The following was locked on the only sports forum for N.C. State fans.
We are supposed to be impressed, after all.
It reminds me of the mood Dmitri Shostakovich tried to evoke in the finale of his Fifth Symphony, a mood the tin-eared socialist music critics of the West completely missed, namely the dictate from the Powers That Be that “Your business is rejoicing! Your business is rejoicing!”
Our business is rejoicing. NC State won a game at the last second in the second round of the NCAA Tournament!!
WPTF spent the next week juxtaposing the tail end of that broadcast with the famous “glass slipper fits” of Wally Ausley when Jimmy V’s squad won one of those games you hear about to which trophies and banners are attached. It was a sad farce, and Wolfpack fans lapped it up. (Naturally, no big to-do was made about Duke and UNC being in the Sweet 16; it was business as usual for them. They expect to be there next year. Everyone else in the basketball world expects it, too.)
But our business is rejoicing. It’s not to say such things as the following:
“Tonight’s game was exactly why I wasn’t all Wull it’s lahk 1983 all over agin!!!! when we beat UConn.
Not to detract from that particular win, because it was a great win. I was shocked we rebounded so well in it, and amazed that a State player finally hit a game-winning shot. But it was one win. I feel for Julius Hodge to go out the way he did tonight, but he did a great job at the end of this season to exorcise so many of his demons. He avenged the Chris Paul nuevo ballhandling incident; he avenged the BS whisper foul against UConn in the tourney his freshman year; and he recovered from his midseason slump that had us thinking he’d hurt his pro prospects by staying his senior year. He acquitted himself well.
But the team’s performance tonight was so typical. While Hodge may have exorcised some demons, Herb Sendek merely held his at bay for what amounts to two straight two-game winning streaks. Fortunately for him, he did so at tournament time, and the current makeup of Wolfpack fans — one half still waiting for the next “improbable” tourney run like 1983; the other half having never known a tournament championship, just happy with any postseason appearance, and darn near ecstatic over any postseason win — threw laurel wreaths. Just one win and folks were throwing themselves prostate in apology for having the audacity to say NC State never should have lost to St. John’s, Miami, Florida State, Virginia, etc. or wound up in an ACC tournament play-in game after finishing 2nd last season.
I’m sure it’s not considered nice to say all this. It’s been nine seasons. We’ve got nothing to show for it. We’re not basement ACC anymore, yes — we’re mid-level, even with the additions of Miami and Virginia Tech. We developed a stifling defense over the past month, true — and we still have an offense that keeps games close and is known to go totally f[rea]king AWOL for tens of minutes. We show sparks of amazing brilliance — and we lose leads as predictably as Velma on “Scooby Doo” loses her glasses. Speaking of predictable, we can count on losses to our closest rivals, even when they’re hit with things that supposedly excuse our losses — injuries to key players (Duke, UNC this year) and the flu (UNC, first game). We can also count on a victory in the ACC quarterfinal game (and the play-in game). And we can count on no change in all of this. One good win erases a host of bad losses — because God bless us, at NC State hope springs eternal.
Thanks for the memories, Julius. Sorry there’s no ring to go with them.”