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The PackPride Message Boards: Where Hatred & Opportunity Meet

August 14, 2012

As UNC continues to bleed out from its death by a thousand cuts, I remain fascinated by the message board aspect of this story.

I’m not the only one, either. Gregggggggggg Doyel made message board fandom one of the focal points of his scathing (does Gregg know how to write any other way?) piece earlier today on the UNC mess.

Long have message board communities like PackPride’s justly earned the reputation of group-thinking lunatics and echo chambers where the fringiest of the fringe congregate to convince themselves that their half-baked ideas have merit.

But for all their madness, message boards possess a method to them that can, when properly focused, deal real, significant damage to the reputation of people or entire athletic administrations.

It was the PackPride message board, after all, that parsed the contents of Michael McAdoo’s paper to decipher its plagiarized nature–not McAdoo’s lawyers, not the NCAA’s, not UNC’s Honor Court, nor UNC’s athletic admins. That paper, for a Swahili class, ultimately launched the current investigation into the AFAM department.

And it was the PackPride message boards that not only rooted out Julius Peppers’ transcript posted on a server accessible to all, but explained in plain detail the shocking similarity it bore to the transcript the N&O had obtained last week.

That discovery, and the McAdoo revelation, are two of the “highlights” from the PackPride message board’s seemingly endless, tireless efforts to bring down the UNC athletic program. I don’t have the time or inclination to tally up the total number of posts, replies and pages of text devoted to the UNC scandal on the PackPride boards, but assign it an astronomical number off the top of your head and it won’t surprise me if you’re close.

No one man or woman has that kind of time–the same kind necessary to data mine all the nooks and crannies of a story of this magnitude–which is why message boarders, not investigative journalists, are unearthing some of the most damning elements of this scandal.

Investigative journalism departments used to be the hallmark of local newspapers and television news departments, but in recent years they’ve been trimmed to skeleton crews unable to devote the man hours necessary to do the job of investigation adequately.

But message boards, on the other hand, have man hours in spades. A highly motivated army of unemployed, semi-employed or loosely monitored employees working at mundane jobs can devote vast amounts of time online searching, scouring and theorizing–far more than can be expended by a single journalist. What a message board lacks in access can be offset by sheer community involvement and willpower.

Numbers alone won’t do it. There must be another shared component present uniting all toward a common goal–hatred.

Sure, there are large message board communities all over the Internet. Some even on that surpass State’s in size. But there aren’t many with the singular focus and drive to undermine an entire university quite like that of the PackPride boards. Some on the boards do it to settle the score from Valvano’s ouster…some are in it to humble their rival. Others just operate on sheer bloodlust or love a spectacle. But whatever the individual motivations, the collective drive is clear and unrelenting.

Is Dan Kane of the News & Observer doggedly seeking the truth? Sure. But Dan Kane puts his pad and recorder in a drawer at some point during the day and lives his life not concerned with the UNC academic scandal. Not so of the PackPride message board.

A message board never sleeps or requires food. It never tires or takes a day off or spends time with the kids. It’s a 24/7 online machine constantly feeding and energizing itself with newfound nuggets, ideas and discoveries.

And occasionally, at late-ass-o’clock on a Sunday night when the rest of the work-a-day world is sleeping, this merciless machine unearths a legitimately newsworthy, potentially devastating piece of the puzzle.

PackPride’s done it twice so far in this investigation, and I wouldn’t bet against it happening again.

40 Comments leave one →
  1. Deacsfan27 permalink
    August 14, 2012 9:58 pm

    Fantastic article man.

  2. JS_TheACC permalink
    August 14, 2012 10:11 pm

    So silencing free speech is the answer? Give me a break, the UNC board is no better. Just like the fall of the Berlin Wall, the truth behind the decades long “Carolina Way” was bound to implode one day under the wait of its own hubris. Pack Pride merely poked a tiny hole in the facade … gravity and karma did the rest.

