I love Tar Heel Basketball. I love the roar of the Dean Dome after a dunk, I love the sea of blue unable to look away from the court and I love the way a game brings together the student body. For all of the love I have for Carolina Basketball, I equally hate Duke Basketball. I hate the way they flop, I hate the Plumlee brothers and boy do I hate Mike Krzyzewski. When I didn’t get a ticket to this week’s legendary match-up, I was devastated. I was determined to get into the Dean Dome, so on Tuesday I sat in the Turn-it-back line from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and I couldn’t fathom it when I was handed a ticket. My friend and I (bless her for dealing with my insanity and sitting with me all day) bought new UNC jerseys and were prepared for the best night of our lives. To say that the last 5 minutes of last nights game were disappointing would be an understatement. When the buzzer went off, I started an emotional roller coaster I wasn’t prepared for. Here are the five emotional stages I went through after losing to Duke:
What had just happened? We were ahead all game. I was confused. I found myself standing completely still – hands on my head and mouth agape. Had I been closer to the court, I would have been the perfect person for ESPN to zoom in on and for Duke students to quickly turn into a meme.
This shock quickly turned to anger, like 2 year old temper-tantrum anger. I had sat in the middle of the quad in a line for nine hours for that?? I kicked a chair, threw down a water bottle and pretty much made a fool of myself.
Leaving the Dean Dome I didn’t want to talk about it, actually I didn’t really want to talk to anyone. I walked ahead of my friends and tried to process my various emotions. They knew I was emotionally unstable and left me alone. Did they think I was crazy? Probably, but it’s UNC vs. Duke so a little crazy is acceptable.
About half way through the walk home I went into denial. If I talked about other things, did the game not really happen? This seemed like the best idea for the time.
When I woke up this morning, I figured it was time for me to shake off the anger and move on. And in that mindset, it’s not hard to find the positives. Brice Johnson had 29 points and 19 rebounds. Until the last five minutes the game was an absolute blast to watch. And most of all, we have Duke in their territory on March 5, and I think the team will come out angry and ready to play.
They say, “to hate like this is to be happy forever,” and when I woke up a Tar Heel that rang true. The sky is still Carolina blue and I didn’t wake up on a campus in Durham, so I would say its a pretty good day to be a Tar Heel!