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friends no matter who wins.”
Women in short khaki and blue dresses
mill around the plush Players Lounge in the
Kenan Football Center.
They chatter, giggle, smile, wait and
These are the Carolina Blues, students
dedicated to working for UNC football by
showing around high school football
When the recruits saunter in, the Carolina
Blues greet them. The men take in the room
with its large television screens and wood
paneling, having visions of stardom at UNC.
The first group of recruits, followed by fami
ly members and coaches, is already being led
out of the room by a pair of Carolina Blues
eager to share the inner workings of the
DTH BRIAN CASSELLA
on Celia Mizelle's
UNC football program.
Tar Heel Town
The UNC Marching Tar Heels assemble along a brick path in
the center of Polk Place, and tubas begin to warm up, bellow
ing chords and song fragments.
Groups of fans cluster in anticipation of the football team’s
arrival, and the buzz of conversations and laughter show the rain
has dampened the ground but not the spirits.
“What is everyone waiting for?" asks one purple-and-gold
clad ECU fan.
A UNC fan responds, “The winning team is about to run
The overcast and periodic rain did not stop junior Dan
Mishin and friends from flipping their usual burgers and down
ing several cold ones at his Kingswood apartment.
Mishin, a psychology major, transferred to UNC after his
sophomore year at ECU. “It’s a confrontation because a lot of •
them are my friends, and they just give me a hard time because
I’m at UNC now, and they’re still at ECU,” he says. “Sucks for
them, I guess.”
Tailgating regularly before football games at his Chapel Hill
apartment, Mishin has a larger crowd than usual because his
ECU friends came for the game that will determine bragging
Mishin and his friends from ECU started the cookout at 11
a.m. At about noon, most of his UNC friends came to join.
Despite all the trash talking, students from both schools
emphasized dieir desire to have fun partying together and watch
ing the game. “If it’s an ECU win, we’re going to tear up
Franklin Street,” Holloman says. “If not, we’re still going to tear
up Franklin Street, party to a Carolina win. Either way, we are
going to party.”
Ten-year-old Rachel Welser runs outside The Shrunken Head,
turning her face up toward her mom to boast a little blue Tar
Heel on her cheek.
Rachel is one of the 2,000 people to visit the store on Franklin
Street to get a free face painting and a “Beat ECU” button before
the game. In her hand is a Tar Heel blue balloon she was given
at Johnny T-Shirt.
Waves of Carolina blue dressed fans swarm stores such as
Johnny T-Shirt, Whim’s and The Shrunken Head buying cloth
ing, pompoms and, according to Whim’s store manager, Kim
Hollcib, “lots and lots of ponchos.”
Dr. John Iseman and Dr. Mark Borowitz play football with
their sons in the sprinkling rain. They have traveled from Myrde
Beach, S.C., to take a sabbatical from their responsibilities and
marital duties at home.
The two 1986 graduates have set out on the weekend excur
sion to bond and show their sons firsthand why UNC is so
Iseman explains how much he loves UNC and how he tries
to travel to Chapel Hill at least two or three times a year to
The two men joke among themselves about what constitutes
a real doctor - Iseman is a dentist and Borowitz a surgeon.
Their opinions about the opposing team are sprinkled with
expletives as they make pointed comments about the qualities of
the school. As alumni, their enthusiasm for their alma mater is
evident in their speech.
Iseman says, “UNC plants a seed in your heritage that lasts
After taking off their raincoats, a variety of fans wearing either
purple and gold or Carolina blue have a few drinks with their
lunches at Goodfellows to prepare for the showdown.
With only an hour to kickoff, the fans in Goodfellows, a
restaurant and bar on East Franklin Street, are warming up for
the game with reassuring words of victory and bottied beers in
“My wife and I are here, we just kind of wandered in," says
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“The best part is when we watch them play.”
MARK Gaines, groundskeeper supervisor
Michael Gibson, a 1987 ECU graduate. “We’re enjoying the
Franklin Street activities.”
Gibson was at the bar with his wife enjoying one of the drink
specials, a Carolina Pride Kamikaze shot, which is a mixture of
vodka, Blue Curacao and lime juice sour.
“This was a ‘Carolina Pnde Kamikaze,’ but the bartender
turned it purple for me because I paid him more money,”
Gibson says. “It tastes great now that it is purple," he adds.
Vince Edwards surveys the passing crowds of people and
thrusts his arm into the air, two tickets in hand.
Shouts of “Tickets! Tickets!” sound off repetitively like sirens,
beckoning individuals to approach. Standing along the walkway
leading up to Gate 6 of Kenan Stadium, Edwards is one of many
scalpers here trying to sell extra seats to the game.
This weekend two of Edwards’ friends could not make it, and
he decided to sell their tickets. “I’m not into selling them to make
money, but I need to at least cover the cost of the tickets,” he
Chris Beal, a freshman at Western Carolina University, cranes
his neck around the sea of people in attempts to locate tickets for
the game. He and his father have been coming to UNC games
for years but were unsuccessful in obtaining tickets before today.
Though they do want to get in the game, Beal says he realizes
this is the time to watch out for outrageous pricing. “We saw a
guy on the other side trying to sell $32 tickets for $75,” Beal says,
shaking his head. “There’s no way.”
Beal and his father eventually setde on Edwards’ tickets that
have a $32 face value but sell for SSO each today. “I’m not try
ing to rip people off,” Edwards says.
Beal clutches his tickets in hand with a satisfied look on his
face. Though he says he believes scalpers are wrong to raise their
prices, Beal knows sometimes they are the only option.
He says, “I’m just trying to get into the game.”
