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.

AD & Department Fans NCS Football

79 Responses to Saturday’s Inevitable Purple Tide

  1. CStanley 09/18/2008 at 6:13 PM #

    I use to be ok with playin these fools once in a while…but I pretty much washed my hands of them after the Miami game debacle at our stadium. That, to me, showed their true colors and disrespect for everything associated with our school. Their BS smug attitude after the game of “send us the bill” was trashy.

  2. lsutton5144 09/18/2008 at 6:37 PM #

    Take time to read Chris Brewster’s column on Pack Pride. I’m not sure if he was kidding or not, but he mentions that even our mascot is wearing a protective boot . . . who else can get hurt? Also names four players for ECU that were former NCSU and UNC recruits or signees that apparently didn’t qualify for a school west of I95.
    Interesting column he’s written. You’ll enjoy. GO PACK!!!!!!

  3. Wolfpack F-14 09/18/2008 at 8:04 PM # is now showing Eugene as “probable” for the ECU game! Also the new injury report shows Baker listed as out for the season. Hopefully Eugene’s return will help energize the team.

    Go Pack!!!!

  4. Octavian 09/18/2008 at 8:07 PM #

    I agree, great article. Dump this series…everything to lose and nothing to gain.

  5. Ed89 09/18/2008 at 8:51 PM #

    We BEAT THEIR ASSES tomorrow….mark it down…that is ALL.

  6. Ed89 09/18/2008 at 8:57 PM #

    Or Saturday…whatever…our guys are hungry…and will give 110%!

    WRT to the fans, etc., I know they’re not all bad….I was there in 1987 and watched a buddy knock out a rowdy EZU fan “cold.” I mean he tried to punch my buddy, and my buddy gave him a round house kick that he’s still probably wondering about….anyway, most of us know someone who went to EZU, and it can be an enjoyable game…if we beat their A$$e$!!

  7. Greywolf 09/18/2008 at 9:00 PM #

    Sep 18th, 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.”:

    You didn’t answer anything close to the question I asked, while spending 1375 characters to give the non-answer to my question.

    My point in case you missed it was a dig at the anonymous “big talking,” saying you want to root out the ‘good-ol’-boys’ on the BOT. I originally wondered if you meant the 3 women on the Board.

    MAF hired Chuck, not Foulup. And MAF could have fired you-know-who as well and could have told Foulup to fire him. I think we were on the right track with MAF and it pained me to see her go. When the Chancellor we thought was going to lead us to athletic prominence left, I gave up hope for NCSU’s near future chances for athletic excellence. I take no joy in berating the AD for carrying out the policies of the BOT and the Chancellor. That and bunny bopping are at the bottom of my list of sporting events I enjoy. To each his own as I see many who do enjoy those sports.

  8. Daily Update 09/18/2008 at 9:01 PM #

    Nothing to gain? How many top 15 teams have we beaten in our history? This is a great opportunity on Saturday.

  9. wufpup76 09/18/2008 at 9:21 PM #

    “I’m not even aware of Maryland fans going that low”

    I did indeed laugh out loud at this …

    I’m not even going to bring up Philip Rivers’ senior day game … Ooops – too late … Ohh how I hate the UMd … Crabcakes and football my a**

  10. Primewolf 09/18/2008 at 9:31 PM #

    If there is anyone that thinks NCSU BOT or leadership at the school is getting it done, please let me know how. The school has dropped in academic stature, our athletic teams generally suck for most sports every year, the admin and AD criticize the students and fanbase, students aren’t treated with respect, and the systme is all about getting as much money as possible from boosters for LTR and parking.

    Actually the WP club, although that is one good ol boy system, is one of hte few orgs doing a decent job. They have certainly gotten alot more money out of me than they would have otherwise without the point and parking system they have.

    I think playing ECU is stupid, but typical for Lee. Man, his interview on WRAL made me sick. I had to click it off.

  11. Noah 09/18/2008 at 9:46 PM #

    I get migraines as well, so I hope your daughter gets good news. I will wake up once about every other month feeling like a steel clamp has been attached to the back of my skull. It’s at that moment that my world gets extremely small. I care about very very little other than the pain.

