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Jeff Gravley

Surgery for Roy: It's not about the team you pull for

Posted September 19, 2012
Updated September 20, 2012

It shouldn't matter what team he coaches or how much you may dislike that team. It's about someone's health. The sudden announcement that Roy Williams had surgery to remove a tumor from his kidney should temporarily erase the lines between North Carolina, Duke and NC State fans.

Reading some of the reaction on Twitter humanized the rivalries. Just to sample a few, Duke assistant coach Steve Wojciechowski wrote, "Duke basketball family wishing UNC Coach Roy Williams a speedy and complete recovery from his surgery."  New South Carolina coach Frank Martin said, "Hey folks Roy Williams has spent his life helping people. It's time to help him, put him in your prayers!!!! We r here 4 u coach." 

But the tweet of the day may go to a web site that is a gathering place for NC State fans. One of the primary reporters for PackPride penned, "Thoughts and prayers are with Roy Williams and his family today. Health is always greater than any rivalry. Keep RW in your thoughts today."

That's right, HEALTH IS ALWAYS GREATER THAN ANY RIVALRY. 

I used that in my 6pm sportscast from Chapel Hill which prompted someone to send me a tweet. "You would credit Packpride during your report...You are a classless homer!" Another e-mailer wrote, "Nice try on your attempt to make Pack Pride seem like they care about Roy Williams."  Well someone at that site cared enough to write it.  

Folks, today wasn't about attempts, perceptions, where you graduated or who you root for. It's about a coach who had the scare of his life. Some got it, some didn't. That's another example of a sad, sad state of fandom.

14 Comments

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  • Hokies94 Sep 20, 8:10 p.m.

    Nice job Jeff. Anyone with a heart should be offering up a prayer for Roy and his family members. We're lucky and fortunate if this hasn't happened to someone in our own family, or to someone that we love. I believe in prayer, and I'm just one of many that have thought about Roy numerous times. I hope that he is on his way to complete health.

  • BattlingBishop 5 Sep 20, 6:36 p.m.

    Best wishes and a speedy recovery to Roy Williams.

  • 4tarheels Sep 20, 2:22 p.m.

    Good to hear that he's out ahead of schedule. You can't keep a good man down.

  • blpack90 Sep 20, 1:25 p.m.

    Best wishes to Coach W for a speedy recovery.

  • gtr Sep 20, 12:04 p.m.

    Really, Jeff? So the two emails you received yesterday are illustrative of the sad, sad state of... View More

    — Posted by forautumn

    +2005 and +2009 and best wishes to Roy.

  • forautumn Sep 20, 11:55 a.m.

    It has to do with hypocrisy. ie The Carolina Way.

    As usual, you don't have a clue. The saga continues for you, lil guy. Don't give up.

  • 903 mens national championships Sep 20, 11:49 a.m.

    Are you talking about pack pride or inside carolina? UNC fans put themselves in this position... View More

    This really isn't about your beloved Duke or IC....I know you have to inject your lame thoughts... View More

    — Posted by forautumn

    It has to do with hypocrisy. ie The Carolina Way.

  • forautumn Sep 20, 11:23 a.m.

    Are you talking about pack pride or inside carolina? UNC fans put themselves in this position... View More

    This really isn't about your beloved Duke or IC....I know you have to inject your lame thoughts about duke into every topic, but it really has nothing to do w/you or duke.

    sorry, lil one.

  • 903 mens national championships Sep 20, 10:55 a.m.

    Really, Jeff? So the two emails you received yesterday are illustrative of the sad, sad state of... View More

    — Posted by forautumn

    Are you talking about pack pride or inside carolina? UNC fans put themselves in this position with the years of accusing Coach K of faking a back injury to take some time off when the talent wasn't as good as it had been in prior years.

  • Got Peart Sep 20, 9:49 a.m.

    Jeff - you knocked that out of the park! Cancer is a rival to all of us. Even if this turns out not to be cancer (and I hope and pray it doesn't) situations like this are what really matter.

    This is one diehard Pack fan and diehard anti-unc fan that wishes nothing but the best for a quick and speedy recovery for Coach Roy. I hope to see him on the sidelines this year.

    He did a lot for Sid when he had his episode, and it's time for STate fans to return the favor (and for the most part, we are).

    Sadly there are some that just can't get past the rivalry. Feel sorry for them.

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