Circle the date – September 19, 2015. Amid Kenan’s lofty pines, much-maligned UNCCH outdraws both NC State and Duke COMBINED on a Football Saturday
And that was with UNC’s opponent’s – a Big Ten “I” school – traveling fan contingent numbering fewer fans than Duke’s Marching Several Dozen.
OK, this is a trick achievement. This past Saturday was Week One of Dave & Frau’s “Come To State & See The World” Promotion. State played Old Dominion in Norfolk at The Monarch’s 19,818-capacity “historic” Foreman Field @ S.B. Ballard Stadium Complex. How “cozy” is the S.B. Ballard Sports Complex? We’re told it would fit INSIDE The Hindenberg Hangar. No, there were no “charging stations” in the locker rooms.
This was a clever recruiting ploy to showcase NC State to the talent-laden Tidewater football community. Lawrence Taylor, Ronald Curry, Allan Iverson and “The Vick Brothers” are a few of the area’s notable athlete alumni. Curry being the one who has NOT “done jail time”.
State went all-out to impress by actually wearing its Red & White uniforms. The Monarchs dressed in all-black so the NCAA new rule of “one team must wear all-black” was met.
This coming week Dave & Frau’s globetrotting tour continues as the Pack travels to “LA” ….. Lower Alabama that is – Mobile – to play the Jaguars of South Alabama in Ladd-Peeples Stadium (cap. 40,000). FYI: Donald Trump drew over 30,000 to Ladd-Peeples on August 20 without wearing all-black.
Since Mobile’s best prospects have only woeful Auburn or Alabama as in-state options, The Pack should bring back a few blue-chippers from this jaunt. This is considered the Philip Rivers’ “home game” as PR’s hometown of Athens is only 349 miles away from Mobile ??
Meanwhile over at The New Wally….. Duke hosted fellow private elite institution Northwestern of the Jim Delany Big Ten/14. Wonder if Northwestern’s basketball coach Chris Collins came “back home” for this one?
Saturday’s very few fans turnout disproved the old adage – “Just install a bigger Jumbotron and they will come”. No, they won’t.
The empty seats @ The New Wally were as numerous as they were during the Ted Roof Era @ The Old Wally. That had to be as troublesome to Coach Cut as his Blue Devils’ lethargic play in a 10-19 defeat.
Nick Saban was not the only coach to see his National Championship hopes dissolve on Saturday.
Meanwhile eight miles down 15-501 “amid those gosh-darned towering pines” Team Larry/Gene ran amuck against “one of the ‘I’ schools” of Delany’s Big Ten/14. Fellow “Sleeping Giant” and fellow “scandal-ridden” Illinois proved no match for the rampaging youngsters in traditional Carolina Blue / White. The game wasn’t as close as the 48-14 final score.
Alas, as was the case o’er in Durham…. the appeal of a undefeated visiting Power Five opponent was not enough to fill the aluminum in fabled Kenan. Assuming “probably over 40,000” (??) were on-hand, that still tops the COMBINED turn-out to see both the Wolfpack and the Blue Devils on this particular Saturday. On TV, you couldn’t see the 20,000 or so Fat Cats enjoying chicken fingers inside The Blue Zone…. maybe ?? 🙂
Wonder how many TruBlues decided to stay home and watch on ESPN2 and listen to the historic play-by-play from a identified-as-FEMALE announcer – Beth Mowins. You know the notoriously gender-biased Chancellor Chihuahua and Dr Debbie Don’t Do Lunch were both “pleased as punch” to have Beth on-campus. I’ll pay cash money for a group pic of Chihuahua, Debbie, Beth AND Blake Dodge. All four of whom “identify as female”…. I think.
Did Chihuahua sport a special “Welcome Beth” lapel ribbon for the occasion? My invites to the Chancellor’s Box ended when Holden left so I can’t tell you. I also cannot confirm that Madame Folt had a bidet installed in the press box in honor of Ms Mowins.
NOTE: Wuffs versus Jaguars will be on ESNPN. Tar Heels versus Blue Hens will, alas, be relegated to ESPN3 a/k/a “computer TV”. Ga Tech vs Duke at New Wally will be on ESPN2 a/k/a “real TV”. Damn You John Skipper (UNC’75).
