Category: Staff Opinion


I readily admit that I have always been one of the more dubious, skeptical types when it came to Valentine’s Day. I never quite understood the thought process behind such trivial and often, frivolous gestures for expressing love. However, a recent conversation with a friend of mine deeply challenged my views on Valentine’s Day. He shared with me that in other languages, there existed nearly forty ways of expressing the word, love, while for us English speakers, we were left with only one word. A thought then dawned upon me: I began wondering about how limited and narrow our perception and definition of love must be with only one word to represent all the various types and manifestations love can take. I propose for a more diverse and open interpretation to the many forms of love.

I am sure that I have not been the first to point out the limitations of using only one word to express love. I propose that rather than view Valentine’s Day from such a narrow definition of love, we instead take this opportunity to celebrate all the wonderful ways of expressing love. Whether that love be the nostalgia of one’s first crush to cherishing the company of good friends to treating yourself out to a manicure, take this Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to celebrate the infinite facets of an emotion that goes beyond our one word for expressing love.

As an individual who identifies as gay, I know that I will allow myself, for the first time, to celebrate the nostalgia of my very first crush and how wonderful it felt. The word love in its traditional meaning evokes too strong of an emotion that cannot adequately express how much I enjoyed having my first crush on a guy, and I cannot help but use this Valentine’s Day as a moment to contemplate the wonder behind the feelings of how real and affirming it felt. Who knew how empowering celebrating Valentine’s Day could be? I know that for me it will be a celebration of the deep friendships that I have developed over the course of my college journey as well as how far I have come towards loving myself. For Valentine’s Day, I hope that each of you will find something worth celebrating for-I challenge each of you to expand the definition of love beyond the traditional sense to all the many shapes and forms it can take. Happy Valentine’s Day!

-Michael Lau

Here I am, blogging again for the first time in eight months, and already it’s clear to see that it will be different this time around. Before anything else, I would like to get something off my chest: this blog will decidedly have NO direction, and I have NO idea how well I can write in this style, for this setting. Whew, okay, that was easier than I thought…

Now that the pressure is off, and I can feel comfortable with failure, I’ll share with you the reason for my uncertainty. Though I’ve done a lot of writing in my day and even had a blog once, I haven’t written like this before. I wrote for the DTH as a columnist, which is somewhat similar, and I’ve written a couple of novels, which is not at all.

The one time I blogged, I was in Europe and writing about my travels. Man, was that easy. The hardest part of writing that blog was not finding material to write about, but rather chopping a book’s worth of travel experience up into a few 400-word segments. I often had to pick and choose just the very best parts to do my trip any justice at all.

Alas, today I find myself in a different position. No longer do I have an indefinite pool of inspiration to draw from; I’ll have to rely on my wits and my instincts to find topics that readers find worthwhile. At the moment, I’m considering such categories as: philosophy, politics, world culture, environmental science, popular media, psychology, and random pet peeves. Ambitious, I know.

Admittedly, I am new at this. But before you write me off quicker than I myself can, remember well the wise words of Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki: “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.”  True, I don’t know what form this wet clay of creativity lying in my hands will take; but if I have learned anything in my many years as a writer, it is to trust your instincts blindly and then learn as you go.

Don’t know what to expect from me? Honestly, neither do I. For one thing, I am weird.  I don’t expect any of you to share my views or my opinions, but I will exercise my right to express them here.  I do have a wide range of interests and I’m very curious by nature.  I am brimming with random ideas that may or may not make sense—I’ll let you be the judge. Either way, rest assured that I’ll do my best to make for an interesting and entertaining read.

Despite my uncertainties, I am very much looking forward to writing this blog, and I hope you will enjoy it as well.

– Tim Freer

The Summer of 2010 Reaches its Peak

LeBron James has made a decision. He finally joined Twitter on Tuesday afternoon, as announced by former Wake Forest star Chris Paul (@oneandonlycp3). As I write this, LeBron (@KingJames) only has three tweets, but he is well over 250,000 followers. When I heard about the account, I thought that he may announce his signing decision via the social networking website, but a rep for him later denied that idea.

Even so, the world of NBA free agency has still been like no other in its history due to the caliber of the players available and the prominence of social media.

Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh – who are each making a documentary about the free agency process – have tweeted details throughout the free agency period. Bosh delivered news on what teams he met with and uploaded a picture of going to dinner with Wade during free agency, while hinting that someone (implying LeBron) was missing. ESPN reported on this.

Wade has not been as active on Twitter and said that on June 18 he would be on a hiatus until free agency was over; however, he followed that message with three tweets and officially broke his “silence” on July 2. And even though Wade announced his decision to sign with the Heat in a TV interview on SportsCenter with Bosh, he still posted the following later and utilized YouTube: “Message to Miami Heat fans…. http://fb.me/EFxOIozO.”

In another example, Amare Stoudemire (@Amareisreal) used his page to say goodbye and thanks to all his Phoenix Suns fans because he had chosen to leave for the New York Knicks.

Even ranks of NBA management – personnel that usually stay pretty quiet or reserved during free agency until someone signs on the dotted line – have been involved with social media. For example, Daryl Morey (@dmorey), the Houston Rockets general manager, tweeted about his meeting with Bosh and also later encouraged Rockets fans to send “we want you back” tweets to two of their players that are free agents.

Certainly in an increasingly-social-media-inundated world, I can see more scenarios happening where players break their own news before media outlets can get the scoop via their own reporting. Rising star Kevin Durant (@KDthunderup) certainly beat reporters to the punch by announcing that he had agreed to a five-year extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder, which would prevent him from becoming a free agent next summer. His tweet was then reported by ESPN, among others.

One of the biggest tweets though came from LeBron in which he guided people to his website and officially confirmed reported rumors of how he would be announcing his decision, which brings me to my next point of discussion.

By now you know that LeBron and his management team have set up a one-hour TV special to be televised on ESPN at 9 p.m. EST tonight. The show is called “The Decision” and frankly the name – let alone the concept of having a show to announce where he is headed, which no one has ever done before – comes off as arrogant. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh did announce their decision to play together on SportsCenter, but it was not well-planned and hyped beforehand. Those two and several other big-name players were available this summer, but LeBron’s show is not called “A Decision,” it is called “The Decision” as if no one else matters.

But let’s be honest, we all know that LeBron has a big ego; he has a tattoo on his back that says “Chosen 1.” Last summer Nike confiscated (although later released) video footage of LeBron being dunked on at his camp after talking to LeBron. His nickname is “King James” and he uses that to refer to himself e.g. his twitter domain. Now in my opinion he is a terrific player, but you can hardly be the “king” when you have not won a single championship.

All of these things point to being self-centered, but then there’s a twist that may get lost in all of the hoopla. LeBron’s management wanted to be able to sell sponsorship on the show to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of America. Therefore, I have to wonder if his ego drove the creation of the show or if he simply saw an opportunity to help a charity that he cares about. Regardless of his true intention, I know two things: First, I am all for a TV show that gives back. Second, since several teams believe that they have a shot at getting LeBron, it seems clear to me that if he makes them wait as long as the rest of the world to know what he is doing, he is going to tick off and alienate some teams’ brass and their fans – with Cleveland being the most vulnerable.

Beyond the motivation for the show though, I have to wonder: why does the special have to be an hour when 30 minutes would suffice? LeBron reportedly will announce his decision within the first 10 minutes of the show so why is the show so long? Is it to raise more money for charity? Does he want that much attention? Did ESPN dictate the longer time slot?

Here is a scenario where an hour would be logistically necessary: LeBron knows he is going to the Miami Heat to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, and Wade and Bosh will be involved in the show in some way. Perhaps they will show up in person, which I think would get leaked before 9 p.m., or (if LeBron is really dedicated to keeping the surprise) he will have his future teammates appear via satellite. This scenario of creating a three-star monster team would be fit for primetime TV and a one-hour slot unlike any other decision that he could make. Therefore, I think that this serves as more evidence that LeBron is not going to pass up on the opportunity to team up with two of his good friends, and will sign with Miami as I predicted in my previous blog before free agency started. (Note: I do not have a prediction for a jersey number. No. 23 is retired in Miami in honor of the greatness of Michael Jordan and No. 6 – the number LeBron was going to switch to – is taken by Mario Chalmers and I do not believe NBA rules will allow him to change it because he has not been with the Heat or in the league long enough.)

