That was the difference between Carolina and State on Sunday afternoon, in a 107-56 slaughter. 51. That’s an impressive and memorable number.
Thinking about 51 reminds me of Randy Johnson. The Big Unit. That line of thinking brought me to a moment many of you sports fans may remember over 15 years ago. I thought it was an appropriate representation of the game we witnessed yesterday in Chapel Hill.
I don’t have to explain this, but I will. See kids, UNC is the baseball in this gif, and NC State is that pile of feathers that used to be a bird. 51 will do that to you.
51 got me thinking about other famous 51’s. And truly I think the game on Sunday had all kinds of similarities to the players who wore 51.
Take Ichiro for example. The game tipped off and was over faster than Ichiro went 1st to 3rd in his prime. And the hits just kept coming.
Trevor Hoffman wore 51. The game went downhill for NC State faster than a Trevor Hoffman change-up. The bottom fell out, you could say.
Bernie Williams is another famous 51. The Yankee would’ve been just fine getting back from Chapel Hill Saturday night, I’m told they know how to drive in the snow. Also this 51 has some State fans wishing Gottfried would retire and take up another hobby, like music perhaps.
How about Dick Butkus? Carolina’s defense was meaner than the Bears legend. And the offense was less “Monsters of the Midway” and more The Dunkers of the Dean Dome.
When we think of 51 we remember Sam Mills. He clinched the Panthers first ever win and provided the team with the mantra “Keep Pounding” before he was taken too soon. 51 is the first number retired by the Carolina Panthers.
Keep Pounding is really about the only takeaway you can have from the game on Sunday. There is no deep analysis necessary, no breakdown of film required. 51 tells us that Carolina played as well as it has all season, quite the opposite for NC State. It was disappointing, even to most Tar Heel fans I would imagine, because we all expected a fun game to watch. But despite the disparity in score, it counts for just one win, or one loss, on the schedule. Both teams will continue to Keep Pounding as the grueling ACC schedule continues. And we look forward to the next meeting on February 15th.