Wetsell: Why State Hates Carolina

For years, UNC fans and players have insisted that their only rival is Duke. They have claimed innocently that they don't understand why State fans hate Carolina so much.

Some will even dismiss the notion that UNC is NC State's chief rival by offering the lowest of insults, a slap-in-the-face statement like "I even pull for State when they play other teams."

Really, now? Well, State fans pull for Carolina sometimes too. We pull for their program to go down in a burning ball of shame and embarrassment for all the nation to see. So, it's unfortunate that tomorrow's game won't be nationally televised. Don't think the media graduates from UNC didn't have anything to do with the State-Carolina game being banished to digital cable. They are trying their best to keep the Heels off television. It's not like this year's squad is exactly an ideal advertisement for the university, you know?

So yes, State fans harbor a healthy bitterness toward the school, the players, and the fans in Chapel Hill. Let's face it, the place is a petri dish of unnaturally inflated egos. Misplaced haughtiness tends to turn people off.

So what happens when there is no opportunity for Carolina fans to broadcast their superiority to the world? Tarheel haughtiness is practiced with the tactic of intended indifference. Thus, when naive State student Steve encounters Carolina graduate Chadwick to impose his team's football superiority with a bold comment like "I hope ya'll don't fire Bunting!," he is dismissed by a standard comment like, "Oh? I don't know. I haven't really been following football. We're gonna be real good with May, Felton, and McCants coming back though. That will be $3.44 for your latte."

State fans want the conflict, we want the competition, we want to have fun with our fancy-pants foes, but UNC fans aren't having it. It is quite frustrating. They really don't care. That's why every other year, they gladly leave plenty of room in Kenan Stadium for State fans to take over, since they know it means so much to us. And even more frustrating, they refuse to understand why we enjoy beating them so much, and why State fans always make such a big deal of the State-Carolina football game.

I will try and spell it out for them. After all, if you can remotely insinuate that a Carolina degree does not actually offer any level of superiority, much less actual career preparation, you can pretty easily get the attention of all those aloof baristas.

State fans enjoy beating Carolina because, 1: they think they are better than everyone else. Now couple reason #1 with the fact that Carolina isn't actually better than everyone else, but in fact sucks, and you can see why State fans relish chances to slap them back to reality.

Reason #2: UNC students have easy courses. I don't care what anyone says, it is much harder to design and model a circuit in 3D than to write a 14-page paper about music in China before the Mongolian invasion. Thus, we resent them for being able to cruise to falsely prestigious degrees.

Reason #3: Michael Jordan. How many in-state football players want to play football at Carolina because Jordan played basketball there? UNC fans, consider your school greatly resented.

Now, this column is not intended to prod the beehive of UNC fans and see how much they buzz. I merely want to help UNC fans understand why State fans so enjoy playing and defeating them. Which, to paraphrase, is because UNC is incredibly irritating. See? UNC fans probably thought that State fans were just boorish antagonists looking for simplistic fun. Nothing could be further from the truth. We just want UNC to care -- and to realize how superior NC State is.

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