On the night of the annual Clemson/UNC debacle:

This excerpt is from an email that a friend drafted chronicling a most glorious day back in the winter of 1997. It involves the annual Clemson/UNC matchup in Chapel Hill. Names have been altered for anonymity.


“…In 1997, I drove down from DC or Va, wherever I was that late winter. I
met up with David I think it was his cousin Rocky (or was it
Jeff?!), and of course, our lead character – Johny “Lube You”
Smith. Johny, if you dont recall, never wore anything other
than the color black from 1985 – 2002 ( I havent seen him since
2002…) and mostly in the form of black leather. And black
hair. And spikes and whatnot. Point is – no one in the history
of Chapel Hell’s wine and cheese storied history has ever set foot
in town that resembles Johny. Nothing close.

First hour of the day, we are driving around the Chapel Hell
campus near the frat houses. John leans out the window in full
black garb and eyeliner and screams at the tops of this lungs:
F*** YOU YOU F****ING FRAT MOTHER F*****S!!!! David looks over
to John and says, “Greg is in a frat at UVa”. I recoil in the
back seat.

We get to the Sniff Center and James Taylor, elevator track style,
is strumming over the loudspeakers. Teems of sweater-round-the-
neck wearing country club douches along with their never-worked-
aminute-in-their-lives wives saunter the outer concourse. They
are obviously expecting an easy win, despite Rick Barnes Clemson
team of scrappers is ranked higher than their sacred Tar Holes.

We of course are relegated to the upper deck. We have some room
around us but it was pretty packed. As we took our seats, several
nervous looks of “dear lord, honey, that looks like a bad man in
our section” are directed our way. Parents snuggle closer to
their children in their seats.

The game starts out as expected. By the first tv timeout the
Heels are up something like 11-2 and Clemson has 6 team fouls, UNC
none. The cause: Dick Papparo. I have never seen any official
in any sport have the combination of the LOVE for one team and the
HATE for one team as Dick did for UNC and Clemson, respectively.
By the second TV timeout, Papparo had hopped around on one foot
and made his theatrically dramatic foul calls nearly a dozen
times. I believe it was 12 for Clemson and 0 for UNC. By then we
are down somthing like 27-8 and we know it is over…and the game
has just begun.

As the PA guy was just starting up “Carolina on My Mind” for the
TV timeout, Johnny has had enough. Everyone in our section is
sitting. Johnny stands up, his black attire, hair and eyeshadow
in full effect in contrast to the sea of 24,000 + baby blue
sweaters. The Sniff Center is basically silent except for James
Taylor’s cooing. Johnny, leaning over the family of 4 in the row in
front of us, yells at the most deep and booming volume I’ve ever
heard in any indoor venue: “DICK PAPPARO!!!!!!

I believe David and I are halfing dying laughing, half cringing
as the entire section looks around to see what they must consider
the devil incarnate in their midst. I’ve never seen one person
have that much immediate effect on such a large number of people
in such little time.

The game continues as expected – we get like 38 fouls and they get
6 or 7. Their scrubs finish up the game on our starters and we
end up with like a 30 point loss. The beginning of their end of
the year run and our annual end of the year swoon. As we are
walking out of the Sniff Center, we are moving in the direction
against the crowd. Some Tar Hole pushes David and says “See
ya’ll in the NIT”. Johnny, still fired up, interjects for his
younger brother and gets in the Sweater’s face and barks “SEE YOU

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22 Responses to On the night of the annual Clemson/UNC debacle:

  1. wufpup76 01/21/2009 at 9:16 PM #


    just posted this in the DBR thread:

    Ok – time for me to go offtopic! Sorry all!

    BUT, it has been some night of ball so far …

    Va Tech over Wake @ Wake

    Northwestern over Michigan St. @ Michigan St.

    Northeastern beat George Mason by 1 pt. to lead the CAA

    Been some great games tonight – hope for another one in Clemson @ Hole

    Now, Let’s Go Tigs!

    Va Tech did an outstanding job of limiting all of Wake’s strengths – it was some performance

    Go Tigers!

  2. wufpup76 01/21/2009 at 9:21 PM #

    There is no way in hell that should’ve been called a charge … awful, awful call

    But, hey – it was #50, the big white guy for the Holes … AUTOMATIC!!!!!

    No way can #50 have 2 fouls this EARLY!!!

  3. wufpup76 01/21/2009 at 9:32 PM #

    ^^^At least that guy got his money’s worth in intimidating the sweater vest crowd

    Papparo loved the cameras, and the cameras loved Papparo

    (Papparo <3 Holes)

  4. wufpup76 01/21/2009 at 9:33 PM #


    2 fouls on Hansbrough w/ still over 7 minutes left in the first half … Against Clemson! AT HOME!!!!