As thousands of fans are beginning to flood the gates of Kenan
Stadium, the Will Call booth at Gate 6 is reaching its peak level
Fans and reporters are waiting to pick up tickets left for them
by friends or employers.
Instead of being handed their tickets, some fans are playing
a role in a grand comedy of errors.
A reporter from Fox Sports Net has been waiting at the booth
for 10 minutes, anxiously spelling his name over and over only
to learn his employer placed his ticket under a different spelling.
Ticket takers at the lineless gate near Will Call stop fans if they
try to bring food. Some staffers wince as they see a fan with food
approaching. “I’m going to have to take your popcorn, sir. I’m
really sorry,” one says. Behind the counter bags of snack food
- chips, pork rinds and popcorn - are piled high.
The Chancellor’s Box
Even though kickoff is only 30 minutes away, the chancellor’s
box is mostly empty. White cloths are still draped over the tables
of food, and the student members of Order of the Bell Tower
have just arrived to begin serving.
Private elevators paneled with dark wood and manned by
operators are carrying Chancellorjames Moeser’s guests up to
the box to watch the game, eat and socialize at a dizzying height
above the field.
The walls of the long thin room are lined with tables loaded
with cookies, bags of chips, hot dogs and soda. One wall is floor
to-ceiling glass, affording a view of Kenan Stadium.
Just outside are high bar tables and cushioned Carolina blue
stadium seats. Inside, servers in black bow ties and aprons walk
around checking the food, their feet treading on thick gold car
pet decorated with UNC symbols and rams’ heads.
After a few minutes of prepa
ration, fans begin to trickle in.
Two adolescent boys sit out
side at a table, one munching on
popcorn and the other eating a
large chocolate chip cookie. They
stuff their faces and gaze around
the box. One boy shakes his head
and smiles with wide eyes when
asked if he’s ever watched a game
from the chancellor’s box before.
He’s obviously impressed by the
view and the copious amounts of
But for his companion, this is
routine. He’s always watched
games from the seats in the sky. “I
don’t know how long it’s been
open, but since then," he says.
The chancellor, wearing a blue
and white checked tie with his suit,
stands by the elevators eating a
bag of popcorn and talking with
three men in dress pants, blazers
and Carolina blue dress shirts.
“Hello man!” one of the chancel
lor’s companions bellows to anew
member joining the group. “Bigger
belly! You look good today.”
The low buzz of the crowd at
Kenan Stadium is interrupted by the first words of the game
announcer. As he wishes the fans “Carolina blue” skies, the
UNC Marching Tar Heels take the field.
The band starts out with a rousing rendition of Vic Huggins’
“Here Comes Carolina,” whipping the home crowd into a fren
But the mood suddenly becomes pensive, and the air, silent,
as the band slowly builds up the introduction to “God Bless
The national anthem follows. Game time is near.
As the mass of students pushes closer and closer to Gate 5, the
rumblings of discontent grow louder and louder and game time
“Let’s move!” a man in a cowboy hat and a Carolina blue
T-shirt shouts over and over. But his protests don’t seem to be
getting him anywhere.
Restless groups periodically shout out expressions of support
for the Tar Heels, leading to whoops and cheers that ripple
throughout the crowd.
But the greatest cheers come when a security guard, stand
ing on a wall high atop the crowd near the gate, reaches into a
pouch in his red overalls and begins tossing confiscated bottles
of liquor into the crowd.
A mad scramble ensues as students dive to the ground and
rise triumphant, clutching tiny bottles of Bacardi.
“Hey, man, if we can drink it before we get up there, ain’t
nothing they can do,” says one student to another before they
raise their bottles in an impromptu toast to the Tar Heels.
The newly laid sod behind the east goalpost is discolored and
worn. It was put in after fans tore down the goalpost following
the win against FSU.
Past the end zone, the double doors at the end of the tunnel
leading to and from the North Carolina locker room slowly push
open, and out walk seniors Ronald Curry, Quincy Monk, Jeff
Reed and Ryan Sims. The quartet saunters out on the field and
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DTH KIMM RIA ( RAW S
In spite of the rain, the Department of Public Safety and Talbert's Towing remove illegally parked vehicles from the Ramshead Lot
at 8 a.m. (top). Saturday morning before the football game. Madison Hedgecock (44) and other UNC football players get
pumped up to run onto Kenan field before the game (above).
Friday, November 9, 2001
gestures to the crowd before taking the coin flip.
Back in the tunnel, KitwanaJones is hyped. The sophomore
linebacker from Wilmington is jumping around with the his
teammates, waiting for the signal to tear out onto the field. Jones
claps sophomore kicker Jeff Scudder on the back and yells
before racing out onto the field with the rest of the Tar Heels.
Place-kicker Jeff Reed
places the ball on a tee sit- A
ting on the left hash- **
mark of the UNC 35-
yard line. Clouds still
hang over the field,
and a light breeze .
keeps the flags on K/pii
the east end of the
stadium from hang- JjllßrUn
mg limp. V r
Reed addresses j
the ball, looks to
each side and
crowd noise slowly
builds until that final
moment when Reed’s \
right leg pendulums % t
down toward the ball. '%
He kicks off, and the <
game, at long last, has begun.
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Michael Abernethy, Lizzie Breyer, Brad Broders, Jacqueline Brown, Beth
Buchholz, Ryan Caron, Rachel Carter, Brad Chiasson, Rachel Clarke,
Kara Eide, Chase Foster, Peter Farkas, Kirsten Fields, Brooks Firth, Brett
Garamella, lan Gordon, Erika Heyder, Stephanie Horvath, Jennifer
Johnson, Maggie Kao, Jenny McLendon, Graham Parker, James Russ,
John Scarbrough, Scott Sutton and Nikki Werking