Why Colonel Sartoris?

Allow me to explain the puzzling title. Colonel Sartoris is William Faulkner's greatest character. He exemplifies those values that his society cherishes, namely tradition, patriarchy, courtliness, and courage. Though modernity's slow march tries to strip him of these things, Sartoris continues to live as he always has, knowing that "the past is never dead. It's not even past." He seeks order in the honorable folkways and mores of his forbears. Let us not forget his example.

Monday, March 7, 2011

House & Heels (and Texas)

No, this is not a new, alliterative magazine title a la Garden & Gayun.

Today is March 6th.  What happened then?  The fall of the Alamo.  Santa Anna  overwhelmed 180 heroic defenders of the by sheer numbers (almost 10:1), but, in doing so, clenched his own defeat.

A few weeks ago, I promised a followup post about Eddie House to my Tiger Woods diatribe.  I will summarize my thoughts on House as follows: (1) actions have consequences (corollary: when you act like a moron, you're treated as such); (2) when you work in a highly regulated, high-profile field, you know or should know that your actions are scrutinized; (3) thus, when you act like an idiot, don't be surprised when you get caught and face teh consequences.  Applying that rubric to House: don't act like an idiot and then cry like a wuss when you're told that you can't make lewd gestures on television.  And---even if you think the rules are stupid---show some respect for yourself and for your team.  You'll look better.  Even if you do . . . you won't look NEARLY as good as the University of North Carolina TARHEELS.

The Heels played with an unmatched level of grit, pride, and class.  I wouldn't have attributed these traits to this team back in November, but now I cannot think of a single team in the NCAA---at least within my memory---who better exemplifies these traits.  What I saw on Saturday night was, truly, epic.  First, I have to hand it to Roy Williams for molding these uniquely talented players into a team.  All we have to do is look at the box score: Seth Curry, 20 points; Nolan Smith, 30 points.  No big surprise---these guys put up similar numbers all the time.  But the Heels?  Harrison Barnes, of course, led us in scoring . . . but with EIGHTEEN POINTS.  That's only THREE more than Kendall Marshall, and only four more than Tyler Zeller.  John Henson came up with 10, and Dexter Strickland added eight more (although if crowd reaction somehow added additional points to a basket, he probably added, conservatively, an additional twenty or so).  That, gentlemen, is a team.  That is telling your players to set their picks and get the ball to the open man.  That is teamwork.  And that is Roy Williams.

Going into the game, the campus was packed tight with anticipation.  Even at the law school, people had a hard time talking about anything other than the Duke game.  I have never seen the campus so eager or excited about this game.  We lined up behind them, as if our conversations, angst, and hallway-banter might translate to hardwood baskets.  But who cares, because this IS Carolina basketball, and that's what we do.  We get behind our team, both before the game, and during the game.  The Dean Dome was rockin'.  I couldn't believe how loud it was.  I have been there before at games, and I am usually non-plussed.  But this time, I was completely taken aback by our enthusiasm and energy.  I'd like to think that it showed, but I don't cotton to that notion.  I want ALL of our players (especially our seniors)to at leats have th eoption to goet

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