Because National is based in North Carolina, I take it upon myself to offer important insight to you – our valued National family – into what makes this land the Tar Heel State.
My grandfather graduated from the Junior Order Home and did not attend college. However, through mentorship and influence in his life at the orphanage, he developed an allegiance to the University of North Carolina. His love of the University has sparked multiple generations – including every single member of our family – to sport that beautiful baby blue, and his impact on the school is still felt today.
As a child (and today), I eagerly anticipated the start of both basketball and football in Chapel Hill. Our Saturdays were consistent and spectacular. My grandparents picked us up long before game time for our one hour drive east, because (of course) our favorite cheeseburgers and game day attire required a full afternoon on campus. Since then, all major family weekends have centered on a UNC football or basketball game. No matter where we live or what is happening in our lives, when it comes to celebrating our Tar Heels, we know how to turn it blue.
Today is a big day for North Carolinians. We schedule for it. We prepare for it. We wait for it. Today is game day. Today is UNC vs. Duke. Both located in North Carolina, all that separates this storied rivalry is an 8 mile stretch of highway, which we call “Tobacco Road.” The relationship between these two historic universities began with the first matchup on January 4th, 1920. It has continued, with increased intensity, ever since.
I learned early on that tradition brings communities together. Today, the tradition of UNC and Duke will unite individuals from North Carolina and beyond in support of their team and in pursuit of victory. May the best blue win!