The RBC is AOK

January18/ 2000

… “Though the scorners may sneer at, and witlings defame her …” the RBC Center adjacent to the NC State Fairgrounds is JUST FINE….  CaroLoons despise it because it is NC State’s home arena.  A certain N&O columnist hates it because it was conceived under a Republican city administration … The intelligence behind those “learned” conclusions notwithstanding, it has turned out to be a fine asset to Raleigh and to the Triangle region….  Speaking of “regional assets” wait until you meet Derm’s Dirty Dozen! … and the Swagger Media Juggernaut rolls on.

We could make today’s Stumper … Where did the opening line to this column come from? … “Though the scorners may sneer at …..”  An autographed copy of BobLee’s brand new CD to the FIRST reader to identify the source of that line.

Hopefully you all had a safe and patriotic 4th.  If you went to see “the Tall Ships” at Beaufort hopefully you “had connections” and avoided the long lines.  Team Swagger avoided them by staying home and enjoying Allen Bros Hot Dogs.

Holidays Smolidays … we were busy.  BobLee’s appearance on WPTF on Monday morning was generally acclaimed “best ever” by area radio critics.  BLS’ admission that he is “a sports pedophile” on the subject of Michelle Wie had the on-site FCC nazi raising an eyebrow but otherwise we slammed Duke in the gut for its shameful treatment of its students in the Lacrosse scandal.  We pummeled Malik Shabazz and officially proclaimed “Nifong” as a verb.  Our thanks to Kevin Miller for giving us his 50,000 watts of blowtorch power for an hour. …

PLUS we hit the print media this week.  BobLee’s “Pier Fishing with My Dad” appears in the July edition of METRO Magazine.  Our thanks to Metro publisher (and SSays subscriber) Bernie Reeves for providing this opportunity for his readers to meet Mr Swagger.  We are now in the waiting rooms of every dentist and “nail technician” from the Piedmont to “da beach”, not to mention ITB and OME manses galore.

PLUS BobLee has joined the editorial staff of as a national sports columnist.  Out2 is a national news blog out of West Palm Beach.  Our first contribution is on “Warm Fuzzies In Omaha”.  Outside of a 150 mile radius of RTP, there is limited interest in Burly John’s shoe size or the most recent sightings of Jimmy V’s ghost roaming the fairways of MacGregor Downs … so we will be doing “different stuff” for them.  Go to the Out2 website under Sports/Opinion.


   No discussion of the ESA/RBC can begin without first paying homage to the obvious.  Comparisons of the RBC Center to the Dean Dome will still be enlivening cul-de-sac conversations long after “referee Jim Knight” and even “the phantom parade” have been discussed into dust.   Actually those trite subjects have already been discussed into dust.

The Smith Center/Dean Dome was indeed built by private contributions in the mid 80s spearheaded by Erskine’s daddy, Skippa Bowles.  Contributors were given the incentive of prime seating locations in exchange for their significant contributions.  It was only the 3rd BIG “on-campus” arena in the country at that time and represented the best architectural design and engineering expertise to that point.

The on-going maintenance upkeep of the facility was SUPPOSED to be offset by ongoing revenues from numerous concerts and arena shows since the day it opened it was a better venue than any other in the state despite horrendous audio quality.  Alas, that distinction lasted a shorter time than Neil Fingleton’s Tar Heel career.

NOTE:  The sound system might have sucked, BUT those rafters … aha, THOSE RAFTERS! …  they be VERY COOL!

Both Charlotte and Greensboro quickly built new and/or expanded their arena facilities and whatever market existed for Dean Dome supplemental revenues vanished sending UNC officials over to the General Assembly hat in hand for annual upkeep funding.  Luckily UNC Law School generates a steady stream of politico-wannabees so friendly faces were found to cover the now permanent shortfall.  The amount of that annual tax-payer funding ranges from a million or so/year to “bazillions and bazillions” depending upon the age and IQ of the WuffLoon doing the screeching.  It is somewhere between “more than Tar Heels like to admit” and “less than Wuffs try to use as leverage”.  Oddly that is exactly the same as when the issue of Chris Washburn’s SAT score is discussed.

Before Wuff-readers besiege us with “what about Big Ram Road?” … yes, UNC influence in the NCDOT got a convenient road spur built to Dean’s Dome to accommodate those fortunate enough to merit near-by parking spaces, many of whom coincidentally actually voted on the expenditure.  NCSU-educated engineers likely designed the road if that makes any differences to the discussion.

The lifetime seating rights as well as certain design features are easily criticized in hindsight 20 years later, but reflected the best thinking of that time. Meanwhile over in West Rawlee …

William Neal Reynolds Coliseum also reflected the best design and construction expertise of the era in which it was built which was “soon after The Sphinx and before Fort Macon”.  The debate over a new basketball arena for NC State dragged on longer than a Strom Thurmond filibuster fueled in its futile longevity by the aforementioned plethora of Tar Heel alumni holding the purse strings on Jones Street.

Jimmy V’s Cinderella Team of ’83 was an impetus but that was soon derailed by the “Just one pair of tennis shoes” scandal of the late 80s fueled according to WuffLore by “Tar Heels at The N&O”.  Is there a potted palm or smoke-filled room in The Olde North State that is NOT dominated by “The Frankin Street Mafia”?

Eventually in the early 90s the “new arena” for NC State issue came down to on-campus versus off-campus and then downtown versus Fairgrounds.  Advocates for all combinations of the above mounted their soapboxes and belched and bloviated.

