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Let's Get It On (No Cover Jinx)


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!

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Comments (18)


Go Heels! Hope that you get to party again on Monday. I am a firm believer in not doing anything different during Championships!

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Annie, awesome post! The song title, "Let's Get It On" really jumps right out at you doesn't it. I can see why you laughed when you saw it! :)

What a cool collection of SI covers. And is that Patrick Ewing with MJ? It looks like him. And that is cool to see former Los Angeles Laker and NC Alumn, James Worthy.

So much fun reading about your Tar Heel celebrations and so interesting to learn about your cool traditions of going to Chapel Hill to watch the games. BTW, you simply must do another post and include a photo of your lucky pom pom! :) I thought it was so funny that the stores are asked to not sell blue paint!

Annie, how exciting for your Tar Heels to be in the Final Four! Go Heels! Whoo hoo!

I don't think it is a jinx. The Red Sox were on Sports Illustrated and they won (twice!). I love that you have superstitions and need to be in Chapel Hill. I enjoyed seeing the covers of the wins :) If I heard the news correctly (was half listening to the sports report tonight), Obama has only picked one correctly...so that has to be the Tar Heels. I will be rooting for you and your Tar Heels on Saturday. How does the other team look? GO HEELS!!!!

Sheri, thanks! The Tar Heel sports radio guy always says, "Go where you gotta go, do what you gotta do" to the fans, encouraging this crazy idea that it really matters where and how WE watch the games. It's really pretty funny (even though I do it too!).

Kathy, good eye! Yes, that is Patrick Ewing in the 1982 cover with Worthy. No one thought the Heels could beat Ewing and Georgetown that year, they were such an awesome team. And the game was very close, a complete nail-biter. Worthy was the MVP of the game but it was a skinny unknown freshman (MJ) who hit the game- winning shot.

I left the lucky pompom in Chapel Hill at my friend's house so that it will be there when I go back over this weekend. It's very old and most of its streamers have fallen out, so I only bring it out when I think we need it. I'll try to remember to take a photo!

Girasoli, I entered Obama's bracket in my office pool. He only got one of the Final Four right and yes, it was the Heels! His bracket is doing okay (kind of in the middle of the pack) but he's not going to win our pool. No one picked all four of the Final Four correctly but several people picked three of four.

Villanova looks good but so do we. I hope we can do it!


Annie, I love that black cat cover! I think that sports breeds more superstitions than any other field -- I suppose that's because the outcome of any event isn't always predictable! As you say, there has to be a loser for every winner and from time to time, the underdog wins. How else to explain that, except with superstition.

I didn't realize you were such a basketball fan, and your enthusiasm is contagious -- I'm beginning to pay attention where I didn't before.

So, Go Heels!!!

Sandra, thanks! I like that black cat cover too. I hadn't thought about there being more superstition connected to sports, but I think you're right.

Basketball is a North Carolina obsession and I've been into it since I was a kid. My whole family is crazed about the Tar Heels. The good thing is that, even though I was indoctrinated at an early age and didn't have any choice about it, I do genuinely love the game and it's a lot of fun around here when the Heels are doing well, like this year. I love all the hoopla!

I just saw this in the newspaper, LOL. They are getting ready!!!

Don't plan to buy Carolina blue paint this week

CHAPEL HILL - Planning on painting your living room Carolina blue this weekend?
Maybe you should hold off because you might not be able to buy it -- at least not in Chapel Hill.

Chapel Hill police are asking paint stores to restrict the sale of that hue this week.

That's because UNC is about to play in the Final Four, and if the team wins, police don't want the town painted sky blue.

Chapel Hill police are preparing for this weekend's Final Four street celebrations if UNC should win.

When UNC wins, Franklin Street is always the place to be for victory celebrations.

"If your establishment sells paint, please restrict sale of Carolina blue paint for the next week," police said in a news release.

They also asked bars to restrict all servings to paper or plastic cups and all bulk sales to cans to keep glass out of the area.

Police encouraged businesses to remove awnings and signs to keep them from being damaged.

And police asked businesses to secure interior and exterior rooftop doors to keep people off the roof.

Like Sandra I had no idea you were such a basketball fan. Love your SI covers and reading about your very own superstitions. I will be rooting for the Tar Heels and will definitely watch the game. Go Heels!

Thanks Maria! I hope it will be a great game...they are an exciting team to watch this year (they are super FAST!).

Woohoo, GO Heels!
Great post Annie. It is very interesting that you have kept all these magazines. I am with you though, I don't believe it in SI jinx.
Very exciting.


Annie, the newspaper piece with police asking for restrictions on paint sales is hilarious! I can't wait to read the update -- if there really is a run on Carolina blue paint (which, by the way, sounds just lovely.)

Candi, my brother and I both have tons of Tar Heel memorabilia, some of it was our father's when he was in school there back in the 1950's.

Sandra, we were laughing about that article here in the office yesterday! One woman pointed out that all you have to do to make Carolina Blue paint is mix some navy and white, so maybe they should ban those colors too. :) Carolina Blue IS lovely (it's basically vivid sky blue but everyone here calls it Carolina blue).

My brother remembers painting big blue Tar Heel feet in the middle of the highway when he was in college! I never did any "paint the town" stuff when I was there but I did get covered in paint after that 1982 championship. :)


Oh, Annie, I am sorry to be so late to the party! I just saw this entry and LOVED it! Brought back such good memories of UNC and all of its sports history.

Tonight is the big night - UNC is favored by 7 points. All I can say is GO HEELS!

Nancy, thank you!

I am SO excited! And nervous! I spent yesterday morning walking around campus and downtown, and everyone is so excited! I'm going to leave work early today and go back over there for tonight's game.

I'm cautiously optimistic. I really think they can do it. Go Heels!

Thanks, Annie


I know this is rather old but I am hoping you can help me out. Do you have any idea how many times the Men's basketball team was pictured on the cover of SI? Any variation is ok except for the ones where they put tiny pictures of every team in the NCAA tourney. I am a HUGE Tar Heels fan and I am trying to compile a list so I cab get a copy of each! Thanks for your help!

Hi John, I'm not sure how many there have been. There used to be a website that had all the Tar Heel SI covers pictured but I can't find it now. You might want to look at the SI website because I think they have an archive. If you find out, please let me know!

david suttles:

hey i have a six pack of 1993 tar heel cans in vary good condtion.how much can i get for them?


I don't know how much those 1993 soda cans are worth. You might try to search on Ebay.

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