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Meet the Tar Heel Blog staff

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We have a lot of new voices at THB. Come find out about us and our UNC backgrounds!

Recently, there have been a lot of new names around THB with little context. Now that the new writers have settled into our jobs, we’d like to introduce ourselves to you. Here’s a quick rundown of the basics:

Name Age UNC student/alum? Favorite Sport
Tanya 27 Class of '11 Basketball
Jason 28 No Baseball
Paul 21 Current Senior Soccer
Jake 31 No Basketball
Julian 23 No (Elon '15) Football
Alex 21 No Basketball
Matt 25 No Basketball
Akil 20 Current Senior Football
Evan 27 Current Master's Student Basketball
Mac 23 Class of '16 Basketball
Daniel Old enough to have gray hair. Class of '05 Basketball
Michael 23 Nope. Indiana. Basketball

The great thing about having so many writers is the diversity in perspectives it brings. We have an age range of 12+ years and a healthy mix of students, alumni, and non-affiliated fans. The favorite sport is a little one-sided, but that’s to be expected with UNC fans, isn’t it?

We’re all here because UNC sports mean a lot to us: not only simply as a sporting institution but also as a producer of role models, as a representative of excellence, and a place where we’ve found friendly faces, and this is where I think our diversity really comes through, because our love for UNC was born and has been cultivated in so many unique ways. As a snapshot of our fandom, we’ve all shared both our first and favorite experiences as Tar Heel fans:

Tanya:

How I became a UNC fan: I was born into Tar Heel fandom. I grew up going to Chapel Hill with my dad and knew from then that there was nowhere else for me.

Favorite UNC Sports Memory: I was a student for the 2009 basketball championship and the ensuing celebration on Franklin Street. I’ve never experienced a more electric atmosphere.

Paul:

How I became a UNC fan: I’m a Tar Heel bred: My parents are both UNC alumni.

Favorite UNC Sports Memory: Beating Duke in Cameron in 2009. That was the team I first got really attached to, and that victory stands out to me to this day as the most significant game that season other than, of course, the tournament games. There’s always something more personal to a Duke victory.

Jake:

How I became a UNC fan: My mother went to UNC and my dad works there now. Growing up, I was an army brat, so I followed UNC sports from around the world with my family, and haven't stopped following them since.

Favorite UNC Sports Memory: Once, I got a buzz cut from Eric Montross’ barber. I kept that haircut for three years!

Alex:

How I became a UNC fan: I come from a long line of UNC fans. My grandfather joined the faculty in 1985, and my family has held season tickets ever since!

Favorite UNC Sports Memory: Beating Notre Dame in Kenan in 2008. Even though ND was unranked, the passion, excitement, and drama in the stadium was absolutely unforgettable.

Matt:

How I became a UNC fan: The nearest Division 1 team to where I was born is Bucknell, an hour away. I grew up without an obvious team to root for. I went to a small Division 2 school most notable for setting the record for longest losing streak in D2 history. (A streak that started before I enrolled, and was snapped in the final game in my senior year. I saw one football win in four years.) My fandom is due to the fact that my grade school's basketball uniforms were Carolina blue. I developed an affinity for the Tar Heels, and in the many years since, that affinity has developed into an obsession.

Favorite UNC Sports Memory: Basketball winning the ACC Tournament in 2016. That team is probably my favorite Carolina team ever, mainly due to the players just generally being incredibly likable. Seeing them cut down the nets and come home with a trophy meant a lot to me. Close second is the Music City Bowl win over Tennessee because that was hilarious.

Akil:

How I became a UNC fan: Duke at UNC game in 2005. I wasn’t old enough to really understand rivalries yet, but I decided early in that game that from then on, I would root for the winner of this game wholeheartedly. I didn't even know about the circumstances surrounding the game; that Roy hadn't beaten Duke since he started head coaching at UNC, that Duke had won 10 of the past 11, that UNC had just gotten out of a stretch of comparatively "down" years. All I knew was that single game, and I watched Sean May terrorize the Blue Devils and Marvin Williams hit the game-winner, and from then on, I've been a Tar Heel through and through.

Favorite UNC Sports Memory: I was at the Dean Dome in 2014, my freshman year, for the Duke game. We were massive underdogs: We were unranked, they were #5. The game had already been delayed 8 days. As a freshman, I hadn’t even though I'd get a ticket. All that added up to the most passionate atmosphere I've ever experienced, and the win and rush to Franklin were oh so sweet.

Julian:

How I became a UNC fan: My heritage is drenched in Chapel Hill. My parents both went to UNC, and my father was born and raised in Chapel Hill. His mother, my grandmother, is Mama Dip herself.

Favorite UNC Sports Memory: I can’t pick just one! Standouts include the 2005 Basketball Title, Chad Flack sending the Diamond Heels to Omaha in 2006, Gio’s punt return against State, and Men’s Lacrosse winning the 2016 NCAA title.

Evan:

How I became a UNC fan: I’m the latest generation of a long line of UNC graduates and fans alike.

Favorite UNC Sports Memory: My first ever game at the Smith Center was in 1996 against Clemson. I got to watch two freshmen named Antwan Jamison and Vince Carter.

Mac:

How I became a UNC fan: I became a UNC fan when I was first accepted to the school back in 2012. It was right before the NCAA Tournament, and I got to experience the highs and lows of being a Tar Heel right away. Even as the team lost to Kansas in the Elite 8, I was forever hooked on UNC basketball.

Favorite UNC Sports Memory: My sophomore year, my roommate and best friend somehow got two tickets to the Duke game at the Dean Dome. I'll never forget the game-closing run Marcus Paige spearheaded. We were standing, screaming, and shouting from the top of the arena the entire time and, after the game, we sprinted all the way to Franklin Street. For me, nothing was better than seeing a Duke loss live and then getting to celebrate it with all my friends on Franklin.

Daniel:

How I became a UNC fan: I’m not really sure when, but I loved the Carolina blue color from an early age. I first remember really liking the teams of Rick Fox, George Lynch, Hubert Davis, and Pete Chilcutt. Also, I always wanted to be Dean Smith.

Favorite UNC Sports Memory: Celebrating the 2005 National Championship on Franklin Street as a student.

Michael:

How I became a UNC fan: I really started following college basketball in 2005. UNC happened to be really good that year, so that was the first team I ever followed and fell in love with. I’m from Indiana and even though Sean May spurned IU, we still loved him. He was the man that year, he was all the announcers ever talked about. It was like they were always trying to slip his name into any conversation. Also, my older brother loved basketball and I think sports was the first thing that we could ever relate to and talk about. I felt like he saw me more as an equal than just a little brother because I followed along and knew what was going on. He liked UNC, so I liked UNC.

Favorite UNC Sports Memory: When I think of "my favorite UNC memory," I think to myself, "what is the first thing I think of when I think of UNC?" That would have to be that 2005 championship game. The game was during my spring break and I remember sitting on my hotel bed watching the game with my brother. After they won, my parents bought me all kinds of UNC stuff. I went home and asked if I could repaint my childhood bedroom Carolina blue, which is still the color of it today. Does that make me a fair weather fan? Probably, but I was 11!

Writer’s note: "Fairweather fandom" and "bandwagoning" aren’t about when/how you become a fan, they’re about people who stop being fans when the going isn’t as good. Everybody starts somewhere!

Share your favorite UNC memories below, and feel free to ask us anything else about our Tar Heel experiences!