Saturday’s Inevitable Purple Tide

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.

About BJD95

1995 NC State graduate, sufferer of Les and MOC during my entire student tenure. An equal-opportunity objective critic and analyst of Wolfpack sports.

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79 Responses to Saturday’s Inevitable Purple Tide

  1. RickJ 09/18/2008 at 2:06 PM #

    For State fans that like this game, the news is good as we will play ECTC again in Raleigh next year and in Greenville the year after. For those of us that don’t like it and think it is stupid, we will just have to suffer through.

  2. JayVee 09/18/2008 at 2:11 PM #

    I would like to see us play South Carolina (who used to be in the ACC) every year. I went down to the game and besides Wilson getting hurt and our loss, it was a good environment with a fun tailgating atmosphere. On the other hand “EZU” is a bunch of overly intoxicated wanna-be big time football fans who are trashy and don’t show respect in winning or losing. For those of you thinking that ECU fans behave, try sitting with the students…

  3. choppack1 09/18/2008 at 2:38 PM #

    “The point I was trying to make is this: it is a fact that ECU is now recruiting players we would like to have. I don’t know that we can attract these players if we do not play–and in the future defeat–the Pirates. I don’t believe anything is gained by shunning them.
    As national media darlings, they already HAVE creds.”

    Huh?? The only way we can recruit the type of kids ECU gets is to play them? Geez, can you be more misinformed? I hope that this is a joke.

    I can understand the argument of playing ECU because you’re from eastern NC. I can understand of enjoying the packed house and intensity that it brings.

    However, from a strategic perspective, it’s not a smart move to have them on your schedule on a regular basis…Simply put, this game helps ECU much more than it helps State. An ECU win – even in bad years – allows them to more effectively recruit the area. An NC State win – well, this year it would bring some pub, but that’s certainly the exception more than the rule. (If you need proof simply look at how our win registered last year.)

    In interpersonal terms, this is not a reciprocal relationship. Given that indisputable fact, there’s no reason we should we should be playing 2 games in Greenville in 4 years. I can even see playing the occasional game in Charlotte or maybe once out of 5 times playing it in Greenville..but this game can only hurt NC State.

  4. adchappe 09/18/2008 at 2:42 PM #

    I love NC State, and my LTR’s are in Section 18 row GG. That being said, I disagree with this post. I think it’s great that we schedule ECU from time to time. It’s a great NC rivalry that should honestly be a David/Goliath matchup where we beat them to a bloody pulp on a regular basis to remind them of their place in this world as a “directional school” and that they don’t deserve to be in a BCS conference. Now, that all assumes that our AD and football program are worth a crap, and that our football team is half as good as it should be…as the State school in a BCS conference.

    Fact is, ECU is probably gonna come into our house on Saturday and put their boot in our throat b/c their football team is good, and ours is absolutely ridiculously disappointing. I believe that in a few years we’ll be alright…but regarding the here and now…we’re pretty screwed. So my advice to other Wolfpack fans is to get ready to grab your ankles and get ready for the raping that’s going to occur on Saturday, and pretty much every other game from here on out…because between injuries, lack of depth, and overall suckiness…we’ve got absolutely NOTHING on offense whatsoever.

  5. happypackdad 09/18/2008 at 2:48 PM #

    Let’s just make sure to schedule them when TOB gets the ship turned around & we can spank that ars.

  6. ruffles31 09/18/2008 at 2:54 PM #

    BJD- Hope everything goes well for your daughter.

    As far as playing ECU, we have absolutely nothing to gain be playing them. If we win, we should win. If we lose, it is a bad loss, even this year.

    Don’t know if you all have heard, but Uncle Jed Fowler has just given ECU some bulletin board material, not that I don’t disagree with this statement:

    “I think, truthfully, we expect to beat East Carolina on a year-in year-out basis,” said Fowler. “To us, it wouldn’t be that big an upset. ”

    Can he please shut his Cougar talking mouth up?

  7. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 09/18/2008 at 3:00 PM #

    I’ve never been opposed to playing ECU in football, basketball a different story. For those that can’t think of a reason for State to ever play ECU I would say playing the #15 school in the country is good reason. I would even argue that since 1975 ECU football program has been as consistent as any in the North Carolina.

    I would rather take off the William and Mary’s of the world leave ECU and add another school. I do understand though that schools in BCS conferences need to play the smaller schools for those schools revenue purposes and the ability to get players to come.

    No reason to tell a young man that because he can’t get into an ACC school you will spend the next four years playing only small-time football games.

  8. choppack1 09/18/2008 at 3:03 PM #

    Geez – thanks Lee…Chancellor statusquOblinger – if you’re watching, Lee has just once again made life tougher for his coaches and has just once again made his employer look bad…But what do you care?

  9. Otis 09/18/2008 at 3:08 PM #

    I like having this game. I grew up in Greenville, and attend State. It is a great chance for the fans from both schools to get together. I have many relatives that went to ECU including my mother, it has always been a lot of fun for us, and I know that there are hundreds of other fans that feel the same way. We might not gain anything on the recruiting tip form a game like this. But for many of the fans from the eastern part of the state this is a real enjoyable game to have here, there or neutral site. There maybe an own the field advantage of having a game like this. No matter what, we always get ECUs best shot. The difference in getting ranked and staying ranked is being able to survive when you get everyone’s best shot, we have to be able to win games like this week in and week out if we are ever to stay where we think Wolfpack football should be. Having another rivalry game on your schedule will pay benefits when we do get it together (as I am sure TO’B while have us in a few years). The more big game atmosphere our boys get the better they will be able to handle it when it counts most. And if we have to play our country relatives (ECU & App State) to avoid the stuck up image that UNX has then so be it.

  10. Rick 09/18/2008 at 3:22 PM #

    “I like having this game. I grew up in Greenville, and attend State. It is a great chance for the fans from both schools to get together.” and listen to the drunken rantings about how great hte Pie-rats are.

    My sister and brother in law are not fit to be around right now.

  11. Greywolf 09/18/2008 at 3:44 PM #

    BJD, Best wishes for your daughter and you and your wife. I’d pray for her except I don’t have very good connections there.

    Sep 18th, 2008 at 11:12 am
    “Until the good-ol’-boys are rooted out from the BOT and administration, and competent managers installed, there is no hope for NCSU athletics IMHO. Under a competent administration/BOT, Foulup wouldn’t even be an issue (or an employee of NCSU!)”

    Which of these “good-ol’-boys” did you have in mind and who do you have in mind to replace them?:

    D. McQueen Campbell, III, Raleigh, NC (Chair)
    Commercial Real Estate Broker, Campbell Property Group, Inc. Commercial Real Estate Broker, Campbell Property Group, Inc. Member of the NC State College of Management Dean’s Advisory Committee and Entrepreneurship Education Initiative Program Advisory Committee, Chair of the Golf Course Campaign Committee, and member of the Achieve! Campaign Steering Committee. B.A. in Accounting in 1993 from NC State.

    Derick Close, Charlotte, NC
    President and CEO of Creative Products Group, Springs Industries of Rock Hill, SC. Member and past President of the North Carolina Textile Foundation. Member of the Achieve! Campaign Steering Committee and the UNC Board of Governors (1993 -1997). Chair of the Goal Line Drive Campaign. B.S. in Textile Management in 1982 from NC State and an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    S. Lawrence Davenport, Pactolus, NC
    President of J.P. Davenport and Son, Inc. Founding and current member of the Board of Visitors and recipient of the Watauga Medal. Member of the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors. B.S. in Agronomy from NC State in 1965.

    [Suzanne Gordon,] Cary, NC (Second Vice Chair)
    CIO and Vice President of Information Technology, SAS. 1999
    Distinguished Alumna of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. Former member of the College of Management Advisory Board and the Alumni Association Board of Directors. B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics in 1975, M.S. in Statistics in 1980 from NC State.

    Bob B. Jordan, Mount Gilead, NC (First Vice Chair)
    President of Jordan Lumber and Supply, Inc. Served as Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina (1984-88), State Senator (1976-84) and member of the UNC Board of Governors (1961-76). Currently member of the Achieve! Campaign Executive and Steering Committees. B.S. Degree in Wood Sciences and Technology from NC State.

    [Gayle S. Lanier,] Raleigh, NC
    Vice President and General Manager of Knowledge Services for Nortel Networks. Former Vice President of Global Corporate Operations and current director for the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology and Science. Member of the NC Technology Association (NTCA) Executive Board, the NC/RTP INROADS Board and the NC State Computer Science Industrial Advisory Council. B.S. in Industrial Engineering in 1982 from NC State.

    [Barbara Mulkey,] Raleigh, NC
    President and CEO of Mulkey Engineers & Consultants. Member of the NC State Engineering Foundation. Former President and current National Director of the Board of Directors for the American Council of Engineering Companies of North Carolina. Vice Chair of the Board of Visitors. B.S. and master’s degrees in Civil Engineering from NC State.

    John Sall, Cary, NC
    Co-founder and Executive Vice President of SAS Institute. Fellow of the American Statistical Association. Board Member of the NCSU Physical and Mathematical Sciences Foundation, Campaign Steering Committee, Nature Conservancy, Cary Academy, Advisory Commission for NC Museum of Natural Sciences. B.A. in History from Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin and master’s degree in Economics from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. Honorary doctorate from NC State in 2003.

    and others….

  12. RAWFS 09/18/2008 at 3:45 PM #

    I think in a lot of respects, we treat ECU like UNC treats us. We do tend to stick our noses up at them, and treat their fans like they are lunatics, and return they love to stick it to us. Sound familiar?

    Playing ECU has turned into a decent non-conference game, and I would rather go and see a game like that one 100x more than say, Bill & Mary. That said, I am not going to the game and am playing in my Club Championship instead. 10am tee time. Y’all have fun and I hope I am kicking myself for not going late Saturday afternoon.

    Why? Because it is annoying to listen to Pie Rat Fan’s mouth. Sure, there are lots of reasonable ECU fans, and probably they constitute a majority. But then again, there are those who gang up in groups of 6-10 and walk through the alumni lots to talk trash. It’s happened to us the last 2-3 times they came to CFS.

    I was also there in what, 87 (years are going by quick) when they stormed the field, tore down the goalposts and rioted inside and outside the stadium. On the way out, I saw some ECU fans attack a mounted officer’s horse by grabbing its bridle and trying to pull it to the ground. That’s not celebrating, that’s not bragging, that’s just being a hooligan that deserves the business end of an officer’s nightstick up side the head.

    Hell, when we’ve beaten #1 UNC teams in basketball, we’ve stormed the floor, we’ve taken over Hillsborough, we’ve even toilet-papered every tree from the Chancellor’s House to Crazy Zacks — but we’ve NEVER attacked police officers, animals, or other folks stadiums.

    Call me small-minded if you like, but I have never forgiven them for that. And I think that Valvano was right to cancel the series back then and I think it took some real pussy-foots to whine to the legislature to force NC State to play ECU.

  13. RegularExpression 09/18/2008 at 3:46 PM #

    It was mentioned that selling tickets will send a message to the administration about fans not accepting a mediocre product. No, this administration will see a sold out stadium regardless of who the fans are rooting for and think this game is a great success.

    I do agree with those who think this game is a good idea, but not on an every year basis. I think we tend to over analyze things as fans – this game hurts us in recruiting, bad for our image, etc. Let’s face it, if our program is on such shaky ground that it can’t withstand a game against mighty ECU every 3-4 years we have serious problems that avoiding ECU won’t cure. As a fan, I look forward to this game because of the atmosphere and that’s why I don’t mind playing it. Hopefully the players feel the same way.

    And finally, imagine this – ECU scores late in the 4th to take a 24-21 lead. We take over on offense at our 20 and RW leads a 80 yard march with Andre Brown stiff arming his way into the endzone with 10 seconds left. As fans, if you can imagine that scenario and the shock on the faces of the Pirate fans leaving the stadium and still think the game isn’t worth playing, then we will have to agree to disagree.

  14. Greywolf 09/18/2008 at 4:01 PM #

    Par Shooter
    Sep 18th, 2008 at 1:09 pm
    “We had this happen at the game a couple of years ago. My buddie brought his young son and we got treated to quite a few f-bombs early. About 3 of us turned around and threatened to whip the little buckeroo’s ass and he spent the next hour apologizing. He moved after halftime.”

    I took my 9 yo daughter to a game in Chapel Hole a few years back. Every time the Holes gained 3 yds, which happened alot that afternoon, some drunk dressed in Baby blue would yell, “How ’bout them Heels?” The Holes were pounding us pretty good when a one-eyed D-back named Ralph Stringer intercepted a pass and took it to the house. In the ensuing silence my daughter in her best falsetto voice yelled, “How ’bout the Heels?” I guess you had to be there but even the blue-clads laughed.

  15. BJD95 09/18/2008 at 4:02 PM #

    ^^^ RAWFS – Yes, I remember the 1987 or so riot vividly. I was in middle school, and had to leave my “Wolves’ Den” seats and find my parents in the 4th quarter (when the drunken horde started working on the chain link fence between grass bank and end zone). I look down of them just look I would look down on soccer hooligans. It’s completely justified, IMHO.

    My wife was also in the marching band her freshman year at State. At the Peach Bowl, ECU fans threw rocks at the band. And to think, most civilized people find it rude to even boo an opposing band. These assholes threw ROCKS! I’m not even aware of Maryland fans going that low.

    ^^ RegularExpression – What you are describing is schadenfreude, which I already mentioned in the post. The chance for that is not a viable reason for this series.

    As a compromise, I would be willing to schedule this game once every ten years in Charlotte.

  16. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 09/18/2008 at 4:09 PM #

    “Let’s face it, if our program is on such shaky ground that it can’t withstand a game against mighty ECU every 3-4 years we have serious problems that avoiding ECU won’t cure.”

    People say this but since 1974 ECU has been as good or better than NC State, Duke, UNC or Wake. Take away Rivers, DS and Mack and ECU has had a far better overall program than State and UNC since ’74.

