North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora said what? Gerry Broome AP
North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora said what? Gerry Broome AP

Tom Talks

Tom Sorensen's off-beat and often biting take on the world of sports

Tom Sorensen

It didn’t take long for a UNC football quote better than ‘the ceiling is the roof’

By Tom Sorensen

Correspondent

September 06, 2017 09:11 AM

UPDATED September 06, 2017 09:24 AM

The best quote of the 2017 football season comes to us from North Carolina coach Larry Fedora, who juggled quarterbacks in Chapel Hill Saturday while California was beating his team 35-30.

After looking at tape, Fedora said: “The things that you saw in the game were the things that happened.”

It sounds like something former Carolina Panthers’ coach John Fox would say. Fox tried to be boring at news conferences, and he succeeded. If he were as successful a coach as he was at being purposely boring, he’d still be coaching Carolina.

Fox, however, is interesting in real life. He’s funny and can tell a story. The nondescript news conferences were an act, and it was as if, by being boring, he amused himself.

Never miss a local story.

Sign up today for a free 30 day free trial of unlimited digital access.

I’ve only spent time around Fedora once, so I don’t know what he’s like in real life. But in his defense, his “The Things that you saw in the game were the things that happened” quote can be interpreted two ways.

The first is that Fedora majored in Coach Speak at Austin College, and he really is boring.

The second is that there is Zen like wisdom in his words. Many of us become trapped in a materialistic life. We collect the extraneous, fill all the space around us with objects and luxuriate in them. We forget who we are. Fedora, however, uncovers a simple yet essential truth. What did Fedora see in the tape? He saw the same things we saw in the game.

His words make you want to meditate, breathe deeply and ask, “Would you pick a starting quarterback?"

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

More from this issue of the Tom Talks newsletter: