National championship chaos

This is my third national championship in Chapel Hill (of 4 ever won by UNC). The first was in 1982 when I was 11. Horror stories about the celebratory violence in ’82 were enough to keep me from going uptown to celebrate the next time we won in 1993. I was a senior at UNC then, and was actively occupying the campus administration building to protest for a free-standing black cultural center. I used the excuse of holding down the fort while most of my fellow activists went uptown.

In recent years, I have managed to put on my sturdy shoes and head up there with some reliable friends. I have observed some mayhem, but no personal harm. A little chaos is A-OK with me!

National championship chaos Here we see two gals hanging from a street sign at the corner of Franklin and Columbia in downtown Chapel Hill. I left when people started shouting “show us your tits.”

Someone wanted to go to He’s Not Here, but after getting smushed in the crowd in front of I Love NY Pizza and seeing the line of students at He’s Not, we went the long way around to Rosemary Street (via Church Street) and made our way to Hell. It appeared to have emptied out after the game, but folks were starting to flood back in.

We hung out long enough to say hi to Hell proprietor Papa D, Bluefreaky, radio personality Mike Nutt, and Justinsomnia who was so happy that he lifted both me and my 6’2″ boyfriend up in the air (not at the same time). I hope his back is OK. Walking home we ran into J, and then got distracted by a flaming mattress on Pritchard Avenue.

Helicopters were still chopping in the sky above our house when we got home around 1 am. Sally posted the police report on IsThatLegal? this morning:

The crowd size is estimated to have been 45,000 people…

Fifteen people were arrested. Charges included assaults, damage to property, trespassing, disorderly conduct, discharging fireworks, indecent exposure, affray, and setting bonfires. Two citations were issued to downtown establishments for overcrowding.


8 thoughts on “National championship chaos

  1. Hi Ruby,

    I saw in Paul Jones’ blog that you took pics and was surprised to see that you got that pic! At exactly the moment you took it, I was squished about 6 feet on the other side of that pole between that the sea of people trying to leave Franklin street and the other sea of people trying to get to Franklin. I was with two other folks and we all got separated and couldn’t call each other because the cell networks were jammed. It was pretty funny. Everyone around me was staring at their phones watching them try to redial again and again, trying to hook up with their friends. It is amazing how dependent folks are on their cell phones. I will bring 2 way radios next time.

    Just like 1993, everyone was friendly and excited. It was fun to soak up all of that energy.

    Does Chapel Hill handle these better than Michigan where some 60 folks got arrested last week? Or was the Michigan crowd truly out of control?

    What a blast!

    GO HEELS!!!


    (are we only allowed to Rant? That is what the button says! 🙂

  2. Dear Ruby,

    Is jumping over the bonfire pathetic when you’re 36 and a father? Because I did it, like, five times last night. I was a good 15 years older than anyone around me, so I took it upon myself to save people from immolation and to explain that the metal street sign probably wouldn’t burn. Still, I feel odd this morning, both sheepish and elated. Is there a pill for that?


    Curious in Pittsboro

  3. I thought about affraying, but stopped myself (sounds like that was good thinking!). You should have joined us at the Cave – good sized crowd but not unbearable and Mr. Howie was behind the bar. Posted a few pics at Half-Life and Times.

  4. my back is fine, i hope i didn’t injure either of you in the process. it’s funny how the strangest things seem like the most obvious thing in the world to do when you’re drunk.

  5. This makes my second national championship I have been able to witness…the first being my junior year in 93. I didn’t head to Franklin Street. I just don’t understand the idea of celebrating by getting unbelievably drunk and destroying things….the reasoning behind that escapes me. Unfortunately I also know the person who suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns to over 20% of his body from one of the bonfires…haven’t heard whether he fell in trying to jump the fire or if it was because of people throwing fireworks into the fire.

  6. Justin – I was a bit shocked that you were able to lift my 6′ 2″ but rather light frame way off the ground. It was an entirely appropriate thing to do given the tar heel win! Glad to hear you didn’t hurt yourself. I would be in the hospital now if I tried such a thing… 😀

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