My Friday Five: On Meet The Heels, State Fair Concerts & More

Photo: Chris White
1. Meet the Heels Faux Pas

One of the things I look forward to each year is Meet the Heels, an event held by UNC Football allowing fans to come meet their favorite players and get autographs. I've attended several of these throughout the years and did just the same this year.

The session for football began at 5 p.m. and fans would have one hour to meet the players. I arrived at 3:45 or so and immediately got in line. The team was split into two separate lines, one for offense and defense, so I chose offense since the majority of players I wanted to meet would be there. For whatever reason, this had changed from last year as the team was split by position. Lines were long at this event but they were at last year's event as well. Once the session commenced, our line moved at a snail's pace. By 5:30, I hadn't even gotten close to the start. Then came 6:00. Still not close. The event officials ended the session and the players left. If you didn't get a chance to meet them, you were out of luck. Too bad, so sad. Hundreds of fans - including yours truly - left without as much as saying "hello" to the players. What's worse? Like last year, I parked in the Raleigh Road Visitor's Lot as it would be free, per the event details. Apparently, it didn't matter as I was charged $3.00 anyway.

If you know me, I cannot stand for my time to be wasted. It definitely was here. I wasted three hours of my life (counting travel), gas money and the three bucks I got cheated out of parking where it was suppose to be free. Last year's event went smoothly as I was able to meet several of the players. I don't get what happened in a year's time. I noticed several people who had a similar experience as me writing their concerns on UNC's social media platforms. None of which have garnered a response. Needless to say, I've been to my last Meet the Heels event. If I want to meet a player, I'll just wait outside the stadium after a game - if I even attend a game this season.

2. Congrats, Ryan Held

I talked last week (last week's post link) about several athletes from N.C. State competing in the Olympic Games this year. One of those is Ryan Held. The Pack swimmer - and, as I found out, current student in the College of Natural Resources at State which was my college - qualified for the 4x100m Relay event. He swam on the team in the Olympic Semifinals and the team qualified for the finals. There was no guarantee that he would swim in the finals but he did just that. Team USA went on to win the gold medal in the event, his first ever in his first Olympics. I don't know Ryan personally but, man, I'm stoked for him. He and Team USA have obviously worked hard to get to this point. No doubt, this will be a moment neither he nor I will soon forget.

3. Congrats, Jim Furyk

Congrats are also in order for Jim Furyk., who made history on Sunday. The pro golfer shot a final round 58 in the Traveler's Championship. No other player has ever shot that in a competitive round on the PGA Tour. Wow! Just think about that. I've always been a fan of Jim and I couldn't be happier. Simply amazing!

4. State Fair Concerts

N.C. State Fair officials announced this year's music lineup on Monday. Unfortunately, not a whole lot has changed. Returning is the "Homegrown Music Fest" as opposed to bringing in national touring acts to Dorton Arena like in years past. I started to come around to this all-North Carolina music thing as long as the Dorton Arena lineup, which I care about the most, was good. Well, it still isn't. Yet again, there isn't a single show in Dorton that I would go to. Meanwhile, almost every other state fair in the country is able to bring in acts both big and, at the very least, recognizable. If they're going to do this "homegrown" thing, it would have been nice to see Mipso, Building 429 and Mountain Faith Band in the lineup. Alas, it didn't happen.

Forgetting the shows in Dorton, I've almost always attended a show at the Waterfall Stage. This year will be no different as my friend, Katie Basden, will be performing there on October 14 and another one of my favorite artists, Larry Frick, is returning this year to perform there on October 15.

5. I'm In a Magazine!

That's right! As apart of my membership to the N.C. State Alumni Association, I receive a quarterly magazine called N.C. State. Inside each issue is a variety of news and feature stories, alumni profiles and blurbs from alumni on several subjects. The last issue of the magazine asked alumni to submit something that they learned while on campus at N.C. State. I thought it would be cool to submit a little blurb so I did - and it made it in the issue! You can check out what I said below!

"A wise Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management professor, Dr. Edwin Lindsay, once told our class that "Nothing is ever truly free." Now, I think Dr. Lindsay may have been discussing the practical meaning of this statement in class that day but, I took this and put it in the context of life. Nothing gets handed to you. Rather, you have to work to achieve your goals and aspirations. This is something I've kept in mind especially now that I've entered post-college life. I'd be lying if I said it was easy. Getting out into the "real world" after graduation is exciting but also a tad bit scary. Okay, really scary. You can't expect things to be handed to you on a silver platter. You just have to keep plugging away."

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