I've been a UNC fan for as long as I can remember. In middle school I would cry if they lost a game. (This may have continued through high school but that's not important.) I'd pray and beg God to let them win, promising Him that my halo would shine forever and ever amen if they did. These days, I just bite my nails and yell bad words. (I'm kidding. About the bad words. Sort of. But not about the nails. After the game on Saturday night, I had to cut my nails very short in anticipation of last night's game.)
If you know anything about college basketball, you know that Carolina and Duke are sworn enemies. Marriages have ended over March Madness in North Carolina. You can't ride the fence, you can't like either team just a little. There are no slight opinions about who your favorite team is if you grew up anywhere near Tobacco Road. It's all or nothing, baby.
Once upon a time, my family was filled with Tarheel fans. My younger siblings would watch games with me, cheering the whole time. (This had nothing to do with a fear of being locked in a closet...promise.)
One dreadful day, my younger sister committed the ultimate blasphemy.
She married an avid Duke fan. Scratch that. She married into a WHOLE FAMILY of
rabid avid Duke fans.
I've told you that I have three siblings, right? Guess how many of us are now Carolina fans?
ME. That's it. They all jumped on the Duke bandwagon a few years back when Duke was on a winning streak. Except the one sister. She held out until she realized that her marriage was more important to her than her loyalty to the Carolina Blue. And her favorite sister.
Bunch of fair weather fans.
Oh, and infidels.
Needless to say, last night when the Tarheels won the NCAA title, I sent several text messages to my siblings and my dark blue loving brother in law making sure they knew. They tried to act like, "Oh really? This is tournament time? I had totally forgotten since I'm not keeping up with basketball this year!" but I know they were all crying inside.
I also know that another great year for UNC and they are likely to come back from the dark side over to the glorious Carolina Blue.
I realized last night as I watched the game until way past my bedtime, I am and always will be a Carolina girl. I may never get to live there again but my heart always will be in North Carolina and it only takes a moment to awaken that trash talking southern girl that lives within me.