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Old 05-06-2006, 09:09 PM
JAS JAS started this thread
 
Location: Metro Atlanta
569 posts, read 1,775,041 times
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Here's the skinny on the most popular spectator sports in NC. I'm talking more about the tastes of the "natives" of NC as opposed to newcomers ...

More loyalty and passion has traditionally been associated with college sports teams as opposed to the professional teams. Major league sports didn't arrive in NC until a couple of decades ago.

The most popular college athletic programs are the "Big Four" - UNC, NCSU, Duke and Wake. Those schools are charter members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, which was formed in 1953 and is HQ'ed in Greensboro. East Carolina University has a small but loyal following, but it doesn't have the tradition or success of the ACC schools. I have found that Univ of Tennessee has a following among some NC natives in the far western part of the state due to the proximity of Knoxville to western NC. Due to the fact that NC has become a popular relocation area, you can find alumni clubs in the larger cities for many non-NC universities.

College basketball is the most popular sport, with college football next in line. Most of the south, however, prefers college football over basketball. The Triangle has an incredible concentration of college basketball tradition and success with UNC, Duke, and NCSU. Wake Forest moved from the Triangle to Winston-Salem about 50 years ago, but they haven't had the consistent, overall success of the other schools.

The NC schools have had a few good college football moments, but those have been overshadowed by many long periods of mediocrity. No significant success to speak of.

A very quick description of the schools' fanbases (with a and ) :
UNC - either a "wine-and-cheeser" with a blue sweater wrapped around the waist, or the "Wal-Mart" fan who has never been to Chapel Hill.
NCSU - through the hills, through the sticks, NC State's a bunch of hicks...
Dook - Univ of Southern NJ.
Wake - they have fans?

The most popular professional sport in NC is NASCAR (although some newcomers don't think of it as a sport). Its roots are based on NC tracks and NC personalities moreso than any other state, and many of the race teams are located in NC. There is a LOT of money being made these days by people in NASCAR, and the TV ratings in NC are very high.

The Carolina Panthers now have a pretty good following, especially due to recent success. The franchise is only about 12 years old. Before the Panthers were formed, the Washington Redskins were by far the most popular professional team in NC, and I've met some people who still cheer for them ahead of the Panthers.

NBA basketball came to Charlotte in the late 1980's, but the Hornets/Bobcats have generally not been very good. Outside of the Charlotte area, I don't believe that too many NC sports fans follow them passionately. Maybe not even in Charlotte either. Most people would rather follow college hoops than pro basketball.

This funny sport called "hockey" came from Hartford to Greensboro about 10 years ago, and then over to Raleigh when the RBC Center was completed. Rumor has it that they are doing OK these days, but most people outside of Raleigh probably couldn't name anyone on the team. Minor league hockey has been in NC for a while.

Golf is popular in NC, with a couple of spots on the PGA tour in NC -- Pinehurst could be the golfing mecca of the U.S., and there are numerous public courses all over the place in NC.

No major league baseball team in NC, but there are lots of minor league teams throughout the state. Probably more Braves' fans than any other MLB team.

Last edited by JAS; 05-06-2006 at 09:12 PM..
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Old 05-06-2006, 10:44 PM
 
Location: Greater Charlotte area
104 posts, read 542,200 times
Reputation: 67
Default Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!

Basically, you did okay. I would have said great, but you had a few glaring omissions! But, don't worry, I'll cover for you.

The first glaring omission was that whenever Dean Smith's name is mentioned, whether in public or in private, you immediately turn to the east and bow three times. If someone mentions it again, then...what do you think? You turn to the east again and bow three more times. After a while, they will either quit repeating his name or you will just stay in that position. Older codgers and codgettes can recite for you play by play the games that went into 3 overtimes games of the '70s. Some even have to have their hearts restarted everytime they relive those occasions. Never, I mean NEVER let one word escape from your lips that might even vaguely infer 'let me tell you how we did it up north'. In this particular instance, that could get you deported and I don't mean by 'going through normal immigration channels'.
Now, to your other 'glaring omission'. Wow! There are some things you just can't leave to amateurs.

In 1976, UNCC was sneared at by the 'bigger' UNC's (those wearing light blue) but that was when we 'stood up to them' and showed them what we were made of. UNCC went all the way to the finals in Madison Square Garden. Now, my heart is already beating fast. I was a UNCC student and there was no test worth studying for if you had to miss that basketball game. In fact, it is highly doubtful that you would have found any professor on campus interested in giving a test during that time frame. By 'time frame, I mean the week preceding and the week after the game. The week before was for telling what we were going to do and the week after was for recapping the historic flight (through the air) of Cederic 'Cornbread' Maxwell. You see, we were near the end of the game when Cornbread saw only a couple of seconds left on the clock. I've got to stop here and calm down. Okay. I think can make it now. So, Cornbread grabbed the ball and just 'threw it' all the way from half court. That little baby just jet streamed right in that basket and we were in overtime. Those were the days my friend. Award winning artist Gene Payne did some special artwork to commemorate the occasion. i still have mine framed and proudly displayed. (No, it's not for sale.) Now that was hitting homefor UNCC! Stand up and take notice!

