Fourth and Long

Published 11:57 am Friday, November 30, 2012

Haven’t been around the last couple of weeks and I got to tell you… I missed you guys. So much has happened since I last wrote.

The Friedman roots for UNC and OSU. This means we both won our division and our season is over. Despite NCAA sanctions at the Friedman’s the season has provided us much to cheer for.

First and foremost, I have to mention the end of an era. I have been a spectator to Travis Bond’s playing career since his early years at Bertie High School. Despite the fact that he has no idea who I am, I have always felt a certain kinship and bias to Travis.

We both played football at Bertie. Travis had enormous potential and ability and I too played with guys that had enormous potential and ability. We played for many of the same coaches and having covered him in Windsor and being a UNC Football season ticket holder means I have been watching Travis grow and develop both physically and as a football player a for years.

I’m gonna miss the big dude. I hope to be able to follow him on Sundays in the future.

One big guy I will be able to follow on Sundays is Jonathan Cooper. The All-American Offensive Guard is one of the fastest pulling guards I have ever seen and watching him play in Carolina Blue has been a real treat. Congratulations to Mr. Cooper for winning the 2012 Jacobs Blocking Trophy, the first Tar Heel to win the award since 1988.

Gio for Heisman! It’s not going to happen this year, but Gio Bernard is a special talent and if the Carolina Sophomore running back chooses to put off the NFL a year I think the impact it would have on UNC football might be immeasurable.

The Florida native generated a lot of buzz with his breakout play this season. His stock and hype will surely rise amongst the media in the offseason and the UNC athletic department staff has one of the best marketing staffs in college athletics (one of the perks to having a great journalism school).  I can only imagine that the Heisman marketing campaign would be epic.

The impact such a campaign can have on the right football program is immeasurable. I believe this program has the pieces in place to create a positive buzz around UNC football again. That is of course assuming that Head Coach Larry Fedora doesn’t leave for Tennessee and the SEC.

Speaking of head coaches (or in this case former head coaches), does anybody else remember that Everett Withers became the co-defensive coordinator at Ohio State this season. Nobody in the media talks about him at all. If the defense is talked about Luke Fickell is always credited and they never remember to put the “co” part in front of his co-defensive coordinator title.

Withers has been a key part in improving the defense of the undefeated and regular season Big Ten Champion Ohio State Buckeyes. They are a team that if not for the selfishness of a former coach might be playing for a National Championship in a little over a month. Dude’s like the Rodney Dangerfield of college football… he gets no respect.

Before I close today’s column I wanted to at least mention the apparent evolution that is conference realignment. Peace out Terps! No hard feelings regarding that butt whoopin my Heels just gave you in football. I would say you will be missed, but Duke hates you and nobody else cares. Instead we welcome Louisville to the ACC. Kentucky is next!


David Friedman is a long-time contributor to Roanoke-Chowan Publications. A Bertie High School graduate, he and his wife currently reside in Wilmington. David can be reached via e-mail at