Wearing Out His Welcome?

Over the course of his six years at N.C. State, head coach Chuck Amato has gone from hero to almost a zero.

Initially, he was lauded for his ability to put Wolfpack football on the map.

Recently, has been ripped for not being able to maintain a certain level even though there tons of talent on both sides of the ball.

When he was winning, his outer space sunglasses and his bright red, Rudolph-like shoes were quirky, fun and different. Now that he's losing, those same objects are viewed more as something a clown wears.

The mocking of Amato, which includes that of his high-pitched, horse voice, was taken to a whole new level close to a month ago when the Raleigh News & Observer's website displayed a cartoon character depicting Amato as Chuck Dynamite, a parody of course of the cult classic Napoleon Dynamite.

In the cartoon, he gets into a fight with basketball coach Herb Sendek and asks Virginia Tech head football coach Frank Beamer if Hokies have large talons.

"I saw it about a month ago when it first came out," Amato said. "I laughed. You know me, I like to have fun and I enjoy life and I enjoy myself. If you're going to laugh at other people, you've got to laugh at yourself. I think it's silly, but I laughed at it just like all you people laughed at me."

Amato is an easy target, especially with his outfit being what it is. But add his monstrous chest and his antics off the field and he makes it even easier to lambaste him.

At a football media day in the summer, the emcee asked Amato, North Carolina coach John Bunting and Duke coach Ted Roof to describe themselves in one word.

Bunting said, "Loves Carolina." (Yes, that's two words). Roof said, "Intense." Amato, without flinching said, "Stud."

Then there was last Thursday's game at Georgia Tech, which saw the Yellow Jackets move to the N.C. State two, for what appeared to be the game-winning drive, and throw an interception in the end zone.

The ball hit star receiver Calvin Johnson in both of his hands and it bounded away and into the fortunate Wolfpack player's hands to secure the win.

Following the game, Amato said there was never a doubt his team as going to stop Georgia Tech. In reality, the Yellow Jackets stopped themselves.

N.C. State had nothing to do with it.

Every two weeks or so, it seems he does something else to cause everyone to do a double-take in his direction and scratch their head and wonder if this guys actually understands what's going on.

Yes, there are those calling Thursday night's game between Clemson and the Wolfpack the "Hot Seat Bowl," but Tiger fans should consider themselves fortunate to have Tommy Bowden as their coach, even if they don't like him.

After all, an alternative could be Chucky Cheese.

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