UNC fans love to claim NC State is “not a rival” and they use several (invalid) reasons to back it up. UNC claims their men’s basketball success, or domination, the past decade warrants NC State as a irrelevant competitor. Sure, Duke-UNC trumps every other rivalry in the country. But first, what is a rival?
By definition, any Division 1 college team could be a “rival”. But rivals, in the traditional sense, have a lot to do with how deep the history goes between teams. It usually has to do with a close proximity between the teams and is amplified by disdain or bad blood for one another.
Raleigh and Chapel Hill are 25 miles away from one another. They’ve been competing athletically for about 125 years. NC State has defeated UNC in at least 8 different sports in the past year. This rivalry is one of the richest, deepest rivalries in the country. The ACC, specifically North Carolina basketball, was established on NC State, Duke, UNC and Wake Forest.
I believe TarheelNation (is that a thing?) is doing one of two things: 1. Simply using “not a rival” as a bit to troll NC State or 2. Too ignorant to understand or appreciate tradition in the triangle.
At times, UNC fans spend much more time trolling and arguing with WPN than with Duke fans. The Twitter handle @uncbarstool, which may be the worst fan account to date, tweeted a packed message (after deleting and revising it three times) after Tuesday night’s win over NC State:
The irony is too much as they state “don’t ever come at us saying this is a rivalry”. Interesting take as their football team is currently in the midst of a historic losing skid to the Pack over the past decade. In the past year, UNC teams have lost to NC State’s men’s basketball, football women’s basketball, hockey, swimming, wrestling, baseball, gymnastics and volleyball teams.
Tarheel blogger @tarheelblog tweeted a laughable article:
At this point, Tarheel fans are making themselves look silly. Continually hammering the idea of “‘not a rival” by constantly exerting effort to prove that point. This only proves one thing: UNC fans value their time enough to engage in competitive banter more than any other team/university…which by all means implicates you are indeed, a rival.