SFN Celebrates New Year with NC State Magazine Feature


This entry will remain posted near the top for a couple of days…so, if you are visiting the site for the first time or if you are a frequent visitor please don’t ignore all of the entries below. For example, VAWolf logged an awesome statistical post that follows this.

We just wanted to take a moment to draw your attention to the newest edition of the NC State Alumni Magazine that hit most homes over the last week. Starting on page 36 and ending on page 45 you will see that the magazine printed a series of articles on the impact of the internet at NC State and on the NC State community. We’d like to thank the NC State Alumni Magazine for the attention and prominence that they applied to StateFansNation in the feature piece.

Please note – If you are NEW to SFN and are here based solely on the Alumni Magazine’s article then login and leave us a comment so that we know that you are here.

As some of you know, this blog is about the 5th version (Web 5.0?) of what started as an email newsletter named “The InfoPack” in the early to mid 1990s. Following the InfoPack we evolved to using “ACCBoards.com” and then around 2000 launched Statefans.com which you now know as PackPride.com.

(Interesting trivia note – Statefans.com was actually launched, in part, as a class project while working on my MBA from Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC-CH. That is right…we got to use UNC’s resources and achieved class credit in support of Statefans/PackPride).

Our original goal at Statefans was to truly build a “Portal to the Pack” where Wolfpackers could have a central source for ALL of the news and conversation that they wanted/needed. We dreamed of having dozens of authors who were responsible for covering all kinds of categories – including what some would call ancillary topics like ‘Centennial Campus’, announcements for alumni events all over the country, ‘Hillsborough Street redevelopment’ and other Raleigh news of interest, news related to individual colleges on campus, and social/greek life at NC State, etc.

But, (a) we couldn’t find enough people to own all of the categories and (b) most fans just wanted to talk sports. We didn’t know it at the time, but Statefans.com: ‘Your Portal to the Pack’ was effectively a blog before blogs existed.

Once we had over 25,000 registered members of our message boards we had no choice but to ‘go commercial with PP. But that left a tremendous void for high quality conversation and editorial content within the NC State online community; so, it was time to go back to our original Statefans roots with the launch of SFN. Luckily, web applications and software had evolved to a point that made what had become known as blogging much easier.

As we turn the page to 2008 with new servers and technical support we are looking forward to wherever our journey takes us and our readers. As some of you know, we kept some statistics last year of our site and the numbers were pretty impressive based on the national attention that the blog received during the Herb Sendek’s departure and Lee Fowler’s attempt to execute something that resembled a coaching search. In 2006 (see relevant entry from mid-2006) we had over 230,000 unique visitors and 12,000,000 hits to the server!

This year, we started keeping statistics on October 20th and the following is what the site produced over the last two months of the year:

340,789 Visits
63,297 Absolute Unique Visitors
921,160 Pageviews

One last note regarding the internet and NC State: If you haven’t checked out the University’s main web site recently then you are missing a treat. After a lot of behind the scenes work, NC State launched a new site this year that is truly first class. It is my understanding that Jason Simon (you may remember his name from formerly working in the Sports Information Department before ‘everyone’s darling’ took over) led the project. Jason deserves a ton of credit and should be owed a huge debt of gratitude by the University.

About StateFans

'StateFansNation' is the shared profile used by any/all of the dozen or so authors that contribute to the blog. You may not always agree with us, but you will have little doubt about where we stand on most issues. Please follow us on Twitter and FaceBook

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28 Responses to SFN Celebrates New Year with NC State Magazine Feature

  1. sf59 01/01/2008 at 10:11 AM #

    a regular walk down memory lane…

  2. gopack968 01/01/2008 at 10:54 AM #

    Great feature highlighting SFN! I also noted LF’s negative commentary about the possible impact of “Web 2.0” on recruiting. As usual, our AD just does not get it.

    The issue is not the negativity in cyberspace, the issue is a university athletic department that is so ham-fisted in its planning and communications that it can’t get out in front of these issues. He apparently missed the fact that Robert Gates, while he was chancellor at UT, participated incognito in online discussions. LF instead would have the world return to 1998, when donors and alumni just gave big money and nobody outside of a small circle had a say or any any idea of what was going on. Those days are gone and he has shown an incapacity to change.

    He also attributes the use of an outside search group for TOB to the intense online scrutiny of the SL search. That is an interesting reading of history to say the least…

  3. RAWFS 01/02/2008 at 8:15 AM #

    Congratulations for some well-deserved attention, Statefans Nation.

    This site has long been a premiere destination for the best unofficial information and conversation out on the Internet and the notice is long overdue, in my opinion anyway. The writers here are top-notch, and many of them meet or exceed the standards that traditional-outlet journalists do, their protestations to the contrary notwithstanding.

