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UNC Football: A Gift

‘Tis the season, after all.

Syracuse v North Carolina Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Christmas came early this year.

There are probably more intelligent ways to get that point across, sure, but I can’t think of any. I couldn’t tell you the last time I felt so energized by a sporting event; so swept away with the emotion of a ball game that I lost my breath. When Javonte Williams did this, I squealed like a little boy recognizing on Christmas morning exactly what was in the mystery box that Santa had left (it was a Hot Wheels service station play set, for the record, and it was awesome). In fact, I’m not sure which joy was more pure; the young child looking down the barrel of hours of time with new die-cast car toys, or the fully grown adult watching the Miami Hurricanes get vaporized by the same team that young child grew up pulling for.

There’s something so magical about this time of year. It’s a time for celebration; a time for reconnecting with family and friends; a time for visiting a top-ten opponent on the road and ejecting them directly into the sun.

As Tanya pointed out in the game summary, the cool 784 yards that the Heels gained were the most a Hurricanes defense had ever given up. Full stop. The lion’s share of those yards (544) were split up between Michael Carter and Williams, a one-two punch that would make Joe Louis blush. Handing the ball off to either back yesterday afternoon was like lighting the wick of a particularly sketchy firework; it was more likely than not to be explosive, and anyone standing too close had a non-zero chance of experiencing great violence (coincidentally, tonight my thoughts are with Miami #5, seen being sent to the Shadow Realm in the gif linked near the top of this post).

There are/will continue to be more intelligent points made by my more adept colleagues and friends on other pages throughout this site. I look forward to reading every word, drinking in the data points and well-thought-out takes like so much hot chocolate on a particularly chilly night. As for me, I’m perfectly content to sit here and bask in the warm afterglow of the smoldering wreckage that used to be called Hard Rock Stadium. 16 years is a long time to go without a win over a top-ten team, but this was almost worth it.

Something tells me the next one won’t take quite as long.