Edge: NC State

Ahh yes, the smell of rivalry is in the air. It's either that or the stench of mediocrity coming from Kenan Stadium.

I think we all agree that there is nothing better than a good, healthy dislike for a foe.  Of course, there are rivalries all over the place in this world, and NC State/UNC-Chapel Hill is just one piece of a puzzle that includes Texas-Oklahoma, Miami-Florida State, Itchy-Scratchy, etc.  But I would definitely put ours on the list regardless of those who believe otherwise. 

Folks, I read Brett Wetsell's column on this very subject, on this very web site and quite frankly, I ain't buying it.  I know when I was at State, I took part in a "friendly" tackle football game between Technician and the Daily Tar Heel during the weekend of the Wolfpack/Tar Heel football game. 

I left with blood all over my shirt (but, as Matt Lail will verify, we won the game).  Now that's a rivalry. 

Which is one reason I love it.  If they're indifferent, that's their problem, not ours.  We can hate ‘em and hate ‘em we will!  And there is no better way to fan the flames of a rivalry than to add gasoline to it. 

One way to do that is by resorting to childish name-calling, which isn't beneath many of us.  Another way to do it is by taking everything your rival holds dear and belittling it to the point where they are so full of rage, they don't know what to do with themselves.

With that being said, now is as good a time as any to break down the N.C. State/UNC-Chapel Hill rivalry on the field and beyond:

Wolfpack: Symbolizes strength, unity and power. 

Tar Heels: Symbolizes dirty, bare feet (Note: No offense to the parts of North Carolina that knows enough not to root for UNC-Chapel Hill). 

Red and Black: In the immortal words of Wesley Snipes, "Always bet on black."  Black is the most intimidating color on earth, end of story.  It just so happens that the second most intimidating color is red.  The Pack has both of them (Has anyone else just been curious to see how cool black NCSU helmets would look?  Me too). 

Powder Blue and White: Here's a good litmus test: If you went to prison wearing a powder blue T-shirt with the word "Heels" scrawled across the chest, you would be used as currency.  End of story.

The Memorial Bell Tower: An architectural marvel built to honor the 33 N.C. State alumni who lost their lives in World War I.  It overlooks the university and reminds all who visit that the men are engineers and the women are engineers, too.  It is the perfect campus centerpiece.  It also doubles as the ultimate phallic symbol, so it has that going for it.

The Old Well: It's a hole in the ground.  No real significance.  At one point it was the only water source on campus, so in 1897, UNC President Edwin A. Alderman had the foresight to say, "You know, if this here hole is going to end up as the defining symbol of this school, can we at least make it look decent.  C'mon people!"  Guess what ... it didn't work.

"Go to Hell, Carolina" (NCSU): No, it's not the real line, but we know that it's better than "Over the hill, Carolina."  Any fight song that has swearing and directly taunts your arch-rival is just classic.  Sometimes I introduce myself to Carolina alumni with that line.  Plus it's fun, has a catchy beat and it's easy to dance to.

"We hail from NCU" (UNC): NCU?  What is this?  I would imagine it stands for "No Clue University," because nobody I know refers to UNC-CH as NCU.  Folks, you're allowed to change the lyrics, you know (On a side note, would this make us SNCU?  And after about 40 years, wouldn't we just realize that stupid and should be updated?  I thought so). 

Phillip Rivers: Legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate.  Posted record-setting numbers.  Has the Pack perched near the top of the Associated Press poll. 

Darian Durant: Turn-ons include discouraging star recruits from attending his school; Turn-offs: Throwing to his own receivers.

State: Beat Tar Heels women's soccer team, 2-1.  Praise be to the Heavens!

NCU: Lost to Pack's women's soccer team, 2-1.  It's all going to hell in a handbasket.

Now the flames are fully fanned, all of my e-mails are sent to the few Carolina grads I know, the beer is in the fridge and the radio broadcast is book marked on my computer, let the beating begin!

Michael Preston is the former Sports Editor of Technician and has followed the Wolfpack closely since his college days, but from above the Mason-Dixon line. He is currently the P.R. Director for Nazareth Speedway.

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