Dear Current Carolina Players,
My weekly articles are always supportive and will continue to be until…
Know that this letter comes not only from me but from many of my teammates (2001-2006) and from other letterman I know who have worn that Carolina Blue uniform but don’t have the platform to share their thoughts regarding Saturday’s game. You are family to us no matter how low the lows and no matter how high the highs. We will always be a special fraternity, a family, a brotherhood and I’m very proud to be a part of that.
Having said that, the lack of effort, enthusiasm and intensity shown in the first half against Louisville was really puzzling and frustrating. None of Coach Fedora’s three fundamentals — Smart. Fast. Physical – were evident to me. An ABC-TV game at 3:30 pm is a great platform to show a large viewing audience that we can compete and win against a top 25 team and we did not put our best foot forward. I’m speaking to you as someone who was in your shoes six short years ago, and I’m begging you not to squander the opportunities in front of you.
If you’re lucky, you’ll wear Tar Heel blue for four seasons which means 48 games which means 96 halves. That may sound like a lot but let me assure you, it goes by in the blink of an eye. And one of those halves — the one that was played three days ago at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium — was a bust. Playing football at UNC was the best part of my young life, and I view it as a privilege. Don’t take your privilege for granted.
Now that I have gotten that off my chest, I’m proud as can be of the fight, determination and commitment to each other that I witnessed in the second half from both the players and the staff. This is the type of experience that you will build on for the rest of the season. The ability to answer the bell after you’ve been knocked down will serve you well the rest of this season as well as the rest of your Carolina career and, more importantly, your life after football. You might not know this, but Coach Fedora is molding you not only as a football player but as a future productive member of society.
The second half comeback will be a moment you will always remember. From the great performances of young guys like Romar Morris to our new starting Will linebacker Tommy Heffernan, everyone put their effort on the line and whatever Coach Fedora said to you at halftime, it really made a difference. But understand something, a coach’s halftime speech should not be the magic remedy to get a fire lit under you – getting yourself prepared and focused is your job before you walk in between those lines.