Tomorrow, It’s All About Rewarding Faith

Almost 22 months ago, Tom O’Brien was on the verge a possible dream season – Matt Ryan’s (future Top 5 NFL draft pick, and Day One starter for the Atlanta Falcons) senior year, surrounded by a bevy of seasoned upperclassmen. The kind of team that wins league titles. The kind of team that, given a few good breaks, might find itself playing for the national championship.

Tom O’Brien walked away. He left the table for 2007 holding pocket aces, to play out the string with the eight-duece offsuit left by Chuck Amato. All because he believed in NC State.

I will repeat part of my post from December 6, 2006:

According to SFN’s sources, Coach O’Brien sought out the NC State job with the same vigor and tenacity as did Jimbo Fisher. He really wants to be here, and I think it’s safe to assume it’s because he believes he can elevate his success to a whole new level at NC State. He can go from “pretty good” to periodically competing for the ACC title, and regularly make good bowls (as even his current level of performance would land NC State in good bowl games). His floor essentially is identical to the Dick Sheridan level of performance, and few Wolfpackers complain about that era. And that’s not to say we expect that to be his ultimate ceiling – there’s every bit as much reason to hope for upside from TOB as there was with respect to PJ. I don’t think O’Brien would have made this move if he didn’t think he could take it to the next level at NC State. We should be honored and very enthusiastic that such an accomplished, respected coach feels that way about our university.

It’s every bit as true today as it was then. Tom O’Brien has done a great job with the horrible hands he has been dealt since he arrived in Raleigh. He is, without a doubt, the right man for the job. Watching ESPN two weeks ago – Coach O’Brien stood outside the team bus, calm and silent as the players filed out. Nobody chuckled or horsed around. They waited respectfully for their leader to take them into battle. He did so with a slight nod of his head, and a calm “Let’s go.” No yelling, no showboating. Just quiet, confident leadership from a man who has earned his injury-decimated team’s respect.

State had no business winning that game, but win they did. After losing the leaders of both the offense and defense, the already paper-thin Pack couldn’t compete with South Florida. But they kept fighting until the final whistle (otherwise, they would have lost by 70).

Tomorrow, TOB gets his second shot at his former team. There’s no Matt Ryan to bail “Jags” out anymore. Instead of 20,000 bored, arrogant, delusional Eagle fans (who blamed O’Brien for not landing better bowl bids, despite the fact that fan apathy was the very reason for it) – he’ll have a sea of red cheering him on. In the middle of yet another bad season (as the program shakes off the last vestiges of the Amato regime), the stands will nonetheless be packed.

Tom O’Brien really wants this win. NC State really needs this win. Despite the inflated record, these Eagles can be had. Part of the reason O’Brien was attracted to NC State was the incredible support provided by our fans – as he witnessed firsthand in 2006. Tom O’Brien believed in what we could accomplish together. He believed in you. He believed in me. Let’s reward his faith by giving him the best gameday crowd he’s ever seen tomorrow. I’ll see you there.

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.

'08 Football Tom O'Brien

70 Responses to Tomorrow, It’s All About Rewarding Faith

  1. Octavian 10/03/2008 at 6:24 PM #

    Great write-up. Wish I could be there. Go Pack!

  2. tvp1 10/03/2008 at 6:32 PM #

    One of the best things I’ve seen on SFN, and that’s saying something. Great, great post.

  3. b 10/03/2008 at 6:45 PM #

    Well said, I’m using sign language and drinking lemon tea tonight to get ready.

  4. Old Howler 10/03/2008 at 7:16 PM #

    Tonight is the calm before the storm. Before we enter the stadium tomorrow let us remember this quote… “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Tomorrow we as fans bring the red and the enthusiasm.

  5. RabidWolf 10/03/2008 at 7:25 PM #

    Physically, I’ll be there tomorrow. Mentally, I never leave. I’ll try my best to keep sec. 323 jumpin’. Go ‘Pack!

    I’ll bring the Red…the Wolfpack will bring the pain.

  6. buttPACKer 10/03/2008 at 8:11 PM #

    well said. . . GO PACK!

  7. choppack1 10/03/2008 at 8:39 PM #

    Nice post BJD. You’ve got to hand it to TOB – it’s quite a contrast the cupboard he left Jags compared to what Sendek and Fowler left Sid.

    The current leader – and results – are a stark contrast to Amato’s. Amato’s team – for the most part – managed to stay in so many games…ironically, the BC game was one of the few where that was rewarded. TOBs teams have been blown out more in two years that it seems Amato’s where blown in 7. Still, when the dust cleared last year, we’d beaten UNC (for the first time since 2003) and ECU, and our win total was better than the year before. This year, we beat ECU again. Saturday, I saw us fight pretty hard when the game was “academic”. I take this as a good sign that the team is buying into TOBs ways.

