The Kid In The Banana Suit

February25/ 2011

If I had given it a thought, I’da figured it out; but I turned to one of my Wolfpack hosts and asked:  “Why is that kid dressed in a banana suit?” ….. “So he will attract the TV camera.”  …. Duh!  Same with the kid in the chicken suit and the one wearing the horse’s head.  Coeds have it easier …. just be REAL pretty, skanky or cuter than a box of kittens.

As noted in the comments to Can’t Count To 10! I attended this week’s Bitter Rivalry Game courtesy of a Big Wuff.  The Pureheart Family from Chapel Hill was there too ….. of course.

My “don’t care about ACC Basketball anymore” column drew a quick response from a particular longtime reader – a Wolfpacker of significant stature.  How “significant”?  If he calls WPC Honcho Bobby Purcell, Bobby answers by the second ring.  A gentleman who has invested not only $$$ but considerable time and interest in NC State University both academically and athletically for going on 50+ years.   He invited me to be his guest at this past Wednesday’s Bitter Rivalry Game with Carolina at The RBC.

You read the column so you know my mandatory criteria regardless of complimentary status – lower level / primo parking spot / congenial company.  His offer met all three.  I accepted …. knowing sure as shootin’ that column fodder would abound.

Our seats were within 15 rows of courtside.  His parking place is within a makeable putt of the front door.   The others in our party were as congenial as I knew him to be …. although they were “from New Bern”.

Before I grew up and developed a grown-up attitude towards sports rivalries, I hated “New Bern people” with the sort of clenched-teeth foolishness that Lib/Dems now hold about Sarah Palin.  They were “all abuncha _____” without question.  Fortunately with the arrival of facial hair and my 20th birthday, I outgrew all that.  But it made for some fun chatting.  Oddly, they once were certain that I, and my neighbors, were “all abuncha ____” too.   They outgrew that too.

The RBC was full (a rarity for a program stuck in low gear for “awhile”) and passions were high.  NCSU and it’s RBC Center is unencumbered by Skipper People with lifetime rights to all the primo seats as is the case with Dean’s Dome.   They are able to have students on three sides at courtside.  That, of course, ratchets up the raucous factor considerably which, imo, is a good thing for college basketball.

NC State-detractors would argue this point but NC State kids are pretty much like college kids everywhere.  They have acute “look at us be crazy college kids” syndrome.   Don’t confuse them with a Toomer’s Corner Terrorist who is 62 and hopefully destined for a feet-first trip thru a Tuscaloosa wood chipper soon.

There was the kid in the banana suit and the kid in the chicken suit and the kid wearing the horse’s head.  There was also, of course, the obligatory two kids in the full-body wedgie suits.  You know …. those unitard things that come in the school color and cover their bodies completely from head to toe including their faces.  EVERY school in America has those two kids these days.  Again ….  fine for 18-19s but a little much for 45 y/os.

As my host noted …. all designed to be TV camera magnets

“the arm-candy option”

and they were all successful multiple times.   The alternative for attracting attention is have a drop-dead gorgeous (and/or a skankette) date.  Kids wearing banana and chicken suits don’t usually have “the arm-candy option”.   It’s the same at Cameron and at Dean’s Dome and pretty much anywhere.


OhMyGosh ! – “The Tiki Girls”

…. Were State’s Legendary Tiki Girls at the game?  Naaaah, but a gratuitous Tiki Girls picture always jazzes up a column.


Other Observations from The Evening:  The Purehearts were there.  You know “The Purehearts”.  State and Carolina both have a sweet innocent “Pureheart Family” that always
attend bitter rivalry games in the other team’s lair.  The results are always the same – “The Purehearts” get physically, emotionally and psychologically MOlested.   The MOlesting is beyond horrid and gets horridier and horridier with each retelling.

This recent “The Purehearts Get MOlested” had a celebrity angle – Mrs Ol’ Roy was Mrs Pureheart!  The “what happened” of course has three versions ….. the red version – the blue version – the real version.  As do all “Pureheart MOlestation” legends.

The “real” was officially described by UNC SID Steve Kirschner as “no big deal”.  The red and the blue versions bordered on Manson Family visits Sharon Tate and something so hideous “Criminal Minds” could not use it for a episode plot.   Yawn.

Wanda Williams and her seatmates (the crème de la crème of Roy’s inner circle) escaped with no visible bruises, torn clothing or identifiable trauma.  The sweet innocent NCSU college students involved in the episode did not have “priors” nor links to Yemen terrorist camps.


‘’…. and then there was “what Tyler Zeller did”?   I was, as noted, sitting among Wolfpack grown-ups of some civic significance.   Putting aside their grown-upness for the night, they all seemed quite convinced that UNC Academic All American Tyler Zeller was doing a Buford Pusser on the sweet innocent State players that dared get  within a swinging 2×4 of him “in the paint”.  Those damn refs ….

Exactly 13 hours later I was with over 40 Baby Boomers For Jesus deep inside Chapel Hill.   To a man they were astonished that “those typical State thugs” were allowed to beat the immortal crap outta dear sweet Academic AA Tyler Zeller.  Those damn refs ….

Again, a red version …. a blue version …. a real version.  It was a physical game with lots of biguns banging on one another.

Sidney drew a technical towards the end but by then the first two waves of  “can’t take it any mores” had left The RBC.  We stayed ‘til 00:00 because my gracious hosts are “real State fans”.

Of course, I was right ….. column fodder abounded!

PS:  Did I mention that as we walked thru the RBC Center, very nice polite young men kept recognizing my host and thanking him for various acts of generosity and support he has offered them.  He didn’t think I noticed, but I did.

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