    Best of all, SFN tells it like it is, and is not and cannot be controlled by one certain SID. Interestingly enough, I had yet another conversation with yet another television reporter who said that NC State’s media group was the most difficult to work with in the ACC and that they felt like making their job harder was being done intentionally. And then we common fans out in the unwashed masses wonder why the press seems to have it out for NC State…

  4. BoKnowsNCS71 01/02/2008 at 9:18 AM #

    It would make an interesting insightful piece if the NCS media staff was listed along with their credentials and experience. I often wonder how many people are hired becase of who they know, the amount of money their parents donate, being former player or spouse thereof, and other patronistic reasons versus people having press credentials. Just like a coach pulls together the best and brightest to put the best team on the field or court — that same logic would apply to the business of how the Wolfpack image is presented to the public.

  5. StateFans 01/02/2008 at 9:45 AM #

    Thanks for the kind comments.

    If I had a dollar for every time that a member of the ACC media made a comment to me about how horrible our Sports Information Department was then I would be a very rich man.

    But, what do they know? They are only the consumer and our department is the business who controls a monopoly on NC State athletics.

  6. Rick 01/02/2008 at 10:14 AM #

    “And then we common fans out in the unwashed masses wonder why the press seems to have it out for NC State…”

    This is an interesting point. We (by we I mean our SID) are our worst own enemies.

    Far be it from our AD to do something to correct this. It might require actually firing someone (shudder) and hiring someone else to do the job. There are about 4 authors on this sight I think could do a better job than our current SID and that is without any real experience. Of course, a flatulent seal could probably do as good a job as the current SID so it is not that much of a compliment.

  7. PacknSack 01/02/2008 at 10:25 AM #

    The media relations thing goes waaaaayyy back. I was at Technician when Bockleman was the SID and it was the same. After the Valvano situation went down in the late 80s, State’s media relations (on all fronts) took a real adversarial attitude toward the media and it exists today.

  8. StateFans 01/02/2008 at 10:49 AM #

    ^ I can understand that mentality in the late 80s and early 90s. It was merited. But, the local media landscape has shifted significantly over the last decade.

    Also, don’t fool yourself into thinking that the department takes this approach because of any kind of ‘strategy’ and/or plan. This is just the character and the quality of the people who…like so many at NC State…have one of those wonderful ‘jobs for life’ with no accountability.

    It is something that most of us in the real world simply cannot comprehend.

  9. EverettBeez 01/02/2008 at 11:46 AM #

    Did Bockleman replace Seaman as SID? I worked for Seaman and the SID’s office in the early 80’s, and things seemed to go really well. I know the small group of folks I worked with busted our tails to see that the media were well taken care off, and got a good dose of hospitality.

    You all are spot on with the comments of how we treat the media being reflected coverage. When they dislike you, you will never catch a break.

    Congratulations to the site on its coverage, and as I’ve said before, the outstanding job it does. Back in Raleigh-wood over the past weekend, I talked State sports with my buddies, and actually sounded intelligent about it. That was in large part due to what I’ve learned right here. Thanks for that and a hearty well done to all of you all that put in some much time here.

  10. EverettBeez 01/02/2008 at 12:15 PM #

    an addendum – faculty are suppose to have jobs for life (like me, if I get tenure in another 2 yrs). Even some staff should basically get employment for life (think grounds crew or the cleaners). But Administration SHOULD answer to the Trustees, and in State’s set up, the Faculty.

    But folks get in ruts, and they will stay in that rut rather then risk change until it becomes unbearable. Historians/social scientists call it “moral economy”. How long do you jiggle the handle of the toilet, or never let anyone roll down that car window because it won’t go back up rather then fixing them? So, yeah the SID, and whole Case Center, is riddled with folks that need to go, some day, but change is SCARY, and clearly folks think they can live with that for now.

    Another way to look at it is just pure lazy.

    Where is Mike Finn? Can we hire him back? He went to G Tech for awhile – is he in the conference offices now?

  11. old13 01/02/2008 at 2:45 PM #

    With such great fans and independent Pack-related outlets like this one, too bad we can’t celebrate with a new (i.e., competent) AD as well!

  12. Sweet jumper 01/02/2008 at 3:08 PM #

    As I recall, Ed Seaman did a good job as SID in the 70’s and ?early 80’s. It seems that subsequent SIDs did not have the experience/ability of Seaman or demand the respect that Seaman did around the league and in the media. Correct me if I’m wrong. I just can’t recall any SIDs after Seaman with any sort of presence in the media.

  13. Sweet jumper 01/02/2008 at 3:11 PM #

    Great job SFN. Thanks for what you do. The recognition is much deserved.

