J.P. Giglio runs down the ACC tiebreaker rules and can't help but throw in a little dig at UNC:
This naturally, sets off accusations of anti-UNC bias in the comment section, and a couple of insults thrown back and forth. I don't think Giglio[*], or any of the N&O staff, is biased, but I can uderstand how you could get that impression from that entry, and it's a rather interesting characteristic of sports reporters moving into blogging.
Sports blogging, with its roots in general internet culture and sports talk radio, is unsurprisingly heavy on snark and cutting humor. This is the exact opposite of what sports journalism has evolved into, which puts traditional media into a bit of a tonal bind when they wander online. They have a responsibility for impartiality that folks like I don't, but both the form and the drive for readership pushes towards quick hits and snide remarks. It's a thin line to walk, and often ACC Now throws in a couple of lines that just clank. The N&O staff have a responsibility to be fair to the people they cover, and an audience that demands they don't. Which is why it's easy to throw out a line like "meaningless banners." It's an old - and safe - joke, sure to get at least one subset of area fans in your corner as you rib another.
But here's the thing. "Meaningless banners" to a Carolina fan is a dog whistle sort of comment. You hear someone say "meaningless banners" and 999 out of a 1000 times, it's Duke or State fan, because nobody else cares. It's like someone writing "Dook" or "Tar Holes" or "It’s unfortunate, and the person it’s most unfortunate for is G." Truly unbiased people just don't care enough to think like that. Generally, if you can't imagine curmudgeon extraordinaire Billy Packer complaining about it on-air, it's probably not something you should write and expect people to think you're impartial.
And really, every team decides what they want to hang frm the rafters, and there's not much variation between them. Duke hangs regular season banners. The post directly above Giglio's shows Wake Forest scoring under a banner celebrating NCAA appearances. Hell, State's court has banners for some imaginary Yankee sport.
If UNC's banner-hanging seems excessive, it's merely a confluence of achievement and the real estate to boast about it. Let he with an empty rafter cast the first stone, okay?