When you attend UNC, you’re aware of the incredible history.
No one can wait for the day when they too can experience the countless traditions that past UNC alumni have shared:
Taking a sip from the Old Well on the first day of class, praying that your GPA will be OK at semester’s end (I had a bad sip of water, apparently). Listening to Gary the Pit Preacher share wonderfully nice messages to the students who inevitably cross his path. Standing in the risers at basketball games, probably spotting the one guy with the afro who Marcus Paige swears has been here for seven years (or, in other words, longer than Stilman White has).
I feel like dude with the fro in the risers of every UNC game has been there for like 7 years...— Marcus Paige (@marcuspaige5) December 22, 2016
Looking up to the rafters, remembering all of the legendary players to have played on the hardwood of the Smith Center. And, of course, rushing Franklin Street following a win over our bitter rival, Duke.
There is truly no greater feeling than being surrounded by a sea of Carolina Blue, celebrating a victorious night.
And Saturday night, after a 90-83 win against our blue-blooded enemy, I rushed Franklin Street for the first time.
Following the buzzer, the frenzy began: thousands of students rushed to Franklin Street, flooding out of the Dean Dome, their apartments and dorms (like me, since a first-year student rarely is granted the luxury of winning the basketball lottery), watch parties, or wherever they viewed the victory.
Living on South Campus, I had a long way to go. But, a few minutes of sprinting through the freezing March air would be worth it, burning lungs and all (either my LFIT didn’t prepare me for this, or I’m in worse shape than I thought).
The continuous yells and cheers from my fellow Tar Heels running alongside me — with a fair amount just walking, which I can respect — pushed me to continue, and the lights of Franklin Street were soon upon us.
Thousands of UNC students were together, all at once, to celebrate the outcome of a basketball game.
Damn, was it awesome:
- Two guys climbed on top of a crosswalk signal, proceeding to take selfies and spray silly string everywhere.
- Various people on the sidewalks danced with their friends as a street performer graciously played his drums.
- Many students opted to ride on a friend’s shoulders to gain a better view of the celebration.
- Someone brought a huge beach ball, throwing into the giant crowd of fans.
- Various people attempted to surf the crowd, but to no one’s surprise, their attempts were not very successful.
- One guy enthusiastically popped a bottle, dousing nearby students with the drink before (smartly, I might add) choosing to enjoy the beverage himself.
- Thousands of students shouted and yelled, with the content of their cheers ranging from “Go to Hell Duke,” to “Go Tar Heels!” someone even brought a trumpet, and played “Hark the Sound” to the delight of others.
- Many tried — and most failed — to reach the small fire that raged on in the middle of the crowd, with the goal of jumping over the flames. In order to reach it, however, one had to endure plenty of pushing and shoving, because making your way through that many people is no small task.
And there I was, a first-year, soaking it all in, camera in hand.
Rushing Franklin Street for my first time, there was one thing I felt stronger than ever:
It was a damn good day to be a Tar Heel.
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