    Somehow I managed to avoid the 1987 ECU game. I probably would have gotten killed had I attended.

    Sorry to hear that I was right about Baker. I was looking forward to taking some, “I told ya sos” on that.

  12. BoKnowsNCS71 09/18/2008 at 9:51 PM #

    I’ve heard this all before and you can bitch about it all you want but it does come down to politics, cronyism, and subtle funding pressures.

    After spending 32 plus years in State Government and some time with a conservation group that dealt a lot with the legislature an its key leaders – I can tell you that NCSU, UNC, and other schools who get money from the NC Legislature will play ECU for many years to come.

    You can gripe about the BOT — they don’t deal with this and they will never take a position that does not play another NC school. They don’t see this as their fight either way.

    When it comes down to it — the not playing ECU debate is more about the embarassment of us not getting our act together the majority of the time to beat them every time we play them (same as the UNC mentality that they have toward us).

    But gripe all you want. The schedule is set many years ahead for home and aways and barring another riot in CF stadium — it will continue. Time to move on.

  13. wolfpackbball 09/18/2008 at 9:55 PM #

    I like how ECU’s fans are drunk and obnoxious, but they don’t piss in the stands or run out of water east of I-95.

  14. highstick 09/18/2008 at 10:03 PM #

    Maybe we can drop ECU and pick up the new Charlotte 49er football team in the future! This is going to be an interesting bit of politics within the BOG!

  15. SuperStuff 09/18/2008 at 10:23 PM #

    I hate it when State “fans” sell tickets to the purple Barney’s Army brigade. Jesus give those tickets to your best NC State friends.

  16. MrPlywood 09/18/2008 at 10:30 PM #

    We could just kick their asses, and make them want to avoid us at all costs. Dare to dream…

  17. gcpack 09/18/2008 at 11:45 PM #

    Well it’s a little late to put in my 10 cents worth but I think that any of you who sell your tickets to ECU fans are WORTHLESS.

    Surely if you don’t want to go you can find State fans who can’t afford season tx and would love to just experience CF for once in a season. I know there are plenty of them and they aren’t hard to find.

    It is petulant and juvenile to say that hopefully you get some message to the AD by painting CF purple. What an absurd way to explain your continued hatred for a guy who is doing what he is hired to do. The BOT and Chancellor are responsible for giving the AD his marching orders. Bitch to them but don’t insult the athletes who give so much time and effort to our school then get to show up in their home field with a bunch of purple crazies yelling at them.

    As for someone else’s suggestion that we go back to playing them in Charlotte, that was a waste of time and money to me. It takes a true home game away from our ticket package as well.
    The times when we played either UNC or ECU in Charlotte we generally sucked and showed up with NO emotion.

    The ECU fans get to go to a big city(“YeeHaw Ma look at dat beelding”) so they will pour in and Charlotte is a UNC town anyway. Playing in Charlotte is a horrible idea and I hope it never comes up again.

    Finally all the big talk about ECU fans still showing up when they were losing under Thompson is bogus. UNLIKE State fans who continue to sell out the season tx and showed up for Wm.& Mary even after the SC fiasco a significantly large portion of ECU seats became emptier and emptier as Thompson’s stay in Greenville progressed. They bailed big time and showed their true colors contrary to the big talk that they will go anywhere , anytime to watch ECU play.

  18. PackerInRussia 09/19/2008 at 2:10 AM #

    ^ I laughed really hard at the ECU fan “quote”.

