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Whenever my wife shoots down one of my lame-brained ideas (“Hey honey, let’s buy a boat….”) she is fond of telling me that – “Presentation is half the battle.” And she’s right. Nowhere is this more true than in college football. The college game thrives on, and is known for, its pageantry and stagecraft. Legendary programs are known for their rituals as much as their accomplishments on the field. And once those rituals are established, they stay with the perception of the team, no matter what they do on the field.
Consider our cousins in Clemson; They haven’t done much on the field for the past 30 years. Yet you know, that when you go to Death Valley, the players are going to rub the rock, run down the hill and the cheerleaders are going to be spinning that fighting tigers flag that has to be 50 years old. And the television production crews eat it up. How many times have you watched a game at Clemson, see the network feature this opening and then hear the announcer call it – “The Most Exciting Six Seconds In College Football?”
For years, NC State has fallen woefully short in this department. How many different entrance songs have we had? How many times have we heard the wolf-howl turn into a yelp on an old crappy PA system?
Finally, the tide seems to be turning. I’ll be honest, I don’t know who has primary responsibility for building the game day experience at NC State. It may be Debbie Yow’s athletic department. It may be Wolfpack Sports Marketing, or some combination thereof. Whoever gets the credit, has put together a really nice presentation that feels big time.
Consider the following;
We’ve brought back an old school piece of unique tradition – the Wolfpack Helmet-Mobile.
We’re finally embracing the brand of STATE and using it extensively across many platforms of communication.
We now have an opening entrance bit that is uniquely tied to our mascot with the passage from Kipling’s – “The Jungle Book.” And that passage nicely segues into a catchy crowd-pumper of a song, “Welcome to the Jungle,” staying in theme.
Throughout the Carter-Finley concourse, there are all manner of nice looking graphics featuring our players and our logo. The pictures of this year’s team captains by the Murphy Center gate is a particularly nice touch.
Whatever your thoughts on the “Howl Towel” may be, it’s a coordinated effort to have a crowd activity for third down. And it will look GREAT on television.
For the UNC-CH home game, they’ve already printed on the season tickets which sections wear red and which ones wear white for the checkboard effect.
Don’t get me wrong, what happens on the field is our primary concern and after last night’s game, we’ve all got plenty of them. And if you tell me we’ll be playing in the Orange Bowl but have a crappy game day experience, I’d take that deal in a heart beat.
But the pageantry is an important part of the game, and it is so refreshing to see our beloved NC State finally put on a professional production that puts our best foot forward.
This isn’t going to stop some quarters of Wolfpack Nation from complaining. As a breed, Wolfpackers are not typically “joiners” and tend to judge items such as howl towels as “lame.” You can’t please all 58,000 of us sitting in Carter-Finley. But you have to give NC State credit for finally getting its act together on game day.
Now if we can just field an exciting team to go with our exciting game day, we’ll be good to go!