A Weekend of Thrills & Agony


Jan 15, ’13:  It doesn’t have its own catchphrase name (yet), which sort of adds to its cache.  The second round of the NFL Playoffs has become a very manageable weekend for excellent sports TVing.  Two out of four were certified humdingers for the ages.  PLUS; there was a court stampede at AlphabetArena.... and The Annual Night of UstaBees down in Goldsboro.

When I say “a very manageable weekend” I mean it is easy to arrange one’s TV-viewing schedule.  CBS and FoxSports cooperate with one another with the TV viewer as the beneficiary of two days of back-to-back viewing of sudden-death pro football.  Four games in 36 hours “that matter” as much as any sports event matters in the grand scheme of things.   

Four teams survive and advance.  Four sets of fans hang their coach and/or star player in effigy and (of course) blame the refs.  I know all the players make bazillions regardless, but their "thrill and/or agony" reactions this time of year are genuine, I think.

Aficionados of college basketball can make their case for the Elite Eight as being a comparable weekend but not to me.  College basketball has been Caliparied into (for me) just meaningless exhibitions of one-and-dones showing off for NBA personnel directors.  It is no longer “must see TV” for me.  Even Blondie scheduled her weekend gardening around the four games this past weekend.

The MLB playoffs have produced some nail-biters in recent years but there is no guarantee that all eight remaining teams will be in sudden death situations over a 36-hour weekend.   No, this annual alignment of “four games that matter” is a time to express thanks to the inventors of big-screen HDTV and that America is still a country where we have a choice of who we order our home delivery pizza from.

(So far its only a rumor that once he has confiscated our guns, the National Fool – Joe Biden – will be assigned to nationalize pizza delivery.)

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OK..... I know many of you are only reading this to see what I say about “the Single Greatest Event in the history of the ESA / RBC / PNC Arena..... since the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals and maybe Scotty McCreary’s Hometown Concert”.  

Yeah verily..... the modern day Moses of Wolfpack Basketball – Mark Gottfried – has indeed led the long-suffering, wilderness wandering disciples of Case, DT & V to within sight of the Promised Land.  Is a convincing January home-court win over the hated Cameronites (minus Ryan Kelly) really an Official “Look At Us America” Moment for the Brickyard Bunch?  Do sports fans all across the fruited plain now know (and fear) “that little finger thingie”?   

How does a team convincingly whup the #1 team in America on national TV yet find itself ranked only 14th while the whuppee still ranks #3?   Simple.... the global media conspiracy to demean and denigrate all things Wolfpackian is still firmly in place.   Those hated UNC J-school alums who “control all the world’s media” have struck yet again.   Oh the injustice.... oh the unfairness of it all.

Regardless..... to the sane and “have a life” faction of WuffNation, we offer our sincere congrats for a very fine victory.   Coach Gottfried’s heralded recruits have behaved themselves admirably thus far.  So long as that is the case we will salute their achievements.   Under the iron fist of Frau we would expect nothing less.

Are there bigger hurdles ahead?  Sure but ya can enjoy the moment.

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“We” like The Mannings.  “We” have always liked The Mannings.  Yes, we know it is now fashionable to viciously despise any/all athletes who dare to conduct themselves in a gracious and polite manner.  It the Tebow Effect.  The Era of Chip Hilton and Gil Thorp is over.  “Boy Scout” athletes are passé.   Tattooed Thugs rule.  All hail the influence of lunatics & losers on “social media”.

“We” also really really like Russell Wilson.  Russell is cut from The Manning Mold.  He is a clean-cut “yes ma’am, no ma’am” Chip Hilton “old-school” player .  This year he was a novelty in some far-away place called Seattle overshadowed by DC’s RG3 and Luck.  The casual fan in Omaha or Youngstown has not zeroed in on Russell yet.  If he can emerge from the shadows of “a far-away place called Seattle” he will gain “fame” and with that fame will come resentment and reprisal from the lunatics and loons.  Russell is simply too nice..... too clean-cut..... too “old school” to be heralded by the star-making rabble.   We don’t care..... We Like Russell.  

NOTE:  Last Thursday, I conducted an informal focus group “about Russell” with 20+ semi-hard core UNC fans in Chapel Hill.   Among the 20 I polled, NOT A ONE had any thing but highly complimentary comments about Russell Wilson.  NOT A SINGLE  NEGATIVE WORD.  Sure, these were not the bottom-feeding rodents that infest “the fan boards”.  These were achievers, city-fathers and Good Neighbor Sams-types who, while being of the Tar Heel persuasion, can easily acknowledge the obvious admirable qualities of a former rival.

