As you likely know, UNC didn’t win the National Championship this year. Not even close. While many students are still in mourning over UNC’s early March Madness loss, one group of students decided to spend their time cheering for another UNC men’s sports team: the tennis team.
Sophomore Safiya Nelland started the trend. “I was pretty depressed after UNC’s pathetic loss to Texas A & M. I had been really excited to keep cheering UNC on this year. I had my ride for San Antonio and everything! So when I heard we actually had a pretty good tennis team, I decided to cheer them on to victory in the tennis national championship, or whatever they have, I don’t really know yet.”
Nelland, along with about ten other Tar Heels who felt like they still had UNC school spirit, created signs, modified chants to work for tennis, and showed up to every men’s tennis game after UNC’s exit from March Madness. As the students sang “Hark the sound of tennis rackets, thwacking clear and true,” The Black Sheep interviewed some of the students about supporting UNC’s tennis team.
“I’m really enjoying tennis!” claimed junior Norman Rokell, holding a sign that read “UNC ACES TENNIS.” “There’re a ton of one-syllable names to shout during the game, and everyone else in the crowd is so quiet that the players can definitely hear us cheering. Plus, the team is actually winning games. Sure, I miss watching basketball games in the Dean Dome, and rushing Franklin. But at least UNC’s tennis team won’t betray me by losing to a team that they should be able to beat.”
First year Jenna Otama, on the other hand, wasn’t sure she would continue supporting the men’s tennis team.
“I’m really confused by their scoring system. Love, 15, 30? Why can’t they use normal numbers, like the basketball team?” claimed Otama. “I think I’ll just wait until the next basketball season to start cheering on a team again. Maybe I’m just specifically a Tar Heel basketball fan born and bred.”
Nelland disagreed. “If UNC is in front of the team name, I’ll be at the game, cheering in the front row. Until the UNC basketball team makes it to the National Championship again,” she added. “Then all the other teams at UNC could lose to State for all I care.”
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