Friday, September 19, 2008

The 'BBQ Bowl' gets underway on Saturday

Nationally-ranked East Carolina will travel to Carter-Finley Stadium tomorrow for the latest bout in what the N&O's Caulton Tudor (correctly) calls the state's greatest football rivalry.

"As traditional rivalries go, it's still an infant," writes Tudor. "The winner doesn't get to stake claim to an oak bucket dating to Teddy Roosevelt's administration (or earlier), or a victory bell mounted on a funky little wagon, or anything else that equates to tangible evidence of an important outcome. It's not even a conference game, probably never will be. ...

"The impact of those early State-ECU games on regional football interest was immeasurable. That's why the game in Carter-Finley Stadium on Saturday will be among the most emotional played anywhere in the nation. It's rivalry for the sheer sake of rivalry. ..."

It's a game without a name, which says a lot about the impact/importance of the game itself.

But Dave Singleton has thrown out some ideas for the game.

"Looking around the country, other long-standing traditional football games have adopted, over time, unique handles. There’s the Carolina’s Clash, which Raycom marketing execs cooked up for a game between NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill in Charlotte, The War on the Shore, The World’s Largest Cocktail Party and so on. Many are named for seemingly random trophies, which mean little except to the competitors: The Old Wooden Bucket, The Keg of Nails, The Old Rusty Tweezers (OK, I made that last one up, but you get the idea.)

"So now, some 12 years later, I still yearn to find the perfect label for the game. The series, such as it is, still divides households, still creates upheaval and still generates exceptional pigskin exuberance. We just need something to call it…

"Here’s a few I’ve since come up with, followed by why they just don’t work. I invite you to come up with ideal solution for this little problem and post it in the comments section below.

"Backyard Brawl: Would be perfect, except it’s taken.

"The Frontyard Fisticuffs: too violent…. and silly.

"War on (US Hwy) 64: Greenville is on 264, so not geographically correct, and a might cumbersome.

"The Tobacco Bowl: Rich in heritage, but totally not PC.

"Carolina Conflict: Contrived, besides the word Carolina is too deeply buried inside the name of NC State to be actually relevant.

"The Oyster Bowl: except we’re the only ones with any natural proximity to Our Favorite Mollusk (42nd St. Oyster Bar notwithstanding). I believe that we used to play William and Mary annually in a regular season ‘Oyster Bowl’ many moons ago.

"Farmers Vs. Freaks, Plowboys Vs. Pirates, Plunderers, Pillagers etc… Stereotypical, and antiquated. Nope, wouldn’t recommend these at all."

One person suggested the "BBQ Bowl." Sounds about right.

The Pirates are favored for the fifth time in the last eight games, and you can expect a lot of purple in the stands.

"As we have have said many times, this is ECU’s Super Bowl, every year," says StateFans Nation. "This is especially true when the Pirates are favored, and even more so when favored and playing in their favorite place to riot, Carter Finley Stadium. Nine out of ten NC State fans don’t give a rat’s ass about the game, other than a little schadenfreude when the hillbillies go home disappointed. We don’t remember any Wolfpack tears shed when then-AD Jim Valvano cancelled the series and pledged never to renew it. You see, Valavano - like most thinking people - didn’t see the logic in scheduling games that mean the world to your opponent, and nothing to your own institution (other than the significant chance of serious property damage)."

Yep, it's a rivalry.

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