    • August 14, 2012 10:39 pm

      I don’t think I called for silencing the boards or free speech. In the end, the boards will play a key role in unveiling whatever truth is ultimately unveiled, so they’re playing a key role in this.

      But even State fans have to acknowledge there’s a unique blend of obsession/hatred fueling the relentless nature of this. Most fanbases would’ve given up, oh, about three years ago.

      • Hutchinsonluke permalink
        August 15, 2012 12:24 am

        nah. they ruined jimmy V. it will never end.

    • CharlestonHeel permalink
      August 15, 2012 11:59 am

      You sound like a lunatic… As a UNC fan, I hope State does well. I pull for them against non-ACC competition. But honestly fans like you make it exceptionally difficult to have an ounce of mutual respect for a rival. This isn’t a greek tragedy, and it’s not an international crisis. No one cares outside of the N&O readership. Get a life JS.

      • PeeDub permalink
        August 17, 2012 10:54 am

        To be fair, there are a certain amount of fans on the other side that breed this sort of reaction. If I could bring this entire thing down *only on those fans* I would do it in a heartbeat. As it is, I’m amused watching.

  3. Leroy Corso permalink
    August 14, 2012 10:15 pm

    Nice article. 

  4. xxncsuxx permalink
    August 14, 2012 11:08 pm

    This is the result of a highly educated and highly motivated group of people.

    • lolz permalink
      September 4, 2012 1:50 pm

      Where does the highly educated part of the group come from?

  5. Brewer09 permalink
    August 15, 2012 1:15 am

    A good blog entry by The News & Observer about Dan Kane:

  6. CharlestonHeel permalink
    August 15, 2012 6:36 am

    As a member of the UNC Scout board, I can say that it certainly is not the same. State posts rarely come up, and when they do people don’t really care. Someone complimented NCSU helmets yesterday, someone complimented their fans today. As for me, I think the Pack Pride board should be a little embarrassed that their focus is dedicated more to seeing a rival fall than to succeed themselves. In my mind only jealousy and insecurity can breed the sort of negative commitment that State fans have to “bringing down” UNC. 

    • NorthWolf permalink
      August 15, 2012 9:29 am

      I may be wasting my time, but let me try to clue you in on this.  It is not “jealousy” or “insecurity” (“insecurity”??, lol) that fuels the hatred of UNC by Pack fans.  It has everything to do with: 1. The EXTREME ARROGANCE of UNC-Ch and it’s fans 2. The history of the UNC ‘Establishment’ unfairly attacking NC State and 3. The power of the UNC ‘Establishment’ in many key areas giving UNC an unfair competitive advantage, and allowing them to cheat.  For #2 & #3, the prime example is the UNC-alum stacked Board of Governors and their witch hunt against Valvano ~1990, and very severe penalties for such very minor infractions, which severely set back NC State athletics for 20+ years now running.  UNC alums wield significant power in the local & national media (eg, UNC alum John Skipper now heads ESPN), as well as currently having an alum (John Swofford) running the ACC.

      • SomeonefromNC permalink
        August 15, 2012 9:52 am

        Your post just verified what others have said. Get a therapist. Deal with your hatred and put the keyboard down…go outside and enjoy life…it is way to short and precious to obsess over things that in the big picture of the real world don’t matter. If you want to obsess, do it over something that can really affect many people’s lives: find out if Iran is building nuclear weapons. Prevent this and you may prevent one being detonated at Carter Finley Stadium during game time someday. Destroying UNC does nothing….

      • NorthWolf permalink
        August 15, 2012 10:05 am

        I 100% agree that there are much more important things in life.  But even God hates arrogance/pride and cheating/evil.  I’m just telling you the REASONS WHY we hate UNC. 
        UNC fans/boosters/etc have this disgusting “Holier than Thou” attitude and believe they they are “so far superior to NC State” in everything.  And they are willing to lie, cheat, and steal in order to maintain their idea of their “superiority”.  It would be harmless if UNC weren’t so powerful.  With their power in the media, BOG, ACC, etc they are able to wield that power to the detriment of NC State, and promote UNC’s interest.
        Why don’t you pass along to UNC elites and Establishment that your precious UNC athletics programs aren’t “so important” as to justify all this cronyism, cheating, and arrogance?? 

