A View from the Cheap Seats

Perhaps the Gameday crew will mention it in passing Saturday morning. Otherwise, I expect the most coverage The Biggest Game of the Year will garner nationally will be when its score scrolls across the bottom of other games. After all, it’s just a little backyard rivalry that will certainly never matter like the Red Sox-Yankees or Ohio State-Michigan, and it could never possibly register on the scale of Colts-Patriots.

C’mon, let’s be honest: it doesn’t even matter to the ACC race. The undeniable fact is that an overwhelming majority of Americans won’t know this game is even being played and wouldn’t care if they did.

But that’s fine; I understand completely.

Because the truth is, I couldn’t give a rat’s hindquarters what the overwhelming majority of Americans think about this game, and I won’t waste my time arguing its merits as an intense, important rivalry because I couldn’t care less to whom else it’s important.

See, for those of us who were born in little places called Moravian Falls or grew up in Iron Station or Elm City, and for those of us that have lived in Asheville or Wilmington or anywhere in between, and for those of us that draw battle lines depending upon whether real barbeque is Lexington-style or Eastern-style – just so we’re clear: I’m a born and bred Westerner but I can assure you when The Great Pork War breaks out I’m siding with Wilber’s because Eastern-style is the only true pig fit for pickin’ – and especially for those of that have had our classes in Mann or Riddick Hall interrupted by the rumbling by of a passing train, we know precisely what this game means.

It’s so much bigger than any other game ESPN could possibly shove down our throats any given Saturday. Sure, in a few weeks I’ll watch Ohio State play Michigan and Auburn play Alabama, because I’m a fan of college football (particularly SEC football) and I enjoy watching good games. But I have no vestment in which of those teams wins, because I’m a State fan, which invariably means I hate Carolina.

Let me elaborate: I despise Carolina with every last ounce of passion I can muster; actually, I hate the whole principle of Carolina. In fact, it’s probably sinful how much I wholly detest them.

But without Carolina to hate, what’s the point? At the most basic level, that’s really what it’s all about to a State fan, right?

Every hero requires a villain and every rivalry must be fueled off some common ground, so no matter how much we might loathe them, we can’t deny they’re a part of our lives. We’ve sat at the Thanksgiving dinner table with them, in the pew beside them, in the office next to them. We’ve developed lifelong friendships with them and even been in their weddings. And for every one of us that has introduced a friend and quickly annotated it with “He’s a Carolina fan – but he’s still an ok guy,” we’ll be battling Saturday for the coveted opportunity to make that post-game gloating phone call; most likely we’ll get their voicemail, which is actually all that much sweeter, because it’s like an extra turn of the dagger.

And that really is what it’s all about, right? We all know it’s much more fun to make that call than it is to receive it; it’s an unadulterated, blissful moment. And until you’ve either made that call or suffered through it, how can you ever truly understand what this game means?

So ESPN can have Ohio State-Michigan – I could care less who wins that game.

Because I’m a State fan and it really is this simple: Go to hell Carolina!

About LRM

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

'07 Football General

77 Responses to A View from the Cheap Seats

  1. ncsubch2000 11/06/2007 at 2:10 PM #

    Amen, brother.

  2. Mike 11/06/2007 at 2:17 PM #

    My two favorite games to watch on Saturday – State winning and UNX losing. That is a perfect Saturday. My wife asks why I have to watch the UNX game – haven’t I had enough football? She does not understand that it is almost as important to watch that game as it is our game. “But you hate Carolina” – to which my repsonse is “exactly”.

  3. cooldrip 11/06/2007 at 2:18 PM #

    The time is coming when the college football world WILL care about this game, and the outcome WILL have major conference and national implications. The foundation is being laid …

  4. WestCoast 11/06/2007 at 2:39 PM #

    Well said, I’ll have to share this with my wife.

    Finally, after 7 years of marriage my wife understands this rivalry. My son on the other hand has it in his blood. He’s two and proudly says “Carolina Stinks”.

  5. PackMan97 11/06/2007 at 3:21 PM #

    There is nothing worse than a State fan who can’t work up some anger toward Carolina! Sure, dislike Duke if you must, but Carolina is the team we all hate.

