This is an article from the Feb. 9, 2009 issue
NORTH CAROLINA FORWARD
The All-America college fans love to hate is averaging 22.4 points for the No. 5 Tar Heels
Dan Patrick: Sometimes it seems like college athletes can overstay their welcome. Do you ever think of that?
Tyler Hansbrough: I understand where you're coming from. There were some players I used to watch that I got tired of reading about. But I didn't stay in college for the pub. I stayed in college because I like it and enjoy hanging out with my teammates.
DP: What would be the knock on you in the NBA?
TH: Some things defensively, and improving my shot. But a big part of it is me not being tall enough—which I can't change. I can work on my outside game a little bit.
DP: How tall are you? Not program height, because I know they lie about that.
TH: I'm a solid 6'8". On a good day I can be 6'9".
DP: You played with Barack Obama during the campaign. Give me the scouting report. How would you shut him down?
TH: I'd give him a lot of room. He'll sneak by you and get some shots off. Try to keep him outside and let him shoot.
DP: You played him before he took office. Would you treat him differently if you played with him now that he's president?
TH: Yeah, I'd pass him the ball a lot more.
DP: When you run out on the court at Duke or Maryland and you know people don't like you, how do you make that a positive?
TH: I'm used to it. I expect everyone to be out for me. I enjoy it, and I feed off of it. The funny thing is, sometimes they say things that are so stupid it's funny.
DP: What made you laugh out loud?
TH: The basic one is, "You suck!" I never really got that, because we're usually winning. And the one where they say I look like a Muppet makes me laugh.
DP: When they held up the sign that had your cellphone number on it [at Clemson], were you laughing at that?
TH: No, I've had to change my number a lot because I've been getting prank calls.
Pinching Super Pennies
LAST WEEK city officials in Pittsburgh said that because of budget concerns they were considering not throwing a parade for the Steelers if they won the Super Bowl. (On Monday, however, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl announced there would be one after all.) Here are a few other ways to trim Super Bowl--related expenses in these trying times:
• Instead of making it rain at local strip clubs, players and fans just make it drizzle steadily.
• Replace coin toss with rock, paper, scissors. This is no time to be throwing around money.
• Cheaper halftime show: just the E Street Band.
• Forget Disney World. Winners go to Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park Resort in Erie.
• Instead of his choice of Cadillacs, MVP gets '74 Dodge Dart.
• Load postgame confetti cannons with shredded Bernie Madoff documents.
15 Minutes of Wow
THE BIG QUESTION after Sunday's game: Was that the best finish in Super Bowl history? In a word, yes. David Tyree's ball-on-helmet catch at the end of last year's game might have been a more spectacular play, but on the whole this year's fourth quarter was as good as it gets. On the last drive I was standing on the sidelines next to three-time Super Bowl winner Steve Young, who was giving a running commentary. He said that Ben Roethlisberger was "Montana-like." I can't imagine higher praise than that.
Drilling a Receiver
TWO ALLTIME greats had interesting things to say about Terrell Owens last week in Tampa. Joe Montana told me that he wouldn't have put up with Owens's petulance. If Owens complained about not getting balls thrown his way, as he's done with Jeff Garcia and Tony Romo, Montana said, "I would have pulled out the video and said, 'Here's why I don't throw you the ball. You can't catch.' And I would have done it through the media like he did to Garcia." And Jerry Rice said that T.O.'s off-field blowups might keep him out of the Hall of Fame. "He's putting up unbelievable numbers," Rice said, "but I don't know if his image is going to hurt him."
THE FINE PRINT: Former Yankees pitcher David Wells is so furious with Joe Torre's new book, he refuses to use it as a drink coaster.
Go to DANPATRICK.COM for more from Tyler Hansbrough and other recent interviews, and hear live audio of Dan's radio show, 9-noon ET, Mon.-Fri.