Blue mob.

I'm not a sports fan, but I do like to study people. And UNC's win provided me with an excellent opportunity to see mob mentality at its finest.

As you may know, people went nuts. Franklin Street was overrun with general chaos and insanity. Here are a few things I saw:

Several fires.
Local news said that people were burning their clothes. I did see a lot of topless men and the police were taking things like newspapers as you entered the area, so it makes logical sense that clothes were the kindle. Many, many adults say they do not see the point of jumping over fires. I'm pretty sure it's only to later say, "I jumped over the fire. Dude, it was awesome."

In trees, on poles, standing on walk signs and some were the aforementioned unclothed gentlemen. I'm sure they got up there to be above the crowd and so everyone would look at them. But why tear the street sign off the pole? If it was to inspire more cheering, it worked. More than one person around me commented that these fellows were going to be electrocuted. I believe they survived.

The downed street sign quickly became a surfboard, with girls climbing on top of it and riding it through the crowd. One girl in white pants kept getting up there and her behavior disintegrated as time went on. She was on the surfboard just trying to balance. Then she was on the surfboard again, pulling up her shirt (poor planning on that white sports bra, by the way.) Then she and other girls were chicken fighting to stay up there, with the girl in the white pants easily winning - she had the most experience, after all. I left before we saw nipples or a bare butt. Her dad must be proud.

Stoic police.
I never saw any police panic or run or do anything besides stand on the steps of the church, take newspapers or sit at the ready on motorcycles. I kept saying things like, "Aren't the police going to make those guys get down?" The answer was no. On our way out, a girl said to a policeman on a motorcycle, "Do you have two shoes? I don't. I just have one." She did indeed just have one shoe. Perhaps her other one was on fire. The policeman made no comment and, as far as I know, did not file a report.

Impromptu dance party.
One guy thought ahead and brought his boom box with him. Placing it on his head, the crowd around him danced to songs like Petey Pablo's "Raise Up." Lyrics: "This one's for North Carolina! C'mon and raise up/ Take your shirt off, twist it 'round yo' hand/Spin it like a helicopter." The people followed the song's instructions.

Guy in a chicken costume.
Why? For attention. But the logic behind the choice of a chicken in particular fails me. UNC's mascot is a ram. It did seem a little like Halloween out there though. Maybe he got confused by the joy and alcohol.

Open drinking.
Speaking of alcohol, I saw several people just walking down the street with open containers. This is not Mardi Gras or New Orleans. This is North Carolina, where we can't drink until noon on Sundays and certainly never in the open. Once again, I saw no immediate police action.

It was an interesting experience overall, one that many people there were probably unable to remember. I'll say that a town coming together like that was pretty cool to see, especially that late at night on a Monday.

Carolina made it through the championship game. I made it through basketball season. Reason to celebrate.

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