Learning to Loathe the Lobos

Brett Wetzell reveals the real reasons State added the New Mexico Lobos to its schedule this year. It turns out this matchup is much more than simply The 13th Game.


Learn to Loath Those Lobos

Experts have criticized the Wolfpack's football schedule as being too soft, but many simply do not realize that there is more to scheduling than satisfying the pollsters. Among the incentives behind some of the games NC State will be playing this year is the re-establishment of long lost rivals. Just as Michigan schedules Notre Dame, Virginia schedules Virginia Tech, and Florida schedules Florida State, or Florida State schedules Miami, or Miami schedules Florida - NC State has scheduled a matchup with heated rival New Mexico.

Many so-called fans are ignorant of the history between the two programs, but the fangs of animosity sink very deep into both. This is a game that everyone needs to be sufficiently motivated for - State fans should loathe the Lobos.

As innocent as any team hailing from Albuquerque may seem, New Mexico should not be so quickly discounted. Like the sound of their team name, the "Lobos" are deceptively viscious. "Lobo" is certainly a playful sounding word, recalling sweet melodies like "La Bamba" sung by musicians who call themselves Los Lobos. But the Lobos are wolves in spanish-speaking rock band clothing. For when "Lobos" is translated, it means "Wolves!" New Mexico has claimed for many years that they were not, in fact, stealing our formerly original mascot, but selecting a spanish word to honor their state's status as the new improved version of Mexico for the United States. Why, then, we must ask, is the school not named Mexico Nuevo? If New Mexico thinks it can get away with ripping off our team mascot after all these years, they have another thing coming. It's time for the Lobos to take a ride on the Chuck Wagon!!

The rift between the two schools cuts far deeper than plagiarism alone, however. Lee Fowler has been chomping at the bit for a whack at these guys for many years, and for good reason. Who doesn't remember the championship basketball season of '83? There, at The Pit on New Mexico's campus in Albuquerque, Jim Valvano led the basketball team to his first NCAA Championship. Sure, things turned out well for us, but the game wasn't a miracle for everyone. NC State's unexpected run to the Final Four was rumored to have significantly spoiled the gambling winnings of several high-level local organizers and administrators.

Things were all set for Houston to march to the championship, neatly capping the brackets of bettors throughout the university board and Albuquerque town government. But when Lorenzo Charles took the ball out of the air and slammed it through at the buzzer, he slammed the door on any opportunity officials throughout the greater Albuquerque metro area had on winning their office pools. Instead, secretaries and support staff who mistook North Carolina State University for the University of North Carolina when filling out their brackets made out like bandidos across the state. New Mexico had it in for Jimmy V. ever since, and you can bet his ousting from NC State was the undercover handiwork of a clandestine group of Lobos. Many players knew the truth, but those who dared to speak out were quickly silenced by a New Mexican cover-up. Shackleford and Washburn are just two of the names whose brave voices would only reward them with destructive slanders and framings by an underground New Mexico-UNC network fostered by Dean Smith and Pete Chilcutt.

Now, with former spies Todd Turner and Mike O'Cain out of the picture, Coach Chuck Amato is ready to take on the programs that NC State has a little unfinished business with. Unlike our two-faced enemies, NC State has honor, and will always choose to settle its scores on the field.


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