Regardless of where he plans to sign, I will certainly watch the special and it will be interesting to see if the secret gets out – maybe even via Twitter – beforehand.

– Gaither Jones

Basketball: The Summer of 2010

It is finally here. NBA and general sports fans alike have looked forward to this year’s free agency because of all of the big-name players that will be available. In 2006 some players intentionally signed contract extensions that would end at the same time to leave open the possibility of playing with one another on a new team. Knowing the likes of who would be available, some teams – including the New York Knicks – sacrificed their team and made sure to make moves that would free space under the salary cap for this summer. The justification: “We may suck now, but just wait until we get LeBron or (insert prominent name here).” LeBron James is the prize everyone wants, and his decision will dictate where other players end up. With free agency beginning July 1 at midnight and players being able to sign contracts on July 8, rumors are flying. And the latest speculation is very intriguing.

Due to the Miami Heat’s recent moves, they have the most money to spend this summer (approximately $43 million), and can afford to re-sign Dwyane Wade while adding both LeBron and Chris Bosh. The three 2003 draftees would have to take less than a maximum contract to play together, but they are all friends and reportedly would be willing to forfeit money to compete as teammates. There is no guarantee that this scenario will happen, but it would be unlike anything the NBA has seen.

Some people may say that this already happened three years ago in Boston, but these people would be wrong. When Paul Pierce was united with Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett via separate trades, all three were closer to the twilight of their respective careers. LeBron, Wade and Bosh are all in their prime – and who knows what exactly they could do playing together. It would certainly be entertaining to see three true individual center-of-the-franchise stars play together for 82 regular season games and the playoffs. Even the best defensive opponents probably could not afford to double anyone on the floor out of fear of leaving someone open. Time will only tell how the NBA landscape will change, but here are my thoughts on a few players:

LeBron: He is very loyal, but I think he is leaving Cleveland. The surrounding parts aren’t good enough for him there. The best existing fit for him – despite being in the more competitive Western Conference – is with the Los Angeles Clippers; because of the talent of the other four starters that would be paired with him, however, I can’t see him going there, due to the franchise’s owner and corresponding history. Dallas is out, because he would have to do a sign-and-trade to get there, and I do not think that he is dying to play with Dirk Nowitzki, who has yet to win anything, and Jason Kidd is getting old fast. New York would be a huge stage that he would relish but the roster is weak compared to other possibilities. At this point, I would not be surprised to see him land with the New Jersey Nets, Miami Heat, or Chicago Bulls. All three have positives and negatives that could determine LeBron’s decision. I believe that his final choice will be the Bulls, with their young core of Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Luol Deng vs. the Heat and Dwyane Wade. Ultimately, I do not think that LeBron wants to play in a city where he will never escape Michael Jordan’s shadow, and since he is leaving Cleveland, he is going to want to maximize the opportunity of starting over. What better way to do that than to play with a close friend and one of the league’s best in Wade?

Wade: He’s staying in Miami. He is comfortable there, likes Pat Riley, and the franchise can offer him the money he wants, along with one or two big-name teammates. Chicago is home for Wade, but the Heat have more money to spend than the Bulls, and if he can get LeBron and Bosh to want to play with him, they will be teammates in Miami.

Bosh: He has been the focal point of the Toronto Raptors since he was drafted. LeBron completely dictates where he will end up. I think he prefers to play with LeBron over any other player and could make more money doing so in Chicago than in Miami playing with only Wade (which is a possible scenario). However, if LeBron goes to the Heat, Bosh will surely take what he can get and follow.

Amare Stoudemire: He has played his entire career with the Phoenix Suns and now he wants a maximum deal. But given his lack of defense and

Stoudemire

inconsistent rebounding, management in Phoenix has not tried to extend him under a max contract. If Stoudemire really does put an emphasis on comfort, familiarity, and winning now, he will take less money and stay with the Suns. If he just wants to be “the man” down low with a max deal, I think he will go play for his previous coach, Mike D’Antoni, and the New York Knicks. I could also see him in Miami if Bosh or Carlos Boozer do not sign there.

Dirk Nowitzki: Traded to the Dallas Mavericks on the night of the 1998 draft and has played his entire career with the team. His loyalty to owner Marc Cuban is strong and I can not see him leaving unless he believes he can’t win the big one in Dallas, and thus leaves to play with another superstar perhaps in Chicago.

