Fans Meet the Heels in Kenan Stadium

CHAPEL HILL--Over 1,000 Carolina football fans braved the elements in order to attend "Meet the Heels," a gathering of football players, coaches, and fans from 6:30-8:00 p.m. on Friday evening in Kenan Stadium.

Originally scheduled to take place on the field, the event was moved to the concourse to offer shelter from the rain in the hours leading up to hurricane "Charley's" passing through the area. Despite the inconvenience presented by the weather, players and fans alike appeared to enjoy interacting with each other.

The longest line of the evening stretched back from the quarterbacks table with autograph seekers waiting for a chance to meet senior Tar Heel quarterback Darian Durant, get his autograph and pose for pictures.

"I think it's great [to meet the fans]," Durant said, "especially with the circumstances with the weather. For them to come out and support us is a really great thing."

One of the biggest and brightest smiles of the evening came from senior offensive lineman Jason Brown who dwarfed his fans but took the time to meet each one and crouch down to the level of those tiny fans who waited in line.

"I love it!" said Brown. "It gives us so much motivation to see that we have this support. We really weren't expecting this many people because it's raining. I was happy most of all to see my family.

"My parents came out, my wife, and her sister flew in from California to spend the weekend. My sister-in-law, Shareef, brought the baby, Amber, my brother's daughter. I was carrying around Amber in my arms and people were saying 'Ooh, is that your baby?' I said, 'No, it's my niece, my brother's daughter. Then they remembered Amber from the story. It's beautiful"

At around 7:50 the horn sounded for players to wrap things up with the fans, but Durant remained a short while longer.

And finally, about 8:30, after every single fan who wanted an autograph, a handshake, or a photo got one, Coach John Bunting capped his magic marker after a two-hour session that he genuinely seemed to enjoy with each adoring fan.

"I love our fans," he boldly remarked. "This is something that I learned a long time ago: People that would like to be around you and meet you--that's part of the responsibility in being accountable to the fans that come out here and pay the bucks to come out and watch us play."

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