Sports Stories: Giovani Bernard

Story: An American Tale by Adam Lucas/

I’ve tried to minimize the number of UNC-related stories I post, but in all honestly, that’s mostly what I read. So, Tar Heel Tuesdays will have to be a weekly compromise. Sound fair?

When UNC played beat NC State this past weekend, someone decided it was a good idea to rub a little salt in some Wolfpack wounds by playing the infamous Gio Bernard punt return from this past football season during a timeout. And yes, it was a good idea. That video will never get old and that play was definitely one for the UNC football history books.

Ah, sweet sweet vengeance. As a senior, I had seen NC State beat us year after year and wanted that win (mostly to quiet the State fan base). Since I didn’t watch much ACC football before I came to UNC (but who really watches ACC football anyways), I had never seen UNC beat State and man, was that the perfect way to beat them. That was a big play. A huge play. And it couldn’t get any bigger right?

Wrong. In this column, author Adam Lucas writes how Gio was running from more than just NC State defenders, but a heavy dose of history — literally. The column starts with the story of how Giovani’s father, Yven Bernard, arrived in America with nothing, and continues to describe the hardship the Bernard family has had to endure overtime. And somehow, because of the way the universe works, there were some strange, strange coincidences during that punt return.

These are the kinds of stories I love — what happens on the field is big, but the story behind it is even bigger.

If that doesn’t convince you that it’s worth the read, here is what Lucas thinks of it.

Yeah, it’s that good. As good as a last minute punt return against a team that you hadn’t beat in six years.

If you get the time to read it, let me know what you think in the comments! And as always, if you have any sports stories worth sharing, let me know in the comments or tweet at me (@aburrell)!


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