  14. EverettBeez 01/02/2008 at 3:18 PM #

    Seaman lasted till 84 at least – left maybe in 87?
    Frank Weedon came next didn’t he? What a hoot he was.
    No clue after that.

  15. Sweet jumper 01/02/2008 at 5:43 PM #

    You are right. Weedon also did a great job. After that, not so good.

  16. TopTenPack 01/02/2008 at 6:33 PM #

    Great job StateFans! I account for a least one visit per day.

    When will GoPack.com get a rework and less ads?

  17. gopack968 01/02/2008 at 7:20 PM #

    Frank Weedon is a good family friend and perhaps the greatest NC State fan of all time. His wife Janice is recovering from cancer. After the Miami victory Coach O’Brien sent her a game ball. No fanfare, no fuss, just a class act by a class guy recognizing the contribution the Weedons have made to the university.

  18. EverettBeez 01/02/2008 at 7:43 PM #

    prayers out to Mrs Weedon then.
    He is a hell of a fan, and a funny man, great guy.
    got a funny story about him that I’ll save for a different thread.

  19. redfred2 01/02/2008 at 8:11 PM #

    “(Interesting trivia note – Statefans.com was actually launched, in part, as a class project while working on my MBA from Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC-CH. That is right…we got to use UNC’s resources and achieved class credit in support of Statefans/PackPride).”

    That’s called productivity and making good use of your time. I’ll bet those professors over at the hill didn’t know quite what to make of you guys.

    Did you pass?

    SFN: LOL! Yes. The actual launch of the site was more important than the content of what was on the site.

  20. JeremyH 01/02/2008 at 9:34 PM #

    A place where those that obsess about nc state basketball can get together: very nice. A place where in-depth, articulate analysis of said team takes place: unexpected, and a highly valued bonus. Thank SFN, you had me at HSSS.

  21. vtpackfan 01/02/2008 at 9:39 PM #

    Excerpt from NC State Alumni magazine, Winter 2007, page 41.

    “Fowler says that negative Internet chatter-like the kind that plagued Sendek- can also dimminish the university in the eyes of potential recruits. “That age group wants to know everything they can about the school they’re committed to,” he says, noting parents have said NC States’ chances for recruiting have been hurt by negativity in cyberspace.”

    My question that I plan to write to AD Fowler (with my name, E mail address, and cell phone number) is ” When faced with a potential student athlete recruit who shows so much interest in seeking out information are you ever compelled to return the effort? Would it bother you so much to understand the dynamic of the situation and realize that arming yourself with a recommended list of sites other then GoPack that a recruit or a relative of a recruit could visit that truly represents the Wolfpack environment?”

    I realize it is much easier to say to the parent of the recruit, “yeah, your right. The lunatics here really are nasty people.”

  22. RAWFS 01/02/2008 at 9:44 PM #

    I wouldn’t expect Fowler to say anything else, and neither should you. Fowler is anything but inconsistent. He just wishes that the Internet would go away and that NC State fans would never question him or his coaches. You can always tells how much he knows on the subject when he goes into his specious prattle on “chat rooms” — his word for forums and blogs.

  23. StateFans 01/02/2008 at 11:08 PM #

    Unfortunately for NC State fans, Lee Fowler continues to express his opinion that you are ‘negative’ or a ‘bad fan’ and/or ‘a crazy’ simply by disagreeing with LF no matter what the actual legitimacy of your criticism may be. (Excuse me for believing that a lazy AD who settles for mediocrity and always has an excuse for failure is the true ‘negative’.)

    I actually don’t disagree with Lee Fowler (LF) about there being ‘crazies on the internet’. In fact I couldn’t agree more with him and said so many times when being interviewed for this piece. But, just because there are crazies on the internet doesn’t mean that everyone on the internet is crazy. Unfortunately, LF isn’t smart enough to understand or articulate the difference. Nor does he seem to realize that these people ‘on the internet’ are actual living and breathing humans who exist in the real world.

    Lee Fowler is like a politician who has never held a real job in the private sector; except, Fowler has never held a real job outside of the good old boy network of college athletics. Additionally, because he does nothing but play golf, vacation at his lake house and in the mountains, and play ‘Monday morning quarterback’ (description of LF provided by a current AD at another school) then he doesn’t spend any time learning about things that he doesn’t already know (or thinks he knows).

    If LF had any perspective on the world outside of his little fiefdom or enough brains to think through it — he may one day come to the recognition that EVERY OTHER SCHOOL IN THE COUNTRY also has the ‘challenges’ of the internet. Hmmm, how do they ‘deal’ with this beast of the internet?

