Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A SHARED MOMENT OF SILENCE

This is from the New York Times blog:


A SHARED MOMENT OF SILENCE

By Mike Ogle

Something unexpected happened Saturday night when I was out in New York watching the North Carolina-Duke game. It was also something remarkable.

I was at a packed Brother Jimmy’s, a well-known bar and barbeque restaurant that caters to a clientele heavy with A.C.C. fans, and everyone was getting fired up for tipoff. Carolina fans outnumbered Duke supporters about 3 to 1, and loads of chanting, cheering and taunting was already taking place. At one point a brief “Er-in An-drews” chant even ensued.

Then the television broadcast showed a somber Cameron Indoor Stadium observing a lengthy moment of silence in honor of the North Carolina student body president Eve Carson, who was murdered in Chapel Hill this week.

As the teams and fans stood with their heads bowed, and Tar Heels Coach Roy Williams rubbed the Carolina blue ribbon on his jacket lapel in honor of Carson, the entire bar I was at, hundreds of people, immediately went mute, too. For about a minute, nobody moved or said a word. Almost 500 miles away from where the game was taking place, the Brother Jimmy’s waitstaff even froze in their tracks and stood still.

A friend of mine who was out watching the game at a bar in the Washington, D.C., area said the same scene occurred there.

The events that caused this scene were tragic and sad, but the display as these two bitter rivals were about to play was a solemn reminder of what makes college athletics so extraordinarily special — the overwhelming sense of community, spirit and pride they embody.

And in a season in which all A.C.C. teams are already wearing a black bar on their uniforms in honor of the victims of last April’s Virginia Tech shooting, the Tar Heels now also carry an “EVE” patch.

Those jerseys are getting heavy.

(Daily Tar Heel Photo)

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