It’s All Too Familiar

Just another day in the life of an NC State fan.

That is the only way I can possibly describe what happened in Chapel HIll a week ago. Let’s be honest, stuff like that only happens to a select few. And NC State takes up a rather large percentage of that select few.

If you were not aware of NC State, ah, stuff, you should now have a full grasp of exactly what it is after Saturday’s fourth quarter. Not to mention the final minute in particular.

Going into the fourth quarter, NC State was in control, leading the Tar Heels, 35-25. Then, Tom O’Brien did what Tom O’Brien does best: he played not to lose. And it never works. Seriously, tell me how many times you have ever seen a team that plays not to lose come out on top?

Rarely, if ever.

The conservative approach TOB has in regards to, well, everything is tired, played out and so very old. When fans sitting in the stands, or at home, know the exact play your offense will run every down, to be sure the opposing team has some sort of a clue. It makes no sense.

It all goes back to what I have been saying for a year now; Tom O’Brien is the Herb Sendek of NC State football. That is all there is to it.

NC State fans hated Herb Sendek. He produced mediocre basketball teams that barely snuck into the postseason, and couldn’t be anything more than average. They ran a slow, methodical offense that fans knew like the back of their hand. And on top of everything, they couldn’t play defense if they knew what play the opposing team was going to run.

Sound familiar?

Everything that so many NC State fans hated about Herb Sendek, some NC State fans are celebrating TOB for. It is common to hear fans defend TOB by saying, “He takes us to bowl games. We’re no football school. As long as he takes us to bowl games he can stay forever.”

Why is it okay for TOB to sneak into postseasons, routinely underachieve, and then have the audacity to sniff at fans who question his ability to take NC State football to the next level?

It is unacceptable, and NC State fans should not stand for it.

NC State may not have ever been a national champion in football. The Pack may have been mediocre for a long time now, but why must the past dictate the future? Why can we not dig our heels in and say no more? Why must we accept mediocrity when we know we can, and should, be better?

With Tom O’Brien, what you see is what you get. Take away two gimme wins against FCS teams, and State is barely over .500. In what universe is that “good”?

No one plays the game to be average. No one plays the game to sneak into a bowl. No one plays the game knowing that inevitably they will not succeed. But that’s what NC State is doing right now. We, as fans, are sitting on our hands hoping that things will turn around, but it doesn’t work that way. We must stand up and be heard.

This is all too familiar for NC State. We’ve been through it before, demanded better, and got better. This isn’t Lee Fowler’s athletic department anymore, folks. We buy the tickets, the shirts, the hats, and help pay for those nice big shiny buildings they use. We can demand better.

NC State fans deserve better.


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NC State blogger Spencer HardisonSpencer Hardison has been writing about NC State athletics for over a year for various web sites, and has been talking about and passionately pulling for the Pack since the day he was born. He lives by the idea that numbers never lie, and firmly believes that defense wins championships. Spencer is one of the more opinionated and passionate people you will ever meet. Basically, he’ll argue with a wall, if said wall doesn’t agree with him. All in all, Spencer loves to be opinionated, make bold statements, and prove to everyone that he is right and they are wrong. Oh, and Taylor Swift has written three songs about him. You can find Spencer on Twitter at @SpencerHardison.

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