I have been a fan of Mack Brown for many years, and even though he is no longer the head coach at the University of Texas, I still follow his career. He is currently attempting a comeback at North Carolina. It’s a homecoming for Mack, who was head coach at North Carolina immediately before coming to Texas.
His North Carolina Tarheels are doing well, and contending for a national title. On Saturday, they clashed with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons – a team on a roll, winners of 4 straight games. It was a high-scoring game, and midway through the 3rd quarter, the Demon Deacons opened a commanding 3-touchdown lead, at 45-24.
At that point, the Wake Forest head coach took to the field. Speaking through the referee’s microphone to the live crowd and the TV audience, he declared that the Demon Deacons were so far ahead that Wake Forest had, in fact, won the game. He declared the game over, and demanded, “Stop the scoring.” The Demon Deacons partisans roared their approval. The coach went further, saying that if the game continued, the only way the Tarheels could possibly win would be by cheating, that it was a disgrace, and he wouldn’t allow it. His assistant coach said, “Nobody can overcome a lead like that. Do you think we’re fools?”
But the game continued, despite their efforts to end it prematurely, and sure enough, the Tarheels started scoring touchdown after touchdown, reducing the Demon Deacons’ lead. With each succeeding score, the Demon Deacons fans became more desperate, taking to Twitter and Facebook and screaming “Stop the Steal!” Twitter and Facebook began flagging these messages as disputed and potentially misleading. So the Demon Deacons partisans started shouting from the stands on live TV, “The Mack Brown crime family is trying to steal the game and the media is covering it up!” They shouted this over and over, as if repeating it would make it true.
As the Tarheels caught up and passed the Demon Deacons on the scoreboard, the Demon Deacons partisans, outraged at being censored, all flocked to a new social media platform called Parler, where they could freely exchange facts, rumors, lies, and speculation about the conspiracy that was cheating their beloved head coach and team out of this crucial game. Every official’s call was disputed, and presented as further proof of the crime. Every second they thought the clock should have been running, every second they thought it should have been stopped, every call against their team, every no-call that favored the Tarheels, all added up to proof positive in their minds, that the game was being stolen.
On the field of play, the Tarheels scored 5 unanswered touchdowns to take a 59-45 lead with just 2:09 remaining. The Demon Deacons valiantly tried a comeback, scoring a touchdown and a two-point conversion, and cutting the lead to 59-53 with less than a minute remaining. Everything depended on an onside kick by the Demon Deacons, which everyone knew had almost no chance of succeeding, and sure enough, the Tarheels recovered it to seal the victory.
But the Demon Deacons coaching staff and the university’s board of regents still refuse to admit that the Tarheels won the game. They have protested to the NCAA, and the Demon Deacons partisans are still lighting up Parler with their righteous indignation and blood-curdling threats. College football may be ruined forever, now that the Demon Deacons refuse to ever acknowledge that any other team could possibly beat them, fair and square. But any objective observer can easily tell, the only ones trying to steal this game are the Demon Deacons and their head coach.
I’m amazed that so many Texans have sided with the Demon Deacons. In the Texas where I grew up, Texans could smell bullshit a mile away, and they weren’t buying it, much less trying to sell it to anyone else. I miss those days.