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The Daily Tar Heel

Column: Swaddle me in Carolina Blue

Alison Krug

Newsroom director Alison Krug

I don’t want to take off my Carolina Blue-colored glasses.

There’s going to come a day when I don’t wear Carolina Blue. It probably won’t be on purpose. It’ll most likely be an early morning when I’m running late, and it won’t cross my mind that I haven’t dressed myself in the head-to-toe regalia I’ve been wearing since Monday.

On Monday, April 3, 2017, the University of North Carolina won the National Championship in a 71-65 game against Gonzaga, and I have dressed as a UNC Student Stores mannequin ever since.

I dearly dread the morning I do not tie my light blue sneakers or tug on my Daily Tar Heel sweatshirt or top off my UNC coffee mug before I head out to class. How will anyone know it’s a #GDTBATH if I’m not swaddled in Carolina Blue, holding a DTH and playing “Raise Up” just loud enough that passersby can hear the dulcet tones of Petey Pablo’s magnum opus?

I want to get texts from friends searching for spare commemorative National Championship issues of the DTH for the next 10 years.

I want jokes about how the ceiling is the roof but the roof isn’t always a ceiling and a rectangle isn’t always a square (or something like that) to never disappear from my Twitter feed.

I want to read think pieces about how Petey Pablo is the Bruce Springsteen of North Carolina. And then followup think pieces about how Bruce Springsteen is the James Taylor of New Jersey.

Actually, I want to write those think pieces.

I was always tremendously jealous of Daily Tar Heel alumni who would visit the office, mention they graduated in 2009 or 2005 or 1993 and then pause, waiting for us to exclaim, “Oh, you graduated on a national championship year!”

How wonderful will it be to actually be that alumna, coyly year-dropping and waiting with a faux-humble smile as I graciously accept praise for a sports victory I had very little to actually do with, a sports victory of a team I knew nothing about just four years ago.

There’s something about college athletics that strips the stigma of being a bandwagon fan.

Having been raised in a household that recognized UConn women’s basketball as the sole legitimate sport in existence, I didn’t grow up knowing about Carolina basketball. I knew there was some rivalry against another shade of blue and that we got to claim “Space Jam,” but I didn’t know what it was like to feel your heart rate skyrocket in the last 30 seconds of a game. What it was like to watch UNC beat Duke in the Dean Dome. What it was like to watch UNC almost win a National Championship and to have it taken away in seconds. What it was like to watch UNC finally take home that title and rush Franklin with tens of thousands of others who care about UNC as much as I do.

On my first day at UNC, I would never have imagined myself just four years later knitting socks on the floor of a country bar three hours before tipoff, soaked by rain but barely caring.

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