Not Apathetic: My experience watching the UNC vs. Duke game with a wicked cold

By Tyler M. Bryant

Believe it or not, I have hobbies besides playing/writing music; like watching squirrels, or occasionally trying water sports.

This has my attention (sport-kid.net).
This has my attention
(sport-kid.net).

Perhaps towards the top of my list of non-music-song things to do is watch my school, UNC – Chapel Hill, kick booty at basketball. Having grown up without any real college sports allegiances (or sports allegiances at all for that matter), my student experience at UNC has fostered a sense of community within me that I love to share with my fellow Tar Heels.

That is, when I’m not sick.

You see, watching the most hyped college basketball game in America with a phlegm-churning, barf-inducing cold is a little bit like purgatory. While it’s a climactic high to attain the UNC camaraderie that comes with watching the Do0k game, having all your emotional sensibilities numbed by the necessity to incessantly blow your nose and fall asleep can be a buzz kill.

Anyone in there know where I can get some NyQuil? (bottomlineenglish.com)
Anyone in there know where I can get some NyQuil? (bottomlineenglish.com)

It pained me inside not to jump up and cheer every time Marcus Paige sunk a field goal, but having the pressure of a pre-exploded Hindenburg in my forehead pained me even more.

Perhaps the worst part of the whole experience, however, came at the end of the game where we lost by only 2 points in overtime. As I got ready to kill my second box of tissues for the night, my roommate said something to me at the end of the game that continues to strike me as a blow.

“It must be nice not caring about UNC athletics at all.”

Harsh. I care a ton – earlier that day, I had spent unreasonable time, money, and energy getting food and drink for the event. Heck, I got my car and my girlfriend locked in a parking garage during a snowstorm just to make sure I could get all the necessary supplies. Even though having everyone together is my favorite part of the UNC basketball experience, it’s just hard to enjoy when your body and brain are inundated with phlegm.

I know the feel. (neatorama.com)
I know the feel. (neatorama.com)
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