Things a State fan must not say

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.”

General NCS Basketball

10 Responses to Things a State fan must not say

  1. scott 03/26/2005 at 4:14 AM #

    Yeah, we’re supposed to be thrilled at finally reaching the sweet 16 after 9 years, but this 21-14 record looks like most of the preceeding eight…just enough to get by but well behind those of UNC, Duke & Wake. Only Julius waving off a Herb TO in the last seconds of the UConn game made this season any different. Let’s face it, some coaches like Roy, Pitino, Coach K, Barnes, Tubby, Boeheim, Calhoun, Izzo consistently win wherever they are & with different groups of players. Sendek’s records are very consistent as well…always mediocre. Have Wolfpackers just given up on having a national contender & decided not being on probation, having a winning season, and perhaps squeaking in the NCAA is all we should expect? Are those of us old enough content to simply remember ’74 and ’83? Are the younger State folks satisfied b/c this is all they’ve ever known?

  2. James Lawrence 03/26/2005 at 11:28 AM #

    Great stuff. Couldn’t agree with you more.

    Here’s the thing though and I’d like to see Sendek’s cheer squad respond to this. If Sendek has done such a great job at NC State, if Wolfpack fans like you and I are truly “unrealistic,” then shouldn’t we expect other schools to come calling for Coach this offseason? If they don’t, what does that say about the state of this program nine years into his tenure?

  3. JB34 03/26/2005 at 12:14 PM #

    Scott, I think that you are on to a lot of the problem. The younger generation doesn’t have a clue about what they don’t know…and we’ve added to the problem with administrators that cite being “competitive” and “really good” as their goals in their never ending quest to argue with the fan base.

    It is so very sad.

  4. blpack 03/26/2005 at 2:56 PM #

    It’s an honor to be invited and we just want to be competitive. We don’t necessarily want to win anything. Jim Caple’s on-campus article about State basically said he was told he would have a good time in Raleigh, but we don’t expect to get very far in the Dance.

  5. Bill 03/26/2005 at 4:44 PM #

    You guys are dead on the money – to those ‘Pack fans who have come along in the last 15 years, this Sweet Sixteen business is heady stuff indeed! To the rest of us, it should be more or less routine to make the Sixteen, and “normal” would be playing .500 ball against Duke and Carolina. Sadly, between Fowler (with his apparent personal agenda) and the apologists (Alpha Wolf, I refer to you in particular), we’re stuck with minimally 2-3 more years of the same bs.

  6. Bill 03/26/2005 at 4:51 PM #

    Right again. Not only is no other school interested in Herb’s coaching services, I’m sure American Express hasn’t approached him about a recruiting commercial!

  7. Lumberpack 03/29/2005 at 9:19 AM #

    Is this where you can speak your thoughts without the thought police white washing our once great basketball past in order to build up the current mediocre regime?

  8. Lumberpack 03/29/2005 at 9:21 AM #

    Is this where you can have real thoughts about NCSU basketball rather than the drivel that you are force fed elsewhere?

  9. Jay Collins 05/10/2005 at 3:22 AM #

    My first wolfpack basketball game was in 1964. My dad was a senior at State, after serving his Army duty, and I was 4 years old. That was in the day when there was a freshman game before the regular upper classmen game started. Even that young, I remember the lights going out with only the spotlight on the “S” at center court of that beautifull hardwood with the red lines.

    I grew up with the red & white (I still don’t understand why we have to have black trim now and why the red is NOT State red!)

    I grew up in an era when NC State was very highly regarded nationally, as much, if not more so than UCLA, Kentucky and UNC. In fact, Maryland and Virginia were consistantly national powers as well. Duke was a non-factor.

    Why then did we settle for Herb? And why is he still here? Why are the uniforms a different color? Does anyone in the front office not know what State Red looks like? Why did they let a hog barron move the team out of Reynolds to a concrete bunker out on the highway away from THE campus? How long before Reynolds is a parking deck?

    Bear these things in mind carefully.

    Jay Collins, ’85

  10. pharmacy 06/28/2005 at 7:14 AM #

    What a nice site, been surfing on it for the whole night and day and i neva got bored for a single minute. Keep up your good work and all of the best in everything you do! 🙂

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