Good morning, Research Triangle, and good morning, Insiders.
The rivalries within the Raleigh-Durham metropolitan area run deep and represent a pool greater than that of a typical two-party system. If you’re from the area, or attended one of the excellent schools within an hour’s drive, you’re familiar with a constellated, multi-dimensional distaste that encompasses the students and fanbases of UNC, NC State, Duke, and, if you venture slightly farther to the north, Wake Forest. Today is a Saturday, and even though these four schools are known for their basketball legacies, all have interesting football match-ups: Duke will play at Virginia, Wake Forest at top-ranked Clemson, 17th-ranked North Carolina at Virginia Tech, and N.C. State will host Syracuse. The latter affects the Kings, who will practice at 1:00 p.m. at PNC Arena, the site shared with the Wolfpack basketball team and adjacent to Carter-Finley Stadium. Kick-off is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. local time, so hopefully the extra traffic on the way to the rink is off-set by the smell of barbecue wafting through the arena’s doors. The expert tailgating extends to Canes games, so I’ve seen and have been told.
I wish I had more evidence or experience to say this non-superficially, but from limited taste-testing, this area has the best barbecue out of any NHL market. If this offends any Dallas residents, you are more than welcome to share your favorite local spots. Even the press room at PNC Arena has excellent barbecue; this is accepted as a truth by the league’s traveling media. For this trip, a big question is whether the renowned pulled pork will still be available for an afternoon game preceded by a late-morning press meal. I’m venturing to say “yes,” and that “I will have multiple servings of it.”
Waking up with the Kings is next, followed by daily practice coverage. There’s lots more to come on a brisk Saturday in North Carolina. Thank you as always for reading, Insiders, and have a great weekend.