At 11:15 PM on Wednesday November 22, basketball season has officially began.Â I know the NBA started a few weeks ago.Â I know our beloved Wolfpack have started 3-0, but as I sit and watch ESPN2 I got a familiar feeling in my gut.Â
The 2nd ranked team in the nation isÂ down a dozen vs. the number 23 team and begins to make a run.Â Cut to the crowd and there’s a sea of sweater clad accountants.Â The burning begins in my gut.Â
Another basket by the favorite.Â Cut to a chubby tough guy in a pastel blue hoody mouthing “that’s what I’m talking about” over and over.Â The feeling intensifies, but I can’t quite place it.
The favorites continue the run by taking a charge.Â Cut to the sidelines and the Too-tanned-for-November coach and his silk tie screaming at his team.
Then the whistles start blowing.Â Offensive foul.Â Double dribble.Â Defensive Foul.
Then, an epiphany.Â I recognize the feeling.Â It’s hate.Â It’s hate for all things Carolina.Â Hate for all things blue.Â Hate for all things Roy.Â Hate for 7′ mouth-breating centers that don’t blink.Â Hate for Kenny Smith and Vince Carter.Â Hate for the well and the bell and the stone walls.
Seven months ago after the George Mason game, I put the hate away for the summer.Â Now it’s back, and like and old sweatshirt, it fits as snug as ever.Â