Joe Johnson: I think he leaves the Atlanta Hawks and ends up with his former coach Mike D’Antoni in New York, but I would not rule out the New Jersey Nets. And if LeBron does not go to Chicago, I could see Johnson going there.

Carlos Boozer: He started in Cleveland and ended up with the Utah Jazz. He could fit well with Wade, LeBron or Joe Johnson, but if Bosh doesn’t go to Chicago, I think that is where Boozer will go. If Bosh does go to the Bulls, I think Boozer will go play with Wade in Miami.

– Gaither Jones

Something in the Air

Well… I would have had a quad-time book review for you, except I didn’t spend too much time in the quad this week. Why?  Plant sex.

The pollen this year has gotten to be quite a nuisance for everyone who exists around campus and it always shocks me when I get to my car in the afternoons and find that instead of a nice, shiny silver, it is thoroughly yellow. It does not help that the road on which I park my car is lined with high-pollen producing trees.

But what is with this year?  Alright, I am certainly no native of central North Carolina so I have limited pollen seasons to compare with, and honestly I have been blessed to have not been affected by allergies in the past, but it seems that this year is exceptionally worse than last year.  Well… that’s because it is.   This is the worst pollen season since 2003.

What’s really behind the extreme pollen this year is a combination of weather factors, including the very cold winter we had back in January and February and the lack of any serious rain (and while Thursday night helped a little bit, it wasn’t enough). Unfortunately, there is little that we can do except hope for some rain. However, if the allergies have got you down, there are a few things you can do to ease your suffering:

  1. Stay indoors. Trees can’t pollinate the inside of your apartment as well as they can the outside.
  2. Keep your A/C running. The fan will filter out the air.
  3. Drink lots and lots of water.
  4. Over-the-counter allergy medications are available at Student Stores.
  5. If you’re up all night coughing because of your allergies, sleep on your stomach. It will help you sleep through the night.

Anyways, I hope this helps you all out.  This whole mess should be over in a few weeks.   I should be back next week with another review of something (I just got a bag full of reader’s copy books and I’m totally excited!).

– Samantha Ryan

Watching TV: Procedural Dramas

In October 2000, CBS debuted the pilot of a show called “CSI,” and from there the modern procedural drama bracket was born. Any TV show that solves a case on a per-episode basis – be it a medical anomaly, a legal scuffle or a postmortem analysis – is considered a “procedural drama.” Cases are opened and shut in the span of an hour and the audience goes to sleep happy.

CBS bases 14 out of its 19 primetime hours on procedural dramas, or a whopping 74 percent of its original programming. While every procedural drama on CBS is magically successful, most of them are bland in their premises, dry in the fact that most are spin-offs of each other, and ultimately repetitive.

So why not mix it up a little? Here’s an analysis of which procedural dramas deserve the boot, which you should romance for at least a few episodes, and which deserve your unwavering devotion.

First of all, don’t even waste your time with

“Trauma” and “Mercy.” NBC is trying, it really is, but these are not the procedurals you should even sample. Boring dialogue, tired plot lines, and two-dimensional characters are a greater waste of your time than “CSI” (a show you’ll quickly find out I’m strongly opposed to).

Time to break up with… the quintessential procedural crime drama, “CSI”

Now in its tenth (!) season, “CSI” is showing its age. Grissom (William Petersen) left the show last season, and the crime show’s methodical formula grows more tedious with each episode. While Laurence Fishburne is trying his hardest to step into Peterson’s mighty shoes, and the show’s producers wrote old favorite Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox) back into new episodes, these are both signs the show is wobbling on its creative legs.

Bottom line: NYPD’s dark, gritty overtone gave it the balls to last 12 seasons; “Murder, She Wrote” stayed on air just as long by becoming a cornerstone of late ’80s-early ’90s pop culture; after nearly a decade on air, however, “CSI” lacks the foundations of these “greats” of procedural dramas, and the fact that its audience has declined by almost 6 million viewers this season means the rest of America is slowly keying in to this reality.

Also dump “CSI” offspring CSI: NY” and “CSI: Miami” while you’re at it. Sure, “Miami” star David Caruso’s attempts at serious acting makes for a comedic hour, but if Caruso is the sole reason you watch a show, you know it’s time to change the channel.