I’m certain, if the situation were reversed, the sane “have a life” faction of WuffNation would respond in kind.   Right, sane “have a life” wuffs?

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Other than being “a weather-influenced” game, Ravens v Broncos was of humdinger quality.  I don’t like “weather-influenced” games but I am resigned that there will always be 1-2 this time of year.  Oh well.  Odds are Ravens v Patriots will be another one.

I don’t have strong feelings about Ray Lewis one way or the other.  He’s probably outgrown his U of M-thug heritage and that whole murder rap thing.   He is certainly no more a thug than LT was/is for sure.   Next year he gets to be another gangsta-suit wearing guy on a studio set.  Am I the only one who thinks “Luca Brazi Meets Shaft” when I see those guys?

That OHMYGAWD Hail Mary Heave by Flacco was “why we watch” the NFL.   IMO, did Payton “lose the game” with his interception in OT 2?  No, the game was lost on the Hail Mary Heave.   But that’s because I like The Mannings.   Manning/Tebow-haters will say otherwise.

Russell’s dramatic 4th quarter bring’em back in Atlanta was “all he could do”.   Maybe its best for The Legend of Russell that it fell short.   Now he has plenty left to do in future years.  Matt Ryan seems like a good guy.   Who ya reckon TO’B was pulling for in that game ?????  

I didn’t watch the 49er’s v Packers except in bit & pieces.   I do like the whole Harbaugh Brothers thingy.  What are the odds of A Harbaugh Brother Roman Numeral Bowl?  We would get two weeks of non-stop interviews with Daddy Harbaugh.   No one ever accuses “the media” of not being predictable.

Koepernick / Kaepernick seems quite the odd duck.  I’m not predisposed to not like odd ducks so I’ll give him more time before I decide.  Who has more tatts – Koepernick or Josh?

Brady being Brady and steam rolling Houston was predictable.  Tom Brady isn’t as universally hated as “The Mannings” because he married a supermodel.  Marrying a supermodel gives one “cred” with the Tweet Mob.

With both Russell and The Mannings eliminated, I have no preferences from here on out.  Beyonce for Roman Numeral Bowl Halftime has a high hubba-hubba factor.  Is Beyonce the Tina Turner of the New Millenium?

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Meanwhile in Goldsboro, the 2013 George Whitfield UstaBees & HushpuppyFest is now history.   Our dear friend George somehow found another coupla dozen deserving folks upon whom to bestow a humongous plaque.  No umbrellas this year.   George (finally) took Charlie Adam’s advice and streamlined his remarks allowing us to get home before midnight.  A very grateful audience thanks Charlie.

ESPN will probably never cover a George Whitfield UstaBees Honoring (& HushpuppyFest) but I’ll always go if I’m able.   Chip Hilton and Gil Thorp would be honored to be honored by George.  It’s a really nice occasion.  REAL “old school” and actually held in “an old school”.  Atta Boy George!

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BobLeeLIVE is coming to Wilmington on Fri - Feb 1
Greater Wilmington Sports Club !!!
For tickets & Details contact:
The number is 910.620.3906 - and online at www.gwshof.com

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Posted: January 15, 2013 at 8:44 AM by SaidWHATMedia | with 19 comments
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Comments
Adnan
- For every homecoming game we have a diernffet theme ( 08 was Disney themed) and the cheerleaders had their cheers centered around diernffet songs. For example 『I just can't wait to be king』 from the Lion King- We have the shirtless boys who paint numbers and names on their chests and stand out in the freezing cold- We have blackout games (Everyone wears black)- We embarass teachers and freshman at our Pep Rally every year. One kid always dresses up as our mascot = Rosie the Ram.- A lot of red, white and blue (our school colors)- The list goes on and on
1/26/2013 7:47:18 PM

58 Wolf Kennel
BL, it is reported that Gary W. was at the game last night.
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BL: A pic of Gary & Frau hugging would be PRICELESS....
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1/17/2013 10:45:50 AM

