UNC’s Win Over East Carolina, Explained By This Painting

I never saw this game make Saturday night’s college football highlights, so for those of you don’t know what happened in this game, I have a solution: PICTURE TIME!


In Order:

Fig. A: Skip Holtz, Presented here as Blackbeard. As one can clearly see, he has brought a cutlass to a pistol fight.

Fig. B: Butch Davis, presented here as Robert Maynard, the naval officer credited for killing Blackbeard.

Fig. C: LORD QUANTAVIUS STURDIVANT, presented here as one of Maynard’s men, strangling the life out of another helpless offense.

Fig. D: Erik Highsmith and Jheranie Boyd, presented here as a shadowy hand with a gun pointed at Blackbeard. They combined for 7 catches, 172 yards and two touchdowns, including Boyd’s monster 59 yard touchdown in the first half. You didn’t see that coming, did you?

Fig. E: Ron Cherry, presented here as a pirate about to slash Blackbeard’s throat with that terrible roughing the passer call.

Final tally: UNC 31, ECU 17. Rejoice, for the privateers will never more terrorize our fellow gentlemen at Charleston Harbor.

Blogpoll Preseason Rountable: In Which I Go Goldfinger on Your Hineys

College Football starts today, so we’ll (briefly) take a look at the national picture in this week Blogpoll Rountable. Hosting the Preseason Week festivities is Georgia blog Hey Jenny Slater.

1. Without naming names, a few teams seem to have popped up frequently on everyone’s “overrated” lists in the preseason, so let’s forget about them for the moment and concentrate on a different group: sleepers. Which currently unheralded team are you currently putting at least a few of your chips behind in the hopes that you’ll be able to say “totally called that” once they’ve accomplished big things by the end of the season?

Cincinnati. I know they’re the defending conference champs, but the program is still extremely obscure, and the Big East being shut out from the polls makes anyone from the conference “unheralded”. Their offense is relatively intact, more so than West Virginia, Rutgers or UConn. Also, take a look at their schedule. If the Bearcats can win in Corvallis on September 19th, 10-2 or even 11-1 isn’t out of the question.

2. In a similar vein, pick a sleeper player on your team whom nobody’s talking about right now and tell us why we will be talking about them by December.

I could say wide receiver Dwight Jones or running back Jamal Womble, but I will go with Grant Shallock. Yes, punter Grant Shallock. He is 6-7, 225 pounds, can boot a football into the upper deck and could beat Matt Bosher in a deathmatch. And Matt Bosher is the world’s toughest kicker.  Shallock is my darkhorse pick for the Ray Guy Award, if there’s such a thing as darkhorse for the Ray Guy Award.

3. Florida is about as big a consensus favorite as we’ve seen in recent years, but remember, USC got 62 out of 65 first-place votes in the AP’s 2007 preseason poll and still managed to lose to Stanford. Given how difficult it is to go undefeated period these days, where do you think the Gators are most likely to stumble in the regular season?

I oh so badly want to say the repeat’s not going to happen. The odds against a team being the best at their level, in any sport besides European club soccer, are mind-bogglingly high. The mere nature of amateur athletics makes it even less likely. Even the unstoppable 2005 USC and 2002 Miami teams were denied in the final seconds of their season. And yet, I look at their schedule, look at who returns to the team, and I can’t possibly justify not putting them at #1. There are only three possible roadblocks: Baton Rouge on October 10th, the SEC Chapionship and the BCS bowl. They could falter, but I have to see it to believe it.

4. Which regular-season game not involving your team or conference are you most looking forward to this year?

The Red River Shootout. I could hand a carnie at the Texas State Fair literally anything that somewhat resembled food (say, Hakarl) and they will bread and deep fry it for me. For chrissakes, they found a way to fry butter! It’s more than a rivalry game, it’s a culinary event that combines the best of Mexico and Scotland. (Come to think of it, that wouldn’t be an inaccurate description of Texas itself.) Who can pass that up?

Oh, and there’s that whole “national title implications” thing.

5. In honor of Georgia’s opening-weekend opponent and their most prolific booster, let’s say you somehow come into T. Boone Pickens money and can buy anything you want for your program — facilities upgrades, an airplane for recruiting, buy out the contract of that coach you hate, you name it. Where does your first check go?

