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Thursday May 26th

UNC football is not forgetting to have fun throughout the season

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The UNC football team held a press conference in late July to showcase the newly renovated facilities that were awarded to the team before the season begins and the first practice is held in early August.  

College kids would typically be tired and groggy if they had to wake up at 6:30 a.m. for a meeting. However, UNC head football coach Mack Brown makes sure that his players are ready to go by letting them do one simple thing: have fun.

Before every team meeting, cornerbacks coach Dré Bly makes players and coaches get up and participate in a dance contest. After the players show off their moves, they often begin chanting a coach's name to get them to start dancing. One morning, the coach of choice happened to be Brown.

“They started saying, ‘Mack, Mack, Mack,’” Brown said at his weekly press conference on Monday. “Then I said, ‘No, I’m the boss. I’m not dancing.’”

Even though he got out of the dancing that morning, Brown wasn't in the clear yet. He made a promise to the team that he would dance if they beat South Carolina. Next thing he knew, Brown was doing what he called an “awkward” dance in the locker room following the Tar Heels’ 24-20 win over the Gamecocks.

“That dance that I did is pretty embarrassing,” Brown said. “I didn’t know that there would be a video of it.”

Regardless of how embarrassing it may have been for Brown, the dance showed that he has gotten exactly what he wanted since coming back to Chapel Hill.

“I wanted to come back to have fun,” Brown said. “And I wanted the kids to have fun.”

The player meetings and postgame dancing are not the only signs of the Tar Heels enjoying themselves. After two interceptions against South Carolina, junior defensive back Myles Wolfolk brought out a turnover belt. UNC’s adoption of the prop can also be accredited to Bly.

The same person who made Bly’s College Football Hall of Fame belt crafted the Tar Heels’ new belt.

When Brown was asked about the turnover belt during Monday’s press conference, he smiled and said, “The kids need to have fun, let them have fun.”

With the team’s slow start on Saturday, it took them a while to break out the belt. The first turnover didn’t come until there was 2:47 remaining in the fourth quarter. 

“I kept saying to the defense,” Brown said. “‘I don’t know why we’ve got this belt. I mean, it’s just sitting back there. Will somebody at least pick it up or do something?’”

Brown’s presence has put UNC football back on the map. It seemed like every media outlet at the press conference was talking about either the turnover belt, Brown’s dancing or his emotional interview following the Tar Heels’ upset victory. 

The team will have another chance to get Brown dancing this Saturday night as a traditional powerhouse in Miami visits Chapel Hill for a night game under the lights. The game is already sold out and is sure to be an intense atmosphere as Miami is coming off of a 24-20 loss to No. 11 Florida.

“We’re looking forward to a packed house and a rowdy crowd Saturday night,” Brown said.

Miami's glaring weakness against the Gators was its offensive line. The Hurricanes gave up 10 sacks in their opening matchup. The UNC defensive line should be able to make an impact on Saturday.


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