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Franklin Street After The Game

Not fun for Duke fans and certainly not good for public health but in one way it wasn’t so bad.

UNC Fans React to National Championship Game
CHAPEL HILL, NC - APRIL 6: University of North Carolina fans celebrate on Franklin Street after the Tar Heels team beat Michigan State in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament Final Four game on April 6, 2009 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Photo by Chris Keane/Getty Images

After the Duke-UNC game Saturday night, and UNC’s win, the students over in Chapel Hill did what they always do: they turned out on Franklin Street to celebrate.

And in the Age of Covid, that turned into a bit of a problem.

Mask-wearing was minimal and obviously social distancing was not a concern. Rushing out on Franklin Street is a time-honored tradition in Chapel Hill. At Duke it’s bonfires; at State it’s Hillsborough Street.

Same principle.

And while we understand and endorse the important ideas behind mask-wearing and social distancing, and obviously we’re not UNC fans and don't enjoy watching their fans rush out to celebrate beating Duke, in one narrow sense we’re okay with it.

And here it is:

For a brief moment, what we’ve all talked about, getting back to normal, happened in Chapel Hill.

We’re not saying it was a good idea and if anyone had asked us, we would have advised against it and not just because it was celebrating a win over Duke.

We’re just saying that after months of quarantine, watching college kids behave in a completely normal way was kind of nice.

Even if it’s UNC.