Our governor admits he’s the second most famous Roy in the state.
Roy Cooper held a fundraiser in Chapel Hill as part of his reelection campaign to remain in the Governor’s Mansion four more years. After his remarks about extended Medicare, overturning legislative vetoes and gerrymandering, Cooper engaged in some lighthearted conversation about sports. He is obviously a big fan.
With two degrees from UNC, he is particularly partial to teams called Carolina and sends out a lot of sports tweets. He tweeted eight times after the Hurricanes opened the regular season and when the Panthers won a third straight after losing their first two games.
He also talked about an event where he shared the stage with former Tar Heel All-American Charlie Scott and said his claim to fame was blocking a shot by Phil Ford in high school, admitting he was the third man in a triple-team against the Rocky Mount prep All-American. “Still my greatest moment in sports,” he said of his friend Ford.
A die-hard Tar Heel in the right state for that, Cooper gets a lot of votes from independents and undecideds who are Carolina fans, and that might have helped him become the first challenger in North Carolina to defeat a sitting governor running for re-election when he edged Republican Pat McCrory in 2016. After Roy Williams won his third national championship during Cooper’s first year in office, he said he conceded to the Tar Heel hoops coach that he was clearly the second most-famous “Roy” on our state.
I gave Cooper a copy of my book “Game Changers,” saying he was too young to have experienced the Civil Rights era in Chapel Hill when Dean Smith battled the odds and racism to integrate his program with Scott.
But he was a good enough student in the eastern town of Nashville to follow the accounts in newspaper stories and on radio and TV, and to eventually win a Morehead Scholarship.
The father of three daughters also earning degrees from Carolina, the 1979 graduate, lawyer and former attorney general who stepped in to clear the three falsely accused Duke lacrosse players, Cooper also recognized the author of “Game Changers.”
“I listened to WCHL while in college,” he said and then quoted the sign off. “This is Art Chansky, see ya.”