Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Anticipating a great weekend

After that big trip to San Francisco in April which afforded me the opportunity to fulfill a dream of playing golf at arguably the greatest course in the world in Pebble Beach, I've been going strong at the office. I posted record numbers for the bank in July. August stands to be just as good. The problem is, other than a couple of days to stay home and watch the Britist Open or the PGA Championship, I've been living in my office. Even those of us with the best careers in the world get burned out from time to time. This might be one of those times for me. Thankfully, a mini vacation of sorts is coming this weekend.

There won't be any big elaborate trips this time around. Instead, my time off is going to be filled with good food, a couple of good bottles of wine, a few Blue Moons, quality time with my good friend Randolph, and the glorious beginning of college football season.

The bank already observes Labor Day as a federal holiday on this coming Monday, so I thought I'd take Friday off to make it that much sweeter (As if college football and the coeds that come included in the deal don't make it sweet enough to begin with!). For those of you not fortunate enough to attend a game between the pines in beautiful Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, let me tell you what you're missing: Coeds.

I've been fortunate enough to attend football games at colleges all over the southeast: Clemson, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Ole Miss...the list goes on. I think it's a safe bet that the University of North Carolina has the finest coeds this side of the Mississippi (Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss. is a close second). And get this, they have brains too! So while I'll be attending Saturday night's opening game against James Madison, I won't be attending just for the football, I'll be attending for the surrounding eye candy and the off chance that I "accidently" bump into one of those fine young specimens and am lucky enough to start a conversation with her. By the way, there's a reason you see all the old men bring binoculars with them to the game, and it's not because their cataracts prevent them from seeing the action on the line of scrimmage. They're checking out the coeds. With the level of technology available today, I'd be willing to bet they can see the little beads of sweat dripping down the cheeerleaders perfectly tanned, taut abdominals and pooling inside their pierced belly buttons.

Believe it or not, while this glorious event is taking place, there might actually be some football being played. Excitement is high this year for Tar Heel football, yet the bar for expectations among the masses is considerably lower. We're excited for the coming of the next Messiah, Coach Butch Davis, who for those of you are not aware, resurrected a Miami program coming off NCAA probation ( a time in which their scholarships were severely limited) in the late 90's and took them all the way to the top of the college football world within 5 seasons. The year after he left, Larry Coker won it all with Davis' players, then came within a couple of plays and a Willis McGahee broken leg of doing again the next year. Of course, Coker has since been fired. So that tells you how much of a factor his coaching was in winning a national championship, as opposed to the level of talent that Butch Davis recruited. Davis had enough players go in the first round of the NFL draft who played for him in five seasons in Miami to field an expansion team. The guy has an eye for talent, and he can coach that talent.

People are expecting big things in Chapel Hill, and I'm not referring to Roy William's hardwood Heels (Although they will be the preseason #1 team this year and the favorite to win it all with Junior big man Tyler Hansbrough's leadership). Davis is the chosen man to turn around what Carl Torbush and John Bunting ruined in the 9 seasons following Mack Brown's departure to Texas. This righting of the ship is not expected to happen right away, however. It's going to take 2 or 3 seasons. This years team is nearly half freshmen and redshirt freshmen. There's going to be a learning curve. It's inevitable. On the way to greatness, expect them to win some games they shouldn't win and lose some they should win. Regardless, it's going to be fun, because Heel fans know as long as Davis is in place, things are going to be headed in the right direction. Progress is going to be made, week by week. By the 12th and final game of the season, expect the team to look completely different than they did on that first weekend in September. They'll be better. Things like that just take time.

In the meantime, expect the ride to be a fun one. I know I'll be in Kenan Stadium Saturday night with my good friend Randolph, both of us not knowing what to expect from this young team. But it's going to be fun. Besides, if the football gets ugly, I'll borrow the binoculars of the old man seated next to me. There's always coeds!

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