58 Wolf Kennel
BL, It is obvious that some of your "pseudonym inside pseudonym" responders have too much time on their hands as well as somewhat strange motives. I guess thanks for having an open blog but wish your responders would get their "facts" straight. The only "contact" I ever had with President Truman was in watching our Baptist Minister's son Tommy Frye sit next to the President in church when Truman visited New Bern in the late 40's. I always felt somewhat jealous of Tommy as well as somewhat proud of him at the same time. However, it just seems that history is weakened a bit when it comes through pseudomynous sources like the FBKJ writer. He must be from Maryland.
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BL: Was last night's 51-50 ambush of "college Bskb's latest juggernaut" a reprisal at Frau Yow?
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1/17/2013 8:02:35 AM

fayettewuf
Wolfpackers' who have trysts with farm animals and Blue Devils from New Jersey are the respective stereotypes in Chapel Hill. Of course in Raleigh we held Carolina gentlemen in too high regard to speculate about their proclivities
:-)
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BL: ....and UNCers are all gay uber-liberals.... or so "they say".
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1/17/2013 12:00:13 AM

fayettewuf
Re: biscuit boys at Duke
I believe they would be bagel boys at Duke...do they have biscuits in New Jersey?
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BL: I've always figured that for every Dookie "from New Jersey" there is a Wuffie "having sex with a domesticated farm animal".
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1/16/2013 4:35:00 PM

FightingBobKennel, Jr.
Dear Bob:
The Will Privette Incident (and I know him well because, as you know, I know pretty much everyone well) reminds me of the time when I was in Key West and had to save President Harry Truman.
President Truman was in the middle of his "Give 'em Hell, Harry" Presidential campaign against the awful Republicans who wanted to turn all the Working Men back into slaves of Big Business before FDR put them in their places. President Harry Truman was a real American hero and many times at the Key West White House he was delightful company but truth is, he liked to drink.
I was stationed down at the Key West Naval Air Station at that time in an Undisclosed but Highly Secret role involving Cuba and the evil Castros. I was coming out of the Green Parrot Bar after a few cold ones and there was the President and his Secret Service walking by. You could tell he had had more than a few when he said, "FightingBob! If we had more people like you I could blow away the Commies and the Republicans AND the Big City New York Agitators all at once! HA! It seems he was on his way to a Democrat Rally to say a few words.
All of a sudden BAM! down went the President like a stone. "What should we do, Fighting Bob?" asked the Secret Service man, whom I knew from some things I can't talk about from Oxford but were very Hush Hush.
"I will handle this," said I and handle it I did. I picked President Truman up and carried him like we were engaged in Horse Play. I carried him all the way down to the rally and we walked around with me sometimes raising his hand for him like he was waving.
Then we took him home and gave him an aspirin and that, my friends, is how I helped President Harry Truman win the election of 1948. I was very proud of President Truman and he told me, "Fighting Bob, without you I was toast. Hell, without you, the whole damn US of A is toast." Shucks, I said.
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BL: "Shucks" indeed. The Legend of FBK grows and grows....
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1/16/2013 3:47:49 PM

58 Wolf Kennel
Good and long weekend, but you have captured it well. I like George's big-hearted plaques, Russell W's not surprising QB excellence, Gottfried's results, and the Wheelchair guy/CL Leslie bonding. So much has been made of the Saturday court rush, but several additional thoughts. I know Will Privette more from Women's Basketball seating in front of us and from his statistical volunteering in the Baseball office. Good guy!
On Saturday we sit right above where the court rush was hatched, and the Student Body President who pushed the wheelchair sits right over the wall in front of us as well. I was thrilled to see "Will the Thrill" leading the way in his version of "Roll Pack". Of course we Holly Springers are proud of Leslie (as well as baseball neighbor Carlos Rodan) and his family. My youngest kids also just moved into a condominium next to Leslie's Aunt where he comes over for dinner every other week. So you can see that lot of NC State trivia from this past weekend made for a very good weekend. Your other readers/responders might neither understand nor appreciate it which is why I saved it for late in your article's normal half-life. I have no shame :>)) Roll Pack !
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BL: I looked for you amid the milling mob.

New Bears HC Trestman was among Amato's revolving door of OCs.
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1/16/2013 10:00:00 AM

CharmCityMike
You should be in Baltimore. The non-stop Ray is retiring coverage is wearing thin.Another week of it until Sunday's results.
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BL: How does it compare to CAL RETIRES ?
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1/16/2013 7:29:09 AM

