I left the party at about 4 a.m., and on the
way home I noticed my roommate, Rickey,
sitting on the rock wall that divides campus
from Franklin Street, his ever-present white
walking cane lying beside him. Rickey is
blind. His head cocked back, he’d been
listening to a championship celebration. I
stopped, sat beside him, closed my eyes, and
we soaked in the last remnants of ecstasy
together for a while.
Eventually, I left Rickey to his reverie
and returned to Old East. I opened my jour-
nal, my hands still sticky with Carolina blue
paint, and scribbled down my memories.
“Tonight, we won a national champion-
ship … ”
A few hours later I woke up, stumbled
downstairs and opened The Daily Tar Heel to
the story: “And on the seventh try, Dean cre-
ated national champions.” From that moment
on, I dreamed of becoming a sportswriter.
What if Michael Jordan missed? I watched the 1982 championship game perched on
the right arm of a rickety three-legged couch in Old East. When
Jordan ’ 86 ascended for his decisive jumper with 17 seconds left,
I didn’t see the result because everybody stood up and pressed
forward, tackling whomever obstructed their view until the scene
devolved into a giant dogpile.
I simply heard the roar. Our giddy throng untangled just in
time to watch Georgetown’s Fred Brown magnanimously pass
the ball to James Worthy ’ 85, and the rush to Franklin Street ensued. I don’t recall much of the next six hours, honestly. It wasn’t
so much the celebration that lingers for me, but its aftermath.
60 Years, Six Titles