Tuesday, December 06, 2005

BlogPoll Roundtable #12

Texas A&M and Baseball in No Particular Order hosts the final BlogPoll Roundtable of the regular season.

1. Why your school? Did you go to school there? Were you legacy, did you pick it for academics, for the football team, the party reputation?

[By the way, I'd be interested to hear other Wolfpackers' answers to this question...]

It sounds perverse, but I would only be lying if I suggested anything else: athletics were totally behind my decision to attend NC State. Mind you, it didn't have anything to do with the success of Wolfpack athletics (seein' as how there wasn't much to speak of during the 1990s).

I couldn't help it--I was brainwashed before I knew any better. My dad (and all three of his brothers) attended NC State. They were sports fans, so my childhood featured a lot of Wolfpack sporting events. In fact, I think my earliest sports-related memory is of NC State's painful loss to ECU in an early '90s bowl game (1992?). By the time I hit high school, I was too passionate about NC State to seriously consider going anywhere else.

It didn't matter that I grew up in a terrible era for Wolfpack sports. It didn't matter that I had no intention of becoming an engineer; I could find something. Going somewhere else, cheering for some other home team would have been...weird.

Maybe if I'd known what I was getting myself into, I could've convinced myself otherwise.

2. Name a player or two who had "THE GAME" against your school. I'm talking about a guy who simply dominated your team and all you could do was tip your cap and say, "Wow."

I'll just quote from this game recap:
Duke appeared down and out midway through the second half, but rallied from a 15-point deficit as Redick had 23 points over the final 10:05, giving the Blue Devils their fifth straight ACC title in stunning fashion.

I thought I was over this one, but reading the recap today still induces a cringe.

On the football field, Clemson's Woodrow Dantzler had an epic performance against the Wolfpack in 2001. Clemson won 45-37. In addition to his impressive passing performance--23-27, 333 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs--Dantzler ran for 184 yards on 23 carries, and, as if the passing TDs weren't sufficient, scored two more touchdowns on the ground.

On the third play of the game, Dantzler broke a tackle and dodged defenders on his way to a 55-yard touchdown run. Such a helpless feeling in Raleigh that day. Laugh, shake your head, and move on. That's all you could do.

3. There are games that I have no interest in but I watch simply to see a certain guy play. What players from this season do you do the same for?

Reggie Bush is a given. In the ACC, there aren't a lot of players who I make a point of seeing, although I do try to catch Marcus Vick whenever the Hokies are on television. I would have watched more of Maryland if the Terps had gotten the ball to Vernon Davis more than 5-6 times a game. It's fascinating to watch how many guys it takes to bring Davis down.

4. A few weeks ago we were asked who the best player to suit up for our school was. I'm curious who your favorite player to ever suit up for your school is? Certainly doesn't have to be a superstar, or even a starter.

Without a doubt, it's Jamie Barnette. Jamie threw for over 9000 yards and ran the Wolfpack offense for more than three years, but that isn't why I liked him so much. He was competitive, tough, and a great leader--the kind of player you're thrilled to have representing your school on the field.

Along with Torry Holt, Barnette helped restore the program to respectability after a pair of crappy 3-8 seasons. His senior year was a disappointment (aside from beating Texas), and he never beat North Carolina, but the team's shortcomings could never be attributed to a lack of effort from Jamie.