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I'm so angry, I could just ignore all grammatical conventions!

When I step back and actually think about it, I can't figure out why sports message boards are so addictive. The very nature of the sports message board is one rooted in overreaction--be it positive or negative. And there's a point that every major message board reaches where the idiots rule the lot and drown the board's intelligence through sheer volume.

I know this, and yet I keep coming back.

Read a board after a loss and you'll begin to question your fellow man. No one in internet land seems capable of understanding that one game is ... one game.

Things are never as bad or as good as a message board makes them seem.

Take, for instance, this train wreck from the aftermath of Defensive Coordinator Reggie Herring's departure from NC State. A single coach leaves the staff and all of the sudden the sky is falling.

"OMG the football program is falling apart!"

"Even though I have no real idea about this I'm going to assume that this means our coaches don't get along and so I'm going to ask why Chuck Amato is so hard to work for in a gigantic run-on sentence with a lot of exclamation points and general feelings of outrage!!!!!!!!!!"

"No high school player is going to play defense for us! We're a pathetic top-30 program in a major D1-A football conference with good facilities!!111 We're doomed!"

Is anyone capable of keeping a level head? Does looking at all that red on the message board make people surly? It's amazing.

And you see this stuff everywhere--it's not just on NC State message boards, and it certainly isn't limited simply to college football. After a loss, the season's over. After a win, the team's going to win the championship. Lose coach--death of program. Add coach--oh, happy day.

I'm sure Reggie Herring is a good coach, but the fact of the matter is that nothing justifies the contract he was offered by the University of Arkansas. He'll earn $300,000 per year for three years, and it's guaranteed. All this for one season of work at NC State. One.

Arkansas obviously doesn't care much about externalities in this case--they don't care that we returned like 10 starters on defense, including the entire front seven. They don't care that 2003's defense was plagued in part by poor technique thanks to the simple lack of a defensive coordinator. They don't care that the ACC had a lot of mediocre offensive ball clubs in 2004. All they care about is that shiny "#1 in Total Defense in 2004" statistic.

And so they grabbed Herring, and they did so with a ridiculous financial package that should have everyone in Raleigh laughing at Arkansas's misfortune. Instead, Wolfpack fans are ripping each other apart over this issue, and many have just assumed that Herring's departure has everything to do with a bad relationship with Chuck Amato rather than with money. Others are outraged that NC State's administration didn't make a counter-offer, ignoring the fact that any such offer (which would have had to at least equal $300k/yr) would have been a major mis-appropriation of funds on our part. Herring was already making $195k per year, and that's plenty for a coach with his reputation. No way does he deserve to be one of the highest paid assistants in college football.

But he is now. Thanks to Arkansas.