Heels Heating Up
March 6, 2014
Even the most ardent North Carolina hoop fan, back in January, would think that their Tar Heels would embark on a 12-game winning streak sometime during the remainder of the season.
But if there is one thing we’ve learned this season about the Heels, it’s how they can be entertaining but unpredictable. Even with the uncertainty, this is now a team that’s won 12 straight games, the program’s longest streak in the ACC since it went 14-0 in 1986-87. Who’d have thought it’s been that long between streaks? I mean, there have been some great UNC teams during that span.
Back in January, there was talk if this team would even make the NCAA Tournament. They are in for sure now and have the look that they could advance deep into the tourney. Especially this year. Have you checked out the top-ten this season? Parity is the current buzz word within NCAA basketball. Due to there not being any “great” teams out there, there are close to two dozen teams who have the potential to make the Final Four. Few have the wins of UNC, and even fewer have the winning streak of UNC.
The Heels are now 23-7, 13-4 in the ACC. They close out their season on the road against Duke Saturday. Then comes the ACC tournament. Another loss is inevitable, but even so, isn’t it time to start giving this group more credit. There’s something even more to be said about putting together a 12-game winning streak in a league like the ACC, which is as strong at the top as any in the country.
NFL and The “N-word”
I am sure you have read or heard that the NFL has proposed a rule that would assess a 15-yard penalty for using the “N-word.”
The proposal obviously stems from the Martin/Incognito controversy. The proposal has, to no surprise, re-sparked conversations and debates about the use of the word ranging from who can say it and how.
First of all, I personally do not use the word and am not fond of hearing it used in any setting. But I really hope the league sees all the reasons why this rule cannot work.
Referees will not want to deal with this rule. How are they supposed to identify the guilty culprit? There are 22 potential suspects on the field, a field that surrounded by thousands of screaming fans. I am sure you can think of more logistical issues.
And how about this one. The rule already exists. If you read the rule book concerning what constitutes an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, you would see that refs could already flag the name-caller if he so chose to. But you see, he is quite busy with the number of judgement calls he has to make during the course of a play. I would hazard to guess that how players address each other is the least of his concern.
And here is another issue. Creating a rule addressing one word or phrase is redundant at best. It also creates an unwanted hierarchy of offensiveness. It’s not OK to call Michael Sam the “N-word” but there is no “fag” or “homo” rule.
There are those who argue that the NFL needs to conform to the laws that govern workplace culture. First of all, a professional football game is not a standard workplace. Secondly, the rule does not address the NFL workplace as a whole but rather one relatively small portion of the overall NFL work environment, the game.
Where Do NFL Players Come From?
While reading up on the upcoming NFL draft, I came across some interesting information regarding what universities produce the most NFL talent.
I am sure most everyone thinks of Alabama. Yes, the Crimson Tide are in the top ten. But they do not top the list.
The list I came up with is based on games started in the NFL this past season by players who entered the league since the 2009 season.
I discovered a number of startling facts along with some logical ones. Did you know that players from over 200 different colleges started NFL games during the 2013 season?
While Alabama does rank sixth in number of games started by its former players, there is one school ranked higher, (Cal at 4th) that actually has a losing record (24-38). One has to question the coaches who find ways to lose despite having so much NFL talent.
Georgia topped the list as former Bulldogs, who left the program since 2009, have started 205 NFL games.
Trailing the field of 37 schools with the best win-loss record during that time is Michigan. How the once mighty has fallen. Since the class of 2009, former Wolverines started only three NFL games last season. Former Michigan players prior to 2009 started 142 games last year.
Stanford is the direct opposite of Michigan. The Cardinal had eight starts from players prior to 2009 but had 117 from their players since 2009.
Let me update you on some of the local schools. South Carolina had 48 starts prior to 2009 and 112 since 2009. NCSU has stayed consistent with numbers of 73 before 2009 and 82 since 2009. North Carolina is doing much better of late. The Heels since 2009 number was 116 while their before 2009 number was just 16.