March 7, 2023
“Comparison is the Thief of Joy”
… Boo Corrigan
There is an excellent article on The Athletic about the past 40 years of NC State Basketball by Dana O’Neil … NOTE: who is NOT a UNC J-school alum.
What’s the lifespan of a Ghost? Forty years after its miracle run, NC State is trying to find out.
Alas, The Athletic is a Paywall site. I subscribe so I can access it but I can’t link it for you. It is one of the only two sports websites I frequent. Clay Travis’ OutKick being the other. I will endeavor to summarize The Athletic article.
The first third of the piece rehashes the 1983 Cinderella Run … and the subsequent Fall from Grace of Jimmy V. It is the rest of the piece “since 1990” I find most interesting. … Describing the coaching carousel at NC State and the inevitable frustrations that have resulted.
The title quote up above – “Comparison …” – is attributed to NCSU AD Boo Corrigan who may have pirated it from Peahead Walker or Jordan Peterson or Dr Phil ??… anyway, I like it. It describes the malady effecting roughly 90% of hard core Wolfpackers…
It’s 2023. If you still wake up each morning cursing Larry Monteith, Claude Sitton and Peter Golenbock you might “have issues”. If you can’t spell UNC without adding “…heats” … you might “have issues”.
Lets be honest … some folks purposely buy their shoes two sizes too small so their feet will hurt every day. If such masochism is your thing … your choice.
Dana O’Neil does not discuss nor dispute the litany of felonious horrors that “UNC” has perpetrated on its sister institution over the past 50 years. Of which roughly 50% ARE legitimate “felonious horrors”. The other 50% much less so … greatly exaggerated passed along thru multi generations over a half-century.
The point is … Has a half-century of wearing them on your shirt sleeve and reminding friends, family and strangers in line at the DMV that UNC’s real – and alleged – skullduggery lives rent-free in your head gotten you anywhere? Other than being laughed at by most of the civilized world that could care less.
If so, continue … otherwise, maybe go with a Plan B
The article suggests it might be time to cast aside those “issues” and experience the Joy that sports fandom offers … or not.
The Triangle is unique in all of college sports. Three institutions within a 25 mile radius, each with multiple BB Nat Championships! There are plenty of Hated Rivalries in sports but none with the “every cul-de-sac a war zone” that exists in central North Carolina.
That two of those institutions have had the good fortune of Hall Of Fame coaches for 98% of the past 40 years is yet anther anomaly.
IF Jimmy V had never been promoted to AD but concentrated 100% on building and maintaining a Top Ten basketball program … could he have gone toe-to-toe with Dean, Roy and Mike for the past 30+ years with possibly more banners in NCSU’s rafters?
The brief time the three coaches did compete affirms that YES he likely could have. Alas, V’s frenetic personality that made him so immensely popular also set him on a path that led to his undoing … coupled with his untimely death by cancer.
Huuummm … a high profile figure with an uncontrollably provocative personality that tended to overshadow his achievements … where have we heard THAT before ???
That UNC and The News & Observer some how caused V’s cancer goes firmly into that 50% of UNC skullduggery that defies all logic by any non-partisan observer. Anyone alleging so should be kept far away from scissors, razor blades, loaded firearms … and voting booths.
With the recent retirements at UNC and Duke … NCSU is no longer facing two HoF coaches every season. 95% of Power5 basketball coaches are NOT destined for the Hall of Fame.
The radical changes ongoing in Power5 sports – NIL and The Portal – also are affecting the traditional hierarchy of college basketball.
Ever how enduring and successful Hubert Davis and Jon Scheyer may become … that they will approach the level of their mentors is highly doubtful.
Author O’Neil concludes that …
Perhaps NC State Basketball fans and the institution can now finally …remove the 40 year Ghost … and stop allowing Comparison to steal their Joy.
For my many friends in Wolfpack Nation … I hope that will be the case.