Editor's Note: Bumped to the front because I couldn't stop laughing. --Joe
Hello. Welcome to the second installment of "Foe"Rensics. Acceding to the demands of my legions of fans (and to the fact that last week we played one of the most famous teams in college football that we've spent the last eight months talking about and this week we're playing a college no one has ever heard of that used to be a high school) I've decided to deepen my research past Wikipedia (and my imagination) in an attempt to include "facts". Please note, there may be places where I've stretched the truth a bit. This week, our journey of discovery takes us to Cullowhee, home of Western Carolina University.
1. So, the Fullers were pretty awesome on Saturday, along with the rest of the defense and the first Edmunds brother. Who we got next...Western Carolina? Who are they?
A. Glad you asked. Western Carolina's team is known as the Catamounts. I cant really go into detail about what that mascot means on a family website, but here's the general idea:
And their mascot's name is Paws, which is...I don't even...
2. That's disturbing. Is Western Carolina located in North or South Carolina, so I can avoid the entire state?
A. Interestingly enough, it is technically located in Tennessee. In an 1851 poker game, Buck Duke (founder of the Philip Morris tobacco company and the University of North Carolina system), was up big against President Andrew Jackson. He held a full house and had pushed Jackson to throw the White House into the pot. In order to match it, Duke was forced to place the deed to a large tract of land southwest of Asheville on the table. Unfortunately for him, Jackson was holding a straight flush. Jackson renamed the area Jackson County (after himself) and, upon his death, subsequently ceded governance of the area to the state of Tennessee. Andrew Jackson, Jr founded the University and named it Western Carolina to taunt Buck Dukes descendents into insanity, which is totally still working today.
3. Excellent, a school founded on spite. Any other interesting facts about Western Carolina?
A. Yes! They were originally founded in 1891 as a way to bring higher education to the mountains of far western North Carolina...ahem, Tennessee. This being Appalachia means that, of course, it was founded as a High School. You think I'm joking here, which is the funny part. Later they evolved into a Junior College and finally, in 1929 it became a four year institution.
4. Do they have anything awesome they are known for, like horses on treadmills or a Smart Road that talks to you like Kit Car?
A. Well, they are currently hard at work on their Millenial Initiative, which is a critical program to defuse the pending Y2K disaster.
5. I'm assuming they have a football team, as well?
6. Good! Any tidbits about them?
A. Well, their schedule this year includes Mars Hill University, which is a bitchin name for a school. Mars Hill was, incidentally, the victim of a season opening 42-14 BEATDOWN last year at the hands of the Catamo...Western Carolina.
7. Oh damn, so we're playing a good FCS school?
A. Let's not get ahead of ourselves. WCU went on to drop the next 10 games last year, giving up on average over 40 points per game. If Logan Thomas didn't enjoy An Evening with Kirby Smart on Saturday, this should come as a welcome stat-padder (let us pray). In fact, Mars Hill is the only team they've beaten (which they've done twice) since 2010, when they beat the Citadel 24-31 and CURB STOMPED Tusculum, which I think is a kind of foot powder.
They have continued their tradition of defensive non-excellence this year by dropping their opener 45-24 to a middling Middle Tennessee State (see what I did there?). The Blue Raiders were last seen in December getting whomped 45-0 by Arkansas State. In conclusion, their credentials are somewhat lacking.
8. So why were they terrible last year?
A. Well, 2012 was the first year for head coach Mark Speir (pronounced Jav--lin), who arrived from Appalachian State. Speir has spent his career mostly at the FCS level and was the recruiting coordinator at App State leading up to and through their three national titles in 2005-07, so he should probably be afforded the time to flex his clearly demonstrated talent at convincing elite high school athletes to spend their college years in rural, mountainous North Carolina. He was also FCS Assistant Coach of the Year in 2009, so he carries an aura of a somewhat competent coach.
9. Anything else about Coach Speir?
A. Well, he went to Clemson, so you should dislike him.
HOWEVER, he did not play football there, so temper your dislike somewhat.
On the other hand, he WAS a student assistant coach while Clemson was winning ACC titles that should RIGHTFULLY HAVE BEEN OURS1, so he can just fuck right off.
Well, but...he was at App State when they knocked off Michigan and DANNY COALE CAUGHT THAT DAMN BALL, so GIVE EM HELL COACH SPEIR!
That last answer comes with free Frogurt.