      • CharlestonHeel permalink
        August 15, 2012 11:52 am

        You sound so jealous… How can you not see that? I’m not saying that UNC is superior to anyone, but if I had to infer an emotion from what I see, it’s jealousy time and again. Deal with State – done. End of conversation. We don’t worry about NCSU beyond wanting to beat them on the field. Can you not leave it at that? 

      • Wardncsu permalink
        August 15, 2012 12:19 pm

         Apparently some of your fellow fans are

        Some gems from the thread

        “We all know the answer to this already. Because we are better than them.”

        “90 % of state students or grads went to state because they got turned down by UNC – that’s the beginning of their hatred”This is the attitude that State fans can’t stand.  Its the “holier than thou” attitude.

      • CharlestonHeel permalink
        August 15, 2012 1:13 pm

        You confirm my point. Going to the trouble to search the UNC message board to find chat fodder is pretty extreme. Worry about yourselves. 

      • Wardncsu permalink
        August 15, 2012 2:23 pm

         “We don’t worry about NCSU beyond wanting to beat them on the field”

        Just refuting your statement. 

        Also, its a little hypocritical on your part seeing as how this is a NC State site. 

      • NorthWolf permalink
        August 15, 2012 3:02 pm

        UNC fans are nothing BUT hypocrites.  Throughout the years they have pontificated and accused NC State fans of being “too obsessed with college athletics”, “too obsessed with their rival”, “being cheaters”, “fans are a bunch of rednecks”…WHEN IN FACT the uncCHeat Turd Holes are guilty of all of the things they are accusing NC State of.  UNC-Ch has far more redneck fans than NCSU with all the Walmart UNC fans in trailer parks all over the nation.

      • NorthWolf permalink
        August 15, 2012 12:35 pm

        It has NOTHING to do with jealousy.  You apparantly just can’t take your blue-tinted glasses off long enough to comprehend the points I’m trying to make.  It’s not that UNC is better in basketball and I’m jealous of that.  NO.  It’s that your school CHEATED IT’S ARSE OFF to obtain that “success.”  And even more importantly, it’s that powerful alumns are wielding power in the media (ESPN), ACC (Swofford), BOG to conspire against the interests of NC State and in favor of the interests of UNC.  Bottom line…You guys use cheating, fraud, and cronyism in order to achieve your “success” and your perception of “greatness”.

    • Wardncsu permalink
      August 15, 2012 9:42 am

       As of today, Insidecarolina has 13 message threads on the football and basketball forums on the first page so how do you say that “state posts rarely come up”.  Take off your blue glasses.

      • CharlestonHeel permalink
        August 15, 2012 11:54 am

        I subscribe to a Rivals site… Got the two confused. Point is, we don’t worry about State unless we’re getting ready to play each other.

      • mjgdeux permalink
        August 19, 2012 9:45 am

        LOL, there have been InsideCarolina posters claiming to be working on finding out the identity of certain Pack posters. I guess they think that will prevent PP from finding any more of the dirty laundry in Chapel Hill?
        If message boards like Scout & Rivals had existed back around 1990, you can bet the heels boards would have been abuzz over the NCAA investigation of Valvano’s program. If the NCAA investigators were to visit Durham, I can’t imagine the way IC would blow up with excitement.

    • Karlov permalink
      September 11, 2012 3:21 am

      “As for me, I think the Pack Pride board should be a little embarrassed
      that their focus is dedicated more to seeing a rival fall than to
      succeed themselves.”

