Grantland: “Turned State”

Dave Tompkins, Grantland:

Prior to the Pack turning a 30-foot airball into the most memorable on-court bear-hug hunt of all time and sports, I only knew State through David Thompson. The first player to be certified as “Skywalker,” Thompson acquired a nice Embers song in his name while helping the Wolfpack to a title in 1974. Dunking was prohibited at the time, an injustice to someone with a 44-inch rise. I can’t decide if Thompson should be declared a national basketball treasure for “reluctantly” scoring 73 points in one game or for breaking a backboard on Bill Walton’s head. Sadly, the Skywalker was never the same after the stairs of Studio 54 blew out his knee during a fight with a bouncer in 1984.

In the fall of ’88, I began my freshman year in the red. I attended the wrong Shakespeare class with benchwarmer Brian D’Amico.Chris Corchiani dated my best friend’s ex. Rodney Monroe sat in the back of sociology class. The late Lorenzo Charles would roll up to the student center in a blue Benz so we could clock his alumni status. But I could barely walk to class — after studying the MRI,4 my doctor determined that my knee was held together by angel hair pasta.5 After reconstructive surgery, I awoke in post-op absolutely skying on Dilaudid, watching State lose to Murray State in the first round. I was then demoted down to morphine and watching Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 on a perpetual-motion machine.

Make sure to check out the SFN Forums.

About LRM

Charter member of the Lunatic Fringe and a fan, loyal to a fault.

NCS Basketball NCSU Sports History SFN Stuff

11 Responses to Grantland: “Turned State”

  1. El Scrotcho 02/26/2013 at 4:59 PM #

    Some fun anecdotes, but my brain hurts from trying to follow his writing style.

  2. xphoenix87 02/26/2013 at 5:51 PM #

    Yeah, I usually love Grantland, but this is some wicked terrible writing.

  3. LRM 02/26/2013 at 5:53 PM #

    That’s just the hardly-tolerable Bill Simmons’ self-indulgent Grantland for you.

  4. highstick 02/26/2013 at 6:56 PM #

    Going back to read this in a few minutes…I was playing golf at the Carolina CC in Raleigh the day Corch was getting “hitched that night”. Fire, Ice, and several others were playing golf…some even hitting the ball…

    My father in law griped the whole time, but I thought it was sorta funny!

  5. highstick 02/26/2013 at 8:09 PM #

    Funny…gotta go back through it again, but I see similarities in writing styles…

    Had Guy Owens departed the scene back then? Is there a commonality?

  6. Wufpacker 02/26/2013 at 8:57 PM #

    “With less than two minutes to go, State was down by 13, in need of a pardon from the governor. I received a text.

    Holy shit Dave. Cause a diversion! Grab the ball and run like hell!”

    If only. :D

  7. ADVENTUROO 02/26/2013 at 10:02 PM #

    OK….that was interesting and timely….as I am about finished with Skywalker.

    Also liked the link to the DT song.

    Fast Forward a few years….here is a link to the 1983 Wolfpack Song that WRAL had written….

    Audio is POOR. I have the original Video on VHS, along with the post game celebrations of the ACCT. I also have all he NCAA game and the specials. It took 6 DVD’s dub them. I gave the collection to Coach Lowe his last year.

    Nostalgia….at it’s finest. I THOUGH we might have another song this year….but don’t know. Still optimistic and will be ready to go to Atlanta from our WDW vacation for an April 8 game.

    GO PACK…

    Here is the link to YouTube

  8. Alpha Wolf 02/26/2013 at 10:30 PM #

    To me, the song that will forever be the one linked to the 1983 team is “Hungry Like a Wolf.”

    Sheesh, we must have worn that record out in March of that year.

  9. ADVENTUROO 02/26/2013 at 11:16 PM #

    Alpha…..no doubt about Duran-Duran’s “Hungry”. I also have it on my iPod as part of my WP collection, but the WRAL video and the ballad style always perks me up…

    I guess as you get older, the simpler things will amuse and amaze you.

    Each of us has our own way of remembering and enjoying things from our past.

  10. Alpha Wolf 02/27/2013 at 12:51 AM #

    ‘roo – 100% agreed. I had never heard that song, though, as I was near the fire that they showed in the setup to the piece. We were burning our furniture and handing out beers to any pretty girl who was thirsty. It’s pretty good because it is NC and NC State through and through.

  11. PackHooligan 02/27/2013 at 8:28 AM #

    My thoughts after reading that article:

    Terrible writing.

    What was the point?

    If an NC State alum and Wolfpack fan like myself didn’t enjoy it, I can’t imagine a national audience enjoying it.

Leave a Reply