“…He was Roy Williams. No warmth could warm, no wintry weather chill him. No wind blew that was bitterer than he. No one stopped him in the street with gladsome looks to say “Ho, there, Coach Williams! Are you full of vigor for William & Mary? No administrators asked him of his student’s classloads. No professors, nor their lofty and scholarly courses, dared to exist around him.”
“…As Roy lay there, his covers pulled to his chin, the din of clanging chains grew nearer and nearer until he saw his guest’s visage. ‘That powder-blue sportcoat! That gigantic nose! Those patented four-corners stalling maneuvers! I know you!’ He cowered in fear. ‘Why, pickle my eggs! Dean Smith!’”
“’Before the night is through,” Dean Smith said, his finger pointing at the clock, ‘ you will be visited by three spectres; these visitors will teach you to shun the path of academic scandal you tread. Remember what has passed between us, Roy! And change your ways before it is too late!’ With that Smith was gone, like a fart in a cyclone.
‘I’ll be ding-danged!’ trembled Roy Williams. ‘Three ghosts!’”
“At the stroke of one, just as Dean Smith had predicted, a spirit drew back Roy Williams’ bed-curtains. ‘I am the Ghost of Christmas Past, the wispy and pale figure spoke. ‘Your past, Roy Williams.’
‘Great! I haven’t seen Greg Ostertag in a few years,’ said Roy. ‘It will be great to see that guy.’
‘Your moral past,’ interrupted the Ghost of Christmas Past.
‘Yeah, okay,’ responded Roy. ‘Maybe we could go to that Rodney Crowell concert I seen in 1989. That was a good one. Shew!’
‘No…it’s..never mind,’ said the ghost.’”
“…The Ghost of Christmas Present’s eyes were crisp and clear and kind.
‘Take hold of my robe!’ he commanded. Roy Williams did as he was told.
Soon the two were soaring over the snow-covered, silent city, clad in mistletoe and holly, children snuggled safely asleep and families awakening the coming Christmas morn. Soon the town would awaken to the revelry of the holiday’s dawning.
‘Are you eating beef jerky?’ asked the Ghost of Christmas Past.
‘Yeah,’ said Roy Williams, licking a finger.
‘Give me that. Where did you even get beef jerky? Are you even paying attention to any of this? What is wrong with you?’”
“The Ghost of Christmas Past transported Roy Williams into a modest but by no means extravagant four bedroom home in a newer subdivision outside Chapel Hill.
‘Do you know this house?’ asked the Ghost. ‘It’s the house of one of your assistants. An underpaid, put-upon employee whose fingers you work to the bone. You treat him poorly, yet he protects damning evidence of corruption in the program for you at all costs! What will you do when you…hey, what are you doing? Get out of there, that’s not yours.’
‘Dang this guy gets a lot of magazines,’ said Roy, going through a stack of mail on the kitchen counter. ‘I’m gonna take this Sport Fishing. I ain’t read it yet.’”
“As the Spirit of Things to Come stood towering over Roy Williams, the ghost neither spoke nor moved, save an outstretched hand and spindly finger pointing at the Wikipedia entry on the laptop sitting on the table before him. The entry on the screen bore the following damning words:
…in 2019 one of the greatest academic scandal of basketball history would be Williams’
ultimate downfall, leading him to an NCAA-wide coaching ban for the remainder of his years.
Roy Williams looked back at the terrifying, shrouded spirit.
“This thing got YouTube?’ asked Roy. ‘Lemme show you this thing where a monkey pees in his own mouth. It’s hi-larious. You gotta see it. You like YouTube? Hold on lemme get back to my email, there’s a link there.’”
“…The sun rose the next morning, Roy Williams sat up in his bed and saw the rays of sunshine peeking through his blinds. The spirits had come, and gone, each, and now it was a new day. As Roy Williams climbed out of bed and got ready to go into work, he smiled to himself in the mirror. He couldn’t remember much of what the ghosts said and he didn’t care. After all, if he’d learned anything from the past seven years at UNC it was that simply not knowing anything was the key to never having to worry about it. ‘God bless us,’ he said to the winner in the mirror. “Everyone.’”