The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday May 17th

COLUMN: Is Michael Jordan cursing UNC?

Assistant Sports Editor Jack Frederick
Buy Photos Assistant Sports Editor Jack Frederick

It’s well known that Michael Jordan is superstitious. Maybe he should be. 

I don’t quite know how to say this, but I've been doing some research — serious research since the six-time NBA Champion and former North Carolina guard attended Monday night’s game in Chapel Hill. 

So I'll just say it — I think Jordan is cursing UNC. 

I’m well aware of the seriousness of such an allegation I just made. But I’ve gone too far down the rabbit hole on this one to be convinced otherwise anymore. Every time M.J. has come back to town in recent years, there have been consequences for the University he attended for three years.

Before I get into the rest of this, let me first preface the remainder of this column: please don’t take me too seriously here. This is coming from the guy who predicted Virginia was going to win the National Championship last season and once committed four fouls in 40 seconds in a church league basketball game. I'm a knucklehead.

Now back to the indisputable facts.

Take for instance, the most recent game against No. 4 Virginia. With the Charlotte Hornets owner taking in the game on the second row behind the Cavaliers’ bench, the Tar Heels fell apart in the closing minutes. Virginia is a good team, so maybe that’s not so crazy. 

But that led to a paper trail of events that prove otherwise.

Five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and UNC basketball alumnus Michael Jordan watches the pregame video in the stands before the Tar Heels' 69-91 loss against UVA on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019 in the Smith Center in Chapel Hill, NC.

Before Monday night, the last time Jordan was seen in the Smith Center was the night of the infamous "ceiling is the roof" moment during halftime of the March 4, 2017 Duke game. I should add, UNC basketball won this game.

However, Jordan was on campus that night to announce a new partnership between his brand and the football program. After the slip-up with his words, the program latched onto the phrase, put it on t-shirts and even plastered it in prominent locations throughout Kenan Memorial Stadium. 

Ever since, the Tar Heels have only won five football games — two ACC victories, both their only FBS wins since 2016 — and lost 18 contests. At the end of last season, the dismal record led the athletic department to fire head coach Larry Fedora and buy out his contract. 

So from here, you might say that it’s just a coincidence. Bad seasons happen. That’s what I thought too, but it extends even deeper than this. 

Remember the Kris Jenkins buzzer-beating shot that gave Villanova the National Championship over UNC in 2016? Michael Jordan was there in the stadium that night. 

So what? Who believes in good and bad luck anyway? Well, Michael Jordan does. 

As a Chicago Bull, Jordan famously wore his old UNC basketball shorts under his uniform. He thought it brought him good luck. 

And after the loss to Villanova, the former Wilmington product decided not to attend the 2017 National Championship — the redemption year — because of what had happened the previous season. In an interview with The Dan Patrick Show, Roy Williams said Jordan left a voicemail after the game congratulating the coach on his third National Championship. Jordan noted he decided not to attend because he couldn’t risk jinxing the team again.

So disregard me if you want to. I might have no idea what I’m talking about. But if the man himself might even consider that it’s true — that he has cursed UNC — then maybe you should give it a chance too. 

@_jackfrederick

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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