Who ARE Those Guys?

January18/ 2000

… Like Butch & Sundance watching The Pinkertons and Lord Baltimore …. trying to get a handle on “other people” can be perplexing and downright mystifying…. In this 1st of 2 parts, we examine “the Lupine Hordes” .… Wuffies .… Pack People …. Alumni and fans of NC State University sports.  (In the 2nd part, next week, we will turn the Swagger Scope on “Heel fans”) … Yes, today we will revisit “THE ALLEY” and what’s got WuffWorld so bumfuzzled. … and on Jimmy V Weekend too!

Much of whats going to be said in the next 1,200+ words is already known by 95% of SSays readers who fall within the parameters of “just regular folks”.  So you know … our regular readership runs about 6040 … Blue to Red.  We have, and cultivate, a large audience of engineers, architects, agri-scientists, and assorted graduates and partisans on NC State.  But before we get into all that …. There is some zippy “Woo Woo News” to share.


   “Two Cheerleaders In A Toilet Stall” was a first ballot inductee into the Headline Hall of Fame but one yesterday is close on its heels … and then one today from Derm but silly Derm headlines fit into a category all their own.

Rabid Bats, Raccoon Found In Orange County

    This headline is wonderful in its brevity.  One can take it however one wishes.  In the body of the story we learned that “a dead raccoon was impounded by the Orange County Animal Shelter” prompting loyal reader “Boots” to send it immediately to Jeff Foxworthy as a classic “You might be a redneck if … you’ve ever impounded a dead raccoon”.  I sent it to Ersky and he claims neither he nor Meezie have been “impounded” or “found”. …… From Derm we learn:

 Durham Police Say Domino’s Pizza Delivery Guy 

Hit With Brick; $1 And Pizzas Were Stolen

   The $1, the brick, and two empty pizza boxes were found with the two cowering perps in a garage off Ellington Street in Derm.  I know “Gawd will get me for this”, but my first thought when I read this headline was “I sure hope Chris Washburn has a solid alibi”.


    Now back to “State Fans” …… the aptness of this story comes on the heels of the official notification of Tom Stafford’s Tailgate Commission which came about, as SSays readers well know, from BobLee’s infamous F-Bomb Alley column last September.

I wrote that much cussed and discussed epistle for one reason … to warn my fellow Tar Heel fans coming to last September 24th  NCSU v UNC game at Carter-Finley that they needed to avoid ONE certain area of the stadium’s environs … “F-Bomb Alley” … a well-documented (and well-defined) cesspool of rampant hooliganism.  Most Tar Heels heeded my warning plus NC State ratcheted up uniform security in the ONE area of concern for that ONE day.  I know because I did a live radio interview with Dave Glenn on 850TheBuzz from Ground Zero two hours before kick-off surrounded by eight NC Highway Patrolmen carrying loaded sidearms.

It was never my concern whether NC State officials intended to “do anything” about the ONE area of concern.  Two people had been shot and killed in the exact area the previous Fall and nothing was done then, why expect any accountability from those empowered to do something.  Stick one’s head in the sand and point fingers in other directions … Fairgrounds officials??? Wake County??? City of Raleigh???  Hell, blame Donald Rumsfeld and Karl Rove.

Apparently that column’s impact was more compelling that two fatalities because, oh boy, did “they” DO SOMETHING!   Semantics get involved here … “do something” to an academic bureaucrat means “ignore the actual problem but impose unnecessary restrictions on everyone NOT doing anything wrong.”  Wanna bet Tom Stafford has a Kerry-Edwards bumpersticker on his car?

NOTE:  When the Tailgate Commission was being formed, I sent not one but TWO e-mails to NCSU Vice Chancellor Thomas Stafford offering to share my thoughts with him since it was my little Internet column that apparently tipped over the privy and caused such commotion.  I haven’t heard a word from Tom.  It’s been eight months, but I’m sure a Vice Chancellor is a mighty busy fellow.

NCSU Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Tom Stafford, did not need Mr. Swagger to help him totally mismanage his “Commission”.  He was obviously quite capable of really mismanaging his objective on his own.  Tom’s solution to controlling a hooligan element in a two acre area of the Trinity Road parking grounds is to “across-the-board”:

  1. Establish volume levels on music
  2. Require all tents to be fire retardant (my #1 fave!)
  3. Prohibit beer kegs at all NCSU events
  4. Require fans to carry picture IDs
  5. Create a “good sportsmanship” campaign with a catchy name. (my #2 fave!)
  6. Encourage people to “tidy up” their tailgate areas … AND
  7. Not allow anyone into ANY stadium parking areas before four hours before kick-off.

Yessiree, Tom Stafford has imposed totally unnecessary regulations to keep honest law-abiding civil folks from misbehaving.  He gets my vote for Clueless Bureaucrat of the Year.  Tom might counter that “the Commission came up with these rules” because being “accountable” is a trait hardly ever found among bureaucrats.

A personal experience … over the past six years I have attended an average of 2-3 games each Fall at Carter-Finley either of my own decision or at the invitation of various WuffPals.  I park at WestChase, walk down that entry road and visit 6-8 tailgates to which I am invited.  I ALWAYS wear a blue Carolina ballcap for the expressed purpose of seeing how I am treated.  I have NEVER had one negative experience anywhere within the reserved lots immediately adjacent to the stadium and around the RBC Center … NEVER, not one. …. OK, I’m 6’4” and 220 and have been called “surly” and once even “scary” but I don’t even get hooted at by the “hoot at and hide” coward types.

Imposing ANY behavioral regulations on anyone in the reserved parking area, especially that stoopid four hour rule, is absolutely unnecessary and an insult to every single one of those dues-paying WPC members and quite responsible ticket purchasers. …. if I was them, I’d be pissed.  Guess what – THEY ARE!

Last year I personally visited “F-Bomb Alley” for the VaTech game.  I betcha my visit is one more than Tom Stafford, Chancellor Oblinger et al have ever made to Ground Zero.  Walking thru that “well-defined area” simply wearing an opponent’s colors is like walking thru Cabrini Green Project in Chicago wearing a Klan robe and yelling the n-word.

The dominant personality of the specific area is boorish hooligans … not hardly the future engineers, architects, agri-scientists and assorted community leaders generated annually by NCSU.  Restricting this ilk to only four hours to enact their mischief is meaningless … they don’t require extended alcohol consumption to be boorish hooligans … they wake up in that mind-set and live it as a lifestyle.  Throw in a whopping portion of class-envy, bigotry, racism, negative self-images, terminal immaturity, and some misguided divine right to be jackasses and add the “anonymity” of a mob and you got yourself a for-real “F-Bomb Alley”.  “Fire retardant tents” and “good sportsmanship campaigns” my Internet Legend ass. (sorry about that Prince Albert, but necessary just this once)

100 Duke Lacrosse players mainlining EverClear, PJ, and grain alcohol could not get to the level of “Houston, We Got A Problem” that Tom Stafford has and foolishly thinks he can solve by telling Smedes York, Wendell Murphy, Jim Goodnight, and Steve Stroud that they must carry a picture ID and turn their music down.  Reread that last sentence a couple of times because that is the essence of Stafford’s administrative brilliance.

There never was, or ever would be, any problems with Carter-Finley tailgating other than that one well-defined area.  And THAT PROBLEM can ONLY be solved by beefing up uniformed security in the midst of Ground Zero for 90 minutes prior to kick-off and 45 minutes after the final gun (oops, poor choice of words!).

Hooligans are incited by the unfetted opportunity to “be hooligans” and prey on visiting fans (who do not arrive early) and, unless someone like me warns them, are unaware of the danger they face by walking thru “F-Bomb Alley”.

I’ve seen common sense suggestions that the cesspool of hooligans could easily be relocated to a less prominent area of the Stadium-Fairgrounds complex.  DUH … sounds like a good plan to me.  Didyaever think of that, Tom?  Hooligans have some rights I suppose … stick’em off in a field somewhere and let’em cannibalize each other.  Who da hell cares, they’re freakin’ hooligans. …. a coupla 100 hooligans, AT MOST, hijacking an entire fan base!

Now, you won’t find one loyal WuffPacker even in the reserved lots that can see TA’s knee touching the ground in the tape from October 2004 and I appreciate their blindspot.  But you, nor Tom, won’t find one hooligan among those mighty fine sports fans who support NC State Football.

BobLee Swagger will always be a part of this pathetic bureaucratic SNAFU and “F-Bomb Alley” is now as permanent a piece of WuffLore as “amphibious” and “parade”.  Do I regret my role? … Absolutely Not.  “Fire-retardant tents” and “garbage bags” won’t do a darn thing to solve the real problem, I expect I will need to issue another warning in the Fall of 2007 for the same reason I wrote the first one in 2005.

Will Vice Chancellor Tom Stafford’s “tailgate commissioning” prevent NC State from achieving its destiny as an acknowledged national football power?  Actually John Bunting and Jim Grobe are probably more of a hindrance to that these days … but Tom sure ain’t helping.



In the movie Apollo 13, 

what actor uttered the “Houston, we have ….” line?


 BLS sez … 3 out of every 4 “short-order cooks” have served jail time (even the ones at WAFFLE HOUSE!)


   Michael Collins circled the moon while Neil and Buzz took small steps and giant leaps.

    This is Jimmy V Celebrity Golf Weekend … Prestonwood Country Club – Sunday shotgun at 9AM.  Rudy Guiliani is a major new “celebrity” this year along with bunches of Hurricanes, Wuffs, Ol’ Roy, soap stars, and a bunch of hotties … 13 straight years for BLS to be involved with Frank, TP, Michael and all the fine Jimmy V folks.

    OK … how many of you think Ol’ Swagger did not know there is also an astronaut named Thomas Stafford?  Who ya think you’re dealing with here?  Of course I knew that.  Hopefully Astronaut Stafford showed better judgement than Vice Chancellor Stafford.

    Next time we will discuss Kenan Stadium … “Napa Valley” … those luvable “real fans” … Meezies’ VIP Box … and (TaaDaa) “The Culture of Carolina Football” … don’t you dare presume to know what BobLee might be planning to say.  He just might have a curve ball planned that Burt Blyleven would envy.

   Want to e-mail BobLee?

[email protected]

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