It was a horrifying moment. A chilling blow in the middle of a contested ACC game. Blood began to flow immediately. The shocked victim looked up, grabbed his nose, saw the blood pouring out, and had to exit the game. Who can ever forget it?
But then — oh, the bravery! The strength of character! Despite such a terrible injury, the player returns the very next game. He has to wear a mask to protect his broken nose, but how amazing that a player can do that, right?
SFN wishes to salute the media for being so fastidious, so compassionate … so late. Little was said at the time when Dennis Horner had his nose broken during the Georgia Tech game last year on this date, February 6. In fact, one would have thought that such injuries were common in basketball such that they didn’t deserve days upon days of fresh stories and media obsession.
But that was before what is now called “The Foul.” If you haven’t heard about it yet, then ¡Bienvenido a América! It is being replayed more than the Kennedy assassination. It was that moment during the Duke/Carolina game when Tyler Hansbrough, about whom everything is special, received a Brutal Awful Horrible Broken Nose During a Game So Unprecedented The Poor Dear My God I Am Crying Actual Tears Just Thinking About It I Need a Moment ….
It took up at least three-quarters of the front page in this morning’s News & Observer sports section, dwarfing an article about an important ACC game last night. The N&O even offers a photo gallery of “The Foul” and a video link discussing it, among other reminiscing.
We attempted to find even one photo of Horner’s injury to publish on this anniversary, but … well, at the end of this post is the best screenshot we could find.
WRAL insults not only Horner and all the countless other basketball players throughout history who have received broken noses and played with masks because that’s what basketball players do and not because they are particular, reporter-wetting heroes, but also the American Revolution as well, by calling it — and we are not making this up — “the foul heard ’round the world.”
The Charlotte Observer is more circumspect, calling it simply “one of the most memorable confrontations in college basketball’s greatest rivalry [sic].” Maybe that’s because they listened to Hansbrough, who told them
It was made out like it was this huge trauma thing. My nose was broken. That’s the way I looked at it. I still played. I wasn’t down.
Just like Dennis Horner, a year ago today.
Oh, here’s that screenshot: