You may have noticed that I have a tendency to poke fun at NC State fans from time-to-time here. The reason why is simple – it’s so easy! For one, I live and work near Raleigh, so am surrounded by State fans. The Pack faithful are also by-and-large very rabid and extremely sensitive to any perceived slights. It’s like growing up as the younger brother to the high school class president/football star/homecoming king. They never feel they get their due and are quick to point that out (as well as make sure you know that Mr. Perfect has a hairy mole on his back). To sum up, they are a fun bunch to needle.
So, I ran across a new site today, a blog for NC State sports, and it had a very interesting read about an incident that happened this weekend during the UNC – Maryland game. The ESPN announcers, Brad Nessler and Dick Vitale were talking about NASCAR and North Carolina (the state, not the school) and Nessler came out with this quote, “Other than Duke and Carolina basketball around here…and Wake…Tobacco Road in general, (NASCAR) would be the biggest thing.”
Notice something missing?
Jeff certainly did, and had this to say about it:
Nessler forgot us. Period. Would he ever forget Duke, Carolina or Wake? Obviously not.
Put quite brutally – After NINE YEARS of opportunity to re-establish NC State as a meaningful participant in the college basketball landscape, Herb Sendek hasn’t even made enough of an impact to pop in the mind of ESPN’s lead college basketball play-by-play commentator when he was discussing a topic that directly related to NC State as he sat 20 miles from our campus.
Now, before you State fans jump down my throat for daring to attack one of the Pack, note that I think Jeff wrote a great piece here. He did a good job of both showing that State fans are sensitive and then explaining why that is. He wasn’t whining, he was justifying.
It’s true – State doesn’t get the national attention that Carolina and Duke do. I’m not so sure that a casual sports fan in, say Utah, knows that there is an NC State and that it’s different than North Carolina. It’s not really State’s fault – Carolina has the simpler name, the longer success and the greater alumni. People just know them (and Duke) better. It’s not a conspiracy, it’s what happens when one school has more success than the other over a long period of time.
I understand State fans’ frustration. I feel for them. Maybe some day they’ll get Mr. Perfect in a headlock and give him a big ol’ noogie on national TV. Then everyone will know their name.