According to legend, Duke's longtime athletic director and basketball coach Eddie Cameron sat down with football coach Wallace Wade in 1935 to drum up plans for a new indoor stadium. Throughout the meeting, the two doodled plans for the arena on the back of—what else?—a matchbook. If true, the apocryphal tale makes a fitting story for Duke, considering the university itself was founded partly on a fortune from North Carolina's prized tobacco industry.
Little could the men know at the time, but that brainchild, Cameron Indoor Stadium, would become a symbol of Duke's success over the years, in both basketball and athletics in general. Combined, the men's and women's hoops teams have collected more than 1,200 wins in front of home crowds, whose notoriously raucous cheers make it nearly impossible for visiting athletes to write their term papers on the sidelines. Steps away, Wallace Wade Stadium has stood tall since 1929, becoming the only venue outside of Pasadena, California, to host college football's iconic Rose Bowl game, back in 1942.
Helmed by Scottish-born soccer sage Martin Rennie, the RailHawks look to capitalize on the success of their 2010 NASL conference championship and impose their will on a host of fleet-footed opposition. The RailHawks kick off the 2011 campaign on Saturday, April 9, against the Puerto Rico Islanders before slide tackling into a season of fast-paced conference action. Shout free-verse fight songs from your premium sideline seats ($15 each) and watch as the RailHawks regale spectators with majestic midfield play and balletic bicycle kicks. Challenge winged mascot Swoops to a gentlemanly game of penalty kicks and featherless headers, and be ready to reveal the world’s first gas-powered vuvuzela as the RailHawks wage battle against a host of domestic and international competition.
Cheer on the NC State Wolfpack as they burrow into Carter-Finley Stadium to dazzle more than 57,000 fanatic wolfpackers through a display of passes, tackles, touchdowns, and a touch of intermission tap dancing. This deal is valid for the best available seats that are not in the student section, so check out the stadium seating to know whether to paint your chest with butter or margarine. Tickets must be redeemed on game day at the Carter-Finley Stadium box office on the west side of the stadium or via turtle carrier.
Located about 22 miles north of Charlotte, Davidson College offers 21 Division I intercollegiate sports, including the domesticated southern conference Davidson Wildcats. The team is looking to defend home-court domination after last year’s regular-season series loss to conference rival Appalachian State. Returning senior and round-ball renaissance man Brendan McKillop will try to leap closer to 1,000 career points as he hammers the hardwood in a battle with the North Division–favorite Mountaineers and team high scorer Donald Sims. Coach Bob McKillop, the school and SoCon’s all-time winningest Donkey Kong champion and basketball coach, is closing in on a milestone of his own with his 400th career victory rolling around the rim.
Though the same catfish logo still peeks out from a red "C," its barbels draping over the side, the Carolina Mudcats are part of a new era of minor-league baseball in North Carolina. Two years after the original franchise left for Pensacola, Florida, in 2010, a new team arrived in Zebulon to don the signature red jerseys. As the new Mudcats spawned, so too did new affiliations—the team is now the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the MLB's Cleveland Indians, and mascot Muddy the Mudcat now trolls the stands of Five County Stadium, where a 300-square-foot videoboard broadcasts instant replays of the outfielders' most breathtaking stretches.