A distant Colombian relative finds El Dorado directly underneath his house. He sells the mining rights for billions of dollars. Somehow, a percentage of this fortune makes its way into my bank account. I use part of that money to buy a 1,000 acre compound in Cashiers, North Carolina. I invite every referee in the ACC to my compound to “discuss what games to affect this season”, promising payment at the end of the meeting. Sensing absolutely nothing unusual (I’m looking at YOU, Ron Cherry), they oblige. I proceed to trap them all in the compound and lure each referee into an unnecessarily complex, yet thoroughly satisfying, Bond-style death.

I watch from a room with 20 TV screens and eat fried ostrich with beautiful bikini-clad women as everything unfolds. I pay Wolf Blitzer to report that they died invading a tiny Caribbean nation or something. I pay John Swofford to bring in Mongolian Wrestling refs who, in addition to wearing festive outfits and being the coolest old guys on the planet, allow teams like Wake Forest to score 80 points per game.

It’s morning in the ACC.

Hello, Deer. Have You Met Headlights?

Coming out of the tunnel in the second half…

Mike Paulus: Yeah, I am sooo pumped for this game, even though I’m probably not going to see a snap. But hey, if I’m in the game, it;s because you’ve slammed the door shut, T.J. Now let’s kick some! Let’s go, T.J.! Let’s go, Quan! Let’s go, Greg! WHOOOOOOOO!!!

(Mike Paulus has just patted the back of each player just mentioned, unwittingly giving them an radio chip in the process.)

Third Quarter. UNC is up 10-3 against Virginia Tech.

This game ain’t looking half-bad. Defense is dominating, we’re in field goal range, and T.J. is looking pretty sharp.

T.J. Yates: HUT HUT!

Radio: Beep beepbeedeedeep beedeedeep beedeedeepeep beedeedeepeep beeeeeeeeeeeeep

T.J. Yates:


(Yates is sacked for a loss of 20 yards, and hurts his left foot in the process)

Oh, no! T.J. can’t be hurt!

Butch: Get him out of there!

Yates: I’m…fine…coach…I’ll…stay…here…

(Yates performs 7 step drop on bad foot, is sacked)


Yates: I don’t know what came over me OW OW OW OW

Alright Mike, get yourself together. This game is on your shoulders now. Hopefully we can get the running game going. Keep the pressure off, you know. You can do this, Mike, This is what you came here for.

Next possession…

Alright, Well start with a run up the middle. Can’t be that bad. HUT HUT! (hands of to Greg Little) GO! GO GO GO GO GO! YEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAHHHHHH!!! WAY TO GO GREG! WAY TO GO! Whoo, okay. 17-3. Defense is playing well. Pressure’s off.

VT possession. 3rd and 5. Tyrod Taylor has just been stopped for no gain.

Way to go defense! Way to go!

Unnamed Hokie Player:

Ron Cherry: After the play was over, personal foul, on the…



…on the defense. 15 yards from the dead ball spot, first down.

WHAT! He had Quan by the mask! How is that not on Tech, Ron? Oh, well, we can still force a field goal kick.

Virginia Tech scores after another, er, “odd” call, and the score is 17-10.

Okay, so they’ve cut the lead to seven. But come on, that was a fluke. We can still be in control of this game.

So, we’ll just do this like last time. handoff to Greg up the middle and see what happens. HUT HUT!


Greg Little:


Okay, we’re in the red zone, getting into crunch time. We’ve made it this far, I think we can finish this drive get the momentum back, and walk away with victory. Alright, keep it cool.


Let’s see to the right here. Hey look! Foster’s open in the flat…



Macho Harris: Mmm yummy delicious interception


Wha…what just happened? Oh come on! What made me throw that to Nicks? How could i be so stupid!

Hokies win the game, 20-17.

Okay, something’s up. way too many weird things have been going on. How could this have happened? HOW!

Meanwhile, not far away…

(phone rings)

(phone rings)


Anonymous voice from Durham #1:

Cut here.

Ananymous voice from Durham #2:

Hey, it’s Greg. Just wanted to let you know that the plan worked. Phase one of Operation Sabotage is complete.

Anonymous voice from Durham #1: Excellent. But I still can’t believe you got your brother to become part of the plan.

Anonymous voice from Durham #2: I know! That dude is so gullible when he’s around me.

Anonymous voice from Durham #1: Muahahahaha….

Anonymous voice from Durham #1: BWAHH-HAHAHAHAAAAAAA…