Don’t let Red Rage get you down

With the summer heat in full swing and the sound of fireworks still burned in our brains, it makes sense to shed light on an important topic of relevance to the UNC-N.C. State rivalry… or lack thereof.

Over the past few decades, a chronic affliction has developed within the confines of Raleigh’s Beltline that causes excruciating pain among tens of thousands of North Carolinians. I am talking, of course, about Red Rage.

I know that many of you are blissfully unaware of what Red Rage is, being completely free of its pernicious symptoms. Count yourself fortunate; you’ve been unintentionally conditioned to ignore this phenomenon due to an abundance of winning.

Red Rage is a psychological disorder commonly found among N.C. State fans. It has been slowly and indelibly forged as a result of abiding feelings of inadequacy relating to the futility of N.C. State athletics, particularly over the last quarter century.

The Wolfpack faithful are suffering from deep-seated insecurities about their lack of athletic or academic accomplishments, especially relative to the much older and more venerated state flagship institution in Chapel Hill. This insecurity leads them to detest anything and everything Carolina blue.

State fans are angry, but they shouldn’t be. There’s nothing to get upset about. After all, every superstar needs a hapless foil to allow their brilliance to shine. Would the Roadrunner be nearly as hilarious without Wile E. Coyote to abuse? Who can’t appreciate that the Washington Generals have made the Harlem Globetrotters look that much better all these years? Where would Michael Jordan be without Craig Ehlo to eternally posterize?

N.C. State is UNC’s Craig Ehlo.

During the summer, very little is as important to me as the proper functioning of my air conditioner. And thanks to a team of dedicated N.C. State engineers trained in the art of climate control, my apartment stays at a pleasantly frigid 65 degrees at all times.

So next time your high school buddy who went to NC State references “UNC-CHeat,” don’t respond in kind. It may not be a secret that Charles Shackleford, the famously “amphibious” State basketball player, took over $60,000 in impermissible benefits during his time in Raleigh (more than the combined value of impermissible benefits for all of the players implicated in UNC’s investigation). And it’s a matter of public record that State has had five cases of major NCAA infractions, placing them on the same level as Miami and Alabama in the NCAA’s cheating hall of fame. But don’t bring any of that up. The best way to fight Red Rage is to focus on the positive.

Instead, take a moment to appreciate the impressive animal husbandry techniques that put that delicious, grass-fed, 12-ounce sirloin on your grill for the Fourth of July. Our country cousins from Raleigh should understand that they are appreciated for their invaluable contributions to our way of life.

Go Heels. Go America.

Nate Harrison is an editorial board member for The Daily Tar Heel. He is a junior peace, war and defense major from Durham. Contact him at

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