The off-campus and Fairgrounds guys prevailed during the Tommy Boy Fetzer mayoral reign at Raleigh’s City Hall.  Tommy Boy is a Demon Deacon and also a Republican.  Since Tommy Boy was a Repub, the N&O had no choice but to be agin anything he was fer.  That is actually in their mission statement.  That The N&O is one of downtown Raleigh’s largest landowners was OF COURSE not a factor in their advocacy of a downtown site … NO, OF COURSE NOT!

Unlike nearbout ANYBODY in Raleigh’s ITB “Powerbrokers R Us” Club, yours truly has “been around” and actually explored that vast frontier beyond Chapel Hill … Hell, I’ve even crossed the Mighty Missipp and seen lands where fruited plains outnumber loblolly pines.  One of those faraway places with a strange sounding name is Kansas City.

The blind hogs of Kansas City’s city fatherdom somehow hit upon the concept of building a big ol’ football stadium AND a big ol’ baseball stadium side by side and surrounding both of’em with one big common parking lot.  And furthermore went and built this unique concept at the intersection of two multi-laned Interstate highways so folks could get in and get out fairly easily.  Sharing a parking lot and easy access to major highways … GOLLEEEE, SHAZAMM! … and with certain modifications to existing conditions in West Raleigh, that’s what we have with the current RBC Center next to Carter-Finley Stadium and adjacent to Wade Avenue and I-440.

That the location is also closer to the middle of the overall regional population centers of Cary, Derm, and Chapel Hill might be considered an advantage too unless one simply “hates State” and/or “hates Republicans”.  Lots of that combo in southern Orange County I’m told.

Yes, the RBC Center was built with (drum roll please) TAX DOLLARS!  But so are roads I never drive on, schools I never attend, prisons I never intend to live in, and salaries of UNC faculty squirrels I detest.  Whatever my contribution was, I adjusted my lifestyle and manage to survive.  Whether the RBC and its associated elements ever generate as much revenue for Raleigh as Char-Grill has remains to be seen.  Some of us can actually see beyond our own specials interests and consider whats best for the WHOLE community.  OK, maybe six of us in all of Wake County, but BobLee be one of’em.

Supposedly, the REAL problem with the Fairgrounds location is “there are not enough places nearby to get likkered up pre or post game”.  Damn, that’s a shame!  Those no-fun hags from MADD must have wielded influence in all this.

If there were pubs aplenty within 100 yards of the RBC would Carolina’s rout of the Wuffs last February have been any easier swallowed by Herb-haters.  Would the Canes’ 7th Game Victory two weeks ago have been any better?  I don’t know … you guys tell me.  Remember, I’m a veritable teetotaler beyond beer-battered shrimp and egg nog.  I am also a big believer in “market forces” and I betcha you will keep seeing eating/drinking places popping up in the RBC vicinity to join Damon’s and other existing establishments on nearby Harrison Avenue.

Not only am I a teetotaler, I am also a creature of convenience.  I shamelessly admit I like convenient nearby paved parking as opposed to dozens of multi-tiered garages spread over 6-8 city blocks and ill-designed for my big ol’ gas guzzling F-150.  That those garages are owned by The N&O and other self-servicing advocates of putting EVERYTHING “downtown” is incidental to my preferences.

The “EVERYTHING Downtown” Cabal IS getting their very own Convention Center … WOO HOO!   Building great big ol’ Convention Centers was quite the fad in the 70s (30 freakin’ years ago!) but quickly went out of vogue across America and now stand like great White Elephant monuments to ham-handed politicians who (Taa Daa) were beholden to special interests with large land holdings in downtown areas.  A study of that little ol’ phenomenon might be a good topic for a crusading N&O columnist dontchathink?

Going back to the eternal pissing contests between WuffLonns and CaroLoons over whose basketball arena is/was the biggest public boondoggle … I vote we leave the respective loons factions urinating into their own wind and move on with our lives.


   Meanwhile what is the latest from The Bull City?  I so look forward to the day when the answer to that question is “not much”.  Alas, there be new “goings on” over there.

Ladies and Gents, Jills and Johns … may I present for your everlasting enjoyment the following …

” Derm’s Dirty Dozen”

sound off girls ….. Monica (41) … Frances (21) … Janita (28) … Pansy (40) (no kidding, it is “Pansy”) … Anita (40) … Sandra (46) … Sonya (46) … Shatosha (32) … Aretha (34) … Jewel (29) … Lisa (47) … and Robin (41)

    These “working girls” were all apprehended by Derm law enforcement last Friday for various versions of “crimes against nature”.  Me, I was shocked that there still are such offenses considered “crimes against nature”.  Whatever they be … they must be “nasty”.  I’m guessing “global lap warming” or “giving a BJ to a spotted owl”!  As for “epithets” … I’m betting the undercover police officers heard some “doozies” when they slapped the cuffs on these ho’s.

No doubt civic huckster Reyn Bowman is already producing a promotional calendar of these street corner hospitality hostesses.

No mention of how many were Bunny Hole employees.  Also, the N&O has not released the appraised value of their homes …. or their military service records …. or whether their daddies are “quiet Christian gentlemen”…. or if Jesse Jackson is planning to personally fund their school tuition.  How many are employed by “the city” or related to municipal officials? … OR one of Barry’s “sweet thangs”?  Always a possibility in that looney bin.  We will keep our eye on’em and let you know.  … “Pansy, age 40” … I swear, I don’t make these up.


In honor of Pansy and the girls … 

Jane Fonda played what film prostitute?


BLS Sez…  

… People who can pay cash for BMWs 

don’t call them “Beemers”

   Las Hadas was the film location for “10”.  If they did a sequel to “10” today, I vote for Stacey Keibler for Bo’s role.

   All that horrible flooding in the Northeast last week … how come we didn’t hear about looting and rampaging and defecating in shelters and … where oh where was Sean Penn in his little rowboat?

    Want to e-mail BobLee?

[email protected]

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