    BTW- Where do fans find rocks in a football stadium? That sounds like more like a stadium management issue than a fan issue.

  17. RegularExpression 09/18/2008 at 4:16 PM #

    BJD – I don’t think it is all about schadenfreude, although I admit the way I described it sounds that way. Beating the #15 team in the country in such a fashion would be a great win. I was at the Duke game in 1994 when we stormed back to win 24-23. It was just Duke, but they were good that year and that remains one of the more enjoyable days I’ve had at Carter Finley. If we let ourselves, we could enjoy it Saturday too.

  18. Mike 09/18/2008 at 4:22 PM #

    BJD, I think as an admin here you should have my email address. If you email me, I cna give you some good information that I am fairly certain can help your daughter. How old is she?

    My step daughter had a condition that we tried everything, including massive amounts of pain drugs, and nothing worked. Some doctors could not beleive the amounts of medication a 7 year old (at the time) was on. After years, we finally figured out the miracle cure, and 8 years later, NO MEDICATION AND NO PAIN.

    If you need my email, respond here and I will give it to you. In the mean time, my prayers go to you and your daughter.

  19. GAWolf 09/18/2008 at 4:33 PM #

    BJD: I too was sitting in the Wolves Den for that game. Interestingly enough, my parents came and got me. I remember my dad nearly getting in at least 3 verbal confrontations with idiots before we could get out of the stadium and back to the car. My mother pulling us both by the collars trudging through the crowd. Dad hollering and me standing there paralyzed and dumbfounded watching as the stream of profanity spewed from father’s tongue like I had never seen before and have never seen since.

    Lesson learned at an early age. I’m going to the UNC/Va Tech game with my UNC grad wife and some super great friends from out of town. I will take a radio and listen in the parking lot, but it will be nice to be far, far away from the mayhem that will certainly engulf Carter Finley on Saturday.

  20. Daily Update 09/18/2008 at 4:43 PM #

    BJD95: Please don’t take my earlier comments as being critical. I completely understand missing games for personal reasons like what you mention.

    However for most of the other people skipping out of this game, I really don’t understand it. If NC State fans used their tickets which they purchased, then there would probably be about 7k ECU fans there just like there are UNC fans when we play them.

  21. old13 09/18/2008 at 5:35 PM #

    Greywolf, in answer to your question: “Which of these ‘good-ol’-boys’ did you have in mind and who do you have in mind to replace them.”:

    As I understand it, the BOT is supposed to set policy and standards for all aspects of university administration. The administration is supposed to act on those policies in their management of the university. The main bases for my feelings are a) the obvious and well-documented ridiculous performance of the athletics department under the 8 years of Foulup’s administration, b) the well-documented ridiculous approach by Tom Stafford concerning football tailgating and other game security issues, c) Oblinger’s acceptance of the status quo in these areas as well as no noticeable efforts to push improvements in university academics and student life (- not that they are bad. But MAF, who had the right approach IMHO, seemed to think there was room for improvement that would enhance the university’s academic and other standings nationally among public universities – see University of Texas – Austin where MAF came from to NCSU), and d) the BOT’s lack of action in regard to a, b, and c above. While being 1,000 miles away does not give me good perspective of all university activities, the most visible – athletics and general actions and statements by university administrators – does not set well with me. It appears to me that there is no real desire to “ACHIEVE” among the current powers that be. They seem satisfied with maintaining the status quo. Yet the record of the Athletics Department, both on the field/court and in the PR area, has obvious major flaws. If this is extrapolated to the overall administration of NCSU, and I have no reason to believe otherwise, then the NCSU administration/BOT seems happy with the status quo IMHO!

  22. b 09/18/2008 at 5:53 PM #

    Let’s say you have a distant relative that you don’t really like, but hey, they are still family. And due to forces of nature they were unable to have an important party at their house so you went out of your way to offer your own house so they wouldn’t lose the golden opportunity to rub elbows with the bigwigs. Then the party was such a success, they decided to repay your kindness by trashing your house and costing you thousands to repair the damage so you could live there again, would you ever invite them back?

  23. cwcanady 09/18/2008 at 6:01 PM #

    How about this –

    F&*k ECU

    F)_K Out of town games. College games are ment to be played on college campuses.

    Thats my two cents.

  24. b 09/18/2008 at 6:05 PM #

    Just saw on PP, Eugene is probable and Baker is done for the year. So hopefully State can use Eugene in limited passing situations and keep running Underwood to keep Brown’s toe injury in check.

  25. Wolf Dog 09/18/2008 at 6:10 PM #

    BJD95 Best wishes for your daughter, my prayers are with her. God Speed to you! God Bless her and your family.

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