Flings: If you’re ready to come out of the long-term relationship with “CSI,” but not quite prepared to jump back into the pool of serious dating, I’d suggest you try:

  • “Numbers”
    “Numbers” has been a consistent procedural since its 2005 debut, thanks primarily to the strong rapport between David Krumholtz and Rob Morrow, who play brothers Charlie and Don Eppes. Charlie, using his mathematical genius, often helps to solve the cases handled by Don’s police team.

    Bottom line: Somewhat boring, but at least it’s reliably so. Would not require a weekly tune-in because of the lack of an in-depth season-long arch, but it’s a fundamental change from “CSI” and a perfect fit for fans of the low-key, open-and-shut cases.

  • “Criminal Minds” / “Lie to Me”
    Both of these procedural dramas focus on the mind of the offender: “Criminal Minds” tries to scrutinize the felon’s actions before he can strike again, while “Lie to Me” determines whether the offender is telling the truth.

    Bottom Line: I’d give the edge to “Lie to Me” and its star Tim Roth, whose Dr. Lightman is someone with a talent we’re actually interested in.

  • “The Forgotten”
    ABC simultaneously attempts Christian Slater’s comeback alongside a try at the procedural drama. It’s actually not a bad idea, but…

    Bottom line: Despite the semi-original premise of having “the forgotten” (the unseen voice of a body about to be buried) narrate each episode, this show fails to stand out – and in a world that already includes CBS’s 7,248 procedural dramas, this one will most likely be (excuse the pun) forgotten.

Casual Dating: The following shows could be keepers, if you decide you like them. If not, tune in from time to time and their feelings won’t be hurt.

  • “Law & Order”, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”
    L&O and its progeny, “Special Victims Unit,” lack the flair of the CBS crime dramas (don’t expect techno music underlying the scenes where crime technicians sleuth clues in their labs). However, for those who prefer a focus on the case rather than the team solving the case, L&O is the show.

    Bottom line: There’s a reason this show has survived since 1990. For anyone willing to trade in bad “CSI” one-liners for more humanized characters and an in-depth look at justice, this is the way to go.

  • “Medium” / “Ghost Whisperer” / “The Good Wife”
    All three of these shows are targeted heavily at women. Their respective stars (Patricia Arquette, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Julianna Margulies) fit the appeal and target demographic that CBS aims for.

    Bottom line: Because these shows skew toward older audiences, they lack the playful fancy of “Desperate Housewives” and the promiscuous residents of “Grey’s Anatomy,” but they work well as alternatives to the abundant number of male-led procedural dramas. Try watching a show led by a girl, for a change, and see if you like it.

  • “Castle”
    ABC’s “Castle” is quirky and enjoyable thanks to its lead, Nathan Fillion. Fillion’s got a devoted following, thanks to turns on “Buffy” and “Firefly,” and he makes use of his fan base, treating them to a likeably pretentious portrayal of murder-mystery writer Richard Castle. Castle works with Detective Kate Beckett to solve crimes.

    Bottom line: A pretty decent procedural. Watch from time to time and you may actually enjoy.

  • “House”
    The reason I consider “House” more of a casual boyfriend than an exclusive one is because the show ruined its own formula three years ago and has since lost my devotion. “House” is special in that it is the most character-driven procedural drama on air right now. Viewers don’t really tune in to watch the medical cases or debate whether Thirteen or Cutthroat Bitch should be on House’s team; viewers tune in to watch Hugh Laurie magnificently portray a self-centered bastard of a doctor. And you know what? For three years, it worked. Laurie was backed up by Doctors Foreman, Chase and Cameron; supported by best friend Wilson; and occasionally hassled by hospital head Cuddy.

    At the end of season three, however, executive producer David Shore decided to shake up the show’s formula by firing House’s team and replacing them with a dragged-out competition between actors. I appreciate a showrunner willing to toy with a winning recipe, because, as in the case of “CSI,” the same routine gets boring after a while. However, Shore’s solution to shunt Foreman, Chase, and Cameron into opposite ends of the hospital and feature them in minimal scenes per episode throughout season four was a poor choice.

