Chris Bullard sent me his thoughts on Reynolds Coliseum after Friday’s game and asked if I’d share them with my readers. Gladly.
I don’t have the words to do this building justice. I don’t think anyone really does.
Friday night in Reynolds I had the chance to watch a game with a cousin who made sure I grew up a State fan. We were there when the gates opened to get the best seat a general admission ticket would allow.
The pregame talk consisted of mostly what it was like when he was there, what had changed, what was still around. The noisemeter, the old clock, and how they didn’t have a recording about sportsmanship playing before the game back in the day.
This place is special. It has brought together generations of Wolfpack fans with the common bond of watching games in the most ridiculously shaped building in college basketball history. After the game we walked up the top corner of section 3 to the spot where my uncle and cousin had their season tickets. Their initials are still carved in their respective seats. You could see the memories flash back to him as he sat in his old seat.
I’m too young to remember many games before we moved out of the old barn. I didn’t show up on campus until about 10 years after, but I still feel the connection. When I see the old pictures of Reynolds with the haze of cigarette smoke over the court, I think of my grandpa. He was at State when they first opened Reynolds. Being able to hear his stories of Case’s teams is something I will always appreciate.
My uncle was here in ’83. He claims no one’s feet touched the floor for a full minute after Lorenzo put away that alley-oop from Whit. Another uncle was here when V gave his speech in Reynolds. (Better than the ESPY speech) Those moments are the ones you can tell people about, but you really had to be there to understand it.
Going to a game in Reynolds is sort of like going to your great-grandfather’s house that you never had the chance to meet. I’m thankful to have had people willing to haul me up to Raleigh for games when I was younger, especially my mom. Some will say that I’m overreacting, that it’s just a renovation and the building will still be there. But it won’t be the same. I think it’s fitting that we will have the State hall of fame in Reynolds, but part of me still wishes it could stay the same forever.
I know there are countless others who have similar stories to tell about the old barn. I enjoyed overhearing a few while waiting in line Friday night. They haven’t officially ruled out returning to Reynolds for men’s games after the renovation–I think they shouldn’t. There’s no reason to go back for a heritage game in what will be a completely different arena.
Tomorrow is the last time we’ll ever get to watch a basketball game in historic Reynolds Coliseum. Let’s send her off right.
Hell yes Wolfpack fans, we’re examining the anatomy of an ass whoopin in Chapel Hill…and surprisingly in a beatdown like 35-7, there’s not a lot to tear apart. But we do anyway.
And in the second segment, Jeff Fischel of the ACC Digital Network joins us to discuss his work with the ACC, NC State basketball and how nuts it must be to be John Swofford and Clinton Portis.