A tale of two schools

A tale of two schools
May 11
15:47 2022

I know this may sound strange, especially for a sports fanatic, but I am a fan of two different college sports teams. For college basketball I am a North Carolina Tar Heels fan and for college football I am a fan of the Florida State Seminoles.

The reason why I am writing this article is I was recently talking sports with a good friend of mine and the subject turned toward college sports. I told him that I thought both UNC and Florida State would have good years this upcoming season and he grilled me on how I could be a fan of both schools.

I know some may be asking a similar question, but it’s not really that complicated of an answer and I am sure I am not the only person out there that is a fan of two different schools’ sports teams.

First of all, I grew up in the D.C./ Northern Virginia area of the country back in the ‘80s. At that time, the only college basketball teams that were on television were the Georgetown Hoyas and Carolina. John Thompson is a legend in the D.C. area, so everyone was a fan of the Hoyas in that era.

I liked Georgetown, but I was a Michael Jordan fan above all else. In the late ‘80s, Jordan was the end all, be all for basketball and his sneakers helped him generate even more popularity. Because of him and because they were shown on television, I gravitated toward being a fan of the Tar Heels more than I liked Georgetown.

As I became a little older and my understanding of sports grew, I began to closely follow both programs. Even though Georgetown had players like Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo, Allen Iverson and Victor Page come through the school at that time, I think the main reason that I liked the Hoyas was the fact that John Thompson was the first African American head coach to win a Division I national championship in basketball in 1984.

In the D.C. area, Thompson was sort of a legend. Well, that was kind of an understatement because he was a legend for the things he was able to accomplish at Georgetown. Considering the household I was brought up in, I really had no choice but to like Thompson and the Hoyas because it was ingrained in me, so to speak.

At the same time, I noticed what Dean Smith was doing in Chapel Hill with the Tar Heels. I vividly remember watching Carolina play during that 1993 national championship season. Everyone remembers the national championship game in 1993 against Michigan where Chris Webber traveled, and it wasn’t called, and the infamous timeout that he didn’t have. I was 11 at that time and I enjoyed the way Carolina played basketball and the personalities of the players drew you in even more.

Georgetown was a good team but by the time I was entering my pre-teen years, my allegiance to a college basketball team had shifted almost solely to the Tar Heels. My commitment to the Heels only grew as I matured and they continued to bring in players like Rasheed Wallace, Jerry Stackhouse, Antwan Jamison, Vince Carter, Ed Cota, Eric Montross George Lynch and Shammond Williams. So, in a nutshell, that is how I became a fan of the North Carolina Tar Heels over my hometown Hoyas.

When it comes to college football, it actually took me a little bit longer to get into it. I was a diehard fan of both professional and college basketball, but when it came to football, I really only watched the Commanders (known as the Redskins at the time). The only college football that was shown in my area consistently was Notre Dame and the University of Maryland.

I didn’t really get into watching college football until I moved to Florida in 1992, where it seemed like everyone was into college football and there were several teams to choose from. The Florida Gators, Miami Hurricanes and Florida State Seminoles were all good teams at the time.

I happened to gravitate toward the Seminoles because they reminded me of the Redskins with their Native American similarities. The thing that solidified me as a Seminole fan was due to them having a Black quarterback at the time by the name of Charlie Ward. Ward went on to win the Heisman trophy and national championship. I also liked Florida State because former head coach Bobby Bowden seemed so down to earth.

The Seminoles were a dominant team in the 1990s, consistently finishing in the top five in the polls and were national championship contenders every season.

That is the short answer as to how I became a fan of Carolina basketball and Florida State football. Both teams enjoyed much success for years and went through a down period recently. It seems that both programs are on the rise and look to be back in the national spotlight. I hope this clears up any confusion about the teams that I root for.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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