    Miracles do occur!

    Ok, I’ll stop talking to myself now … maybe

  5. wufpup76 01/21/2009 at 9:35 PM #

    I don’t believe what I’m seeing … the refs letting Clemson actually compete hard at the Holes home

  6. Clarksa 01/21/2009 at 9:45 PM #

    ^don’t worry…plenty of time in the 2nd half for that to change…

  7. wufpup76 01/21/2009 at 10:04 PM #

    Wow … just saw on the highlights where NJIT finally won a game and South Carolina beat Florida on a last second lay-in after a Florida missed free throw

    That South Carolina highlight is a must see … And it was Dan Werner (who some of us know about) who missed the safety valve on the missed free throw … ooops!

  8. wufpup76 01/21/2009 at 10:14 PM #

    Oh well … looks like it will be 0-54 🙁

  9. highstick 01/21/2009 at 10:19 PM #

    Some things never change…..like underachieving Tiggers!

    I loved the story!!!

  10. JeremyH 01/21/2009 at 10:35 PM #

    Tigers with an nc state-esque meltdown…

  11. JeremyH 01/21/2009 at 10:50 PM #

    did Beaker lose a tooth?

  12. Trip 01/22/2009 at 6:33 AM #

    I think his tooth got knocked loose. Shoulda been wearing a mouthguard.

    Excellent win for the hokies, the only problem with their win is that they’re going to beat wake forest and then lose to NC State like they do every year.

    I just want to give the Tigers a hug, ya know? I feel like they need one…

  13. Wolf Dog 01/22/2009 at 7:09 AM #

    Off topic but the mention of Clemosn made me think of this. Monte Kiffin back in college football. How long before his famous “I didn’t turn you in!” statement makes its way to the SEC!

  14. timswar 01/22/2009 at 8:45 AM #

    On and Off topic, there are a ton of people in and around Chapel Hill who dress just like the guy your friend described. You might (or might not) be amazed at the number of punks and goths that sift their way through UNC.

    But I doubt many of them attend basketball games, and since the wine and cheesers barely resemble the rest of the university it wouldn’t be surprising if the people in the stands HADN’T seen someone like him.

  15. Ed89 01/22/2009 at 8:53 AM #

    ^^^That South Carolina highlight is a must see … And it was Dan Werner (who some of us know about) who missed the safety valve on the missed free throw … ooops!

    No, it was definitely “bad coaching” by that Florida coach, Donovan!! They need to get rid of him.

  16. BJD95 01/22/2009 at 12:00 PM #

    We have absolutely no interest in re-hashing the Sendek argument on this blog. Nothing at all new in the “article” – ignore the troll bait, damn it!

  17. wufpup76 01/22/2009 at 12:22 PM #

    ^My bad

  18. packalum44 01/22/2009 at 3:37 PM #

    Donovan went to the Sweet 16 in his 3rd year, Final 4 in the 4th, and Championship game in the 5th.

  19. TomPack 01/22/2009 at 10:27 PM #

    I would pay good money to have seen that…just don’t let them corner you in the bathroom where they can gang attack and beat the hell out of you like that VT fan…did anyone ever get arrested for nearly killing him? Maybe Dean just let the campus police handle it like when The Sheed tried to strangle his girlfriend while at UNX.

  20. Ed89 01/22/2009 at 10:47 PM #

    ^^Donovan went to the Sweet 16 in his 3rd year, Final 4 in the 4th, and Championship game in the 5th.

    Isn’t he from the Pitino “tree”? Hmmmm…makes you tink what coulda been….In 1996 Donovan took over head coaching duties at Florida, whose men’s basketball team had fallen from its 1994 Final Four appearance. Needless to say, I think we’re about 25+ years from our last Final Four, not 2….Give Sid a chance. With the backcourt of Harrow and Brown if we finish in the bottom half of the ACC, I’ll concede…that’s 2+ years from now. I think the incoming players and our current young players will get us turned around.

  21. frankiepack 01/23/2009 at 7:44 AM #

    ^Gee I can harldy wait till 2015 rolls around

  22. smile102 01/23/2009 at 6:36 PM #

    “we get like 38 fouls and they get 6 or 7. Their scrubs finish up the game on our starters and we end up with like a 30 point loss.”

    In the name of accuracy:
    Clemson 19
    North Carolina 17

    #2 Clemson Tigers 48

    #19 NC Tar Heels 61

    Clem lost by shooting 27%

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