|Williams and the Tar Heels bounced back with a win over Virginia Saturday afternoon. (Getty Images)|
By Gary Parrish
The North Carolina Tar Heels cruised Saturday to a 70-52 victory over Virginia that helped put behind them Wednesday's crushing loss to Duke, you know, that loss in which Tyler Zeller missed free throws, scored on his own team and let Austin Rivers bury a jumper at the buzzer.
This win over Virginia was good.
But that loss to Duke was really bad.
It was so bad Roy Williams was asked Saturday how Zeller handled it.
A portion of the coach's answer quickly made its way around Twitter and other social media sites.
"We had a chance to visit and [Zeller] said I was one of the few guys who could make him laugh," Williams said, according to an audio clip provided to CBSSports.com by Inside Carolina's Dijana Kunovac. "I asked him Thursday night when I called him late, I said 'Are you thinking about getting the knives out and slicing your wrist?' He said 'Maybe.' I said, 'Well if you're gonna do that then call me and I'll come do it with you.' I told him my son would want to know it first so he could change the will and get control of everything. He liked that statement, too."
Roy Williams slicing wrist audio
I mean, the man was just joking.
Have we really reached the point where jokes aren't allowed?
All I ever hear are people bemoaning the idea that our sports lack real characters. We say we hate coachspeak then attack those who try not to deliver it, and that seems dumb. So let the record show that I have no issue with Williams' story ... and, yes, I realize suicide is a serious issue.
I've had friends commit suicide.
I've had friends survive suicide attempts.
Guns. Pills. Razors-to-wrists. We all have stories.
Suicide is a very serious and sad thing. I can't imagine what it must be like to reach a point where ending your life seems like a better option than continuing it. But trainwrecks are serious, too. And people have died that way, too. And yet I sat at the KFC Yum! Center last Monday watching Louisville dismantle Connecticut while folks publicly described the Huskies as a "trainwreck," and I don't remember anybody reminding the world that it's not funny to joke about trainwrecks. Because it's just a term we use to make a point. Everybody basically understands this. It's fine.
Raise your hand if you've never joked around and said the words, "Man, I'd rather die than do that."
Raise your hand if you've never shaped your fingers like a gun and pointed them at yourself.
Raise your hand if you've never typed the letters KYS.
My guess is that most reading this have done at least one of those things, and I bet most didn't mean any of it literally. You don't really mean you'd rather die than eat black olives, you wouldn't really put your finger under your chin if it were a loaded gun, and you don't really want a Facebook friend to kill himself. Those are just expressions designed to make points, and that's all Williams was trying to do Saturday. He was just trying to make a point about how devastating that loss to Duke was to he and Zeller and UNC in general, and I thought he made the point rather well.