The UNC community and the sports world suffered a tremendous loss today. Woody Durham was one of the most iconic voices in radio broadcast history.
A hall of famer, Woody was a 1963 graduate of UNC and spent 40 years calling Tar Heel basketball and football games. Many of his calls still reign supreme as some of the most memorable in sports history. He was the voice that guided Tar Heel fans through 13 Final Fours and multiple national championships. He was also named NSMA's North Carolina Sportscaster of the Year an incredible 13 times.
I reflected today on some of the classic Woody calls. Those that I remember experiencing first hand and those that I was not alive to see but was told about. Calls such as Connor Barth's "Good, gosh, gurdy!" game-winning field goal to defeat No. 3 Miami in 2004. And UNC's 2005 National Championship, which was technically the second National Title in my lifetime, but the first I witnessed with my own eyes. Even the classic "UN-BE-LIEVABLE" call in 1974 when Carolina Basketball scored eight points in 17 seconds to send the game against arch-rival Duke into overtime.
If I didn't think about those, I thought about the countless times I'd go outside to shoot some hoops by myself on my grandma's driveway-turned basketball court and act as Woody, calling my game-winning shot versus Duke or whoever else I chose to play against.
I never had the opportunity to meet Woody, but I felt as if I never needed to. I invited him into my home with each Carolina game like he was a part of my family. He was - and will forever be - an integral part of my growing up to not only be a UNC fan but a sports fan in general. I’ll always remember those thrilling calls, his love for Carolina and the profession which he cared for so much. As Woody said so eloquently: "Go where you go, and do what you do." There will always be something incredibly special about Woody Durham that no one else can top.