    I think from a purely football standpoint (meaning this season only; not considering recruiting, obnoxious fans, etc) ECU has more to lose in this game. If we lose, it’s expected. Our team is in rebuilding mode. Their team is ranked 15th and actually has high hopes this year and everything has gone right for them so far. If they enter into the C-USA schedule now, they can sweep the rest of their games and be in conversations at the end of the season about non-BCS schools possibly getting a bid thanks to their two big wins at the beginning of the season and taking care of business in conference. However, one loss to a bad State team can take them right out of that unless there are many BCS schools with multiple losses. Then, although they may be ranked high, they still might not get a decent bowl (I don’t know what kind of bowl ties CUSA has). NC State can be a dangerous team in that type of situation because you know that they could suddenly and miraculously put things together and pull out a win a la last year. I don’t expect that at all, but I don’t think anyone did last year either. ECU also seems to be a lot better. ECU walks in and wins, the mouths will expectedly continue to run. They come in and lose, we can smugly point and laugh. Overall, I tend to agree with the crowd that says it’s not a good idea to play them regularly. Wins by them (even if we have a real good team, it just takes one bad game) help them a ton. Wins by us don’t help at all. If they were from a major conference, it would be a different story. From the perspective of “it’s a fun game to play; they’re close neighbors, rivals, etc” I agree, but I think the other ramifications are too great to risk it. I think it’s largely a knock on the conference they play in rather than their team itself.

  19. packpigskinfan23 09/19/2008 at 2:26 AM #

    you guys are just gonna love this one!

    I like playing ECU in football.
    I have almost been banned from this site for stating it before, so I will not get into the whys and hows.

    This is a BIG opportunity for our team Sat! I hope they realize that.

    If there are any major problems with ECU fans however, I do not expect our ADepartment to do a damn thing about it. They dont do a damn thing about anything.

  20. mikeD 09/19/2008 at 6:19 AM #

    Does anyone remember the last time ECU visited CF? There was far more purple than red in the student section! I can maybe understand some other parts of the stadium, but the student section?

    The good news is that students are not allowed to buy guest tickets for this game this year. So we will at least have Sections 7/8, 14/15, and endzones for the team if nothing else.

  21. Pack92 09/19/2008 at 7:04 AM #

    After watching WVU last night maybe EZU isn’t “All that” after all.
    We might be playing them for years to come but that doesn’t mean it makes sense OR we have to like it. Most real change starts with a grassroots unrest. Tell your congressman it’s a stupid idea. There are more people west of I-95 in NC.

  22. BoKnowsNCS71 09/19/2008 at 8:07 AM #

    West Virginia is living on its reputation. their game last night shows they are not the WVU of old. Bad coaching.

  23. choppack1 09/19/2008 at 8:53 AM #

    BKN – One day AD’s are going to learn – if at all possible, when your “it” coach leaves, don’t hire the assistant that all the players “love”. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a couple good years out of the deal. However, usually in the end, you end up w/ a “beta” wolf slowly running a program into the ground.

  24. BJD95 09/19/2008 at 9:15 AM #

    ^yep, WVU just gave a 6-year contract to “Hillbilly Torbush.”

  25. smithdl4 09/19/2008 at 9:50 AM #

    Just got around to reading most of this thread. I have to respond to RWFS comment above that State fans have never attacked a policeman. Unfortunately State fans have had their darker days too. In 1965 State upset Duke in the ACC basketball championship game in Reynolds Coliseum. The aftermath of that unexpected victory cost either the Raleigh police dept or the NC State Police at least one police cruiser, but I seem to remember the final total was three police cruisers.

    The first vehicle belonged to an unfortunate Officer stationed in front of Reynolds. His cruiser was turned over there in front of the arena. Pandemonium broke out throughout the campus. It was I believe the first recorded march of the State student body down Hillsboro Street to the monuments in downtown. Along the way I seem to remember two other police cruisers were attacked and met the same fate as the first. I was a freshman living in Tucker that year.

    WRAL may still have film in their archives as the shenanigans made the news almost everywhere on the east coast. It of course gave the school a black eye, but no one was arrested or otherwise disciplined that I recall. The Raleigh police did take special care after that to stop traffic on Hillsboro so we could continue the marches each time a significant athletic victory occurred. They cooperated with rather than fought with the celebrators and generally kept their cruisers out of harms way.

    Most of us saw the abuse of the police cruisers as excessive and maybe just downright criminal. I don’t believe it ever happened again. Just goes to show that there are probably moronic fans from just about every school including our own.

Leave a Reply