JDanWuff
I fully concur with your assessment of the RW situation at State as written in your response to Old Darkhorse. It was a great benefit to Russell to get some real national exposure at UW. He would have never gotten that face time at my Alma Mater. TO'B did right by RW and Glennon.
I found the State-Dook game to be a raucous and enjoyable affair from my recliner. Long live Samsung and U-Verse.
It will be football-less until the Super Hype (Bowl). As for Beyonce, meh...... another no talent hack, catering to the braindead of the current generation.
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BL: She sure is mighty pretty though!
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1/15/2013 5:42:34 PM

fayettewuf
At the end of the State-Duke game, I was impressed by the valor shown by Coach K in the face of an impending court rush. We all know that a prudent coach would have pulled his starters, ran for the bus and left cab fare on his chair for the survivors,
As far as pro football goes, I feel pretty much the same. No rooting interest left.
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BL: Does Duke have "biscuit boys"?
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1/15/2013 5:07:11 PM

The Expatriate
It's interesting that you find Kaepernick an "odd duck." He is actually right down your alley. He is (gasp!) a dedicated, practicing Christian who spoke at his own and other churches many Sundays while at the University of Nevada. He continues to express his beliefs and faiths even with a regular job that keeps him busy on Sundays. The tattoos on his arms are (gasp again!) Bible verses that he says "mean a lot to me" and he even asked for his parents' permission (gasp! yet again) before he got them. He got a real degree in four years. He is not only well liked but respected and admired for who and what he is, quite apart from his athletic abilities.

About those athletic abilities, I've learned from having been around East Carolina, the University of Southwestern Louisiana and, more recently, the University of Nevada that are legions of people who do not believe in athletic prowess unless a young man goes to a "real football school." Among other things, Kaepernick is the ONLY player in NCAA history with three seasons with 2,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing. That ain't chopped liver, and he wasn't going up against the Little Sisters of the Poor. His success with the Niners is no surprise.
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BL: For all the reasons you note - he is "an odd duck". Odd ducks and "straight arrows" are not mutually exclusive.
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1/15/2013 2:06:08 PM

YogiNC
Bobby, I'd like to take small exception to Darkhorse's comments. Wilson had a contract to play baseball. He had done so the previous year with TOB's blessing. Had he not shown up at spring training the Rockies could have immediately demanded a significant portion of his signing bonus back. There was a financial interest in what RW did that spring. Both sides of this had respectable reasons for doing what they did. Wilson got a great opportunity to play in cheese head land and was pretty darned successful which led to his opportunity with an NFL team which was his ultimate dream. I read an article about RW in which his coaches and teammates in the baseball community commented on him and his work ethic. The overwhelming thread was "committed beyond reproach". While his development was not as quick as he would have liked most said he would have made it in the bigs. It takes more than just talent to make it to that level and hitting the "stuff" in the bigs is no small feat. It takes A LOT of batting practice to get there. RW would be successful I believe no matter what he chose to do. My bet is he could go into coaching today (any sport) and be successful in a very short period of time. Why? Dedication to being the best. And THAT no one can argue with. One other thing too, the kid is incredibly modest. He beat out two seasoned pros for the starting job and came within a whisker of going to the conference championship game in his first year. Lofty company but if you ask him I'd bet he is upset not to be playing next sunday.
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BL: AND he "wanted" to come to UNC but Paulus was "the chosen one". That worked out well for RW too.
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1/15/2013 1:21:06 PM

Wes in RIC
"Couldn't agree more with you about NCAA basketball. Although I would admit to being marginally more interested if "our" "student athletes" were winning more, it has become more and more meaningless.Even going back ten years ago, it would have been hard to imagine that ACC basketball would have been something I would be indifferent about. Oh well, life goes on."

PineTops, you completely hit the nail square on the head. If you would have told me that when I got to be 40 years old that I just flat out would not care about ACC basketball - or football for that matter - I would have replied that you were absolutely nuts. I used to schedule life around ACC games. Nowadays I can't remember the last time I even watched more than one half of any game.

These days the games that matter most to me are the ones on the little league fields with my kids!
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BL: As we grow and age, our interests and priorities change.
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1/15/2013 12:56:54 PM

wolfdon
Only one downer to being a player on the national scene in bb as far as I am concerned.....as a TV follower....having to mute the set or be subjected to ***** the mouth!
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BL: No one loves & touts college Bkb more than he does.
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1/15/2013 11:56:41 AM

Old Darkhorse
Let me play the Devil's advocate, here....I like Russell Wilson, too.....however, as much as you hate the whole " one and done " scenarios, now played out with our student athletes, I take the stance that Russell shared the same degree of selfishness...his was, however, " three and out "....three and out at NCSU.

