've doubtless heard about Tar Heels who had great success in London, including Heather O'Reilly and Tobin Heath capturing gold with the women's soccer team. But what happens when the outcome isn't quite as storybook? That's what Rachel Dawson had to deal with, as the American field hockey team struggled. She had a unique take on what it meant to fail in the Olympics.
By the way, if Sunday's biggest Olympic story was the gold medal for the United States basketball team, you might not have realized the Carolina connection to that outcome. In 2005, it was Dean Smith who played one of the biggest roles in landing Mike Krzyzewski the Olympic coaching job. "When Coach Smith told us that no one will connect with and motivate the players like Coach K, the whole crowd was silent," Jerry Colangelo said. "That was a big moment for all of us."
The Carolina-Duke rivalry continued recently at the North Carolina Pro-Am. In a field that included several Blue Devils, it was Reggie Bullock who claimed MVP honors.
Several Carolina baseball players are wrapping up play in the various summer leagues around the country. Traditionally, those are pitching-heavy leagues, because the wooden bats neutralize many of the college hitters accustomed to metal. This year, though, offensive numbers are up, and some people are speculating the baseballs could be juiced. If so, Colin Moran must carry the juiced baseballs with him everywhere he goes. He's leading the Cape Cod League in RBI.
Matt Harvey (6 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 3 K, relatively hard-luck loss) and Alex White (4 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) both pitched this weekend, with some uneven results.
Let's be honest. This entire story is a giant ruse to have an excuse to link this video of a DeLorean hovercraft. A DeLorean hovercraft? A DeLorean hovercraft:
Best story I read this weekend: Wright Thompson on Urban Meyer. Great story on a football coach, but it could just as easily be about someone you know who got too wrapped up in their job and not wrapped up enough in their real life. Go ahead and reserve this story a spot in next year's Best American Sports Writing. It's long, but you'll be glad you read it.
Three Tar Heel topics to watch this week:
1. More football training camp.
2. In a story on Friday, The Big Lead seemed to be foreshadowing (scroll down) that they're planning a story sometime this week on UNC basketball. That's coupled with Monday morning's troubling (on several levels) N&O story on an eyebrow-raising UNC transcript that could belong to an athlete.
3. It feels like we're getting close to the time the ACC usually releases the basketball schedule. ESPN picked their Gameday locations (Carolina will host on Duke weekend, and the Tar Heels will also travel to Raleigh in a Gameday contest) last week, which means most of the television networks have made their selections and the schedule should be almost ready for public consumption.