Tuesday, April 3

The Congolese really love their national champion North Carolina Tar Heels!

Congo, AFRICA — As travel correspondent for The Ledger I’ve had the opportunity to travel to many exotic locales. I recently returned from a visit to the Congo in central Africa where their enthusiasm for indoor plumbing and running water, it seems, is only rivaled by their love of the 2007 National Champion North Carolina Tar Heel basketball team!

Everywhere you looked in the tiny, rundown shit-hole villages that dot the low-lying coastal plain, their love of all things powder blue was clearly evident. The place was festooned with blankets and t-shirts and littered with hats, plastic cups and even mini-basketballs.

Now, I don’t want to call the Congolese fair-weather fans, but I seem to recall seeing many huts decorated with the green and yellow of the 2006 champion George Mason Patriots during my visit to the Congo last year at this time. Oh, sure, you see a couple Mason fans every now and then walking with giant jugs on their head or shivering with malaria, but it’s nothing like it was last year.

Speaking of fair weather, if you’re planning a trip to the Congo be sure to leave that Duke sweatshirt at home. Temperatures hit 90-degrees every godforsaken day in central Africa.