When I was little, my mom (bless her heart) was forced to watch hours and hours of the old-school Batman live-action shows and sound out all the “BAMs!”, “POWs!”, etc., that accompanied Adam West’s heroics in funky-color fashion. Why? Because her eldest son (yours truly) was obsessed with Batman … and he still is.
Now, my lovely wife gets to her me drone on about the Caped Crusader and how much of a bad mamma-jamma (not the word i normally use) the current Christian Bale edition of Batman is.
I wish our favorite football team was like Batman. Ominous, unafraid of anything, vengeful and mean.
But N.C. State is probably more like Superman. Or, actually, Clark Kent.
The Wolfpack falls prey to so many Kryptonites, yet has certain “phone booths” that turn the Pack from a nerdy newspaper reporter to faster than a speeding bullet.
And sometimes what can be the Wolfpack’s phone booth can also be its Kryptonite.
Like playing in prime time on national TV on Thursday night.
Case in point: the beating State received from Cincinnati this week. But last year, the Pack’s two Thursday night games were perhaps two of its most memorable, both at Carter-Finley. How exciting was the late-game snafu by Florida State near the Wolfpack goal line that sealed the game for NCSU and the beating State laid on the Bearcats?
Seems as if the Pack uses Thursday night as a stage to prove one of two things to everybody in the country: NCSU is legit and should be taken seriously … or the Pack is a bunch of pups that whimpers instead of growls.
Last night, obviously, was the latter.
To provide a better context of State’s Jekyll-and-Hyde complex, here is a recent history of the Pack’s play on Thursday nights (thanks to data from http://www.jhowell.net/cf/scores/ScoresIndex.htm and my football-obsessed memory):
-Lost to South Carolina 7-3 at home. Pack dropped a surefire TD pass that would have been the difference the game.
-Lost 34-0 to Gamecocks in Columbia. Ruseell Wilson goes down with an injury in the first game.
-Lost 26-17 to Florida State at home. Pack must have ate too many corndogs across the street at the State Fair.
-Beat FSU at Carter-Finely 24-20 in one of the more memorable wins in the last decade.
-Defeated Georgia Tech in Atlanta 17-14 thanks to some late-game heroics in the secondary.
-The following week, State gets pounded at home 31-10. Thanks, James Davis.
-Lost 17-10 to FSU at home.
-I was a sophomore at State, living in Metcalf. The Pack — really, T.A. McLendon — whupped Clemson down in Death Valley, pushing State to a 8-0 record (best start in school history) and campus went absolutely bonkers.
But the 2003 Superman that exploded out of the gate in Clemson was nowhere to be seen this past Thursday night.
Kryptonite was in full effect.
And Pack fans could sure use a hero right about now.