Eric Church cancels concert to watch UNC-Duke

This person is reportedly country music’s Eric Church.

This person is reportedly country music’s Eric Church.
Image: Getty Images

Sorry to all the Eric Church fans out there, but I’ve just got to respect the man’s commitment to the game. The country singer canceled a sold-out concert in San Antonio this Saturday so that he could watch North Carolina face Duke in a Final Four game that, if all goes well, is sure to go down in history as a March classic.

Real sports fans (read: the clinically obsessed) get it. Who among us has not pulled out a surreptitious phone at a family wedding to, at the very least, check a score? (I believe my last lapse in judgment involved setting the phone up against my water glass during toasts to livestream a CFP game. Of course, perhaps it was my cousin who truly lapsed in judgment by scheduling a wedding on the night of the CFP.) Who among us has not been late to a dinner or a party because a game went into overtime?

Those who haven’t — well, you’re better than I. And better than Eric, for that matter, who is so dedicated that he is flaking on literally thousands of fans who paid money to see him so that he can watch his beloved Tar Heels face off against Coach K’s Blue Devils in the Final Four. At least he probably has tickets to the game. (Don’t worry, the fans have been refunded and apologized to.)

While many Church fans have understandably been upset at this news, the question on everyone’s mind is why he scheduled a concert on the night of the Final Four to begin with. OK, sure, pretty much no one expected UNC to be in the Final Four, Eric Church apparently included, but still — why take that risk? If he were a real fan…kidding, kidding. Really — no one saw this coming.

Church hails from North Carolina and attended Appalachian State University. In a message to fans through Ticketmaster, he wrote, “As a lifelong Carolina basketball fan, I’ve watched Carolina and Duke battle over the years but to have them matchup in the Final Four for the first time in history of the NCAA Tournament is any sports enthusiast’s dream.”

Again, I’ve just got to respect it. I’m no better. While it’ll be great to be there, a fun alternative would have been to just have the concert and project the livestream of the game onto the video screens in the arena for a concert-watch party combination, although, with Church’s level of commitment, I’m not sure how much concert would have actually happened.

Duke and UNC will face off for the final time this season on Saturday night. In their last matchup, the Tar Heels pulled off an incredible upset at Cameron. With Coach K’s retirement on the line (and Eric Church in the audience), the stakes won’t get much higher than this.

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