    Bottom line: “House” was worthy of the buzz when it first debuted. Now in season six, the show is showing its age. Most of the plot developments (the did-they-didn’t-they sexual tension between House and Cuddy is just wrong, and I could care less whether House is in a psychiatric ward) feel too contrived. Most importantly, “House” seems to have forgotten why viewers fell in love with the show in the first place. Case in point: Cameron is being written out of the show in November.

  • “The Mentalist”
    I actually enjoy watching “The Mentalist.” This is primarily due to the fact that Simon Baker is absolutely compelling as Patrick Jane, a man who solves cases by pretending he’s a psychic. Baker makes the show fun and more whimsical than the average procedural drama – too bad the same can’t be said for the supporting cast: Robin Tunney’s single, default facial expression can hardly be considered acting, and the fact that I can’t remember who else is on the show should say enough.

    Bottom line: You should be watching USA Network’s “Psych, the golden charm that “The Mentalist” rips off.

The Keepers: I know by this point you’re thinking all procedural dramas are the devil and I’ll never recommend a single one you should watch. Wrong.

  • “NCIS”
    “NCIS” stars Mark Harmon, who heads up a team of agents in D.C.’s Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The premise certainly doesn’t sound enticing, at least no more than any other procedural drama on the air. Why, then, does “NCIS” stand out as one of the best procedural dramas? Its ensemble cast (including Michael Weatherly, formerly of Fox’s “Dark Angel,” and Cote de Pablo), the quick wit and the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it playful rapport between Harmon’s character and his team make this the standout of CBS’s procedurals.

    Bottom line: Hey, there’s a reason it’s currently the highest-rated show on television. (Sidenote: cross your fingers that an upcoming storyline kills off Abby. She’s unbearable. EDIT 12/9: Can I take this back? After watching nonstop repeats on USA, the girl has grown on me.)

  • “Bones”
    If “NCIS” is the best of CBS’s procedural dramas, “Bones” is the best procedural, period. Like “NCIS,” “Bones” has found that success lies in capitalizing on the supporting cast. The audience can appreciate every character on “Bones” because they are well written and amusing, and somehow manage to make terms like “calcium hydroxylapatite” pertinent to us. By focusing on the characters and their relationships, the hour feels more personable than any that CBS brings us. Plus, there’s always the guarantee of gross-out shots of decaying bodies!

    The main draw of the show, however, is the sexual tension between Brennan (Emily Deschenal) and Booth (David Boreanaz), both of whom work the longing stare and hidden smiles well enough to create the best will-they-won’t-they dynamic this side of Ross and Rachel.

    Bottom line: If you watch one procedural this season, let it be “Bones. (Just don’t watch while eating dinner. You will lose your appetite.)

-Sonya Chudgar

Dear Carolina Football

Dear all supporters, haters, coaches and players of Carolina football,

I refuse to give up hope.

Contrary to what Caulton Tudor claims, I am fully confident that we are capable of surprising the masses.

Yes, we are young. Yes, we are inexperienced. But we are talented. It’s simply a matter of showcasing that talent in the most optimum way. I know, I know; easier said than done.  We need to channel our talent.  Feel it.  Play like it.

We are better than the University of Virginia.  And better than Georgia Tech, for that matter. Based on the previous two games, we’ve lost the heart and soul of Carolina football.  Where did our underdog mentality go? Forget national and conference rankings. They are meaningless until bowl season. Instead, let’s play with that chip on our shoulder that keeps us humble.  Let’s find that swag again.

We are better than the174 total yards on offense we recorded against UVA.  Heather Dinich, ACC blogger for espn.com, recently posted this about offensive coordinator John Shoop:

North Carolina’s offensive coordinator has been under the microscope, as UNC’s offense has the worst scoring offense in the conference with 18.6 points per game, is No. 11 in total offense, and No. 10 in rushing offense.”

Obviously, we are struggling offensively. So, how relentless are we? Ryan Houston showcased his persistence, rushing 5.2 yards per carry versus Virginia. Our defense proved unyielding as they managed to give up only one touchdown when the Hoos were in scoring position.  Our resilience might be all we have left to combat our offensive woes.

We are better than a 3-2 record.  In a post-game press conference, coach Butch Davis mentioned the unexpected turnarounds the Baltimore Ravens displayed during their Super Bowl-winning season in 2000.  He said this year’s squad may need to resort to unconventional forms of winning.

