Daily Archives: January 5, 2010

No smoking in North Carolina? What’s next, no Jack Daniels in Tennessee? And a few words on UNC and Gilbert Arenas

Every once in a while, a story comes along that just kind of stuns you. I’m not talking about the “headless man enters topless bar” kind of shock. Just the kind of story that shows you that the unthinkable can indeed happen.

I lived in North Carolina for three years from 1997-2000, in Wilmington. Loved the city, loved the people, loved the state.

But believe me when I tell you, everybody in that state smoked. I mean, practically everybody. I think babies in North Carolina are born with Marlboro Lights dangling from their lips. Free Zippos are handed out in high school. The state mascot is Joe Camel.

OK, I exaggerate. But not by much. The entire state, from Sir Walter Raleigh to the factories in Winston-Salem (a city that reeks of tobacco), is tied in with tobacco. Smoking is tied in with the state’s DNA.

Which is why I was so surprised to read this story in the state’s best newspaper, The News&Observer, the other day. Apparently the Tar Heel state has finally gotten around to banning smoking in restaurants and bars, and the new law took effect on Jan. 1.

This is great news, of course, since people shouldn’t be forced to breathe in second-hand smoke if they don’t want to. I’m just amazed that in, of all places, North Carolina, a smoking ban actually got passed.

***Man, my sports week keeps getting better. Jets and Duke both win Sunday, and then old Bobby Cremins and his College of Charleston boys stun UNC Monday night, 82-79 in OT. On behalf of all Blue Devils fans, Thank you, Bobby.  Always nice to see UNC get beat.

And I’m glad that such a great coach can get such a signature win in the twilight of his career.

***So let me get this straight, Mr. Gilbert Arenas of the Washington Wizards. You brought firearms into your team’s locker room, pointed them at a teammate (Jarvis Crittendon), then said it was all a “joke” and that you just used bad judgement? And it turns out you owed money over a card game?

Nah, I can’t see why this would be a problem for Arenas’ career. David Stern ought to throw him out of theNBA for this. Period. End of discussion.