Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV--Tar Heels stick Hokies

Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV--Tar Heels stick Hokies

Life is good. Yesterday, I was feeling very low. It seemed like the weight of the whole world was on my shoulders. This morning, the first news item I saw on my Google Sidebar had the headline "Tar Heels stick Hokies". My outlook on life improved immediately.

One day, I hope the NBA "gets it"! NCAA Sports is all about giving kids all the reasons in the world to get a college education. Some years ago, when the NBA waited for kids to mature in college before drafting them, thousands of college game fans became NBA fans when their favorite college players turned pro.

Now-a-days, players go straight from high school to the pro teams or perhaps after a year or two of college. The early departures are not good for the NBA, not good for the young players and terrible for taking away the dreams of many young kids. The kids now dream of going straight to the NBA with a $50 Million contract instead of dreaming about getting a free ride through college and winning the NCAA Tournament.

UNC lost 7 of its top players last year. This year, Roy Williams has added 4 freshmen to a team with little playing experience (David Noel, a football recruit who played sparingly last year was the most experienced player to come back). With such a young team, Carolina fans came into the season knowing this is a "rebuilding year". We knew coach Williams would do a good job with the team but we assumed a good season would be maybe 17 wins, well below the historical standard of UNC teams.

Not to worry, the Heels went into last lights game with a 9-2 record that included at least two wins over top 20 teams. Indeed, the Heels entered the game ranked number 20 in the nation. The team played a tough Virginia Tech team at Virginia Tech. Earlier this year, Virginia Tech beat Duke, the number one rated team in the land at Duke (except that Duke made a miracle 42 foot shoot at the buzzer).

Last nights game was not easy; ACC games on opponent’s home court rarely are. This young Carolina Team made many mistakes but they never gave up and in the end they prevailed. What a lesson? Investors have to have "Tar Heel Tenacity" to be highly successful.

Marilyn and I have seen our fortunes rise and fall dramatically over almost 34 years of marriage. We keep "hanging in there". My hope is that you and others will be inspired by your favorite sports team. Perhaps you are aware of the Jimmy Valvano story and can get your encouragement there to "Never, never, never, never, never give up!"