“I admire that,” Davis said in his post-game media address. “Sometimes you just have to find a way to win ugly. Sometimes the shoe is on the other foot from a team perspective. There were times last year when we’d score 45 and 38 points and it was not enough. It’s a team game.”

Please, prove me right.  I can only fight in the pigskin corner for so long.  I’m sick and tired of die-hard Carolina fans viewing football season as a mere precursor to basketball season.  I hate hearing Tar Heels, young and old, counting down the days until Late Night with Roy Williams so they can get excited about winning again.  Let’s win now.  On the gridiron.

Best wishes,

A believer among non-believers

-Anna Feagan

Blue & White sports editor

Friday night lights

It may be a little heretical to say this—seeing as how Carolina’s football team is amazing this year—but these chilly November nights make me long for my high school football days.

My team, the Hopewell Titans, hardly received statewide recognition, much less national recognition. We were not a powerhouse. We won some, we lost some. Most importantly we won against our rival high school my senior year (what exhilaration!).

But that’s not what I miss the most.

What I miss most is bundling up in scarves and fluffy jackets. I miss cheering with a close group of friends and knowing everyone in the stands. I miss smiles and waves from parents sitting a few rows over. I miss the hot chocolate we drank during the late nights.

This is not to say that I don’t love Carolina football—to the contrary, I’ve been to (or watched) every game but one so far this year—but part of me wants to go back to high school where one person could start a cheer and have the entire stands (all 200 people) echo it. It’s simply not the same going to a 3 o’clock game with the sun shining down and the band marching in all their uniformed magnificence.

The vendor-filled atmosphere is a little too much like Disneyland (although I wouldn’t mind taking some frozen lemonade back to high school with me). Parents are milling about with their children; students are lost in a sea of blue bodies. The football players, other than say Yates, Sexton and Marvin Austin, become big bodies with nameless faces.

We cheer for their goals. We are frustrated with their losses (what happened against Maryland?!). But they cannot hear us call their names. They won’t see our disappointed glares in class on Monday. They are simply far-away celebrities.

I love our school.

I love the Tar Heels. I hope we make it to a Bowl Game.

But I miss breathing out clouds of smoke and driving down the road to CiCi’s to celebrate our victory.
Never thought I’d say it at Carolina but I miss the Friday night lights.

By Shannon Spain

Dear Mom, Your little girl is totes growing up.

I was raised in a household where using improper grammar was a sin. My mother, as much as I love her, would threaten my brother and me with quite harsh punishments if we ever considered responding to “How are you?” with “I’m good” as opposed to “I’m well.”

She instilled the fundamentals of grammar so greatly that “ain’t” was a swear word. This was rather tormenting on little Anna’s ego. My peers giggled feverishly when I was sent to time-out in second grade for spreading the rumor that my teacher had cursed in front of our innocent minds. I have yet to forgive my mom for that and the whole Santa Claus thing (but, that’s for another time).

Now, I am a sophomore in college and am perfectly free of my mother’s restraints, therefore, my vocabulary have taken quite the downfall.  So, here is my confession…

I, the girl who used to own an ‘I heart grammar’ lunch box, have been contaminated.  I’m ashamed to admit that I speak in abbrevs on the regs.  For those who are clearly too sophisticated to understand what this means, allow me to translate: I speak like a Valley Girl on crack.  Apparently, I am too indolent to correctly articulate the last few syllables of fairly lengthy words, so I replace them with an “s” and call it a day.

Six months ago, I was clean. I vehemently judged those who thought it was “presh” to never finish their words. But, now I am one of them. It all started when I felt the need to imitate those who speak in abbrevs (typically of the female population) by adopting their lingo, therefore, obvi, totes and mos defs became part of my everyday language. And, now I can’t stop.

Speaking in abbrevs is as contagious as herpes.  It catches on like wildfire. The epidemic spread to me, its No. 1 hater, and now I watch my friends falling in the same inescapable pattern.  The more I talk in abbrevs, the more they do in return, and the cycle persists.

But I have come to realize that you cannot take yourself, or whatever that you say, too seriously. Talking in abbrevs is entertaining. It’s amusing to strand as many contractions together as possible such as my ultimate favorite: Whatevs, she’s totes, fo sho jeals because she obvi can’t speak in abbrevs on the regs as ridic as I can.  Or in layman’s terms: Whatever, she’s totally, for sure jealous because she obviously can’t speak in abbreviations on the regular as ridiculous as I can.

