Carolina Clubs across the nation attempt to recreate this feeling for alumni. Farther north, Colin Scott, co-chairperson of Chicago Carolina Club, is watching the same games with his group.
“Instead of getting on a plane and watching the game on Franklin Street, this is kind of our way of doing that here without leaving Chicago,” he said. “It’s a fun way for folks to extend the college experience a little bit more and enjoy Tar Heels’ favorite pastime, Carolina basketball.”
Boston Carolina Club President Aime Goldberg Macdonald echoed the sentiment.
“Whether it’s Bojangle boxes, pom-poms or Blue Cups, it’s something that kind of connects and bonds people together,” she said. “You’re singing together and high-fiving. We’re clapping, doing the Tar Heel chant and at the end of the game we gather and ‘Hark the Sound’ together.”
Macdonald said the team spirit unites fans, regardless of the outcome.
“Even if we had lost, that would have made people unite together,” she said. “It’s just a common understanding. This wasn’t just a school we went to. This wasn’t just a team we rooted for. It’s who we are now.”
The shared bond of Tar Heel pride for both older and newer alumni allows UNC fans to continue to stick together in victories and losses, especially amid the heartbreak of the 2016 NCAA championship game.
“It just totally took us away,” Monteith said. “We were stunned. Some were crying, others were hugging one another, and others just left because they just couldn’t believe it.”
But Monteith said they still carried the bond of being a proud Tar Heel.
“You try to tell that to people who go to other universities,” he said. “They have pride at their university, but it’s a very special feeling you have when you’re a Tar Heel and that you went to UNC.”
Macdonald said the best part of being a Tar Heel is the community.
“It’s inclusive. You can be anyone at Carolina,” Macdonald said.“It’s a pretty easy and contagious thing that can happen to fall in love with Carolina. It’s a sense of pride for people.”