He was, after all , on a football scholarship and he should have shown his loyalty to his teammates and honored his football scholarship by attending Spring football practice, instead of pursuing his MLB dreams during the Spring. I applauded T'OB's decision. A football scholarship is for one year....and, then, can be renewed for another year. While the school is obligated to pay for Russell's education for a year, his obligation, for that free year of education, is to participate in the football program for the entire school year..Fall and Spring.

Even if NCSU had given Russell permission to play baseball, too, for NCSU ( which he did ), during Spring football practice, the fact remains that while the school is paying his education, he should reciprocate by participating in the school's respective sports programs, during the school year.. and football practice should have trumped baseball practice, unless permission to participate in the school's baseball program had been given, too ( which it was ).

Not knowing whether Russell was coming back, or not, in the Fall, T'OB had to make plans for the Fall season, now, during Spring practice, with the players who were already committed to be there for the Fall. As a former player, I can tell you this: that while Russell's talents would have added additional strength to the team, his coming back, after not having gone through Spring practice with his teammates, may have disrupted the team's chemistry.

Some will say that Russell, and his talents, should have been viewed no differently than a highly incoming recruit....but, in this case, his talents had already been proven on the collegiate field....but what of T'OB's offense? With Russell practicing during the Spring, then there would be no need to change your offensive scheme...but, if he's not coming back, and if he's not there, now, during the Spring, then you have to base your scheme on the players you presently have, and the committed incoming players that you have recruited......the key here is this: T'OB knew who was committed to his program ( present players and incoming recruits )...he didn't know, at the time, if Russell was committed to the program or not.
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BL: It was a very unusual circumstance for which there was no precedent. I also supported TO'B's decision albeit it further undermined his position with his own looney fringe mob. .... It all worked out well for Russell. His national exposure with Wiscy was more than he woulda received in West Raleigh.

Having TWO starting NFL QBs is a true Brag Bonus for Wuffs.
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1/15/2013 11:02:29 AM

NCSU68Grad
Totally agree with some of your comments and mildly agree with some....PC response.

As to the Duke v. State game. My take, as well as my own informal poll of the red clad crowd in the Champions Club and various other sources (all chosen for their statistical significance) concluded that the win Saturday was a Double Whammy.

First, it was the MOST significant WP win in the PNC. The game lived up to it's press billing. The victory was not one of the flukes or "Well, that IS why they DO play the game...". So based on that and my vast research and the copious disections of the focus groups notes....it was GREAT.
Second. Many of the folks also have, after some time to reflect, noted that this is probably the MOST significant win in the Post Jimmy V era. So THAT is why it get the TWO Thumbs Up or the Double Whammy.

Cannot close withoug commenting on the tranformation or maybe the maturing of Calvin Leslie. During his freshman year, he strayed from what his mama taught him and Coach Lowe had him in civies for at least one game and he got limited PT in a couple of games. Debbie Yow actually invited him to lunch during this period and sort of kept him under her wing. She deserved a lot of credit for doing that and making sure he did not turn into a "Tweeter". She also took a lot of flack for hiring Coach Gottfried. It is truly interesting that a pregnant coach's wife pulled the pin on his leaving even after his and our attorneys stayed up all Saturday night and had hammered out a "Memorandum of Understanding".
Sometimes fate does have a hand in how these things play out.
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BL: So long as Gott's Gang behaves themselves (as they are doing!) I wish them well. No "buts".
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1/15/2013 10:19:37 AM

AC in Gsbo
When I'm made King of the World, there will be no field goals in overtime, at any level.
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BL: The "new OT rule" has lessened the unfairness of that to a degree. I'm OK with the new rule.
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1/15/2013 10:07:18 AM

PineTops
went to your website today because I hadn't had a missive for a while. Didn't want to be victim of another email issue, and then shazam, a new column hits.

Couldn't agree more with you about NCAA basketball. Although I would admit to being marginally more interested if "our" "student athletes" were winning more, it has become more and more meaningless.Even going back ten years ago, it would have been hard to imagine that ACC basketball would have been something I would be indifferent about. Oh well, life goes on.
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BL: Our respective apathy does not necessarily reflect the overall public opinion.... as we discovered back in November. :-(

FWIW: I've turned down UNC BkB tics several times already this year. My apathy is not Roy-based at all.
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1/15/2013 9:52:20 AM

JackInGeorgia
"Luca Brazi Meets Shaft" !!!! You always bury a gold nugget in every column BL.
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BL: I liked it. Two semi-obscure references coming together just right. :-)
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1/15/2013 8:51:10 AM

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