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And it didn't take long for the shenanigans to get underway. With former WTVD-11 sportscaster Don Shea serving as emcee and directing the questioning, the gala got underway after an invocation by former N.C. State and Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Evans and opening acknowledgements of participating boosters by former UNC coach Bill Dooley.
Shea, who didn't mind stirring the pot, asked about the potential of instant replay.
On instant replay, we'll start with Coach Amato (laughter):
"We're seven games too late (laughter)," Amato said.
"It's over. It's in the books."
"What are you talking about, do you have a guilty conscience? (laughter) But you know John, they are allowing us retroactively for one year to pick one game to change (laughter)."
"I think it's been long awaited for. We've probably got the best system in place, but anything that can help the game and get the right call, I don't think any team is against that."
On this year's strengths and weaknesses:
"If we can stay healthy. I think the ACC has gotten so good, the only difference between us and the teams that are real, real good right now is, I think our teams - one through 22 - are as good as most teams. When we can get 22 through 85, that's when we don't have to worry about injury.
"The concern for me is our offensive line. We don't have a lot of depth there and we haven't in the last year or so, and we had a lot of injuries that really hurt us. So the offensive line is a concern, and then, the kicking game - people sometimes forget about that. We've got to dominate the kicking game. And, we've got to get him the yardage. I promised our people when I took the job that I would move the football. I just didn't know which way I would move it - frontwards or backwards (laughter). And then my biggest concern is officiating (laughter). ahem. wait, I didn't mean that. Would you strike that off the record, sir? ACC Director of Officiating Tommy [Hunt], I didn't see you there. No, we have the greatest officials in the country."
Stay tuned much more to come.