NOW THAT A FEW WEEKS have passed and I have had a chance to recover from our defeat in the Blue-White Game, I think I have calmed down enough, I hope, to let University of North Carolina head football coach Butch Davis know exactly what I think of his performance so far without embarrassing myself. In short, not much.
This is it. We are giving one last chance to you, Coach Davis. Fans here at UNC are very patient. We are willing to give someone the benefit of the doubt. But we have to draw a line somewhere -- so here it is. For all the hype about you when you were hired, what have you done? I mean what have you done for us lately?
Going nine months (that's almost a year) without a victory to celebrate, without having a single set of opponent's fans to taunt, is hard, really hard, on a fan like myself. And I am sure that I speak for many of us here in the Tar Heel Nation.
If you want to be the head football coach at a Division I school, which I would like to remind you, the University of North Carolina is, and think you can keep the job without winning a football game, you're deluded -- or you think you've been hired by Duke. Some people say a head coach's job is all about wins and losses; well, here it's not. It's all about wins. We don't like losses.
I am sure you're going to say: Hey, give me a break; we have even played a game yet! Look, coach, we don't make the schedule. Talk to Dick Baddour about that.
The only reason you're even going to get this last chance is because even though you haven't won a thing, not a doggone thing, at least you haven't lost anything -- yet.
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Just in case my little diatribe has started to make you re-think your decision to come to North Carolina, Coach Davis, please know that it could be worse. You could be somewhere else.
I know you're thinking I mean you could be the head football coach at the University of Alabama, where they fired their last coach one season after he won ten games and lost two.
Or maybe you're thinking I mean the University of Nebraska, where they fired their last coach immediately after he went 9-3 in the regular season, even though he had an overall record of 58-19, and had led the team to the number-two national ranking after one season and played for the national championship in another.
Well, that was not where I was thinking of at all. Those, everybody knows, are good coaching jobs.
No, I mean you could have been hired locally by NC State where they fired their coach because we fired ours. (They take this keeping up with the Joneses very seriously.) Until John Bunting was let go here at UNC, Chuck Amato's job, as seen by most observers, seemed secure. But if State had kept him after Bunting was fired, who had a winning record against almost nobody but State (excepting Duke -- but that doesn't count, of course), it would have meant State has lower standards than UNC -- and we all know that that could not possibly be true.
I also mean you could have been hired by Duke. There it's much worse. At Duke they don't care whether you win or not. You don't think that's possible? Well, the Duke football lost every game last season, and currently has the longest losing streak in Division I-A, and nobody is talking about Ted Roof "being on the hot seat." You want to know why? Because he's not -- because nobody cares. See? It could be worse.
So, enjoy the home opener, coach. Just remember, when the honeymoon's over ('round about halftime) and we start booing, it's only because we really love our football -- and basketball season hasn't started yet.
Gary D. Gaddy, despite the apparent sentiments expressed in this column, does not boo or otherwise vocally diminish any of his teams, any time, anywhere -- and sometimes razzes the so-called fans sitting around him who do.
A version of this article was published in the Chapel Hill Herald Thursday August 23, 2007. Copyright 2007 Gary D. Gaddy