The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday October 15th

Q&A with Dean Dome pizza man

Tate Heisler.
Buy Photos Tate Heisler.

Students in the Dean Dome got pretty lucky on Saturday night.

Yeah, they won the lottery and got to go to the game. Yeah, they got to see the Tar Heels beat up on Grayson Allen and Dook. Yeah, they got to see the GOAT, His Airness himself, Michael Jordan, in person.

But believe it or not, there was something even bigger than all those combined that made those select students the luckiest to ever attend a basketball game at Carolina.

During the game, senior Tate Heisler posted this tweet: 

It turns out dreams really do come true, as some Carolina basketball media intern decided to look out for the poor, starving students of UNC and post Heisler’s tweet on the big screen.

But, there’s only one problem — where’s the pizza?

It’s been three days, and Heisler has yet to deliver. (Sorry, that was really cheesy).

Was Heisler’s tweet all talk? Was it just a desperate cry for UNC stardom?

Now, I’m no mathematician, but I did a little research and the Smith Center holds 21,750 people. 

So, assuming every seat was filled for Saturday's game, that’s quite a bit of ‘za. 

How much ‘za, you may ask?

Well, assuming Heisler plans on purchasing a traditional large pizza with eight slices, that’s 2,719 pizzas if everyone only gets one slice. 

If Heisler was planning on delivery from the local Papa John’s on Franklin Street, that’d be 2,719 pizzas multiplied by $13 per pizza (assuming he’s stingy and just opts for cheese) which leads to a grand total of $35,347 before tax and tip.

Not to mention the hundreds of others in attendance like the concession stand workers, ushers, players, coaches, announcers and other behind-the-scenes workers.

The people deserve answers, and more importantly pizza, so I (staff writer Zach Goins) tracked Heisler down so we could get to the bottom of this.

The Daily Tar Heel: So Tate, tell me: Was this just a cry for attention, or do you intend on bringing the pizza to the people?

Tate Heisler: Well, my friend James Yardley tweeted a couple games back that he’d eat a stick of butter if his tweet got on the big screen. So this was just the next step for us. I definitely did not intend to actually buy anyone pizza, which I quickly got called out on by everyone around me.

DTH: How quickly did the tweet go up after you tweeted it?

TH: It was very fast — I tweeted it, left to go get a soda, came back and it was apparently on the screen already. It cycled through a couple of times, but it wasn’t until the third or fourth time when the game was actually going on that you heard everyone in the crowd realize what I promised. Then I got called out by one of my friends, so everyone knew where I was sitting and it got kind of awkward for a couple of seconds.

DTH: Did you expect to make it up on the screen?

TH: I don’t know. I didn’t expect it to happen, but I knew that there was probably a good chance because a lot of those kinds of tweets were hitting it. They really like those weird deals.

DTH: What went through your mind when you saw your tweet up there in front of thousands of people? Were you worried about your offer?

TH: It was more just like, "OK, I’m gonna lay low the rest of the game." I just tried not to be seen, but that didn’t really work because somebody called me out.

DTH: I’m gonna be honest — that’s a lot of money. It’s at least $35,347. Are you able to back that up?

TH: Well, first off, we can probably double that, because I think everyone should have two slices. You have to have two. But I don’t know, maybe I could GoFundMe? I’m still looking for a job for next year, so …

DTH: What kind of pizza were you thinking? Just classic cheese?

TH: My favorite pizza is onion and pineapple. I don’t think many people like onion and pineapple pizza, so maybe just keep it simple. Although, I do think pineapple deserves its place on pizza.

DTH: Any specific restaurant?

TH: I love Domino’s, but I know that’s a cop-out. I feel like I should be choosing a local place. I could also do Benny’s and then like three people could be on one slice. It’s all about strategy here.

DTH: Now, I’m assuming you had something special planned for Michael Jordan. Does he get double the pizza? Maybe an extra topping?

TH: He could probably eat like four. The ceiling is the roof for Michael’s pizza, so he can have as many toppings as he’d like.

DTH: Have you had anybody confront you looking for pizza?

TH: In the crowd, it was kind of tense, a little bit. I’ve gotten DMs, I got a Facebook message request asking for pizza. I heard that somebody called me out on Overheard, but I’ve been kicked out of Overheard. Two years ago, I just posted a bunch of pictures that I thought were pretty funny, but I don’t think everyone thought they were funny, and I got kicked out. So, maybe this is a way for me to get back into Overheard?

DTH: I think you’ll probably have to produce some pizza for that to happen.

TH: Yeah, you’re probably right. My roommates have confronted me a lot, and I don’t know how I’m gonna get out of that one. 


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