I’m back, and it’s time to hate on the...checks schedule....looks up mascot...Charlotte 49ers...but before I get to that.
Clemson comes into this game fresh off the back of an ulcer producing trip to Syracuse that saw the traveling Tigers eek out a 41-6 victory. If ever there was a harbinger of doom for Clemson’s current run, it was this Syracuse game. Clemson didn’t score what ended up being the game winning touchdown until their second drive of the game. I’m not sure the Tigers can keep tempting fate this year with the Gamecocks looking dominant after their somewhat respectable home loss to Alabama where they tried really hard and didn’t quit until the 4th quarter. Throw in the wrecking ball that is Wake Forest and this Clemson team is in for a rock fight if they want to make the CFP again this year. They’ll be lucky to survive the brutal ACC slate, but could possibly make it in with two losses based on strength of schedule alone. I don’t want to put that to the test though.
The ACC schedule, however daunting, is on hold for a week as the Tigers take on the UNCC...err...I mean Charlotte 49ers. The 49ers come into this game at 2-1 after dismantling a formidable UMass team. According to Coach Swinney, there’s not much separating the Charlotte 49ers and the San Francisco 49ers. We’re going to need to bring our A+ game if we want to preserve our 18-game winning streak. Clemson reserves night games for just such occasions. Hopefully playing under the lights in front of 85K crazed fans can push The Tigers over the finish line in this one.
Now let’s get to the hate.
Every time I hear “The Carolinas” I shatter the crown on my back molar. I shatter at least three crowns during hurricane season alone as I listen to pencil necked weather geeks saying that the hurricane is “threatening the Carolinas.” Generally that means that The Outer Banks in North Carolina are about to get smashed, but it’s impossible to tell because all you get is “The Carolina Coast.” Are we talking Wilmington or Charleston, because there’s a pretty big difference between the two.
I’m going to be honest, I don’t know much about Charlotte’s football team, but I do know the entire state (with a few exceptions) of North Carolina is a festering sore, oozing puss on our Northern border. For the fine people of our state to have to suffer the insult of being thrown into the “Carolinas” with those illiterate hill jacks is a burden almost too great to carry. We’re trying to stay classy, but it’s hard when you’re grouped together with the state equivalent of a single wide trailer with a Trans AM in the driveway and an empty above ground pool in the back.
You never hear someone lump “The Virginias” together because let’s face it, the civilized people in actual Virginia have little in common with the varmint eaters to their west. North and South Carolina have a similar civilized (South Carolina *excludes the greater Columbia area and all Coastal Regions infested with Ohioans) and uncivilized (the painfully backwards mountain folk from the north) dichotomy, and yet, the people of South Carolina aren’t extended the courtesy that our Virginia brethren receive.
I will continue to shoot off strongly worded emails to anyone who uses the term “The Carolinas” in any setting. I suggest you join me in this educational campaign #CanceltheCarolinas.
This my be the most controversial statement I make in one of these “Hate” articles, so brace yourselves. Rick Flair, hailing from, Charlotte, North Carolina, is the most overrated performer in the history of professional wrestling. There, I said, it now we’re all going to have to deal with it.
Anything Flair did in the ring after 1990 was a joke. Flair was perfect for “territorial wrestling.” When he wrestled in the NWA he could breeze into town, pull off his heel gimmick, put on his cookie cutter match, and then move on the next town. Sure he put on the exact same match every night, but since it wasn’t on TV it wasn’t monotonous. After he left the NWA for the WWE (and subsequently the WCW) you saw Flair for what he was, a one trick pony with a flashy robe and a bad haircut (his 1991 WWE “can I speak with your manager” look may be the worst wrestling haircut of all time).
True wrestling aficionado knows that Flair, even with The 4 Horsemen, simply clutched the coat tails of better wrestlers, while hogging all the spotlight. Out of Ole Anderson, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, and Rick Flair, who are you taking in a fight? Rick, with his feathered hair and Liberace robes comes in a distant 4th, but yet, he is still considered the face of The 4 Horsemen. During Flair’s years in WCW, Arn was the real in-ring talent, but Rick looked better in his bedazzled bath robe and makeup, so they put him over instead.
When I think about it, no one exemplifies Charlotte, North Carolina better than Rick Flair. He was all flash and no substance. Just a redneck in a robe pretending to be anything other than the four move, one catch phrase wrestler, redneck in a robe he actually was. Much like how Charlotte is a nothing more than a fetid retention pond for North Carolinians that fall off their mountain or got flooded out of their hollers and end up in “the big city.” You can dress Charlotte up in a flashy robe, and give it a 10 dollar haircut, but it’s all just a desperate attempt to distract you from the fact that’s it’s nothing more than a little backwoods North Carolina town pretending to something it’s not.
“(North) Carolina Panthers”
Folks, I know some of you are Panther fans, and I’m sorry to break this to you, but you’ve been sold a lie. The NFL plopped a team down in Charlotte and told you that it represents both North and South Carolina. This is absurd and insulting.
North Carolina cares as much about football as South Carolina cares about shooty hoops. Having a embarrassingly bad professional basketball team in Charlotte makes sense, but a football team, in Charlotte...the entire notion is laughable. Jerry Richardson was a North Carolina guy, with the interest of North Carolina in mind, that scammed the good people of South Carolina into rooting for his team.
The great state of South Carolina suffers enough shame on Saturday, when the supposed flagship university in the state inevitably gets throttled on the gridiron. It shouldn’t have to suffer the same shame on Sunday when a professional football team from North Carolina, trading on a joint “Carolinas” name, inevitably loses as well. Why a football crazy state like South Carolina, home of the three-time National Champion Clemson Tigers has to be associated with such poor football is beyond me.
To make matters worse, the “(North) Carolina” Panthers have avoided Clemson players like the plague. Despite having ample opportunities to draft a Clemson player in the first round, they have refused to make the move. Holding strong to their North Carolina disdain for winning football players.
Here’s a rundown of Panther’s draft mistakes
2019 - 16th Pick - Brian Burns (FSU) over Dexter Lawrence
2018 - 85th Pick - Rashaan Golden (UTenn) over Dorian O’Daniel
2017 - 8th Pick - Christian McCaffery (Stan) over Deshaun Watson
2016 - 30th Pick - Vernon Butler (La Tech) over Mackenzie Alexander
2015 - 4+ rounds to draft Grady Jarrett - Didn’t draft Grady Jarrett
I could continue, but you get the picture. The (North) Carolina Panthers have been a franchise since 1995 and have never drafted a Clemson player. The (North) Carolina Panthers have been a franchise since 1995 and have also failed to win a Super Bowl. It’s obvious that these two facts are inextricably correlated.
North Carolina can have the Panthers. If I wanted to cheer for a maddeningly inconsistent franchise without a Super Bowl Ring, I could support the Falcons.
I’ll see you next week when Clemson faces off against Charlotte’s big brother. This game is barely worth me effort. I’m just hating out of respect for Dabo and the boys.
* Just in case this actually makes it to any Charlotte fans. I write this article every week, and much like Rick Flair, like to play the heel.