Elsewhere amid the color and pageantry – you just know that FireNickSaban.com surely popped up somewhere in Greater Tuscaloosa. It’s also a “for sure” that no disgruntled Crimson Tider is calling for Steve Spurrier to replace Nick. OUCH!
SS’s presser after being steamrolled “between the hedges” was basically “We ain’t worth a damn but what the hell, they’re all I got….”. Is it time for Ray Tanner to call The Swoff and see if The ACC would like “Two Carolinas” again?
After going 0-3, Louisville’s “Bad Boy” Bobby Patrino looked / felt like he had fallen off another motorcycle. OUCH!
Former Louisville Coach Charlie Strong had yet another Alamo-moment in Austin. A missed PAT proved that “program turn-around win over Rice” (??) was a tad premature. Regardless, Texas won’t be calling Spurrier either.
Gene Chizik’s old team – Auburn’s War Eagles – made it an 0-2 weekend for Alabama-based Juggernauts. Gus’ Guys got mauled by Mike The Tiger in Baton Rouge. OUCH!
No report whether USC Coach Steve Sarkisian was sober or not, but his Men of Troy got beat by “The Fighting Conifers” of Palo Alto.
Wonder if this is the first time EVER that Alabama, Auburn, Texas, Southern Cal, Duke AND Old Dominion have all lost on the same day?
I guarantee you that if this was Baseball, The Elias Sports Bureau would know in less than 30 seconds.
Speaking of Baseball…. The Cardinals’ streak of 3-game series without being swept stretched to 106 on Sunday amid “the VERY unfriendly confines of Wrigley Field”.
Here’s The Scene: The RedBirds was holding a 4-3 lead in the 8th – no outs and the bases full of Cubs. 40,000 Cub lunatics sensed blood-in-the-water as Cards’ relievers couldn’t find the plate with a GPS. A flyball to medium right…. Jason Heywood takes it on-the-run….. and fires a perfect laser to “Yadi” to nail Anthony Rizzo at home by a step. Trevor then strikes out the next Cub and 40,000 Cub lunatics are thwarted…..
BUT: On the play at the plate, “Yadi” jams his left thumb. OH NO !!! Little-used back-up Tony Cruz dons the tools-of-ignorance for the all-important 9th. Cards still up 4-3.
First Cub gets on. Maddon puts in his designated pinch-runner Quentin Berry – a/k/a the tying run. Berry was 25-0 in previous steal attempts. Little-used-backup catcher Tony Cruz hasn’t taken a single warm-up throw. 40,000 Cub lunatics and yours truly all know the Cubs speedster is going to steal second to be in-scoring-position with no outs. Rosenthal delivers…. the runner takes off….
…. and little-used back-up catcher Tony Cruz (with nary a warm-up throw) fires a PERFECT STRIKE to Kolton Wong at the bag and NAILS THE SUMBITCH by a half-step. Berry is now 25-1 in steal attempts. …. Ya HOOOO!
The RedBirds had ripped the heart out of the hated Cubs and stomped that sucker flat. Cards WIN 4-3 !!! McCarver going nuts calling the plays at the plate in the 8th and the throw-out at second in the 9th among Greatest Plays By Any Catcher Ever…. “almost Kennel-esque”.
…. after the game disgruntled Cubs’ manager Joe Madden claimed those two incredible plays were probably illegal but he wasn’t sure how. Cards’ “Manager Mike” responded by actually almost smiling.
Speaking of “streaks” I continued mine of not watching more than ten minutes of any NFL game in pre-season OR during the first two weeks of when-they-count. I did hear that the Cowboys have activated Clint Longley to replace the broken-collarbone (and broken Super Bowl dreams of) Tony Romo.
I told you in a Quirky last week about Ted Bell’s latest Lord Alexander Hawke’s action-thriller Patriot. I finished it over the weekend. “Best Alex Hawke yarn YET”. Imagine a combo of James Bond – Mitch Rapp & Dirk Pitt. Lord Hawke versus Vlad Putin one-on-one …. the Fate of The World in play…. guess who blinks?