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NC State vs. UConn: A brief football history

Connecticut v NC State Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Someone put the prompt on Twitter the other day, “what’s the least satisfying win you can remember” or something like that, but anyway the first thing that came to mind was this:

This was a week after State’s loss to Tennessee in Atlanta, which is to say that it was the perfect double-letdown spot, and that nearly materialized. I don’t remember anything from this game in particular that the highlights don’t show. I’m sure all of the football in between happened, and hell, I even wrote about it (unfortunately). Not sure what’s worse at this point: looking back at sad highlights from 10 years ago or looking back at my writing from 10 years ago.

The first meeting between these teams came in 2003, and that’s a game that would still exist heavily in the lore had it actually been televised. You know those games where you are confident you’re going to win by like three touchdowns, but then the opponent’s attempts to win prove disturbingly successful, and then it’s still very much in doubt late in the fourth quarter and you’re like “UH OH” but then Freddie Aughtry-Lindsay picks off a pass and returns it for a touchdown as time expires? Man, those games are an experience.

That was annoyingly endearing ESPN football analyst Dan Orlovsky on the throw there. Shit looks like the zapruder film because it wasn’t a televised game; that’s the scoreboard feed and audio. It’s disturbing to me to think back about this—some football games simply were not on television, and you had to either be there or listen on the radio—and that’s in this century! I was alive at this time. In college, even. Very unsettling.

I wonder how many good sports finishes have been lost in this way. Countless, when you think about it. People have been playing sports, I mean just in general, for what, a good several thousand years? And this is merely one planet in a vast, incomprehensible universe. The universe has been deprived of so many SportsCenter top 10s, when you think about it

And then there was last year:

The first good solid triumph of last season, and the settling of all of our concerns about the offense—thankfully, that was the beginning and the end of those. Thayer Thomas hauling in a bullet and taking it home was a solid cathartic moment after that stress in Greenville, and for a moment the preseason was reality again and also there was a touchdown.