A Brief Primer: Proper Use of Blackouts in College Football

Just so it’s clear to everyone involved.

THIS is how Georgia implemented a blackout in 2008.

The result: a 31-0 halftime deficit at the hands of Alabama and eventual defeat.

Conversely, THIS is how North Carolina implemented a blackout in 2008.

The result: Bruce Carter blocks three punts, Marvin Austin returns an interception for a touchdown, and the Tar Heels blow out UConn 38-12.

You put on shirts. WE turn the goddamn lights off. THAT is how you strike the fear of God into your opponent. THAT is why we can powder blue and not be the least bit concerned about our machismo.

The bar has officially been raised. Your move, Iowa.

The Bulldogs Ain’t Got Nuthin’ on This Blackout

The UNC-UConn game has been dissected every which way. UNC finally has an established running game. Bruce Carter is the man. Linebacker, one of our biggest question marks coming into the season, may now be our greatest strength. And whatever we have lacked in QB pressure, we have more than made up for in forcing turnovers. And thanks to a 38-12 victory over the Huskies, the Tar Heels are ranked for the first time in 7 years, and only the second time in a decade.

But I’m not here to talk about any of that. I’m here to talk about the most fun 22 minutes of the game: The blackout.

So, you just showed up in black shirts, huh? Pussies. THIS is how a blackout is DONE, mofos.

It was early in the third quarter. Were were up 17-6. I was excited, but a bot uneasy. UConn had just drove down the field for a field goal. UNC’s two touchdowns came as direct benefits from plays on defense and special teams. It was only 17-6, in part, because Cam Sexton threw a pick in the red zone. I was beginning to wonder if UNC could establish an offense, and if they had left the door open for a comeback if we hadn’t.

Then, the lights went out. The announcement soon came: a 15-20 minute delay. So fans in the Tar Pit did what one would reasonably expect us to do with 20 minutes to kill in a packed stadium.

Make complete fools of ourselves.

First, we did the wave. and  by “we”, I mean EVERYONE IN THE STADIUM, including me.

The fans did a full, continuous wave in Kenan Stadium. That circled all of the stands. Ten times in a row. At this point, I couldn’t stop laughing. Neither could Terry, a guy from Raleigh sitting across the aisle from me.

Then, for no apparent reason, the PA began playing “Kung Fu Fighting” And then, for no apparent reason, the entire student section started getting into it.

dancing, doing the kung fu grunt, the whole nine yards. I even tried a roundhouse kick. In the middle of a packed stadium, mind you. And no one seemed to mind. In fact, The guy sitting next me (I think his name is Terry) couldn’t stop laughing at the whole spectacle.

I’m not sure why, but that blackout seemed to happen at just the right moment in the season. You can discard the fact that this is the fastest UNC team in years, or that the Heels are finally establishing a running game, or that they lead the nation in turnovers, or that this team has changed so much that Cam Sexton, CAM SEXTON! is the QB leading this team to victory. The twenty-two minutes where no one was playing football should tell you all you need to know about UNC’s season, and about the Butch Davis era to this point. A huge stadium gaffe occurred, stalling the game at a critical moment. And no one minded that the game was being delayed. They were there to have fun. And for the first time since I have started my academic career here, Carolina football is a truly fun experience.

If this is Butch Davis’ sole legacy as coach here, it would be more than enough.

(Of course, the Shaun Draughn TD run and the Marvin Austin pick six helped the mood after the lights came back.)