When I was merely a visitor to the state of North Carolina, going to a men's basketball game at the Dean Dome was cool, like getting to sample the local culture. And a crazy "other" culture it was, what with everyone, and I mean everyone, in their Carolina blue gear, drinking out of their Carolina blue cups, following every single play like it was the last thirty seconds of a close game -- the cheers, the gasps, the chance to win a free Bojangles sausage biscuit if the Tar Heels scored over 100 points.
This, of course, is supposed to be their year, and since a championship would put many people I know in a very good mood, go Tar Heels go.
But now that I quote unquote live in North Carolina, going to a UNC basketball game reminds me that I'm not from here, that I didn't go to school here, that I'm not blond and preppy. Now when I go to the Dean Dome, I feel a little homesick. I miss my stinky lovable Cubs, say what you will about Northside Cubs fans, and the Bulls, even though I've only been to two games ever. Hell, I even miss the Bears, even though I don't know how to watch a football game.
Of course, it's Chicago and home that I miss, and I have no desire to change the color of my sports team blood.
I will, however, be happily fascinated by the cheerleaders, since my little college in Northfield, Minnesota didn't have any.
Between watching the girls pull down their skirts every time they finish a round-off, and trying to decide which pom poms girl is my favorite, there is plenty to distract me from my homesickness.
So, yes to good moods and free biscuits and this being the Tar Heels' year. But secretly, deep down, and always, go Bulls, Bears and especially Cubbies.