Tim and I are lucky enough that tonight we get to go watch my UNC Tar Heels play basketball!
It's not a very exciting game- we're playing Nicholl's State. We also don't have the best seats- middle way up the second level, but there is something absolutely electric about being in the "Dean Dome".
It's hard to describe to someone that isn't a sports fan, or to someone who has never been there. My Alma Mater has fielded some of the greatest athletes of all time- and basketball is no exception. You may have heard of a little someone called "His Airness"- Mr. Michael Jordan. I could spend the rest of the post gushing about our top-notch players, but I'll move on.
The Dean Dome is electric. Nearly 22,000 people can be seated there. When the Tar Heels play a team like hated rival Duke, you can literally breathe the energy. Your heart pounds, your body tingles, your concentration and focus are solely on the 10 men on the court. It's a place of tears, joy and the feeling that you can't truly be there- it's hallowed ground for the Carolina faithful. Around you are people that feel just as strongly as you do. Carolina Basketball is not just a game, it's a way of life. It's something that if you didn't grow up around here, you can never truly understand.
I was spoiled enough to spend 4 years attending nearly every basketball game there. I've been back twice, to celebrate the Century of Basketball events. I saw some of the greats take each other on- I got to see players I grew up watching on tv. It was incredible. Since I graduated in 2006, I've never been back to see the Tar Heels play a serious game.
Part of the problem is money. Carolina tickets are expensive and the demand is outrageous. We've even tried to purchase tickets in fan sections of away games- whereas a normal ticket might be $20, when UNC comes to town, the price triples- or more. These are even for the worst seats in the place!
We lucked out though and were able to snatch up a pair for a low-profile game at a reasonable price. No doubt the fact it's so close to Christmas helps us out.
So tonight at 7pm, I'll be in the Dean Dome again. For 2 hours, I'll be home.