Commentary

Snow: At UNC, 'old school' rules will prevail

August 18, 2012 

UNC football coach Larry Fedora’s got a “far piece” to go before he restores credibility and honor to Carolina’s football program.

But I like his beginning – forbidding players to wear hats indoors and earrings.

I wonder if he knows that the indoors cap ban is no small matter. Surgery may be involved. Some of those caps are grafted on and have been worn for years, night and day, since the guys were teens or even younger.

“That’s old school,” Fedora said. “Maybe that is stupid, but that’s the way I do things. I was raised that way. You couldn’t wear a hat in the house and if I got an earring, I would have had to move out of the house.”

Reverting to some of the “old school” rules might be a good idea for parents as well. I well remember some of my parents’ “commandments.”

• Thou shalt not tell a lie.

• Thou shalt not take the name of thy Lord in vain.

• Thou shalt not sass thy parents.

• Thou shalt not bring a hoe indoors.

I never understood that last one.

I couldn’t fathom why anyone would want or need to bring a hoe inside, unless, a remote possibility, a copperhead snake had crawled into the house.

Anyway, to me, Coach Fedora’s edict carries a psychological message for his players: “I’m in charge, and even if we don’t win games, we’re going to improve the image of you as Carolina gentlemen.”

Bravo!

Praise chorus

On Sundays I marvel at the majestic sounds soaring from our church choir, especially during the anthems.

But I never hear an anthem without thinking of the anecdote involving an elderly farmer who, returning home from a visit with city relatives, told his wife about going to church with them and hearing the choir sing “praise choruses” instead of hymns.

“Pray tell, what is the difference between a hymn and a ‘praise chorus’?” she asked.

“Well, it’s like this,” he replied. “If I were to sing to you, ‘Martha, the cows are in the corn,’ well, that would be a hymn.

“If, on the other hand, I were to sing to you, ‘Martha, Martha, Martha, oh, Martha, MARTHA, MARTHA, the cows, the big cows, the brown cows, the black cows, the white cows, the black-and-white cows, the COWS, COWS, COWS are in the corn, in the corn, in the corn, are in the corn, the CORN, CORN, CORN ... Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen!’ and then repeat the whole thing two or three times, well, that would be a praise chorus.”

Chicken report

I have just returned from the nearby Chick-fil-A, where it’s business as usual after the restaurant chain’s president, Dan T. Cathy, set off a nationwide brouhaha by saying, in effect, that gay marriages invite God’s wrath.

I have long patronized Chick-fil-A, stopping by for a chicken-strip salad with berry vinaigrette dressing. Some afternoons I drop in for a strawberry milkshake, minus the maraschino cherry and the shoe-polish gunk topping.

My longtime buddy Glenn Keever and I meet there often for morning coffee as we ponder such problems as how to dispose of squirrels without going to jail or the government’s wisdom in spending $2.5 billion to search for signs of life on Mars while millions starve on Earth.

The restaurant is one of the few in town where people can talk without being drowned out by ear-splitting noise mislabeled as music.

The staff is exceptionally friendly, checking often to see if we want a hot coffee refill.

Should I give this up because Mr. Cathy expressed an opinion on a social issue? I think not.

He has the right to his opinion. You and I have the same right to agree or disagree with him. That’s one of the priceless features of living in this democracy.

Today’s grin

Reader Wendell Murray weighs in on squirrels:

“The late Robert C. Ruark wrote in his book, ‘Use Enough Gun,’ ‘He looks at you like he personally hates you. He looks at you like you owe him money.’ ”

Ruark was describing the African Cape Buffalo, but I have seen similar looks coming from members of the gray squirrel crime family.

Snow: 919-836-5636 or asnow@newsobserver.com

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