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. lush 09/19/2008 at 10:00 AM #

    “I think we could learn alot from ECU Pirate fans. Since my brother is an alumni of ECU, I have gone to several games at Greenville with him. And when ECU was struggling with twice 2-8, 3-6 or 1-10 records under coaches like John Thompson, the stands were still full of purple and gold.”

    umm what? perhaps you havent noticed our shitty performance for the last 3-4 years. we still have a sold out stadium, record breaking donations and growth in the wolfpack club. the only thing to learn from ecu fans is how to be a pretentious asshole with delusions of grandeur

  2. old13 09/19/2008 at 12:04 PM #

    About the good-ol’-boys:

    Go to and read the 9/16/2008 entry.

  3. BoKnowsNCS71 09/19/2008 at 12:50 PM #

    This is what we can expect in CF.

  4. Dr. BadgerPack 09/19/2008 at 5:53 PM #

    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.

    Good. Freaking. Lord. I don’t care to take a gander at any school but State on this but… Since 1974 State has won more bowl games than ECU has even PLAYED in. But, let’s not stack the deck or anything- let’s start with 1978, ECUs first bowl game from 74-. There, State really misses the bar. They’ve only won an equal number of bowl games to the number ECU has played. I know, they get 50 bonus points for beating us in the Peach, right?

    Let’s not use the “take away ‘X'” argument either. We could easily say take away Steve Logan and ECU is a joke– the numbers are bad, aside from 2-1 in bowls. Aw, 3 bowls. And a .667 winning %. State fans would kill for 3 bowls in two decades.

    Why not go further- ECU has had 18 All Americans since 1994 to State’s 18 1st or 2nd teamers (my apologies, that’s all that was in the media guide as it was obviously getting too full). All time, ECU has 19 different All-Americans (21 total). ECU last won a conference title in 1976. Holy Doormats, Batman! That’s a longer run than us. Let’s not get into the independant thing either… awarding them conference championships for anything in there is about as valid as UNC’s 1924(?) mythical hoops title.

    Our last several seasons have sucked. Duh. But let’s not crown ECU king’s of my lifetime, because they are clearly not. Hopefully that didn’t come off too abrasive…

    Note 2: You think rocks are bad? In, I believe, 2004 Wisconsin fans were admonished for urinating on the Michigan band.

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