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Ol’ Roy Goes For A New Look

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As he rides out the pandemic in Western NC

North Carolina v Notre Dame
Roy Williams, beardless wonder
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

First of all, the new look is a beard. This is a Facebook page but we don't think you have to log in to see it.

And while that was really our main incentive for touching on UNC basketball, because let’s face it, who ever thought of a bearded Ol’ Roy, there’s some interesting stuff in this article.

The problems of a basketball coach, to borrow from Rick in Casablanca, don’t amount to a hill of beans compared to what so many are suffering through, but it does open a window into this very odd hour of our history.

First, we don’t know if it was by accident or design but Williams is safely ensconced in the mountains of North Carolina where he is at much lower risk. If it wasn’t on purpose it was still a good place to be stranded. He’s probably in several vulnerable groups.

And secondly, he’s running things via Zoom, including his season-ending presser (not having to deal with the media face to face is probably something he likes. He’s also using it to communicate with his players.

Imagine if this had happened in 1980. Communication would have mostly been by phone, possibly by letter. It would have been much more difficult to retain awareness, much group cohesion.

Very happily, he says his players and their families are all healthy. He also said this which is worth passing on: “As I was growing up, all of my biggest heroes were my teachers and mentors I’ve had. But now all my heroes are all the healthcare people and providers. I can’t imagine those doctors and nurses going to work everyday, worrying about their own health and how it’s going to affect their families. And yet, they still keep going, so they’re definitely my heroes right now.”

Amen, brother Roy. We hope you stay safe and well and that life gets back to normal sometime soon.