Show Me My Opponent, 2023-24: North Carolina
The most insane stretch of opposing centers in modern history comes to a close
HELLO! Quick note up top: there’s no GIFs below and this is a little shorter than usual. I have some sort of flu-like symptoms and feel like Certified Garbage so this is what I’ve got. Apologies.
So: there comes a time in everyone’s life when you officially realize you are Old. It happens to everybody! No offense intended.
At the ripe age of 30, I have had my share of Old Moments lately. These range from the innocent, such as realizing that if I tweet about how Kenny Payne is finally letting Matt Doherty come down from the mountaintop, about 10% of my following might vaguely remember the name Matt Doherty. There are the less innocent, such as watching a Thanksgiving Day parade where a TikTok starlet covered “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” by Jet and realizing the song (2003) is as distant from today as Journey’s “Separate Ways” was to 2003.
Then there are the harrowing, such as having a conversation with my little brother, a junior at Tennessee, and finding out that the humble Cookout Tray is now an astonishing $7.39. This is a disaster for our nation’s youth.
When I was in college just a short nine years ago, it became a story on the likes of an international conflict when Cookout’s campus location at Tennessee raised their tray price from $4.39 to $4.59. It would become $4.99 by the time I graduated, but even so, $5ish for a boatload of food was a steal. The real move, if one had a car, was to drive five miles West to a location near West Hills Mall. There, through 2015, the Cookout Tray remained a beautiful $3.99.
For four dollars - FOUR DOLLARS, plus 37 cents in tax - you could get a meal with two sides and a large drink. Was it the highest-quality food ever crafted? Of course not. Was it cheap, fine, and therefore an unfathomable monetary hack? Absolutely. Even seeing this menu sparks a feeling within me of lost times, lost friendships, and extra pounds.
A beautiful image, suspended in time forever. Three dollars poorer every time you buy this now, it is imperative that we do not let the state of North Carolina’s transgressions against the common human slide. Someone must pay. Perhaps a group of players in baby blue that have nothing to do with this silly topic whatsoever.
BELOW THE LINE ($): Also, justice for Matthew Loves Ball. Since when is it a crime to love ball?
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