Friday, March 9, 2007

Fans, make some noise

Maybe the most noticeable difference – palm trees not included – about the ACC tournament in Florida can’t be seen.
It must be heard.

This ACC tournament, six games in, has been jammed with close games, three going to overtime, one to double-overtime. And while the tournament rarely reaches the jet-engine scream of a huge game in Cameron Indoor Stadium or Maryland’s Comcast Center, it can get loud.

And it’s gotten loud in the St. Pete Times Forum, just not ear-buzzing, chest-thumping loud. It was loud during the latter stages of N.C. State’s victory over Duke Thursday night but not rock-concert loud.

The 5,000 or so hearty souls who stuck around to the end of Wake Forest’s post-midnight win over Georgia Tech made some noise but, by then, everyone was so tired they mostly just watched and gasped.

During the first two games Friday, the crowd – the place was close to full with a few scattered empties in the upper reaches – was good but not great. It made you think the roof would be quivering if the games were in Greensboro.

Maybe tonight or Saturday afternoon when North Carolina and Boston College go at it, the place will go nuts. ACC tournaments should not just be seen, but they should be heard, too. -- Ron Green Jr.


bucanole said...

Being born and raised in Charlotte my first 32 years, I have been in the Tampa Bay area since 1983 and jumped at the chance to see my first ACC Tournament in my own backyard. I want to thank all of the ACC stay-at-home fans, particularly in North Carolina who chose to make a statement against the Tampa Bay locale by turning in their tickets. I was one of the lucky ones who was a benificiary of their complacency. You missed a great time with great weather, in a great place. If you don't believe me, ask your friends when they come home. Everyone I talked with was amazed at the venue and the tropical vacation-like atmosphere they experienced. It is possible they might also say that it just wasn't like Greensboro or Charlotte, but then again, there is nothing wrong with that. This is one time that empty seats can't be blamed on a lack of local support. Tampa Bay rolled out the red carpet. This event separated the true ACC fan from the "convenient" ones and for that, I thank you for a once-in-a lifetime opportunity.

Elmer Hilker
Palmetto, FL
South Meck '69
UNC Charlotte '73