Carolina Red

Well. That was fun.


In a shining example of how you should always say what you want, clearly and directly and out loud (something at which I am terrible), I have been talking about going to an NCSU football game all week, and today my boss walked into my office with a handful of free tickets.  I went.

I’m an NCSU alum, and I consider my grad school years at the College of Design to be WAY more of a college experience than my time as an undergrad at Wake Forest was.  And yet: I never made it to a game.  None of us at the College of Design ever made it farther away from Kamphoefner Hall than Sadlacks, and that’s only because it was practically across the street.  Taking a whole afternoon off during a studio semester was unthinkable. (To put that in perspective, most years we were advised to skip Thanksgiving with our families, since that was certain to be distracting to our end-of-semester design reviews.) There were, of course, people in the architecture program who took time off for things like football games and Thanksgiving.  They all failed out within the first couple of semesters.  Insane, but true. 

I pull hard for NC State, though.  NC State is where I feel like I found my people, all kinds of other souls meandering through careers that were fine but not quite right, who also landed at the design school to investigate other options.  I owe that place a huge debt of gratitude, and I wish I could write everyone there a whole bunch of big checks to back that up.  I can’t.  So I try to be a good fan until then. Also: my grandmother’s brother wrote the melody for State’s alma mater. I feel like that gives me a little bit of fan cred.

The game was huge. Carter Finley is so, so much bigger than I thought. There were a million people in the stands tonight, all but an obnoxious few of them wearing red. It was beautiful.  And we lost, hard, to the number 3 team in the nation, but that had more than a little bit to do with the referees.  It’s documented.

We didn’t win, but we played hard. And the fans were loud, and the night was mild, and the moon was full.

Next time I’m taking the afternoon off.  And tailgating. I’ll be the one in red.

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