Today’s entry is a two-parter. One part good. One part disgusting.
Many on the faculty hate it. I’m sure most of the adminstrators are oblivious to it. The folks who don’t follow sports don’t understand it. Our rivals used to shake their head at it. But, today’s date is perhaps the most important date in the history of North Carolina State Univeristy.
We’re going to ask our readers to use this entry to link all of the ‘anniversary articles’ that you find in our comments section so that we can build a single entry as a resource for our archive. We also want to turn your attention to this key fantastic entry in our archives that provides a much deeper education and perspective on the 1983 than you get from most places. Please feel free to continue the conversation that has started in that entry.
We kicked off coverage of 4/4/83 a couple of days ago with this ESPN piece on Ernie Myers. At first I thought that the selection of Ernie Myers as a subject for focuse was more than a little strange. Then I remembered that NC State’s current Sports Information Director is married to Ernie Myers and it all became very clear.
1983 Anniversary ‘Celebration’
Unfortunately, this season’s window to appropriately honor the 1983 Wolfpack has passed and NC State bumbled the opportunity with only the complete ineptness that NC State can. Anyone who attended the (supposed) ‘ceremony’ to honor the 1983 team during this season’s Clemson game left significantly disappointed.
The ‘ceremony’ was nothing short of a joke. A complete embarassment that left even the most unindependent thinking Wolfpack fan scratching their head in bewilderment.
In case you mssed it – The ceremony existed of walking the team on the court and announcing their names. It was literally one step more intimate than honoring the members of our swim team that make Dean’s List. That’s it. About 3 to 4 minutes. Nothing else.
There was NO VIDEO created for the ceremony. In case you live near NC State you will be surprised to learn that it is currently 2008 and most middle schoolers can put together videos in a couple of hours.
There were no special words or moving tribute by anyone. No pictures or video of Jim Valvano. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that it was literally, NOTHING.
In fact, the following names were not acknowledged or even mentioned a single time in conjunction with the 1983 team – Terry Gannon, Dereck Whittenburg, and SIDNEY LOWE. That is right. Because Gannon, Whittenburg and OUR CURRENT HEAD COACH were not standing on he court, the Einsteins who put together this embarassment neglected to announce their names or acknolwedge their presence on the 1983 team.
To fill some time, they piggy-backed a ceremony whereby they gave Lorenzo Charles his jersey. But, this wasn’t the ceremony where his jersey is officially ‘honored’. His jersery will be hung next year. This process actually took more time and attention than did the ceremony for the team. Awesome! (sarcasm) Again…no video of Lorenzo Charles.
The small set of Wolfpackers who suffered through the egg that the program laid in the ACC Tournament actually got to see a FANTASTIC video of the 1983 team at halftime of the Miami game. The conference produced a wodnerful five+ minute piece for the tournament that was EXACTLY what anyone in 2008 would have expected — anyone other than the folks who run things over at one of the supposed top ‘technical schools in America. Riiiiigght.
Additionally, the ACC produced a similar video of Charles that was run at the ACC Legends Brunch the Saturday morning of the semi-finals. (That would be the legends brunch where I saw Wake Forest’s Ron Wellman in attendance but did not see NC State’s Lee Fowler). Hell…if nothing else NC State should have just called the ACC and pushed them to rush production so that our inept and lazy team could just use the conference’s work.
It gets worse.
Apparantly the 1983 team did NOT have tickets for the Clemson game for their ceremony! I am not joking.
The list for complimentary tickets were submitted by Quentin Jackson and the basketball program just a few hours before the game at which time the ticket office discovered that the 1983 team was not sitting behind the bench as was supposed to be the case. Jackson was notified and said that he could not move anyone and told the office just to ‘find them some seats.’ (If you have noticed the crips and the bloods that have been sitting behind our bench over the last couple of years then you probably realize that Jackson would have been taking his life in his hands if he were to dare move his homies from their prime perches behind the bench.)
Although we got no confirmation on the final result, we heard that the 1983 team was ultimately given a row of seats BEHIND THE BAND that are normally kept open since you cannot see over the band. Of course, we can’t imagine how the University &/or the athletics leadership didn’t have some form of a luxury box arranged for this group before hand. But, that is just us. That is just the way you treat customers, clients, and important stakeholders in your universe. Who would ever actually do something nice for the 25th anniversary of some of the most important people in your department’s history?
Evidently, the Athletics Department met for months about this ceremony… what the f*&# they were supposedly meeting about is anyone’s guess considering a homeless person could have orchestrated the execution of 20 people walking onto the court and standing their while the PA announcer read their names.
The Basketball office/Quentin Jackson (we will call him “Q” so that we can fit in with the professional nature of the program) had one responsibility in this process (which was obviously one more responsibility than everyone else) – arrange tickets behind the bench. Of course, this was screwed up in a manner very similar to the Wolfpack’s Basketball Schedule in 2006-2007 when Jackson FORGOT to schedule State’s “Heritage Game” in Reynolds. That’s right. You remember how that game was not a part of the season ticket offer and was not on the original schedule? That is because Jackson, despite being told to schedule it and being given Les Robinson’s telephone number to have The Citadel lined up as our opponent, forgot to follow through and schedule the game.
The folks at NC State will tell you that the marketing office took care of the ceremony in a flawless fashion. What the hell do they think went flawlessly? There was nothing to go wrong! Was it the fact that most of the people got to the arena? The straight line that they walked onto the floor? The amazing way they all stood still for four minutes? The fact the public address announcer got most of their names correct? You know, the names that they didn’t forget to acknowledge?
Unfortunately for those of us who work in the real world and who are a part of the dwindling number of people that actually care – this kind of behavior and work ethic further underscores the inept leadership vaccuum that exists within the walls of our Athletics Department.
Many of these people don’t even think that anything went wrong. Hell, many of them think that the ceremony was ‘flawless’. How can you ever expect to get first rate productions in your $166 million facility when the people running the stuff think that this kind of stuff is great work?
Ultimately, this will be ‘nobody’s fault’ because nobody has ownership of anything over there. Surely you shouldn’t bother Lee Fowler with such details. He’s the AD! He’s not actually ‘responsible’ for anything that happens in his department – especially something this high profile and important to those unimportant ‘lunatic fringe’ fans. He obviously isn’t held accountable for anything. Hell, he’s actually “excellent” if you ask the Chancellor.