At noon on Saturday, NC State will play East Carolina – in a game we were not forced to schedule by the legislature. SFN’s original discussion of Lee Fowler adding this game and grabbing his ankles for Terry Holland yet again is here. Search our archive under “Terry Holland” for much more, if you’re a glutton for punishment.
As we have have said many times, this is ECU’s Super Bowl, every year. This is especially true when the Pirates are favored, and even more so when favored and playing in their favorite place to riot, Carter Finley Stadium. Nine out of ten NC State fans don’t give a rat’s ass about the game, other than a little schadenfreude when the hillbillies go home disappointed. We don’t remember any Wolfpack tears shed when then-AD Jim Valvano cancelled the series and pledged never to renew it. You see, Valavano – like most thinking people – didn’t see the logic in scheduling games that mean the world to your opponent, and nothing to your own institution (other than the significant chance of serious property damage).
This also creates perverse incentives. A quick trip to StubHub finds that State/ECU is the toughest ticket on the Pack’s schedule, with bad seats going for over $100 per, and average ones going for double that. All the good seats have been taken. What does this mean?
Naturally, C-F will be very purple on Saturday. It’s basic economics at work. For your typical NC State fan (especially families with kids) – it’s a game against a C-USA opponent at an undesirable time (especially if you have tix on the sunny side of the stadium). You know that if the Pack is behind, you will have to leave early to avoid the rioting. No matter what, your blood pressure will be elevated by the vulgar, drunken Pirate horde. Sounds great, huh?
Or, you can sell your tickets for a hefty sum and watch the game at home. This allows you to avoid heavy aggravation, recoup some of the costs associated with the LTR process, and save “points” with your spouse for games you will actually enjoy attending.
One of my twin daughters is having an MRI Friday night (migraines, thanks to my genetic material), and the meds might make her a bit goofy for up to 24 hours. I was already thinking about bagging the game, and this made it a no-brainer. So, I drafted a description of the tickets, and had my wife put them on craigslist Tuesday afternoon. She was deluged with e-mails, and the offers escalated to ridiculous levels. I sold them to a guy who had a client desperate to go to the game, for cash and 4 really good tickets to 2 December NC State basketball games (including, ironically, against ECU).
I did not ask him if his client was a State fan or not. I really don’t care – I made the best deal for my family. My three daughters enjoy the basketball games, and I can now take them in style, twice. I also understand that ticket buyers pledging to be State fans will lie, or re-sell the tickets for a profit. For those who sell high for this game and feel guilty, you can (as I did) donate to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund – there are some folks in Texas who could really use the help.
You can call me a “bad fan” – and maybe you’re right. But I feel that I’ve sacrificed plenty for NC State athletics, with very little return on my investment. So this week, I’m cashing out. A half-way intelligent athletic director would see the Purple Tide and realize that these games should not be scheduled. Maybe one day, we’ll have one of those again.