I've had the distinct pleasure of growing up a Wolfpack fan. Soaring on highs from the football team's victories over Clemson and UNC under Dick Sheridan and defeating Florida State with Chuck Amato at the helm. Hanging on with clinched fists and gritted teeth as Lo Charles sank free throws in the opening round of the ACC tournament in the closing moments against Wake Forest to start the championship run in 83.
As fans we have suffered with the players as they have endured the lows that accompany the trials of sport. Derrick Whittenburg's broken foot, Levar Fisher's broken arm and losses to rival teams.
Several things separate a WOLFPACK fan from all other breeds, but the one thing we can all point to is "we believe". It also can be said that we respect the work ethic and attitude of the young men and coaches before us. We stay for standing ovations win or lose. We come early and stay late out of respect and enthusiasm for OUR team. Our Wolfpack. And the players seem to take on the characteristics of the fans. What was the old Hertz rental car slogan? "We work harder!"
In my lifetime I have attended games at 7 of the 9 ACC schools for basketball and football. Usually to watch the Pack. Some schools can't get their students to show up for games. The powder blue a few miles from Raleigh couldn't manage to find anything worth cheering for this season. Wolfpack fans who throw debris on the playing surface are the exceptions to the rule. But verbal insults are not the only things thrown about in other arenas with great frequency.
How many powder blue shirts will be seen in the triangle this Spring? I know the Wahoo's are wondering if they have any fans. No one will claim them. Even in seasons with little success, Wolfpack fans turn out to support their teams. Had Coach Sendek been at UVa or UNC the fair-weather fans would have been rid of him before giving him a chance to succeed. Thank goodness for the insight to keep him in place and let him run his team.
I've become a fan, of the Wolfpack Fans.