    Because of the points mentioned above and because of Fowler’s well chronicled disdain for many Wolfpackers who aren’t in his inner circle (very Sendek-like) he doesn’t want to realize that EVERY FAN BASE has their fair share of crazies. In fact, NC State’s proportion of ‘lunatic fringe’ is SMALLER than many schools (who somehow find a way to perform at a much higher level than us in athletics competition, by the way)

    The difference between LF and all of the competent ADs in America whose intellectual evolution didn’t stop in the 1970s is that every other AD in America is smart enough NOT to (CONTINUOUSLY) call public attention to the small portion of their fan base that are so crazy. Why does Fowler continuously validate and elevate the most random and absurd criticisms that come from idiots on the internet?

    By the nature of his most recent comments, Fowler STILL has not learned his lesson from the damage that he did to our program in the Sendek years. EVERY school has critics. EVERY coach has critics. NOT EVERY AD chooses to publicly ELEVATE the voices of those critics.

    When Sendek was here and getting fairly judged and criticized, Fowler choose to cry and whine about the bad NC State fans and how tough of a job it is at State (in part to excuse away Sendek’s failures) to every member of the local and national media who would listen. The result was that our once awesome job became publicly tainted and diminished in the eyes of the public, the media and the coaching community. He brilliantly followed this up with equally uninspired execution (ie – NO sales effort for recruiting Barnes and Calipari) during the coaching search. (Many of these perspectives are shared by key members of college basketball’s media like Jay Bilas and some high ranking Wolfpackers who were involved with the search process)

    If LF was REALLY concerned about the ‘negative’ impacts of the internet on recruiting – then why wouldn’t he arm himself with all of the criticism and crazy sh*t that the same ‘lunatic fringe’ of our competitors spout on the internet? If you were dumb enough to elevate the Roy Williams, Coach K and Gary Williams critics into legitimacy then you would see just how crazy other fans actually are. But other schools don’t have ADs who legitimize the craziness. Fowler doesn’t get it.

    But ^that would require someone to think proactively and actually do some work. Since when is that something that happens at Case? It is SO MUCH EASIER to always have an excuse and be a victim of circumstances outside of your control so that you can never be held accountable and so that the future always will be better (but never is).

    Unfortunately, NC State fans have to learn a basic rule of business, politics and and life the hard way with LF. You see, when you are ALWAYS a victim of circumstances beyond your control – bad fans (who fill the stadiums), more facilities, bad luck, tough competition in the ACC, doubly tough competition in our back yard against mighty Carolina and Duke, injuries, officials out to get us, media against us, etc – then you can never be held accountable for your performance. But, just WAIT TIL NEXT YEAR! (Ever heard that one?)

    It’s a broken record and the folks at NC State continue to allow it to play. And, they will continue to allow it to play and support the laughs of those who observe our University’s WELL DESERVED ‘job for life’ reputation.

    There is ALWAYS an excuse for the poor victims of the world. Lee Fowler (like some past NC State coaches) breed and share a culture of victimization that carries within little individual accountability, responsibility or consequence for results, or the lack thereof. That is why whiners never become the winners and why NC State will never be anything more than a big group of whiners while Lee Fowler is allowed to continue to collect his paycheck that anyone whose met him knows that he loves so dearly.

  24. packpigskinfan23 01/03/2008 at 2:57 AM #

    ^wow. thats good stuff SFN. Thank you for writing what needs to be wrote, and basically standing up for what is right.

    Lee Fowler is one of those people in this world that I just can NOT understand. At times I have TRIED. Really… I have. He just does not seem to understand reality. He seems he thinks his job is in some dream world where you get to oversee athletics and enjoy sports and that is it. In REALITY his job is more important then that of a franchise’s GM. I wish he would take it seriously, but doubt he ever will until HE is held accountable by the schools administration who seems to have a small high schools mentality to sports programs.

  25. StateFans 01/03/2008 at 9:14 AM #

    Reading the previous comments by packpigskinfan23 beckons for one of the most common business truisms that exists — “You don’t know what you don’t know”

    LF is NOT a business person with strategic or business skills because he has never been exposed to it. It doesn’t even register with him that his role could/should be so much more robust and dynamic or that there may be other ways of executing items that he does realize is his responsibility.

    He ‘grew up’ in ‘Simpleton’ Tennessee and rose through Athletics by being a part of one of the dirtiest basketball coaching staffs in college basketball history (Dana Kirk at Memphis) and then through booster club fund raising.

    How should he know what Jeff Immelt would say about something? or how to run a SWOT analysis? or how to engage a marketing team to do key research ?or whatever modern management practices would call for?

    It is just as much NC State’s fault for settling for such a profile in such a key role and not demanding more from our ‘leaders’.

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