NIT 1976 - Game
Statistics. http://www.bigbluehistory.net/bb/Sta...Charlotte.html

http://archive.stjohns.edu/pls/portal30/retreive_img_data?img_id=3271 (broken link) More Statistics

Now these are things you are suppose to be born with, but thankfully, you have me to fill you in. Don't lose your notes.

I would be remiss if I didn't at least bring up the name of the late Jim Valvano (NC State) and Bobby Knight (the other blue - Duke).

Then there is the little known fact that we have another native celebrity.
Jim Beatty - (1963) - Was first to break four-minute mile record indoors.
Star performer at UNC-Chapel Hill and one of world’s greatest distance runners. Once held world two-mile record. Was named to National Track & Field HOF in 1990.

Pay attention when we're talking Round Ball...

.................................................. ........................http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h237/PewterRose/Basketball-animated.gif (broken link)


WE'll get around to NASCAR, Rome wasn't built in a day. I've even met Tim Flock many times since I knew his wife. If you don't know who Tim Flock is, we'll give you some library time.
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Old 05-06-2006, 11:18 PM
 
Location: Blue Ridge Mtns of NC
5,661 posts, read 24,670,044 times
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But did you ever meet Jocko?
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Old 05-07-2006, 07:58 AM
JAS JAS started this thread
 
Location: Metro Atlanta
569 posts, read 1,775,041 times
Reputation: 514
Default Cornbread

I heard Cornbread Maxwell on the radio last week. Sorry for omitting the prowess of the UNCC program .
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Old 05-07-2006, 11:27 PM
 
Location: Greater Charlotte area
104 posts, read 542,200 times
Reputation: 67
Smile I think I heard something about that too..

Quote:
Originally Posted by JAS
I heard Cornbread Maxwell on the radio last week. Sorry for omitting the prowess of the UNCC program .
I remember when they came back in to the airport I went out with a lot of other people to meet them. I was there a little early and the airport (the old one) was practically empty one minute and just minutes later, you couldn't move. It was funny to see other deplaning passengers. They couldn't believe their eyes that they literally couldn't get out of the airport on a Sunday night.

Well, it's alright that you omitted that as I was here to back you up. Otherwise, these new comers might have had to take a remedial local history class.
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Old 05-08-2006, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Monroe
110 posts, read 365,504 times
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NASCAR is the most popular sport Id say. It has lost many old fans since the closing of a few tracks around here and moving them to places that I dont think have ever heard of NASCAR. ie California and Mexico.

I think there is a new group of people moving to NASCAR. This type is the "new crowd" that saw it advertised on a commercial and decided to tune in. Also alot of "newcomers" as people are calling themselves these days. I think they feel inclined to watch it and go to the races because they think it helps them "fit in" better here. Just a personal gripe of mine.

And about professional basketball. Well NO ONE CARES about the Bobcats! I never hear anyone talking about them, on the radio or in conversation. They were a waste of taxpayer dollar. All we got out of it was a new coliseum in downtown Charlotte.

Football is a close second to NASCAR. In fact, they are played during different months from each other so if its spring or summer its NASCAR, if its the fall or winter, its Panthers. I dont think anyone will argue with that.
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Old 05-08-2006, 09:55 PM
 
2,560 posts, read 6,076,599 times
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Don't even get me started on NASCAR, I love it and I am a CA native (soon to be living in NC). My hubby got me hooked about 13 years or so ago. Don't forget CA did have Riverside raceway (I think Rusty won the last race their before they tore it down?). There are a lot of fans out here who are true fans. As far as the newbies, I agree they are just jumping on the bandwagon. I don't think they should race in Mexico or bring in Toyota next year. Can't something American just stay American? I think they should take away the Labor Day race in CA and give it back to The Rock (my first NC race I went to, the 600 my 2nd NC Race). I have always loved cars, fast cars, loud cars! Now you may consider me a newbie but I have actually learned about the sport. The worst thing you could say to me is "They just go in cirlces"!

Before NASCAR I loved football, watch it once in a while now and play in our football pool at work (which I hold for most winnings for a season, the boys were not happy with me). Hopefully The Panthers will do good again this year. Never have been a basketball fan.
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Old 05-08-2006, 10:47 PM
 
Location: Blue Ridge Mtns of NC
5,661 posts, read 24,670,044 times
Reputation: 3808
Quote:
Originally Posted by nascarnancy
Don't even get me started on NASCAR, I love it and I am a CA native (soon to be living in NC). My hubby got me hooked about 13 years or so ago. Don't forget CA did have Riverside raceway (I think Rusty won the last race their before they tore it down?). There are a lot of fans out here who are true fans. As far as the newbies, I agree they are just jumping on the bandwagon. I don't think they should race in Mexico or bring in Toyota next year. Can't something American just stay American? I think they should take away the Labor Day race in CA and give it back to The Rock (my first NC race I went to, the 600 my 2nd NC Race). I have always loved cars, fast cars, loud cars! Now you may consider me a newbie but I have actually learned about the sport. The worst thing you could say to me is "They just go in cirlces"!

Before NASCAR I loved football, watch it once in a while now and play in our football pool at work (which I hold for most winnings for a season, the boys were not happy with me). Hopefully The Panthers will do good again this year. Never have been a basketball fan.
You have a good memory of Riverside. Last race was June 12, 1988.

www.racing-reference.com/tracks?id=022 (broken link)

Last edited by mm34b; 05-08-2006 at 10:54 PM..
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