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But soft, what light through yonder offseason breaks?

Virginia v North Carolina Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

I don’t mind admitting I’ve been going a little stir crazy in my house. Before the world ground to a halt, I enjoyed going places and doing things around other people. This is not purposefully vague, I assure you; it’s just more difficult than I care to admit for me to remember the things I used to do. I was never a huge fan of crowds, but there were times in which they were necessary, and sometimes even fun. Sporting events, for example, were one of those times in which a crowd shifted from barely bearable to downright enjoyable. And now, after nearly six months of living and working and playing all within the confines of these four walls, college sports are coming back. I can hardly believe it, but it looks like it’s really going to happen.

So why can’t I get excited?

Maybe it’s the fact that I know I can’t actually attend a game. Perhaps it has something to do with the overwhelming distraction that is the world at large these days. Maybe it even has something to do with not wanting to get my hopes up in case the other shoe drops. Whatever the case may be, for the first season that I can remember, I haven’t buried myself in preseason scouting reports or updates from spring practices. I haven’t memorized the two-deep, picking out new names to be breakouts and mentally welcoming back the guys I cheered for last season. I haven’t had the time or the inclination to plug into a season that I truthfully never thought would materialize.

Maybe it’ll all change when I finally sit down to watch the Heels take the field at last. Maybe, when Carolina runs out of that tunnel in Kenan Stadium, it’ll finally feel real. Maybe I’ll be able to look past the sea of cardboard cutouts filling the stands; maybe it’ll just become blurred colors in the background as I watch Sam Howell and the Heels get back to business. Maybe, for those three hours, I’ll be able to block out the sound of everything else crashing in around me as I watch the team I love play my favorite game.

This may be me, like the noble ostrich, burying my head in the sand and hoping against hope that everything will somehow be alright. It may be a foolish dream that we will get anything resembling a full season. For my part, though, I crave the normalcy. If we’re going to do this thing, we may as well do it right. For three hours next Saturday, the only thing I want to worry about is whether or not the Tar Heel defense will force Syracuse to punt. For three hours next Saturday, I just want to feel like things are normal again.