The week leading up to the game between North Carolina and NC State some trash talk went back and forth, but for the most part, it was more the media reminding both fan bases that this was a rivalry game. Once the game was over, which the Tar Heels won, the team from Chapel Hill decided to go and stand at mid field.
That brought one of the media outlets to report of what the NC State players thought about this move, and another to make it part of their video recap of the game. Now, whether you believe what the Carolina players, who just won their second in a row against a rival, was right or wrong is up to each of you, and not for me to sway you.
My thoughts go elsewhere.
The first off, was it not main stream media speaking about this being a rivalry game for most of the week leading up to the game in Raleigh? Basically hyping up this match up as much as they could? But when in a hard fought match up, who could have gone either way for most of game, and with the winner keeping their hopes alive of going to a bowl game and holding on to the state bragging rights, the team celebrates in a way that isn’t the usual method it becomes the story?
Make no mistake, whether you liked what the players did or not, the only ones that from here on out can lose from it will be the North Carolina football team. Cause you well know that if NC State wins at Kenan Stadium they will be going to mid field to “repay the favor”. And rightly so, since if you can dish it, you need to be able to take it as well.
On the other hand, there is a ton that win from this. First off is the rivalry itself, cause this will heat it up next time these two programs meet. The fans that might not want to get to this game this year, will want to be there next time, to either see their team do it again, or to see their program get even.
The Universities will gain from this, as I am sure for years to come the stands will be packed. And I could keep going, as I am sure both of the programs will be making t-shirts for this event in 2014 (and longer), but we all get the drift.
It will benefit the fans from each teams as they will get going even more about this match up, where they will be trash talking before, during and after the game. As this will become a lot more than just sixty minutes, more than a week before it, because… it is a rivalry game!
But there is also another point to dwell on. Whether you thought that going to mid field was classy or not, rude or not, right or wrong, the fact is that the players went there, having no one to run by, unlike when teams play in games such as UNC/Duke does, where the some hardware is at stakes. And when the winner of the match ups is getting their trophy back you see the players do a mad rush to retrieve the “Victory Bell” (or any of the other hardware) with the risk of trampling cheerleaders and other people on the field. I have more of a problem with that then in this instance. Just like I have a problem with rushing the court in basketball, as someday someone will get hurt from it.
Also to be noted, the team went to thank their fan base that came to Raleigh for the game. Somehow that was forgotten in the mix. Probably due to the fact that this is something that is always done!
Cause say what you will, this is a rivalry and in those games words are said, especially now in the technological era, players are just a bit more heated up, fans just a bit more pumped, and things might just straddle a bit more the rules (be it written or not). But until people do not get hurt, property does not get destroyed, laws are not broken and the winner knows that next time it might be them on the wrong side of the score board and accepts it, then I can live with it.