    I said in another post that this is BC’s first game in a truly hostile environment. While they are 4-1 and statistically pretty impressive – they’ve stacked up their 4 wins against 4 teams w/ one win a piece. Also, they are team that seems to live and die by TOs – and we’re starting the QB who has done a good job protecting the ball. We’ve got an excellent shot tomorrow.

  8. wufpup76 10/03/2008 at 8:49 PM #

    Excellent post … I hope the team is this fired-up tomorrow

    It’s time to set things right in this series … Not that we’re better than BC, but in that they (hopefully) have something coming from the talk they did w/ TOB’s players last season … How’d that season work out, anyway??? 0 championships and another ho-hum bowl appearance … Sure Eagles fans, it’s TOB’s fault – not YOURS that you don’t get those upper-tier bows … Oh yeah, I’d like to beat Logan, too

  9. Greywolf 10/03/2008 at 9:02 PM #

    D A M N BJD!! After reading that post, I’m stoked…

    I got an extra ticket in the NEZ, Sect. 213 up high. . Parking Pass almost to Blue Ridge Road in the TX lot. The down side is you’ll be sitting with me. One other thing, I don’t leave early.

    email me at [email protected] if you want to go.

  10. BoKnowsNCS71 10/03/2008 at 10:01 PM #

    I’m not optimistic. But then again that’s part of being a pack fan. Each unexpected win in a season like this is great. I will be there tomorrow and probably buy nicer seats next year — I’m just placing faith in TOB and waiting for the good times.

  11. Daily Update 10/03/2008 at 10:57 PM #

    By the way, the Homecoming Parade was actually pretty impressive tonight. Lots of people on Hillsborough and lines out the door for a lot of places(Two Guys especially). TOB, Fowler, Oblinger, Stafford, BOT, Avent, Costner, Fells, McCauley and more were all paraded down Hillsborough St in cars.

    I am so used to these type of events turning out horribly. Much to my surprise, this was a really good event and might have some potential down the road. The businesses on Hillsborough St(talked to two owners tonight) and the University are really trying. Lots of college kids and families.

  12. redfred2 10/04/2008 at 12:07 AM #

    Very nice BJD!!!

    I have every confidence that TOB wants exactly what we do, and the same goes for Sidney Lowe.

    Now, if I could only believe Daily Updates’^ statement up there where he says that “the University (is) really trying”. That would be just a little TOO GOOD!!! That is where the attitude begins and THE ABSOLUTE KEY for the success of a TOB, a Sidney Lowe, or any and all of the rest of the coaches in every sport. That has also been THE one area where NC State has been lagging behind it’s ACC counterparts for so long. I would really love to believe that we can begin putting those MANY, and UNNECESSARILY wasted, years behind us, STARTING RIGHT NOW.


  13. Dr. BadgerPack 10/04/2008 at 9:24 AM #

    Two words: Go Pack. Period.

    I’m off to a Gainesville bar– I will force them to put 1 TV on the real game. Who wants to watch Florida/Arkansas anyway???

  14. Dr. BadgerPack 10/04/2008 at 9:30 AM #

    By the way, BJD; you know 7-2 offsuit is worse right? 🙂

    As always, turnovers and time of possession dictate this game. We absolutely have to keep BC’s defense on the field as long as possible. They are stout.

  15. old13 10/04/2008 at 9:31 AM #

    It’s really a shame that with all the fan and alumni backing, and the monetary support TOB can get at NCSU, he has to deal with an incompetent AD and a non-supportive administration.

  16. wolfpackdawg 10/04/2008 at 11:37 AM #

    BC is completly picking us off on the pass.

  17. Afterglow 10/04/2008 at 11:44 AM #

    Does anyone know where I can listen to the game online?

  18. wufpup76 10/04/2008 at 11:51 AM #

    We are making this guy look all-world … Any pressure at all on him and he is terrible

    Got to start blitzing or something … otherwise they’re going to have 50+ points at halftime … Unreal … No pressure at all

  19. redfred2 10/04/2008 at 11:51 AM #

    Well, some of TOB’s former horses on the OL are wearing out EVERYONE on TOB’s new DL.

    Just goes to show, substance over flash.

  20. redfred2 10/04/2008 at 11:53 AM #


  21. levelsixtyfour 10/04/2008 at 12:00 PM #

    “Does anyone know where I can listen to the game online?”

    What a return by Graham. Finally some game breaking ability and exciting football shown.


  22. redfred2 10/04/2008 at 12:02 PM #

    They’re nice, but since the opposing team has to score to create one, I don’t think kick off returns are the answer to winning this game.

    Come on DAMNIT!!!

    Alright, TO!!!

  23. Afterglow 10/04/2008 at 12:15 PM #

    levelsixtyfour-Thanks! I live in Boulder Colorado and don’t get to see the Pack as much as I’d like.

  24. redfred2 10/04/2008 at 12:16 PM #

    Way to keep your cool RUSSELL!!!

  25. wolfmans brother 10/04/2008 at 12:23 PM #

    much obliged level64

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