    Yin vs Yang
    Red vs Blue
    Engineering vs Liberal Arts
    Conservatives vs Liberals
    Hugh Shelton vs John Edwards
    Engineers vs Lawyers
    Raleigh vs Crapel Hell
    Valvano and Sloan vs Smith
    Thompson vs Jordan
    Yow vs Hatchel
    Weed out courses vs everyone graduates
    Centennial vs Carolina North
    Hillsborough St vs Franklin St

    There is no sitting on the sidelines, it’s winner take all!

  6. noah 11/06/2007 at 4:23 PM #

    The State-UNC football game will take on national meaning right around the time Herb-defenders and Herb-attackers lay down their arms, shake hands and agree to celebrate the present.

    I will see “Girls Gone Wild: Tehran!” before I see NC State-UNC as a nationally-relevant game.

    I also see no reason to insist that these are “two teams on the rise” or whatever the hell else people have claimed over the years. We are (just accept it) a mediocre football program. We’re a few games over .500. We’ve won ten or more games exactly once and have never beaten 10 D1 programs in a season. We haven’t won our conference since 1979.

    But that’s okay. Because UNC’s football program is about as silly as ours. They haven’t won the conference title since 1980. Their recent glory days culminated in beating a medicore WVU team in the Gator Bowl (or was it a mediocre VPI team in the Gator Bowl? I get the two games mixed up).

    This is a game only slightly more interesting than Nevada-UNLV.

    That said…it’s State-Carolina. I want to beat those sumbitches.

  7. VaWolf82 11/06/2007 at 4:27 PM #

    And until you’ve either made that call or suffered through it, how can you ever truly understand what this game means?

    I got one of these after the Dudley Bradley dunk when I was at State. (Of course back then, a FB game didn’t count nearly as much as BB.)

  8. Sam92 11/06/2007 at 4:31 PM #

    and if, like me, your own brother went to UNC, the game takes on a whole different level of meaning.

  9. FrankManor 11/06/2007 at 5:21 PM #

    Imagine for a moment a parallel universe where there’s a Tar Heel Fans Nation webpage and a precisely analogous article is written:

    Why I hate State:

    the end.


    further, one would be well advised to remember that, as hard as it is to fathom, partisans and devotees of another school, wherever in the country it is, follow and love their team with just as much enthusiasm as you or I do.


    “Of course back then, a FB game didn’t count nearly as much as BB.”

    it doesn’t now, and it won’t ever in the future. This is the ACC, where basketball matters, it is our culture, heritage, and birthright. Case, Smith, Bubas. Rosenbluth, Thompson, and Heyman. Football’s fun, but it don’t matter like basketball…it never will for us in NC.

  10. roandaddy 11/06/2007 at 5:26 PM #

    The most nail biting part of the rivalry will be determining who might make it to the Humiliation Bowl on the blue turf.. or in a VERY exciting year.. the tire bowl in Charlotte. This year is the “what if” year.. what if we beat UNX, then win out.. we are going to a bowl.. yeah baby. I am sure they say the same on the other side.
    Basketball reign supreme.. especially now that Herbie is gone.

  11. graywolf 11/06/2007 at 5:27 PM #

    Its middle class, hard working, technical and agricultural students vs blue blood, silver spoon in mouth, look down on you with distaste.

    I know where I stand…………GO TO HELL CAROLINA!!!!!!!

  12. FrankManor 11/06/2007 at 5:30 PM #

    “Its middle class, hard working, technical and agricultural students vs blue blood, silver spoon in mouth, look down on you with distaste.”

    I look down on people with fatuous and untrue stereotypes..hard working? Right on. Whatever floats your boat, tough guy.

    Listen: How much does it cost to go to State? How much does it cost to Carolina? How much does it cost to go to Duke?

    two of those schools cost virtually the same and are affordable for most North Carolinians. The other is for people who couldn’t buy their way into the Ivy League.

    so sad.

  13. MadWolf92 11/06/2007 at 5:36 PM #

    “knows about football” vs. “knows fuck-all about football”

  14. FrankManor 11/06/2007 at 5:42 PM #

    by, “knows about football”, do you mean:

    “won 63 in the series” vs. “won 27 in the series”

  15. Texpack 11/06/2007 at 5:42 PM #

    So this is the equivalent of South Carolina – Clemson in basketball to the rest of the nation. Thankfully, I live in a place with virtually no UNC-CH fans but it doesn’t lessen the desire to win the game one bit. I’ll certainly get a congratulatory call from my WF graduate neighbor if we win. She understands the hatred.

