How many of us longsuffering Wolfpack fans feel like this on rivalry game days lately? Is there any question why? It’s not just because of our last two losses in football to two terrible Tar Heel teams (team that we should have whipped like everyone else did). It’s also because of the previous basketball coach’s 0-6 record against But Hey He IS Roy Williams â€” despite being favored in 4 of those contests.
So even though we’re playing a one-win team today, our rival, which has a horrid rush defense, I’m not confident. Far from it. As I see it, if there was ever a setup for Amato to get thoroughly abused by John “Pink Slip” Bunting, itâ€™s today. Bunting already has the â€œLes Robinsonâ€? one-great-game-vs.-the-rival thing in spades, and heâ€™s not going against the college football equivalent of Dean Smith! Add in the Last Home Game factor and itâ€™s an emotional-win coup. And thatâ€™s before you factor in normal realities such as (1) Amatoâ€™s team has looked absolutely lost on the road this year, (2) Amatoâ€™s team has found ways to lose five straight against teams it could have beaten, and (3) Buntingâ€™s boys have played much better ball in three losing efforts since the hammer was dropped.
I want to be wrong. I hope I’m wrong. But I don’t think I’m wrong. I don’t think there’s a pardon in the skies on yet another rival game execution day.
There’s a reason why almost all the red, white and black car flags you see flying in Raleigh these days have a frigging hockey puck in the center.
“Don’t give up; don’t ever give up” â€” I know. I know! I want to feel that way on Rivalry Saturday above all days. But instead of optimism, repeated results and no don’t-ever-give-up attitude on our sidelines have given me (and many other Wolfpack fans I know) this fatalism.
Results on the field gave it â€” results on the field can take it away. Let the Wolfpack go out and beat the one-win team, as they should. Let them go out and play their hearts out against their arch-rival, as they should. Let them make us proud today, as they should.