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Chapel Hill in a Gridiron Lockdown

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CHAPEL HILL — Fans waited all year for theUniversity of North Carolina versus Florida State University showdown.The stage was set for a major ACC battle, and rumor has it the UNCfootball team traveled by bus to Kenan Stadium completely focusedon playing, without uttering a word. After losing 20 to 3, they wereprobably quiet on the way home, too.

But earlier in the evening, with tickets in hand and tailgate partiesin full swing, fans worked themselves into a frenzy in Chapel Hill. TarHeel fan David Bumgardner said the talgate parties helped everyone getinto the mood.

Some people, such as Ed Nelson, drove for hundreds of miles in hopes ofbuying a ticket at the last minute. Nelson says he came with just a littlesign proclaiming his need for one ticket.

For those unable to get into Kenan Stadium for the game itself, Franklin Street was the place to be. Fans there lined up for barstools and booths.

After months of waiting and anticipation, the big game came and wentpretty quickly. The rivalry between UNC and FSU goes back a long way, butthis year the coveted prize was a shot at the national championship.

The teams first met on the gridiron in 1983. Florida State leads theseries with seven wins and one tie, but it's the first time both teamshave come into the game ranked in the top five. UNC has never been able toscore more than 18 points a game against the Seminoles.

Elsewhere in the Triangle, helping to keep traffic at a frustratingpace, North Carolina State University and North Carolina Central alsoplayed at home Saturday. On Interstate-40, many fans spent some timehitting the brakes and waiting in traffic.

Those who couldn't get tickets to the FSU-UNC game, still went out tocelebrate and watch the game, and where else would a true Tarheel fan goto watch the gam but Franklin street? Nightspot managers said they werewell stocked with extra food and beverages for the frenzied fans.

While UNC and FSU are rivals on the playing field, some students fromboth schools united for a common cause. The students wore anti-Nikesigns and passed out flyers questioning Nike's labor practices outside thestadium.

Many athletes at both schools are outfitted in Nike apparel.

The protesting students are trying to raise awareness about Nikeapparel and claims that it's made in overseas sweatshops.

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