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A Visit from St. Nicholas

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night

Kentucky v North Carolina Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

‘Twas the night before Christmas; not a peep from a mouse

As I dreamt of old favorites, of ‘Sheed and Stackhouse.

The banners that hung in the rafters with care

In the hopes that another one soon would be there.

The Tar Heels fans nestled all snug in our beds

While Coach Smith held four fingers up in our heads.

Live action finished, a December cold snap,

Had this Tar Heel blogger needing a long winter’s nap.

When out from the Dome there arose such a clatter,

I left my apartment to check out this matter.

Down Manning, to Skipper Bowles Drive in a flash,

Threw the car into park and I made a mad dash.

Full moon shining down on the Chapel Hill night—

I could take the stairs two at a time in the light.

Then what to my wondering eyes did appear,

But an entrance gate with doors wide open—weird.

But from deep inside, that hypnotic sound;

The rhythm of basketballs hitting the ground.

I stepped to the mezzanine, stunned to my core

As I saw what awaited me, there on the floor.

A jolly old elf, in light blue (and not red),

waving up from midcourt, with a cap on his head.

He had a good handle, for a man of his age,

Like the speedy Ty Lawson, or Coach Marcus Paige.

I walked down the stairs, hardly daring to breathe,

As he dribbled and seemingly waited for me.

“It’s live action” he winked, then he turned on a dime,

and threw up a shot like Luke Maye in his prime.

“I thought you wore red?” I asked, feeling wrong,

To which he replied “Not since State came along.”

I made it to midcourt and laced up my shoes,

And went to guard Santa—what else could I do?

And even in boots, with his jolly round belly,

That elf still shook me like a bowl full of jelly.

He crossed to his left, caught his own alley-oop—

Then Santa put his elbow in the Smith Center hoop.

“I taught Carter that,” he said when he came down,

“We used to play pickup when I came through town.”

He took out his watch, read the time at a glance,

And muttered something about “coal” and “Duke fans.”

His shootaround finished, St. Nick took his leave,

And I headed home on a cold Christmas Eve.

But as I drove in, something flew overhead,

A reindeer, his nose glowing blue (and not red).

A sleigh pulled behind, what a wonderful sight;

Blue, with two-three on the side all in white.

And what did I see when I stepped through my door

But a pile of gifts ‘neath the tree, on the floor.

And a card from St. Nick, I read with a grin,

“Enjoy these new Jordans—I’m guessing size ten?”

I looked out the window, caught sight of the elf,

Eastbound to Durham, looking pleased with himself.

I pinched my own arm, to confirm it was real,

But I guess it makes sense he would be a Tar Heel.

Then I heard on the wind, ‘fore he flew out of view,

That jolly old elf, shouting “N - C - U.”


Merry Christmas and happy holidays, from our Tar Heel Blog family to yours.

See ya later, Big Grits.