I received an email last night from a friend promoting the idea that these two “martyrs of sorts” should be honored or at least recognized before our game on Tuesday. At first I chuckled at the idea as it’s fantastic on its face for the most simple reasons. However, to honor these guys would be absolute genius on a deeper, more symbolic front.
Hess and his ridiculous move ejecting these two Wolfpack basketball legends in the house that they helped build requires “us,” Wolfpack Nation, to rise up and take a unified stand against what has obviously become a unified effort by the ACC and its strong-arming foot soldiers dressed in black and white.
If the ACC’s stance is going to be a cursory whiff at abiding by formal protocol without addressing the underlying problem that this epitome event so clearly symbolizes, then we should, without stooping to their unprofessional level, meet them in the middle.
“Googs” and “Fire” are legendary enough in Wolfpack lore that they both carry with them today one syllable nicknames that are immediately recognized not just by NC State fans but by all ACC fans. At least that is, all ACC fans that are old enough to know what made this conference great yesterday despite Swofford and company’s selling out of those same ideals today. As has been previously pointed out in various media outlets of late, this selling out has resulted not in big money gains at the expense of the product but rather in a systematic degradation of the conferences return on investment (dollar to dollar) in BOTH revenue sports at the expense of the product.
So what is a school, an AD, and a fan base to do to support student athletes naively working themselves to extremes in the false hope that they will be provided a fair and balanced field and court on which to play his or her given sport? Take a stand. This Hess disaster provides us a chance to do just that.
Following the lead of the ACC’s horrid play on semantics by using vague rules to justify obvious wrong, we should indeed honor Googs and Fire at the next home game. They are deserving of such notariety if for no other reason their contributions to our basketball heritage fully warrant it. Without looking at their schedules surely both played in victories over UNC. Show their stats. Show clips pregame to pump up the crowd, and more importantly to show our kids, the ones who so tragically are learning about the societal injustice of faviortism, that it is not right and it will not be tolerated. Teach these young people a lesson about life that goes far beyond basketball, conferences, money, public perception, et al. Show them that it is okay to stand up and fight against injustice when all else fails.
Our school should make no mention of Hess or the ACC office or the self-consumed tyrants who run it. Rather, honor these two basketball legends in quiet civil disobedience to the tyranny.
It’s an appropriate response. It unifies the fan base, and it shoes the young people currently spending countless hours to pridefully and respectfully represent our University on the courts and fields of play that our administration recognizes the divide between how we are treated versus our allegedly equal opponents, and more importantly that we will not take it any longer.
Such recognition without voicing disdain for the conference or its lame response to our concerns certainly would not violate any conference rules, and, in light of the conference’s semantically clever defense of Hess’s actions, would be quite fitting. The message would be clear, yet it would no doubt show our players and our staff that we support them and their efforts to fight and one day win what has become an almost tragically insurmountable battle against favoritism.
Do it, Dr. Yow. Do not let this opportunity pass you by.
We support it and will be okay with any fallout that may occur thereafter. However, any such fallout or action by the conference would be further evidence of the problem as such could not otherwise be reasonably justified.
Be subtle, send the message, and let’s move forward in our fight against this nonsense once and for all.
My fear if our administration fails to back our staff and players on this before it gets too stale would be a complete meltdown of systematic apathy which is exactly what the “Blues” have been trying to impose on us.
These two players are from an era of our past led by an amazing man who coined the phrase:
“Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.”
One last message to Dr. Yow and Chancellor Woodson: In the spirit of what makes NC State basketball and this University as a whole great, DON’T GIVE UP.