The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Tar Heels have announced that they will be retiring the jersey of white-fan-favorite Tyler Hansbrough before he finishes his senior season. If you find yourself thinking, “But Craig, was he really so good that he should have his jersey retired before he even graduates?” then I feel I must remind you… one time in a game he got punched in the face. Oh, you mean you had forgotten? How could you forget the gutsiest moment in the history of 110%!  You must remember that he’s white, and he plays with grit. That puts him right up there with Michael Jordan, in the eyes of UNC. Surely, he will have just as much success after college.

Hansbrough will be only the 8th player in the history of UNC basketball to have his jersey retired.  He was just named Sporting News player of the year, thanks to his remarkable accomplishment of only averaging 3 fewer points and 2 fewer rebounds than freshman phenom Michael Beasley of Kansas State.  The logic there is impeccable; after all, Hansbrough almost did as well as the black freshman, and he’s white.  That’s got to say something about how hard he plays the game, and how similar he is to Larry Bird. He deserves awards!

And in the end, even though his stats may not have been the best, his team’s legacy surely helped him secure the trophy. After all, if ESPN has taught fans anything, it’s that there can only be two important teams in every college sport. In basketball, it’s UNC-Duke. And to quote ESPN; “No moment in your life will ever be a meaningful as every minute of every game these two teams play. That’s why we put it on six channels at once.”

In the interest of full journalistic disclosure, I must say here that UNC came to the RAC this year to play Rutgers and I spent the entire game screaming at Hansbrough from the top of the student section. He suffered a concussion in that game, most likely due to my jeers of “Go home whitey.”