I’m no longer the one judging as I’m the one who’s now being judged, and I’m okay with that.  My mother, on the other hand, has yet to realize the humor of speaking in abbrevs.  Instead, she is highly skeptical of the type of college education I am receiving. But, speaking in abbrevs is just a trend as we’ll all have to grow up sometime. So Mom, don’t you worry. I’m honestly not as ridic as I sound.

Guide on How to Props use Abbrevs in the 21st Century

Totes – Totally (No, I’m not talking about the handbag; this is a very popular phrase.)

Props – Properly (This is not used a lot, yet.)

Prob or Probs – Probably (This is one of the first to start the trend.)

Maybs – Maybe (It’s not really an abbreviation, instead it just sounds cool.)

Fo Sho – For Sure (This is used a lot in hip-hop / rap songs because it’s really catchy.)

Obvi – Obviously (Thanks to “Gossip Girl” this is very popular.)

Mos Defs – Most Definitely (Also the name of a rapper; this is used on a daily basis.)

Regs – Regular (It’s a fairly new abbreviation.)

Fave of Faves – Favorite (Possibly the abbreviation to start it all.)

Whatevs – Whatever (This is another older abbreviation that’s been around for awhile.)

Whenevs – Whenever (An adaption of whatever.)

Jeals – Jealous (A personal fave.)

Presh – Precious (I absolutely hate this one, but it still is somewhat common.)

A Pro Pro – Appropriate (A fairly recent addition to the abbrevs family.)

In a Pro Pro – Inappropriate (This complements nicely with the above abbreviation.)

As per ushe – As per usual (To fully get your point across, extend the “u” sound.)

Vom – Vomit (I don’t see the point in this one; Vomit is already such a short word anyways.)

Naus – Nauseous (This isn’t used as much right now, but I’m afraid it will catch on soon.)

Ridic – Ridiculous (I lied, this one is my ultimate fave.)

Perf – Perfect (Another abbreviation that is one of the standard abbreviations.)

Pops – Popular (Okay, I’ll admit that this isn’t well known because I recently made it up.)

Techno – Technically (I made this one up too; don’t judge.)

By Anna Feagan

President Obama

President Obama! Right now it’s the sweetest phrase in the human language.

I’m 19 years old and I never thought this would be possible. I never thought I would see a black president of the United States.

As a little girl I was told the phrase “you can be anything you want to be” had its limitations. I was told I needed to work harder to prove my worth. In fact, I needed to work harder just to be a part of the playing field, never mind playing on a level field. As a little girl, I never dreamed I would see the day the world would change.

But it has.

Before taking office or even announcing his cabinet, President-elect Barack Obama has not only made history but he has changed lives. He’s made America believe in herself again, and he has reached beyond the borders of our nation to touch people in faraway places.

I see so much potential for not only my future, but everyone’s future. How amazing, how life changing, will it be for young black children to look into the TV screen at the president of United States and see someone that looks like them.

I’m just so proud of the United States and the fact that we’re finally moving beyond race; not treating people based on the color of their skin, but evaluating them on the content of their character.

But we’re not done yet.

Obama Biden election

I think I’ve made it pretty obvious that I am beyond thrilled Barack Obama is the next president of our nation. Given the state of the country and the world I don’t think there is a better man for the job.

However, there’s an enormous amount of work to be done, least of which involve campaign promises. And it’s important that as a nation we don’t allow this election to become a blank check like 2004.

Just because we elected Obama, doesn’t mean he can enter into office and do whatever he pleases. He is a public servant and as such he has to answer to the people. As a nation, we have to hold Obama accountable.

That’s probably one of the biggest failings the American people face coming off of the Bush administration. We just accepted what the administration presented to us, never questioning their agenda or the veracity of their information.

Part of the determinants of whether or not we rise to the occasion of “our defining moment” is our willingness or unwillingness to repeat the mistakes we allowed to take place of the previous administration.

I believe in Obama. I have faith. But we’ve got to remember that this campaign was about us, the American people and that’s the way his administration should be as well. We’ve got to make sure he continues to be a man of his word and doesn’t forget who got him where he is.

By Brittany Murphy