The University of North Carolina has one of the most—if not the most—prolific and prestigious college basketball programs the world has ever seen. But the fans that follow and claim to be “die-hard” fans are in fact some of the most annoying fans in sports hands down.
With this year’s NCAA Tournament culminating—but really not just this year—the Tar Heels have time and time again proved to have some of the most lopsided talent on one team in the history of the game, which is why they have five chips (the NCAA National Championship will decide if they earn no. 6).
Players like Michael Jordan, James Worthy, Sam Perkins, Kenny Smith, Brad Daugherty, Rasheed Wallace, Jerry Stackhouse, Vince Carter, Antawn Jamison, Raymond Felton and Danny Green have blessed the organization. Master Coaches such as Dean Smith, and now their current coach Roy Williams, have given their blood, sweat and tears to a program that demands basketball excellence.
And yet, even with all of its toughness and grit engineering a basketball utopia, the program has generated some of the worst fans in sports, and it’s not even close.
The no. 1 reason why UNC fans are rotten is because they cinch on to this team like a terrestrial worm wanting to suck the blood out of a human—much like Dallas Cowboy fans, or for that matter, any fan who gravitates to a team solely for the fact they just recently won a championship.
In fact, UNC fans are very similar to Cowboy fans in their entire way of fandom. From 1994 to 2004, UNC fans gloated on the fact they won three national championships in 36 years. This, ironically, is very similar to Cowboy fans, who bloviate on the mere fact they won three Super Bowls in the 1990s, but haven’t won any championships since then.
They latch on to past success while belittling some of the recent Cinderella stories in the 1990s—teams such George Mason, Butler, Wichita State, Penn, Davidson and Richmond, just to name a few.
What’s more, there are millions of UNC fans worldwide and definitely in the states. But it isn’t just because of success as to why there are so many fair weather UNC fans; it is because of one player who epitomizes the game of basketball: Michael Jordan. Jordan, of course, is my no. 2 reason as to why UNC has some of the phoniest fans in the history of basketball, and it’s not even close.
There are so many blockheads who have become UNC fans for the unmitigated fact that Jordan played his college ball in North Carolina. We all know what Jordan did, including win a National Championship in 1982 and six championships with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s.
With his unblemished championship record, 30.1 points per game average in the pros, killer instinct, sneakers and commercials, fans have gravitated to Jordan and his UNC Tar heels, which is a smooth and easy transition for anyone to make.
Jordan’s brand has developed into fans thinking MJ walks on water; he can do no wrong. This type of thinking—and knowing these same fans are UNC rans—make it extremely appalling for other fans looking at UNC fans and their program from the outside looking in.
What makes it even more precarious—my third and final reason—is that the program recruits based on the notion Michael Jordan attended. Jordan’s conglomerate is very much a part of the UNC agenda.
Today’s talent—and really the last two generations of talent—have made decisions on their collegiate basketball experience because of Michael Jordan. Players want their name associated with Michael Jordan, and, of course, they want to be like Mike.
No longer are we in the days of the Tar Heel program running amok, journeying to every end of the world in search of the next Michael Jordan. In the last 12 years they have won two titles, and based on the outcome of this year’s title game, Tar Heel nation could gloat about another title. After all, experts have said millions of times UNC is the most talented team in America, yet again.
So it shouldn’t come to any surprise if they are champions once more, but, unfortunately, it will give another reason for UNC fans to act like doltish people.