I had to laugh when I went to the grocery store this weekend and saw the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated. I had just mentioned to Trek Capri that the Marvin Gaye song “Lets Get It On” will always remind me of Venice because when I walked into the church of Santo Stefano in December, that song was playing over the loudspeaker before the Joy Singers concert, and it was so funny that I'll never forget it.
And here it shows up again, this time connected to the Heels. As for the dreaded Sports Illustrated cover jinx…...many sports fans worry about it, but I don’t. For one, Michael Jordan was on the cover of SI a record 49 times and it didn’t seem to hurt him too much. :) Plus, it's sports which means there's gonna be a winner and a loser, and SI isn't going to always predict it right.
But enough sports fans believe in the cover jinx that Sports Illustrated published an issue about it with a black cat on the cover!
The Tar Heels have been on the cover of SI many times over the years, and I’ve got copies of all the magazines they were on. Here are a few of my favorites:
This was Michael Jordan’s first SI cover, published in 1983 during his sophomore year at UNC. He had hair back then!
And I love this one of Coach Dean Smith, when he was Sportsman of the Year in 1997. I went to a Carolina game the night they announced this award, and they were giving out posters of this cover to all the fans. I’ve got it framed in my house.
A stroll down memory lane....here are the championship covers (the ones that happened in my life time; UNC won a couple before I was born and before SI existed):
The 1982 championship
I was still in college for this one. I watched it in downtown Chapel Hill and then after the game, they closed off the streets and we celebrated all night long. By morning, I was covered in Carolina Blue paint and so was much of the town. After that night, the city always asks for paint stores to take the Carolina Blue paint off their shelves if it looks like a National Championship is getting ready to happen.
The 1993 championship:
I watched this one in Chapel Hill too, even though I no longer lived there. Watched it with the same friends I'd watched the 1982 championship with. Once again, they closed the streets and we celebrated all night (I actually went to work the next morning with zero sleep!).
The most recent 2005 championship:
Watched it in Chapel Hill, not downtown but at a friend's house with a bunch of fellow Tar Heel fans and then after we won, we all went downtown where they had closed off the streets...another big celebration although I didn't stay up all night this time (getting old!).
I hope there will be another one to add to the collection soon!
When I checked my blog's Site Meter last night, I had a bunch of hits after UNC won yesterday from people who had googled “What’s a Tar Heel?”. The answer is here. Pretty funny!
So our next game is Saturday night at 8:47 pm vs. Villanova. They are playing great but so are we. While I don't believe in the SI jinx, I do have some superstitions. One of them is that I have to watch the games in Chapel Hill because I've watched every other National Championship run there. So I drove over there yesterday and will be going back on Saturday and hopefully (knock on wood) again on Monday night.
I've also got a lucky pompom that's very old and I only bring it out when I really think we've got a shot at winning it all. I brought it out yesterday.
Everyone around here is so excited and it's only Monday! By Saturday, we'll all be bouncing off the walls. Go Heels!