  16. MatSci94 11/06/2007 at 5:43 PM #

    “Hillsborough St vs Franklin St”

    you forgot
    the Bell Tower vs that weird gazebo thing

  17. FrankManor 11/06/2007 at 5:45 PM #

    What do WF grads care who wins the game?

    What WF fans don’t understand is that nobody dislikes them, and yet they feel free to piss on the rest of the ACC as they please, as fans, because they’re not anybody’s rival. Because WF’s everybody’s “second favorite team”, their fans don’t get what it’s like to participate in the back and forth of a rivalry…they just mouth off all the time.


    “this is the equivalent of South Carolina – Clemson in basketball to the rest of the nation”

    this is an excellent analogy.

  18. MadWolf92 11/06/2007 at 5:48 PM #

    *by, “knows about football”, do you mean:

    “won 63 in the series” vs. “won 27 in the series”*

    Carolina fans have won 63 games??

    See, that’s just what I’m talking about.

  19. FrankManor 11/06/2007 at 5:51 PM #

    “Carolina fans have won 63 games??”

    Carolina fans have won just as many games as state fans have, in my historical estimation, but with less shooting.

    However, you said, “knows about football”. That balance of W/L in football is one thing to know about it. How to run a Wing-T is another thing to know about it. The proper way to execute a cut-block like a Jim Grobe coached team is yet another thing to know about FB. How to navigate a parking lot full of drunk, homophobic peckerwoods who are the most asshole fans this side of Maryland is another thing to know about football.

    see, Capitan Epistemology, there are many things to know about football.

  20. MadWolf92 11/06/2007 at 5:56 PM #

    … of which most Carolina fans know fuck-all.

  21. #44 17 24 11/06/2007 at 5:57 PM #

    Over the past few years this game has changed to me, and probably for the worse. I grew up an NC State fan in Chapel Hill, so all my friends were UNC fans. We all grew up in the O’Cain and early Sendek era, and were used to seeing UNC beat up on the Wolfpack in football and in basketball. It was during this time where I started to just purely hate UNC for everything they stood for, because I was made fun of, and even pitied all through those years for being the only State fan around. I guess around high school I got even with the coming of Philip Rivers and Matt Doherty, and of course really let them have it. But then it all changed in college, where about 90% of all those UNC fan friends of mine came to NC State with me. Of course I asked them when the football game came along “So, who you guys ganna root for now huh?” and the answer I got made me sick to my stomach. “Well Im pulling for State of course, but Im still a Tar Heel during basketball season.” It was then the State-UNC football game sort-of changed for me. Now that my past enemies have made the stance that football is second to basketball and that they basically couldnt care-less about the outcome, really sucked almost all the fun out of it for me. There’s no one left to call and no one left to take the call from. Hardly any of them even no that UNC has beaten State the last 3 years, and its sad. this game has almost lost all of it’s flavor, and I probably hold more hatred for Maryland for throwing oranges on our field than I do for UNC now. It has just become another game with the exception of it being #3 on my “imaginary checklist” which I take out when measuring if the past football season was a successful one. I still want to kill them everytime we play them, so please if anybody knows any true UNC fans, (you know, like the ones who claim to know everything about sports, but really have no idea), let me know, so I can give them a call on Saturday.

  22. FrankManor 11/06/2007 at 6:01 PM #

    “… of which most Carolina fans know fuck-all.”

    this coming from you, who have apparently yet to meet our good friend Jack Schitt. Clever retort, bro.

    #44-you’re absolutely right. When you enroll as an undergraduate at a school, you absolutely pull for that school at all times, and in all sports, regardless of who you cheered for as a kid. No questions asked.

    your undergrad school is your allegiance. period. no equivocating.

  23. FrankManor 11/06/2007 at 6:03 PM #

    sorry about that…old keyboard with a bum enter key.

    my point remains. Once you enroll in school somewhere, that is your team in all sports and at all times.

  24. JimValvano 11/06/2007 at 6:07 PM #

    Hi…my name is FrankManor a.k.a. TheEyeCreature

  25. noah 11/06/2007 at 6:11 PM #

    Wow…cheap shot there, Jimmy V.

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