ACC Men’s Basketball Is About to Begin

Practice for the 2013-2014 ACC men’s basketball season is officially allowed to begin tomorrow, Friday, September 27. Though many schools are no longer holding traditional “Midnight Madness” celebrations to welcome the season, the race for the championship is officially on.

Will the players this season compare to those featured in Dan Collins’ The ACC Basketball Book of Fame? Visit Collins’ website and let the discussions begin!

Vote below and let’s see which school gains the most support.

Find a full list of first practices, exhibition games, and “Midnight Madness” celebrations at ACC schools here.

The ACC Basketball Book of Fame is available at blairpub.com and wherever books are sold.

Are you a Blue Devils or Tar Heels fan? Check out the Duke and UNC ebook versions that we made just for you!

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Woody Remembers — and helps the Ronald McDonald House

Most of us know Woody Durham as the former “voice of the Tar Heels,” or even as the author of his new autobiography, Woody Durham: A Tar Heel Voice, cowritten with Adam Lucas. What many of us don’t realize is that Woody is as much a devoted philanthropist as he is a Tar Heel icon.

Woody and his wife Jean have been guiding forces on behalf of The Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill since its inception. The House is a home away from home for families of seriously ill or injured children receiving treatment at area hospitals, providing close access to health care, nourishment, emotional support, and financial relief. Since 1988, the House has supported more than 30,000 families from all 100 North Carolina counties, 39 states, and 21 foreign countries. As co-chair for the organization’s Carolina Kids Classic Golf Tournament for 22 years, Woody raised $3+ million in support of seriously ill children and their families.

Woody RemembersNow Woody and Jean are turning their focus to a new way to support the House. Woody Remembers is a highlight collection of 25 of the most exciting moments in Carolina Football and Basketball history, spanning 40 years. On this CD, new introductions by the Hall of Fame broadcaster are paired with his original broadcasts and player interviews, helping listeners relive each victory.

For the first time on one CD, Woody has compiled some of his favorite moments of Tar Heel sports magic, including:

  • Roy Williams’s teams stomp two Big Ten rivals for national championships
  • Connor Barth kicks it through the uprights to beat #3 ranked Miami
  • Michael Jordan’s game winner secures Coach Dean Smith’s first title
  • Kelvin Bryant racks up an amazing six TDs against ECU
  • Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice dismantles #1 ranked Texas

All proceeds from Woody Remembers benefit the “House with a heart.” You can purchase or download the CD for $14.99 through www.WoodyRemembers.com or at www.cdbaby.com/cd/woodydurham.

On this day in 1974: A March Madness highlight for the history books

So how are your brackets doing? It seems like when I pick the upsets, they don’t happen, and when I pick the favorites, they fall like dominoes. But I digress.

Now that things are heating up in the NCAA tournament, we thought we’d take a moment to look back on a March Madness highlight from 1974. The following is excerpted from Instant Replay: 365 Days of North Carolina Sports Trivia, by Jimmy Tomlin.

March 23, 1974

North Carolina State, led by stars David Thompson and Tommy Burleson, snaps UCLA’s streak of seven consecutive NCAA championships with a thrilling 80-77 double-overtime win over the Bruins in a national semifinal game at the Greensboro Coliseum. The Wolfpack, coached by Norm Sloan, overcomes an 11-point deficit in the second half and a 7-point deficit in the second overtime to defeat John Wooden’s Bruins, led by Bill Walton and Keith Wilkes. Thompson finishes with 28 points and 10 rebounds, while Burleson scores 20 and grabs 14 rebounds. Point guard Monte Towe clinches the win by sinking a pair of free throws with 12 seconds remaining.

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Instant Replay: 365 Days of North Carolina Sports Trivia by Jimmy Tomlin

In Instant Replay, Jimmy Tomlin covers the state’s entire sports landscape—from tennis and track to football and fighting to hockey and horse racing—with anecdotes for every day of the year that transcend mere box scores.

While the book documents the unforgettable exploits of some of the state’s best-known athletes—Michael Jordan, Richard Petty, Catfish Hunter, and Choo-Choo Justice, just to name a few—it also tells the compelling stories of more obscure athletes, such as the high-school baseball player who homered five times in a single game and the slow-pitch softball stud who slugged more than 6,000 homers in his career. Tomlin revisits many of the state’s famous sports moments, like the year the Rose Bowl was played in Durham, but he also includes lesser-known moments, like the time a professional basketball player’s monstrous dunks shattered two backboards in the same game and the day a fisherman caught a record catfish with a Barbie fishing pole. Interspersed throughout the book are interesting sidebars detailing the state’s links to the careers of sports legends like Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and Rocky Marciano.

After reading Instant Replay, even the most diehard North Carolina sports fan will come away with a deeper appreciation for the state’s athletic heritage—and likely learn something new in the process.

All the N.C. sports trivia you could want: “Instant Replay” by Jimmy Tomlin

Here in North Carolina, you either love or hate the Tarheels. But either way, you’re probably going to be watching today’s game against Michigan State on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson. And this event is exactly the kind of thing you would find in Jimmy Tomlin’s Instant Replay: 365 Days of North Carolina Sports Trivia (Bandit Books), just released this month.

Instant Replay covers the state’s entire sports landscape—from tennis and track to football and fighting to hockey and horse racing—with anecdotes for every day of the year that transcend mere box scores.

