Here’s What North Carolina Would Tell Gonzaga

On Monday, I wrote about what I would tell North Carolina and Gonzaga in advance of their NCAA men’s basketball championship game.

On Tuesday, I wrote about what I would tell Gonzaga after falling to UNC in that game.

But now that I think about it, who cares what I would tell Gonzaga. It is easy for me to say how they should respond, but I don’t know what they are going through. You know who does?

North Carolina.

Just one year ago, UNC felt the exact same way as Gonzaga does this week. Stunned. Dejected. Crushed. The Tar Heels lost in the championship game on a last second shot by Villanova’s Kris Jenkins. Head coach Roy Williams called it one of the worst nights of his life. Forward Theo Pinson said he never wanted to feel like that again.

So what did Pinson do to make sure he didn’t feel that way again? Did he hide from the loss? Nope.

He made it his cell phone background.

Since last the loss to Villanova, Pinson’s cell phone background has featured a picture of him sitting in the locker room with a towel over his drooped head.

“You could try to act like you don’t remember last year, but you’ll be lying to yourself. … It definitely gives you extra drive of ‘We gotta finish it,’ ” Pinson told The New York Post.

I know I look at my screen saver every day since the tournament started, and it shows me the moment I felt after that game. I remember that feeling like it was yesterday. I don’t want that feeling ever again.”

Pinson didn’t run from the crushing pain he felt last year. He didn’t blame his coaches or the referees for his team coming up short.

He chose to use it as motivation.

So, if I had to guess what advice UNC would give to Gonzaga, I would suspect that they would tell the Bulldogs to find meaning in this obstacle.

Here’s why that works.


What Is A Tar Heel?

In case you couldn’t tell from the last two posts (here & here), I was following the NCAA men’s basketball championship game quite closely. The game was an exciting contest that left me with two questions:

  1. Will Gonzaga be able to make it back to a Final Four sometime soon?
  2. What is a Tar Heel (North Carolina’s mascot)?

The first question won’t be answered for months or possibly years. The second one should be easier to figure out. Let’s find out the answer in today’s edition of Wonder Why Wednesday.

What is a Tar Heel?

For the answer, let’s turn right to the source: The University of North Carolina website. Here is what they have to say:

Our nickname, which also applies to North Carolina citizens, has at least two possible origins. One story hails back to the Revolutionary War and the troops of British General Cornwallis. After fording a river in eastern North Carolina, the British troops discovered their feet covered with tar, a product of North Carolina’s abundant pine trees and one of the state’s most important exports at the time. Some say the clever North Carolinians dumped it in the river to slow down the invading army. The British were said to have observed that if you waded in North Carolina rivers, you would get tar on your heels.

Another story comes from the Civil War. A group of North Carolina soldiers scolded their comrades for leaving the battlefield when things got tough. The soldiers threatened to stick tar on the heels of the retreating soldiers to help them stay in the battle. General Robert E. Lee is said to have commented “God bless the Tar Heel boys!” Whatever the reason for the moniker, our students and sports teams have long worn it with pride.”

Okay, so maybe this isn’t any easier to answer than the question of when Gonzaga will make another Final Four.

March Recap

In case you missed a post or two last month, here’s a quick recap of what I wrote about during the month of March:

Questions I Asked –

Where Do Ash Wednesday Ashes Come From? – To start Lent, churches are stocked full of ashes so that priests and deacons can really cake on the Catholic finger paint to their parishioners faces. But where do they get the ashes? Find out here.

How Many Websites Are There?– Answer: More than there were when you started reading this sentence.

What Do The Letters On Batteries Mean? – Turns out, battery nomenclature is quite complicated. Who knew?

Things We Learned –

What Good Parenting Looks Like – The other night I met a mom who deserves parent of the year nomination. Check out what she did.

All About March Madness – As the NCAA men’s basketball tournament got underway, I thought it would be a good time to highlight some March Madness related posts. Check out the following, and let me know how your bracket did.

What Belief Looks Like – It may not always look how you think it will.

To A Writer, There Are Only A Few Things As Rewarding As This – If you are a writer, let me know if you agree.

The Best Thing I’ve Read All DayJen Sincero describes chasing your dream in a way I had never heard before.

Fun With Numbers –

23 Ways To Fail As A Writer – In a hilarious post for the Book Baby blog, Field provides 23 tips that will “help you stave off success and fail as a writer!” #12 and #20 are my favorites.

7 Ways To Quiet Our Worries – I can’t promise these ideas will work for you. But they seem worth a try. Especially if you have to choose between trying these ideas and continuing to worry.

Top 10 Lines From Bird By Bird – Check out some great lines from a book that has been called “A gift to all of us mortals who write or ever wanted to write… sidesplittingly funny, patiently wise and alternately cranky and kind — a reveille to get off our duffs and start writing now, while we  still can.” (Seattle  Times).

5 Good Things – Here are 5 good things happening in our world.

5 Things We Can Learn From Spellcheck – Spellcheck is pretty amazing…as long as we turn it on. See what happens when we don’t.