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Alex Collette

Old and New: Branding the Blue

With the regular season finale in the books, Tar Heel fans have a few weeks off in which to look back and reflect on the season that was. While it was far from an ideal finish for a team hoping to build off of the momentum of last season’s unofficial Coastal Division Championship, it was a year that saw a mixing of trends new and old for Carolina football. Many of the changes surrounding the program represent part of Larry Fedora’s overall plan to revolutionize the gameday atmosphere in Chapel Hill. For one, the pregame festivities of Tar Heel...

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Making A Name

“I promise you, these guys don’t know anything about us. They don’t know anything about North Carolina.” These were the words with which Larry Fedora addressed his team Saturday before they took the field against new in-conference foe Pittsburgh. By the game’s end, everyone at Heinz Field had become a little better acquainted with the boys from the Tar Heel state. Fedora wanted to show the Panthers just what Carolina’s “Smart/Fast/Physical” creed was all about, and for the first thirty minutes of play, Marquise Williams and company seemed happy to provide a demonstration. The UNC offense got rolling and...

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View From The Tar Pit: Nothing But Blue Skies

On a gorgeous Homecoming weekend, the Heels continued their improved play as of late with a landslide victory over the Cavaliers of Virginia. Succinctly slamming the door shut on what for years was considered the “Virginia Curse,” Carolina has now played the role of the victor in the past four renditions of the “South’s oldest rivalry,” and has outscored its neighbors to the north by a tally of 154 to 54 during this period. Chapel Hill played host to some familiar faces, as alumni young and old returned to town for the Homecoming game that saw a pretty hopelessly...

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View From The Tar Pit: The Feeling’s Mutual

With a win Saturday in Raleigh, the Heels improved to 3-5 on the year and continued building steam for what could potentially become a 6-game win streak to end the regular season. What’s better, the boys in blue laid claim to their state for another 364 days (give or take a week, depending on scheduling). What was witnessed over the weekend in Carter-Finley was far from a crisp display of football, but it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience for Carolina fans everywhere. Though there were no chrome domes or electrifying last-minute punt returns to generate excitement, this did little...

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UNC-NCSU: Rekindling an Old Flame

It’s that special time of year again, when caravans of carpooling pep band members invade rival campuses and “free expression” tunnels get freshly coated in sky blue. Yes, it’s rivalry week in the Triangle, as the Wolfpack play host to the Tar Heels this Saturday at Carter-Finley. Despite holding just one ACC win between them, each team understands that this is a game with heavy implications. Though there are no national rankings or conference championship hopes on the line Saturday, there will be plenty of emotion, as Larry Fedora’s coaching staff has placed an increased emphasis on “winning the...

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View From The Tar Pit: Black Jerseys, Silver Linings

So here we are, one week later and the black on the Kenan Stadium grass is just beginning to fade. But what are we to make of Zero Dark Thursday? Though ZDT didn’t feature the fairy tale ending that the Heels wished for (and quite frankly, deserved), the night was anything but a failure. In what I would deem the second most important game thus far of the Fedora era (Gio’s punt return will forever hold a special place in my mind), Carolina proved that it could hang with the big boys on the field as well as off...

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View From The Tar Pit: Embracing the Darkness

With the end of midterms and the beginning of Fall Break having finally arrived, the excitement for Zero Dark Thursday has reached a peak here in Chapel Hill. Despite a lackluster start to the season, there is a palpable sense of anticipation that has been mounting for ZDT ever since fans caught their first glimpse of the new black unis way back in April during halftime of the spring game. This buzz is about more than just a fresh look, though: it’s about students getting to blow off a little steam. Having experienced a lifetime’s worth of noon and...

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A Student’s Guide to Away Games

As a director for Carolina Fever (Carolina’s student fan organization) and a member of the football video crew here at UNC, I’m lucky to have had plenty of gridiron gameday experiences. While I love a fall afternoon spent in beautiful Kenan Stadium, there’s a certain excitement that only comes with leaving our familiar place betwixt the pines to see Carolina play away from the friendly confines of Chapel Hill. Having done my fair share of away-game adventuring, I’ve taken it upon myself to compile a sort of student’s guide to traveling with the Heels. Below are my tips for...

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Worst Things First

So I’ll jump right in. Saturday was bad. Saturday was really bad. In their first sold out home game of the season, the Tar Heels took the field unprepared and unmotivated against an in-state opponent hungry for victory. And as if losing in your own dojo to a school down the road more facetiously known as “Easy-U” isn’t embarrassing enough, it’s how incredibly lopsided the entire affair was from the opening kick that made the whole experience downright humiliating. Saturday’s game wasn’t just bad, it was historically so. Here are some numbers to prove it: 603: The number of...

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Stung

When I was younger, my mom used to call me a cynic. I’m not a cynic; I’m just a Carolina football fan. There are times when I dream of a perfect season. And I don’t mean a “let’s win every game and hoist that crystal football” season, just one with maybe 10 wins and a BCS appearance. Just once. An ACC title or even a Coastal Division championship without an asterisk. But in the span of a few quarters of football those dreams come crashing down. These are the times when I think the Heels might simply be in...

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