“Back in my day …” is a phrase usually met by a sea of rolling eyeballs, and rightfully so.
But when you hear that phrase in North Carolina this week, it’s probably followed by some oldster waxing nostalgic on the magic of the “good old days” of the ACC, back when North Carolinians cared so much about the college basketball tournament that they happily sent their kids off to school on ACC Friday knowing they’d spend much of the day watching basketball on TV.
I’m drawing from my own memories from the '80s, when the ACC Tournament was such an indelible part of North Carolina life that rolling TVs into classrooms on AV carts so that children could watch basketball games was never even questioned.
If you were in a class with an uncool teacher — a teacher who did not believe in suspending a few hours of education for such a treasured life experience — you came armed with permission slips that would get you excused from that awful class to join the lucky kids.
It’s a memory many recall fondly far into adulthood.