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Heard on the Hill: Bojangles’-Gate Intensifies

People love their fried chicken. This is what HOH has been learning since Friday, when we sent out our One-Minute Recess item on a sleepy Veterans Day, ribbing Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) for wagering Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ’n Biscuits on the outcome of the Michigan State-University of North Carolina basketball game.

So we present a rare HOH letter to the editor, courtesy of the tempest in a grease-stained, wax-lined teapot we created:

Regarding Roll Call’s Nov. 11 Heard on the Hill article “Least. Inspired. Bet. Ever.”:

President Woodrow Wilson said, “The only place in the world that nothing has to be explained to me is the South.” To the Roll Call columnists, y’all’s taste buds and knowledge of the Tar Heel state must be lost in translation to imply: A) that Bojangles’ chicken is not good because it comes from a fast food chain; and allege that B) Bojangles’ is not a North Carolina delicacy; and that because of these two accusations, C) Bojangles’ is a “half-hearted basketball game wager” for a contest between Michigan State and the University of North Carolina. On behalf of the Super Tailgate special, North Carolinians everywhere and in the name of the time-honored act of passing the chicken to your momma at Sunday dinner, I find your conclusions to be false.

Bojangles’ has never tried to compete or market itself as a replacement for granny’s kitchen table or the local “mom-and-pop” restaurant delicacy. Chain restaurant, yes, and fast food, absolutely, but are those negatives? For North Carolinians who love their down-home cookin’, that means constant availability of sweet tea, fried chicken and biscuits in almost every county of the state. If Bojangles’ is sacrificing quality for quantity, then try convincing that to the hundreds of cars lining the drive-thru during every sports season throughout the year. Call it “fast food” if you want, but only because most folks need a quick reminder of what to look forward to after hearing the preacher at church.

Referencing’s definition of “delicacy,” Bojangles’ is both “delightful” and “pleasing” but not a “rarity” (and seriously, thank God for that).

Fair enough, Roll Call, you may be correct that Bojangles’ is not, by full definition, a delicacy of North Carolina. However, we don’t want our sweet tea, fried chicken, biscuits (or Bo-Berry Biscuits) being scarce — ever!

Furthermore, we don’t want discreetness at a time when circumstances dictate the showcase of the No. 1 team in the basketball universe and the flagship university of the UNC system. On the contrary, we need that which is fried to be the representative food force it has been in the great state of North Carolina for almost 35 years.

No, Roll Call, this was no “half-hearted basketball game wager.”

“It was as it was meant to be,” to paraphrase the great American journalist and North Carolinian Charles Kuralt.


Jim Brewer, born and bred a Tar Heel

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