Monday, November 20, 2006

Deals with the Devil Never Pay Off. See: John Bunting

We all know, from the days when Robert Johnson supposedly made his deal with Ole Scratch at the Crossroads, that being imbued with underworldly power is a surefire route to earthly success, fame and fortune. Right?

Well, maybe not always. Case in point: John Bunting's career at UNC.

It is obvious that bad consequences are supposed to come after the success. The whole selling of the soul part implies an eternity spent in warmer lattitudes, of course. But even so, legends tell of the eventual downfall in the more corporeal realm.

Poor Bunting never really even got off the ground. No Eruption. Not even a Separate Ways.

So what's my evidence for Bunting's deal with the prince of this world?

1: The team song for UNC's football team the last few years, apparently, has been Hell's Bells. Now nevermind the ridiculous thought of Angus Young half duck walking out onto the stage with a powder blue guitar. Or of Brian Johnson waving a pom-pom. This is a song that they picked. The song did not pick them.

Every third down, the loud speaker begins belting out the opening bell tolls to Hell's Bells (AC/DC Song Template #5). And between the third and fourth quarter, the song is allowed to play through. This gets the UNC crowd excited, which seems to conflict with their image, and I really have no good answer to this.

Lets take a moment to examine some of the lyrics to this piece of classical music:

Won't take no prisoners, won't spare no lives
Nobody's putting up a fight
I got my bell, I'm gonna take you to hell
I'm gonna get ya, Satan get ya
Hell's Bells!

Hell's Bells, Satan's comin to you
Hell's Bells, he's ringing them now
Hell's Bells, the temperature is high
Hell's Bells, across the sky
Hell's Bells, they're takin' you down
Hell's Bells, they're draggin' you down,
Hell's Bells, gonna split the night
Hell's Bells, there's not a cloud in sight, yeah

Now, presumably, the UNC football team and crowd take on the persona of the narrator, with their opponent being addressed by the song. The Stones may have had sympathy for the Devil, but Bunting & Co. seem to be offering active assistance.

2: Dawn Bunting's voodoo rituals have been the stuff of legend since they became public knowledge.

Forgive me for linking to a Barry Saunders column, but it's hard to find a better link right now.

Days before the Sept. 18 game, Dawn Bunting, the wife of UNC head coach John Bunting, was seen escorting a veiled, stooped figure around the empty stadium. The woman was burning sage and making incantations.

The sage ritual was also practiced in St. Louis when Bunting was an assistant coach with the Rams from 1997 to 1999.

All this, and no championships. Not even a Gator Bowl. And now he's lost his dream job. Maybe he just handed his soul over, and forgot to ask for the success part. Tough break.

Now my Carolina friends will be quick to point out that now is not the time for NC State fans to poke fun about football. I would just point out that we're already aware that where Bunting is headed... our football program is already there!

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