      Someone has to police UNC because they sure aren’t doing it themselves. Even the HONOR COMMITTEE doesn’t know how to detect plagiarism. You need to spend your time worrying about the academic integrity at your own institution, not sniping at pack fans. Plagiarism is a lot more serious in an EDUCATIONAL institution than fans with a case of sour grapes.

  7. Kward permalink
    August 15, 2012 8:39 am

    here, here!

  8. braak permalink
    August 15, 2012 9:55 am

    I love reading the PackPride message board, when it has real information.  The problem lies with the rumor starters and attention whores who post all kinds of really dumb “theories” and “insider information” and “predictions.”  There seems to be a symbiotic relationship wherein the posters with the most outlandish claims get their needs stroked by those with lesser intellects and a desire to post something, anything, be it a .gif of popcorn or the played out +216 so they can say they played their part in taking down unc.

    • JamesCurle permalink*
      August 15, 2012 12:35 pm

      The skill in navigating message boards, naturally, is sifting the wheat from the chaff.

  9. August 15, 2012 1:51 pm

    Good article.

    A.  I like my work position in our “highly motivated army”..better than the other two.
    B.  I’m still waiting on Billy Donovan to walk through that door so I can say “No Thanks, we got Gott”.

  10. keihin permalink
    August 17, 2012 1:03 pm

    The board, as a collective entity, has amazing resources and drive. But that doesn’t imply that all members of the board lack the ability to “put it in a drawer”. But, yes, a sufficient number of well-motivated, non-obsessed
    individuals can form a collective community that bears some of the
    characteristics of an obsessed individual.

    To put it another way: “The power of the Wolf is Pack”.

    I would also observe that all of this would indeed have fizzled out years ago if not for the fact that UNC continues to ooze newly found damaging information at every turn. When the pond is dry, even the obsessed stop fishing. UNC’s pond has so far resembled a deep, dark ocean. Why would we stop when there’s so much left to do?

    • JamesCurle permalink*
      August 17, 2012 1:38 pm

      True. I intended to characterize the “message board” as its own entity, made up of literally thousands of individual parts. So while individual posters–of varying degrees of obsession–turn off the computer or log out, the board collective never fully logs out, rests or sleeps.

      And I want “When the pond is dry, even the obsessed stop fishing” on a t-shirt.

  11. mjgdeux permalink
    August 19, 2012 9:16 am

    PackPride as “group-thinking lunatics”? There are a few people posting on PackPride who I guess could be called lunatic. But when I think of the PackPride message boards, group-think definitely does not come to mind. It’s without question the least group-thinking college sports message board I have ever seen.

    • Karlov permalink
      September 11, 2012 3:25 am

      He was criticizing “message board communities like PackPride’s”, not PackPride specifically

  12. GreggDoyelCausesAids permalink
    August 19, 2012 6:20 pm

    Meanwhile, in Raleigh, NO ONE has any idea what is going on with NC State Football. That is because 99.99% of the sports world doesn’t care, and the .01% that might care are FAR too busy trying to play detective to get back at a school that denied them admission.

    Write a story on that!

    • JamesCurle permalink*
      August 20, 2012 8:05 am

      Sweet handle, bro.

  13. SlackZac permalink
    August 20, 2012 10:22 am

    The Packpride UNC-Cheat bill is passed. The system goes on-line July 5th ,2012. Human decisions are removed from the moderators. Packpride begins to learn at a
    geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 15th. In
    a panic, UNC-Cheats try to pull the plug …

  14. JamesCurle permalink*
    September 11, 2012 11:48 am

    Just a reminder: This isn’t the PP MSG Brds, or any message board at all, so let’s keep things civil as best we can.

  15. packmanpack17 permalink
    November 27, 2012 11:39 pm

    What i appreciate about your point is you never accused them(pack pride) of being wrong in their reports about the scandal.Thanks for your candid thoughts about YOUR football program! Hope to see you and Marvin Alston in South Beach at the jewelry store!


  1. Now For Sensible People Writing Serious Articles About UNC’s Scandal « Tar Heel Blog

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