10. Anything else we should know about Coach Speir?
A. You can learn more about Coach Speir from his appearances on Cat Chat, a dating site for pet hoarders.
11. Do they have any players with cool names?
A. Actually, yes. They have a Coleman, a Parker, a Tanner, and a Chandler, who together run a Medieval Guild Society in the offseason. After graduation, the Guild is looking to combine those dudes with the four Tylers and three (THREE) Calebs on their roster to start a relatively affluent suburb.
12. Great fires of London, that's a lot of Calebs. But do they have any Fullers?
A. Sadly (for them), they have exactly NO Fullers on their roster, which means they have nothing to counter either Kyle OR Kendall with. Sorry, Calebs.
13. Do they have any good rivalries?
A. They battle annually with Eastern Tennessee State for the right to be called "Tennessee's Eastern-most University." Unfortunately for ESPN3, this battle is contested only in courtrooms that do not allow cameras2.
14. That's awful.
A. Yes, and incredibly boring. Luckily for them, they ALSO have a rivalry with the aforementioned Appalachian State with whom they battle for the Old Mountain Jug, which is, to be honest, THE most Appalachian prize imaginable3. UNFORTUNATELY for them, App State is good at football and the series is more lopsided (particularly recently) than Virginia Tech's is with UVA. App State has taken the last 8 (not QUITE a decade of dominance) and 26 of the last 28 since 1985. Sadly (for App State's overall record) the rivalry will likely be retired when App State moves to the Sun Belt after this year.
At which point The Jug will likely be stolen from App State trophy case by this guy who will use it for its intended purpose4.
15. So if I were to venture to Cullowhee (which I totally won't because of that rabbit, but IF I DID), where should I eat?
A. I'm glad you asked! A new feature on "Foe"Rensics will be our two part restaurant recommendations. Despite my never having been to Cullowhee and the fact that this is a home game meaning none of you are actually going anywhere near there, I thought of this idea this week and therefore am starting it now before I forget.
Disappointly, there are no Zagat rated restaurants in Cullowhee. Resorting to Google Reviews, the best restaurant in town appears to be the Mad Batter Bakeshop and Cafe, which received this glowing review from "A Google User":
"Nice folks. Great cookies. Free WIFI. Nice place to pass the time while the daughter looks at WCU."
My only question is...THE daughter? Which daughter? The Farmer's daughter? The First Daughter? YOUR daughter? I think it's pretty clear by your lack of strong written communication skills that if we're talking about YOUR daughter, she's just not Western Carolina material.
16. Okay, I'll write that one down. You said it was a two part restaurant recommendation?
A. Yes! The second part is barbecue. As you all know, barbecue is the most important food in the world and, conveniently, North Carolina is where barbecue went to be perfected5. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that Cullowhee has an establishment that even SERVES barbecue which means those damn Tennesseeans can keep their stupid university town. You have to drive all the way to Dillsboro to go to the The Dillsboro Smokehouse, which is kind of fun because you get to say Dillsboro. Since I've never eaten there, I can't comment on the quality of this establishment beyond saying that since this is in Western NC, they probably pollute their vinegar sauce by putting ketchup in it and therefore worship the devil6.
17. Back to the Hokies. LOGAN THOMAS COUNTDOWN TO FIVE INTERCEPTIONS:
A. Logan currently stands at one interception for the year, and one that totally shouldn't count against him but rules is rules. This means he still has 11 (or 12, or 13) games to throw his remaining four.
18. Final thoughtswhat should we watch for in the game?
A. Well, assuming (and hoping) that rabbit doesn't show up to torment Paws, here's what I'm watching for:
- The Fullers to victimize QB Troy Mitchell (or Eddie Sullivan, if he starts) for 7 INTs, 5 of which they return for touchdowns before being pulled after the game gets out of hand with 5:00 min remaining in the first quarter.
- How well the Calebs, offensively, can deal with rage. Just...rage, everywhere.
- For the commentators to trot out jokes about pulling fans from the stands to throw on the field in the 4th quarter.
- If the Calebs have that Y2K thing licked yet.
- If Frank is going to make Logan wear his pads out of the locker room after half time.
- If Coach Moorehead's Amazon order for a 5 gallon tub of Stick Em has come in yet.
Thanks for joining us and for your informed and inquisitive questions. Look forward to seeing you here next week when we battle the Vinegar Sauce region of the state, Eastern Carolina.
1Since these were won in the late 1980s, Virginia Tech wasn't TECHNICALLY in the ACC yet, but Bud has never let some bullshit rules stop him from dominating.
2This is not true.
3Only when it is filled with moonshine.
5By North Carolina, I OF COURSE mean Eastern North Carolina where the satanic tomatoes are kept AWAY from our sauce.