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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Roy F***in' Williams

Posted by on Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 11:28 AM

I happened to be listening on the radio to the postgame of UNC's win over N.C. State last night, and when UNC head coach Roy Williams was asked why why his team wasn't doing a good job executing a full-court trap defense (and hence rarely using it), Williams responded that "If I knew the answer to that, we wouldn't still be fuckin' stinkin'."

At first I wasn't sure I'd heard what I knew I'd heard. These press conferences are broadcast live—as Williams knows—and one isn't prepared for profanity.

(I was reminded of the time I saw an owl sitting on a tow-away-zone sign in the University Mall parking lot; just couldn't process it for a moment or two.)

General twittering laughter ensued, and even Williams acknowledged what he had said. He apologized and followed with a lengthy digression on his golf game: the last time he used the f-word in public, he claimed, was when he shot a 22 (yes, a 22) on the final hole of a round of golf. Everyone in the room seemed to be having a whale of a good time at this point, even (especially?) Roy. But he regained his punctilio and finished his press conference with yet another, this time very formal apology for his expletive.

What's great about Roy Williams is that he isn't afraid to be a human being, and his idiosyncrasies are nearly always on full display. After the buttoned-down Dean Smith era, and then the dispiriting interregnums of Bill Guthridge and Matt Doherty, the Roy Williams age seems like a near perfect marriage of good-ol' Tar Heel tradition and devil-may-care ebullience. Given the workmanlike way that Carolina has of dismantling opponents (last night's game was nowhere near as close as its final score; the Wolfpack scored the final 10 points after UNC had quit caring), Williams's postgame soliloquies are freshets of fun.

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