One of the most storied programs in college football history visits Chapel Hill this weekend, but you wouldn’t know it if you searched UNC football on the any social media platform. That’s because of comments Tar Heel quarterback Drake Maye made about their in-state rival, NC State, during a Tuesday afternoon press conference.
When talking about his love for his school, Maye said that many from North Carolina grow up as Tar Heel fans – adding that those who do go to NC State only went there because they couldn’t get into Chapel HIll.
Later that evening, Maye issued an apology for his remarks.
This likely coerced apology was not needed. Drake said what he said, and he meant what he said. Maye’s Tar Heel roots run deep. His father, Mark, was UNC’s quarterback from 1983 to 1987 and his brother, Luke, is a Chapel Hill basketball legend. Drake’s distain for NC State has been cultivated since birth…and that’s ok.
Rivalries are fun. They’re what set college sports apart from the pros. Sure, Maye gave the Wolfpack bulletin board material they’ll use when they play each other November 25th. That’s also ok.
Let’s stop watering down sports. Trash talking is good. Disliking your opponent is ok. Taking shots at your rival is normal. Celebrating wins and scores isn’t bad sportsmanship. All of these things are what help make sports fun – and isn’t that why we all watch?