Football is back! Even more importantly, however, “How to act at work” is back! The workplace is the most diverse place in North Carolina, partially because our governor doesn’t have jurisdiction over private business, but mainly because every office has fans of every team working together closely. There’s nothing like a North Carolina office after a big weekend of sports. There’s trash talking, commiserating, conspiracy-theorizing, and celebrating … all in the same office at the same damn time.
Each week, we’ll bring you a recap of the weekend’s action and let you know what to expect at work around the break room through the magic of stock business photos.
Wake Forest fans
A win is a win, but a 7-3 win over Tulane is the kind of result that’s hard to celebrate. On one hand, the defense allowed three points. That’s a solid outing regardless of opponent. On the other hand, 10 first downs? 175 yards of total offense? Against a team that won 3 games the previous year? Yeah, that’s not great, especially when expectations were higher for the offense coming into 2016. The goal for the Deacs is six wins and a bowl game, and you’re one win closer to that goal. But some of those potential wins like Syracuse, Indiana, Boston College and this weekend’s Duke game seem more unlikely than they did a week ago. You’re spending your morning looking at the future schedule trying to find five more wins, but you’re probably struggling to find the excitement in that exercise.
NC State fans
Normally a win and UNC loss makes for a perfect return to the office, but there’s the small matter of that ECU game coming up next weekend. There are two games on the schedule that Dave Doeren absolutely cannot afford to lose, and there’s no way you’re feeling all that confident about beating the Pirates in Greenville. Who am I kidding? There’s no way you feel confident about any Saturday because that’s not what State fans do. You want to say something to that annoying Tar Heel fan who shares a cubicle wall with you, but you know you can’t. The football gods are listening. So no matter how many times you hear him mention SEC refs or the “Santa Clara Ray Felton” rule that guarantees an opening loss means a Coastal title for the Heels, swallow your words. This is a week of nervousness.
All of your work friends saw the score so you’re already looking forward to a morning full of congratulations and pats on the back. But there’s a second layer to those conversations that excite you the most. “Well, it was just NC Central” followed by “Oh it was 49-0 at the half and your third string basically played the entire 2nd half? Your starting QB only played a little over a quarter? Your 5th string running back had more carries than Elijah Hood?” Yeah, you can’t wait to see their faces when you have those conversations. Positives all around unless you work with anyone who used to be in the Central band because … yeah … the Sound Machine did the damn thing at halftime.
There’s absolutely nothing like the hubris of the nouveau riche. It’s not just you, UNC fans, it’s literally any fanbase who yearns for the big time and finally gets there with a successful year out of nowhere. Not you, long suffering UNC football fan. You get it. You know moments like last year are to be cherished. I’m talking to you, guy-who-already-took-vacation-for-the-college-football-playoff. You’d already alienated all of your work friends by yelling “SWITZER” in the hallway while pretending to juke Martin from Sales and Marketing because that’s the only player’s name you remember, so that text you sent your boss in the 3rd quarter with a 10 point lead saying you’d quit your job if the Heels lost … he’s probably calling your bluff.
NO MATTER WHICH COLORS YOU WEAR ON SATURDAYS, PANTHER FOOTBALL IS BACK THIS WEEK. LET’S F*@#ING GO!!!!