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Nuggets of Gold
Friday, October 19, 2007
By Adam Gold
Adam Gold is program director of the Triangle's "850 the Buzz" and host of "The G-spot with Adam Gold" mornings from 6-10 a.m.


Family feuds need sweetened pots

By Adam Gold
All rights reserved.

We’ve got to do something to pump some life into North Carolina college football.

Yes, our Pirates have rallied after a 1-3 start to put themselves in position to challenge for a berth in the Liberty Bowl.

Yes, Appalachian State has the last two NCAA Football Championship Subdivision of Anaheim titles in its trophy case.

And, yes, Wake Forest is the reigning king of the ACC. I'm still having a hard time with that one, are you?

However, if you believe everything’s in good shape football-wise in the Old North State, then I have this beach-front property in Wyoming you should consider.

This season has been fun so far, provided you live in the 252 area code. East Carolina’s battled back after a slow start, but State, Carolina and Duke have about as much chance at going to a bowl as Britney does of getting her kids back from K-Fed.

We at least have had the excitement of both North Carolina and N.C. State making the trip to Dowdy-Ficklen for some in-state football fun. Now we just need to make it an annual.

Yes, the Heels and Pack are on the Pirates’ schedule a combined seven times between now and 2016. Yes, there’s a good chance that more match-ups will be added in the future. And yes, many of those upcoming games are back in G-Vegas.

That isn’t enough.

We need some excitement that goes beyond Saturday afternoons in this state. We need something more than great Eastern N.C. barbeque and hush puppies — you can keep the sweet tea, thank you. We need a little more sauce then this year’s mythical state championship.

We need a name. We need a prize. We need something the winning team can wheel, carry, drag, wave, lug, tote, roll, swing or wear off the field.

Of you’re thinking “gimmick,” then so be it. Let’s get ourselves a gimmick and get these intrastate games on the list of college football rivalries.

Washington and Washington State play for the Apple Cup. Okay, that doesn’t necessarily inspire aggressive play and probably brings to mind more of an “afternoon tea” image. But, it’s a start.

Backyard Brawl is good, but it’s taken by Pittsburgh and West Virginia.

We could start the Tobacco Tussle? Nah, that sounds like a Toby Keith lyric.

Ole Miss and Mississippi State square off every year in the Egg Bowl, which I’m sure doesn’t smell very good, but the winner gets to keep the Golden Egg for a year — and make omelets for everyone the next morning.

Oregon vs. Oregon State is called the Civil War. Interesting, but let’s not go there.

Minnesota and Wisconsin play for Paul Bunyan’s Axe; Michigan and Minnesota vie for the Little Brown Jug; and Iowa and Minnesota go at it for the Floyd of Rosedale Trophy, a.k.a., the Bronze Pig.

That last one sounds right up our alley, doesn’t it? I don’t care what anyone says, this part of the country does ‘Q' better than anyplace else in the USA.

Minnesota surely is busy though, huh? Still, all that motivation hasn’t helped lately as the Gophers haven’t held all the trophies up for grabs in its rivalries at the same time in 40 years.

If the Indiana-Purdue annual winner takes home the Old Oaken Bucket, we could play for a brass spittoon? No?

And what about Bowling Green and Toledo? They play for the Peace Pipe every fall. Though I’m not entirely sure we should be encouraging college kids to use a pipe as motivation.

Alabama and Auburn have the Iron Bowl; Stanford and Cal play in The Big Game, not to be confused with The Game pitting Harvard and Yale. I guess the big difference is that the Cal-Stanford winner also gets the Stanford Axe, which the Golden Bears might use to chop down Stanford’s annoying mascot, the Tree.

There are two boots up for grabs every year. Brigham Young and Utah go at it for the Beehive Boot, while the Arkansas-LSU winner walks away in the Golden Boot every year.

Duke and Carolina play for the Victory Bell with the winner getting to paint it their shade of blue for a year. But, Southern Cal and UCLA also play for the Victory Bell and, considering their pedigree is a little stronger, it’s hard to really recognize the Heels’ and Devils’ reward as anything more than a consolation prize.

If they can all do it all over the Midwest, rust belt and deep south, so can we in the Coastal Plains. Maybe we need our own Samuel Ryder, the seed merchant that donated the Ryder Cup the Americans lose every other September.

The truth is that in almost all of these cases, it isn’t the trophy that makes the game matter. It’s the passion for the game that leads to the trophy that gives it that special feeling. Without the latter, the former is worthless.

Still, we need something tangible at stake in the family wrangling. Let’s have State and East Carolina battle for the Wrought Iron Rotisserie (the better to slow-roast the hog) while the Pirates and Tar Heels — considering each boasts a medical school — can play for The Brass Bedpan.

Okay, those are terrible. But, at least it’s a start.


10/19/2007 06:32:55 PM

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