They say “hate” is a strong word.
Whoever “they” are, they’re right.
That’s why I feel okay describing my feeling regarding the Carolina Tar Heels with that oft-used four-letter word.
I H-A-T-E the damn Heels.
Allow me to put it in perspective.
If ISIS fielded a football team and faced off against the Heels, I would gladly learn how to cheer in Arabic.
Yep, it’s Rivalry Week in the Old North State (I will NEVER refer to NC as the “Tar Heel State”).
NC State vs. Carolina. Saturday, November 24. Chapel Hill, NC. 12:20 p.m.
Carolina leads the overall series 66-35-6, but it should be noted that a lot of those 66 wins came in the era of segregation and leather helmets.
Whoopdee-friggin-doo. Maybe Carolina should look at those victories the same way they look at Silent Sam?
The week leading up to the State-Carolina game is always a challenge for me (hell, EVERY week during football season is a challenge for me), because it doesn’t matter how good State is or how bad Carolina is (or vice versa), the game always ends up being a finger-biter.
That’s right; it skips the nails and goes right to the flesh.
The Heels could have Pepe Lopez as their starting quarterback and an offensive line made up of Thin Mints, and I would still be nervous as a Wolfpack fan.
Why? Because I’ve seen State choke more than an autoerotic asphyxiation enthusiast, especially when facing inferior opponents.
Especially when that inferior opponent is (guess who?) Carolina.
The best example of said choking occurred in 1999, when the teams held the game in Charlotte, NC.
My family made the three-hour drive to witness the Wolfpack finally, after six straight losses in the rivalry, obliterate the short-handed Heels.
We had Jamie Barnette. We had Chris Coleman. We had friggin red helmets. We were DUE.
Going into that game, the Heels were 1-8. The Wolfpack was 6-4. But, as mentioned previously, that didn’t mean a thing.
Unfortunately, State receiver Coleman was stopped JUST SHORT of the damn goal line late in the 4th quarter, completing the ultimate choke.
The drive back home after the game was, shall we say, unpleasant.
Fast-forward 19 years, and the importance of this matchup hasn’t waned a bit.
Come Saturday, I’ll be riding the couch, drink in hand, praising every Wolfpack success and cursing every Tar Heel success.
Come Sunday, I’ll either be glowing with triumph or asking myself:
“What the hell happened?”
So let’s go, Wolfpack!
And go to hell, Carolina!