So if you happened to be so lucky as to get a ticket to today’s game (they aren’t available to the public) and you had this book with you, you’d be able to tell your friends that this day has been important to honorary UNC captain Michael Jordan before–in 1996, to be exact, when Space Jam premiered in Hollywood. The basketball legend starred in the animated motion picture.

While Instant Replay documents the unforgettable exploits of some of the state’s best-known athletes—Michael Jordan, Richard Petty, Catfish Hunter, and Choo-Choo Justice, just to name a few—it also tells the compelling stories of more obscure athletes, such as the high-school baseball player who homered five times in a single game and the slow-pitch softball stud who slugged more than 6,000 homers in his career. Tomlin revisits many of the state’s famous sports moments, like the year the Rose Bowl was played in Durham, but he also includes lesser-known moments, like the time a professional basketball player’s monstrous dunks shattered two backboards in the same game and the day a fisherman caught a record catfish with a Barbie fishing pole. Interspersed throughout the book are interesting sidebars detailing the state’s links to the careers of sports legends like Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and Rocky Marciano.

This book is the perfect gift for any sports fanatic, no matter how he or she feels about the Tarheels.

(For those of who still want more info on the game: You can catch it live on ESPN at 7 p.m. EST and get all the details here.)

Gone fishing? You should be, with Mike Marsh’s Fishing North Carolina

Fishing North Carolina, by Mike Marsh

Thanks to well-known fishing expert Mike Marsh, North Carolinians finally have a definitive guide for the entire state in one handy volume. Fishing North Carolina is the only book that covers the multitude of fishing opportunities in all of the state’s regions: mountains, Piedmont, and coastal plain. Whatever type of fishing you prefer, Fishing North Carolina has something for beginning and advanced fishermen, longtime North Carolinians, newcomers, and tourists alike. This book will tell you where to go, how to get there, what fishing regulations are in effect, the best time to fish, the best way to fish (from boat, dock, or shore), key species at each locale, and the best lures to use. Sixty detailed maps, descriptions of the fishing, and general information about the locations will help you know whether or not to expect snagged lures or an enjoyable fishing experience for the whole family.

Mike will be celebrating the release of Fishing North Carolina in Wilmington, N.C., this weekend. Join him Saturday, February 12, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, located at 850 Inspiration Drive. Pack up your fishing rods and bait; you’ll want to hit the open seas–or lakes, ponds, rivers–after speaking with him.

Don’t miss Lewis Grizzard’s Hometown Reunion

Attention all Lewis Grizzard fans: You don’t want to miss Lewis Grizzard’s Hometown Reunion this weekend in Moreland and Newnan, Georgia.

Join Lewis’s family and fans October 16 and 17 for a grit-cooking contest, a parade, and a re-release of They Tore My Heart Out and Stomped That Sucker Flat. Get the full schedule here.

Lewis Grizzard was an American writer and humorist known for his commentary on the American South. Although he spent his early career as a newspaper sportswriter and editor, he was much better known for his humorous newspaper columns and stand-up comedy. He also published a total of 25 books, including They Tore My Heart Out and Stomped That Sucker Flat, re-released by New South Books.

This memoir, first published in 1982, tells of the early stirrings of Lewis’s wayward heart in the backseat of a ’57 Chevy and the ominous murmurings that led him at age 35 to major surgery and the real answer to his question, “How much is this going to hurt?”  In the process he discovers all the ways a heart can break. Young love. Three marriages.  His father’s death.  And why his entire future suddenly depended on a little pig.  He tells the truth—the whole truth—the kind that has readers laughing through their tears.

Lewis died in 1994 after heart surgery, but his family, neighbors, and fans still celebrate his life. We hope you enjoy the celebration this weekend–leave us a note on Facebook if you’ll be there!

How to Win the Ryder Cup

We’re taking a break from the seriousness of our last post to chat about the Ryder Cup, which kicks off its opening ceremony from Newport, Wales, today.

If you’re a golfer, you’ve got to check out former U.S. team captain Paul Azinger’s detailed description of how the United States won the 2008 Ryder Cup in Cracking the Code: The Winning Ryder Cup Strategy–Make It Work For You, published by Looking Glass Books. Under Paul’s leadership, the U.S. Ryder Cup team ended nearly a decade of European dominance in 2008 by laying aside their individual pursuits for a single week to overcome their underdog status and bring the cup back to America.

Inspired by team-building techniques used by Navy SEALs, Paul Azinger divided the 12-man team into small groups with guidance from corporate team-building specialist and licensed family therapist Ron Braund. He placed golfers together based on their personality types, rather than their golf games. The relationships among teammates created an atmosphere where Phil Mickelson, Stewart Cink, Kenny Perry, and the other U.S. golfers could perform at their highest levels, overcoming their underdog status to bring the cup back to America.

Hear what Paul has to say about his Ryder Cup win in an interview with Golf Magazine. When they asked him if either of this year’s captains should read Cracking the Code, Paul responded:

I don’t think it would hurt. There’s a thin line between winning and losing, razor thin. The important thing to learn from this book is that the relationships trump the assets. It’s learning who these guys are and communicating with them according to their personalities. You don’t say the same thing to everybody and expect them all to react the same way.

Read more at Golf Magazine’s site. You can also find links to more interviews with Paul on our Web site.