So you’re headed to Charlotte for the game on Saturday.
Good for you! Charlotte is a fun city. While you’re there listen to my friend Scott Fitzgerald on WBT or my friend Chris Kroeger on WFNZ. They’re both great.
But look, you’re not really in town to experience what Charlotte has to offer. You’re there to watch the Gamecocks and the Wolfpack. So rather than give you recommendations on Charlotte, let me help you get under the skin of North Carolinians and NC State fans in general.
See, Garnet and Black Attack has an inside man when it comes to the Wolfpack - me! I have lived in Raleigh for the last 12 years. I am surrounded by Wolfpack fans and all of their insecurities. So let’s go over the basics. These are things you should build your chants and gamely signs around.
ABOUT THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA IN GENERAL
1. BARBECUE - There are two styles of NC BBQ. There’s Western Carolina style, which is delicious and Eastern Carolina style, which is awful. People that prefer the thin, vinegar-based Eastern Carolina style “sauce” are very sensitive, so let’s focus on them. I didn’t grow up in either of the Carolinas so both Eastern Carolina style and South Carolina mustard sauce are strange to me, but I have come around to the idea mustard sauce, while not exactly barbecue, is it’s own, strange culinary delight. Eastern Carolina style barbecue tastes like pulled pork that someone peed on.
2. THE WRIGHT BROTHERS - This one is more of a shot at the state as a whole rather than a shot at our citizens. See, the Wright Brothers may have first taken flight at Kitty Hawk in the Outer Banks, but they were from and did much of their research in Ohio. That doesn’t mean much to the everyday Tar Heel, but the state celebrates the first flight on its license plate and its quarter, so chances are Ohio claiming the same honor chaps the ass of at least one person in power.
3. OUR OVERALL REPUTATION - Politics aside, 2016 wasn’t a great year for North Carolina’s reputation. Businesses, concerts and sporting events fled the state as a result of the controversial bathroom bill. The Supreme Court recently told the state that its political districts were straight up racist. That carried over to 2017 when one of our beloved American Idols brought a gun to the airport. There’s a lot to make fun of there.
Now if you aren’t interested in dragging Tar Heels, Blue Devils, Demon Deacons or various other mascots into this, I can give you a list of NC State specific subjects, but please let’s keep this classier than the outside world expects from people that wear the word “Cocks” on multiple pieces of clothing.
ABOUT NC STATE
1. RUSSELL WILSON - Oh my God, do Wolfpack fans hate it when you suggest any of the following: Tom O’Brien kicked Russell Wilson off the team, they don’t get to claim Russell Wilson, Russell Wilson is a dork, Russell Wilson is a phony, etc. Some of them are true. A lot of them aren’t.
2. BASS FISHING - NC State’s last national championship in anything was for its bass fishing club team in 2012. Now look, fishing isn’t as easy as it seems, so these kids deserve kudos and surely their fans will have some quip about women’s basketball to fire back, but just know how much this irks them.
3. WAKE FOREST & BOSTON COLLEGE - If you make fun of NC State for not being very good at football their fans will often shoot back “How do you expect us to win? We’re in the tougher division.” Whenever they do this, it’s fun to remind them that Wake Forest won that division once and Boston College won it twice.
4. THE PERSECUTION COMPLEX - Not every NC State fan believes the the powers that be in the ACC are out to get them. Probably most NC State fans don’t believe the ACC has it in for them. Those fans are unfortunately not the loudest fans, because the segment of the NC State fanbase that believes the ACC is out to get the Wolfpack will not shut up. How do I know the ACC isn’t out to get NC State? Because NC State isn’t important enough to the ACC’s or NCAA’s bottom line to be the focus of a conspiracy.
Okay, these are good places to start. Now go, my friends. Go annoy and irritate Wolfpack fans, anyone in Bank of America Stadium, and the entire population of North Carolina.