The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday January 19th

Stalkers, lost dogs — what’s going on?

I love North Carolina basketball. I just want to say that before I start.

But although the 2009 team will live in my heart forever, something must be said about this new AT&T commercial starring Tyler Hansbrough.

Many somethings must be said.

The commercial chronicles the journey of a sweet little girl who has lost her dog. Through a string of text messages that seems to be held together by a giant game of six-degrees-of-Tyler-Hansbrough, the national champion ends up returning the dog to the child.

How sweet.

Let’s start with the opening scene, which documents a strange man following around a nine-year-old girl with a camera phone.

Something about that doesn’t sit right with me. Perhaps it’s the image of stalkers of yore, or the subtle undertones of pedophilia.

I know, I know. He was “helping a girl find her dog.”

Right. “I swear, officer. She told me she was 18.”

And this mystery man has Tyler Hansbrough’s phone number. If it was Danny Green texting pictures of little girls’ homemade “lost dog” posters to Tyler, maybe I could get on board.

But an unknown man — who clearly has stalker tendencies — texting him at all hours of the day and night? I’d love to know how he got his number and why Tyler has yet to get a restraining order.

But then again, Hansbrough does respond. He even forwards the message to 100 or so of his closest friends, using his handy dandy, no-name AT&T phone, which I highly doubt is his. (The man just signed a multi-million dollar contract with the Indiana Pacers.)

In my three years at UNC, maybe I’ve missed this soft spot Tyler Hansbrough seems to have for random children with lost pets. But who am I to judge a Good Samaritan?

What I will judge, however, is why a first-round NBA draft pick is put in charge of finding a fourth-grader’s dog.

Hey, I lost my dog. Oh, I know. I’ll just call Tyler Hansbrough.

Anyone who has watched a North Carolina men’s basketball game in the past four years knows that Hansbrough can ball.

But he’s not your man for tracking down tiny things.

The ad folks at AT&T obviously have never tuned in.

Because for some reason, they have chosen Tyler Hansbrough, a man who can barely be put in charge of finding his own contact lenses, to be in charge of finding a missing Jack Russell Terrier.

For the next commercial, they should put John Bunting in charge of not losing a game, all while checking his e-mail on his iPhone.

Please, Tyler. Defend yourself. I’m a big fan, and I’d love to hear your take.

Really, I’d like to hear you say anything. But if this commercial is indicative of how often you speak, it doesn’t look like we’ll be hearing a peep out of you.

But above all, I’m concerned about the welfare of the girl. She must not be the smartest of children if she decided that “Sarah” was a good name for a dog.

Maybe “Karen,” “Debbie,” or some other wildly inappropriate person name would fit better.

Don’t forget — I love our team.

But if Sarah doesn’t watch her back when she’s in the hands of Tyler Hansbrough, she might find herself free-falling off the roof of a frat house into a baby pool.

And I think she’d rather be lost.

Abbey Caldwell is a journalism and international studies major from Charlotte. Contact Abbey at abbey.caldwell@gmail.com.

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