Fourth and Long

Published 2:33 pm Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I have a few things I wanted to cover this week but after last week’s column I feel like I should follow up on Carolina football first.

My wife, myself and about 50,000 other UNC fans sat stunned last Saturday as Miami came out and punched Carolina in the mouth. The Hurricanes coming out hot was not surprising, but the way the Tar Heels helped with attempted arm tackles and blown coverage assignments, particularly on third down was astounding.

The UNC offense, when it finally took the field down 14-0, fared no better. The O-line missed blocking assignments and Renner was clearly shaken by the consistent pressure.
While credit should be given for never giving up and having a chance to win at the end of the game, it cannot be ignored that UNC lost a must-win game at home after being beaten in all three phases
of the game. Another game like that on the road this week against a much better Clemson team may ruin Everett Withers chances of removing the interim tag from his job title.
College basketball practice has begun which means that this sports fan is about to hit his favorite time of the year. For a few weeks every season I get to experience a mix of college football and basketball. Add in Thanksgiving and Christmas and how can this not be your favorite time of the year?
I watched a few of the midnight madness recordings available on ESPN3 and after watching Duke’s, I must admit that Austin Rivers is for real. At 6’-4” he has speed, quickness, a sweet release, a handle and a ton of confidence. The Blue Devils will go as far as Rivers can take them.
I was a Donovan McNabb believer, however it seems that the time has come for McNabb to consider walking away from the game. There is a reason they let him go in Philly and Washington and there is
a reason they are benching him in Minnesota.  McNabb has had a fine career and it appears for all intent and purposes to be over.
Texas and St. Louis are set to square off in the World Series and the only interest I have in the games thus far is the possibility that they may play game one in low 40 to high 30 degree temperatures with rain and wind. That may make the series more interesting.
The NBA stalemate has continued into October and until football season is over most people still don’t care.
Hockey season has arrived and….see line above.
David Friedman is a long-time contributor to Roanoke-Chowan Publishing. A Bertie High School graduate, he and his wife currently reside in Wilmington. David can be reached via e-mail at