Sacre Bleu – We’re French!

Sometimes a home truth just hits you like a ton of bricks.

Here in the Triangle, State is a distinct third to two other programs. We’re #3, and Fowler’s proud of it. He boasts about our alleged basketball accomplishments even though there’s no real reason to do so – particularly with those elite programs right in the same neighborhood. We go to war with those programs on a regular basis, and haven’t beaten them in years. Yet Sendek defenders constantly suggest we are among the nation’s elite – five NCAAs and the rest of that balderdash masquerading near-perfect mediocrity.

And now, with the clarity of thought caused by the end of yet another Barmecide feast of a season under Herb Sendek, it finally hit me. North Carolina State University is … France, at least with respect to the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Why is this?

Think of the Triangle as Continental Europe. There’s England, the traditional world power and ruler of the basketball scene – obviously, UNC. Then there’s the relatively new behemoth, the tower of strength that arose under the leadership of a malevolent leader – Duke, naturally, as Germany.

Then there’s France/NC State. The perennial third place power: sometimes capable of making a run at European greatness, but always, eventually, sinking back into confusion, squabbling, and also-ran status.

Also, when the French go into battle with either England or Germany they usually get their heads handed to them despite much a priori boasting. The French then spend a certain amount of time sulking about their latest shellacking before gearing up for another inevitable beating. Sound familiar? 8-38, mon Dieu!

That’s NC State basketball in a nutshell: A great tradition squandered, coupled with a refusal to recognize that it was squandered. Lee Fowler, our Jacque Chirac, mouths off constantly about the alleged “Top 15� and “Top 25� status of a program that generally gets whipped like a pizened dog when it takes on truly elite programs – Duke, UNC, and yesterday Texas. We’re elite only in Lee’s own mind, much like Jacque Chirac pretending France is still an international contender instead of a colony for Mickey Mouse.

Like the French, we boast of expected victory over our rivals. Like the French, we always seem to suffer a humiliating defeat by those rivals every time we actually have to prove our boasting. But hey, we are better then Clemson basketball, much like France is stronger than Belgium. As if either fact really matters.

And one other thing: Like the French military under Charles Martel and Napoleon, our basketball program once knew true greatness. The question is whether, unlike the French, we have the willpower and fortitude to insist on greatness again.

Qu’est-ce-que-vous dites, Monsieur Fowler?


25 Responses to Sacre Bleu – We’re French!

  1. BJD95 03/20/2006 at 5:53 PM #

    This is the funniest damned thing I’ve read in weeks. Although when you originally define Duke, you forgot an explicit reference to Germany.

  2. newswolf 03/20/2006 at 6:00 PM #

    I have always thought Lee Fowler would play a good neville chamberlain

  3. Sam '92 03/20/2006 at 6:10 PM #

    That piece is so right on. In so many ways.

  4. Fish 03/20/2006 at 6:52 PM #

    You guys have any suggestions as to where I can migrate to. I surely do not want to go to England and Germany. Who represents the New World or colonies?

  5. Jeff 03/20/2006 at 6:59 PM #

    I have always thought Lee Fowler would play a good neville chamberlain

    That is so scary in so many ways

    “I prayed that the responsibility might not fall upon me….”
    Neville Chamberlain


  6. Old13 03/20/2006 at 7:06 PM #


  7. 1983 03/20/2006 at 7:20 PM #

    This might be more accurate:

    Kentucky: U.K.
    Duke: the US of A
    UNC: France
    NC State: Poland
    Wake Forest: Belgium
    Maryland: Afghanistan

  8. Cardiac95 03/20/2006 at 7:23 PM #

    “Let them eat cake…”

  9. Jeff Cope 03/20/2006 at 10:01 PM #

    The article is even funnier when you consider the meaning of the term “Lucky Pierre,” which is shown on the poster-image on the article (this can’t be on accident):

    lucky pierre — noun. 1940s. 1. the man in a sexual threesome of two women and one man. 2. (gay) the middle man in a “sandwich” of three sexually entwined men. (? — the punchline of a joke) From “Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang” by Jonathon Green (Wellington House, London, 1998).

  10. VaWolf82 03/20/2006 at 10:01 PM #

    You know what they say….

    Going to war without France on your side is like going deer hunting without your bagpipes.

    Sometimes you need addition by subtraction.

  11. lumberpack 03/20/2006 at 10:10 PM #

    the people in charge at state – est maird les tetes

  12. coppertop 03/21/2006 at 12:16 AM #

    awesome, we can’t surrender fast enough when it comes to playing england/germany…
    just like in real life! 🙂

  13. TDUB 03/21/2006 at 1:32 AM #

    -8-38 v. Duke and UNC (worse than any other NCSU coach, even Les)
    -Only once higher than a 7 seed
    -Only one Sweet 16
    -No championships of any kind
    -10 or more losses every year
    -13-61 against the RPI top 25 (8-26 over the last five “great” years)
    -Out of the 17 coaches in ACC history who coached a decade or more, only Herb Sendek and Bill Gibson did not win an ACC regular season or tournament championship or advance to the Elite 8

  14. class of '74 03/21/2006 at 6:21 AM #

    If we are the french does that make the HSSS’ers the Vichy collaborators?

  15. VTPACKFAN 03/21/2006 at 7:30 AM #

    “de Gaul fans nation” ?

  16. Cardiff Giant 03/21/2006 at 7:31 AM #

    ^ yes.

    “The article is even funnier when you consider the meaning of the term “Lucky Pierre,â€? which is shown on the poster-image on the article (this can’t be on accident)”

    Nope, it isn’t and good catch on your part. I was wondering when someone would pick that up. 🙂

  17. class of '74 03/21/2006 at 8:05 AM #

    I don’t know which is funnier the article which is fabulous or the thought of Lee as Neville. Great job.

  18. ushum 03/21/2006 at 8:06 AM #

    anyone see where the dbr is calling this site “cheap” and has their panties in a wad because you “compared the K’s to Nazi’s”…

    then they let off if you can’t go to college go to State blast…

  19. ushum 03/21/2006 at 8:07 AM #

    you must have offended the “high and mighty”…

  20. BJD95 03/21/2006 at 9:16 AM #

    Good, let DBR slam us and build some more traffic for the site. We can self-deprecatingly call ourselves FRANCE, yet the Dukies found a way to get their collective panties in a wad? Good Lord, buy a sense of humor somewhere.

  21. Rick 03/21/2006 at 9:20 AM #

    Another parallel I did not see was that we have prettty much surrendered. Our team pulled a France and gave up this year.

  22. class of '74 03/22/2006 at 6:15 AM #

    Was Lucky Pierre the originator of the two on one fast break?

  23. Alpha Wolf 03/22/2006 at 10:54 AM #

    At least our women are hot and sex is always on their minds.

    Surrendering has its benefits. 🙂

  24. maverick 03/24/2006 at 11:08 AM #

    hello, i, wanted herb s head four three yrs will someone please here the cry. the team is beter than he shows us up as.

  25. Primewolf 04/09/2007 at 9:47 PM #

    Well, at least someone knows their history.

    Well done, SFN.

    However, you forgot to mention the Maginot Line, which was simply bypassed by the Germans (Dukies) as they overran France.

    The constructors of our Maginot Line were State’s own administration. Almost 20 years later, maybe we can cut the head off of that ratface on the other side of the Forest.

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