Friday, January 05, 2007

Economist: How 'bout those Apps!

One of the things to look forward to in the annual economic forecast presentation by the N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry – the state chamber of commerce – and the N.C. Bankers Association is Harry Davis’s remarks. Davis is a professor of banking and an economist at Appalachian State University in Boone, and has helped a lot of us numbers-challenged scribes understand what’s going on in the state’s economy.
He predicted a soft landing for North Carolina this year. Here’s a link to the N.C. Bankers Association, where you can click on forecast presentations from Davis, Moore, Knight Kiplinger and John Allison of BB&T.
Davis has a way with words, too. His presentation Tuesday followed that of State Treasurer Richard Moore, a Wake Forest grad who talked briefly about his high hopes for the Demon Deacons football team in the Orange Bowl. The 15th-ranked Deacs of course won the ACC championship this year and looked forward to their game against No. 5 Louisville. (The Deacons lost, alas, 24-13.
When Harry Davis came to the lectern, he mentioned in a folksy way that he sometimes repeated himself, and then delivered greetings from Appalachian State, whose Mountaineers football team were the national football champions in Division 1-AA in 2006. Then he paused and added something like, “Did I say that before?”
The crowed roared with laughter. They understood that the Apps had won the NCAA national football championship in their division in both 2005 and 2006. And they got Davis’ larger but unmentioned point: If there’s a football school in North Carolina, it’s not on the Division 1 level in Winston-Salem, Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh or Greenville. It’s in Boone.


David P. McKnight said...

Indeed, the Mountaineers of Appalachian State University deserve a rousing cheer from Carolinians North and South for their excellent football win over the Minutemen of the University of Massachusetts, giving them back-to-back national championships in their division for 2005 and 2006.

Here's hoping the Apps will experience continued great success in the 2007 season next fall.

For those of you who saw Wake Forest's bowl game against Louisville, were there any in your group in disagreement about the way in which the officials were calling fumbles on plays in which it seemed that the ball carriers had not yet lost possession of the football when their knees hit the ground?

This could be picking at straws in thin air, but it seemed to me that the television replays on those controversial calls in Wake's game were not really in "slow motion" but instead were somewhere in the category of "not quite as fast" as game action. Translation: it was hard to tell what really happened on a couple of those critical plays.

Perhaps others were able to draw their own conclusions about the justifiability of some of these calls, but from my corner, it seemed that the camera replays sped through the moments in which Deacon players in particular had been carrying the ball, were then tackled and "down," and then supposedly "lost control" of the ball. They say that "the ground cannot cause a fumble," but if the TV replays are not slowed down to a point where we can really judge what took place, then some of those "already down" situations might go unnoticed every now and then.

Louisville has a great football program, and no one needs to make any excuses for not winning a football game against the high-flying Cardinals, but it's time for the people of our Western Piedmont cities of Winston-Salem and Charlotte to wake up and smell the "Whistlers' Brew!" Academic officials and sports journalists in Winston-Salem and Charlotte need to make sure that teams in the Western Piedmont get the same fair-minded consideration in game officiating that those well-known teams from the Eastern Piedmont--North Carolina, Duke and N.C. State--expect to receive when they take the field or the court for football or basketball.

One thing's for sure: Wake Forest was really rolling along toward a nice victory there for a good part of that game in Miami.

Meanwhile, let's tip our hats once again to the ASU Mountaineers for achieving back-to-back pigskin titles for the Blue Ridge Country and all of the South!

Anonymous said...

Those championships, along with other recent national recognition for ASU's academia, has put Boone on the national map. This is great news for App State and the UNC system as a whole. Go Mountaineers! Thanks for yet another headline featuring the Finest Place on Earth!

-Ashley, ASU '04

Anonymous said...

As a current ASU student, I'd like to thank you for writing about the small town of Boone, that goes largely unappreciated in the NC media. Our hopes for a third straight national championship are high, and there's growing interest in the school and town. Maybe after the new stadium is completed we might have a chance to step up to the big Div-1 and make a run for it.

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