Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Mountaineer Experience

Posted November 12, 2007
Updated November 13, 2007

What a weekend! I’m back from Boone and savoring a major Mountaineer Experience. My family tailgated with Appalachian State University Chancellor Kenneth Peacock and his charming wife Rosanne. Then we enjoyed watching the Mountaineer football team record a convincing win on the gridiron at Kidd Brewer Stadium.

I don’t think I have ever seen a team score 79 points like Appalachian did Saturday against Western Carolina. And the Mountaineers weren’t trying to run up the score. Their team is just an unrelenting scoring machine no matter what string is playing. Is a third straight national championship on the horizon? Well, it certainly is a possibility if the Mountaineers can keep finding the end zone like they did Saturday.

While on the sidelines I got a hearty greeting from Appalachian State University Athletic Director Charlie Cobb. Charlie used to play football and work at NC State and is a close friend of WRAL’s Jeff Gravley. Charlie played under Dick Sheridan at NCSU and was an excellent student. I also had a nice chat about politics with State Senator and gubernatorial candidate Fred Smith who was in town as part of his 100 County Barbecue Tour.

Chancellor Peacock, a Rocky Mount native and childhood friend of WRAL’s Tom Suiter, is incredibly popular in Boone. While watching the action from the sidelines you could hear a chorus of students shouting “Chancellor Peacock, we love you!” Dr. Peacock spends much of the game in the stands with students cheering on the football team. It is so refreshing to see the biggest man on campus connecting on such a personal level with students. Earlier over tailgate chicken Dr. Peacock quizzed my son Will on how his freshman classes were going and how first year teaching has been for my daughter Lauren who graduated from ASU in May. Kenneth Peacock has an amazing ability to remember names, faces, hopes and dreams.

There’s nothing quite like football in Boone on a chilly autumn afternoon and evening. You should try it some time.


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  • IBleedRedandWhite Nov 13, 2007

    All of my family pretty much graduated from NC State (went to UNC-Charlotte instead) so I am familiar with NC State football. However, my finace is attending grad school at ASU and I love going up there to watch football. There is nothing like the atmosphere of an ASU home game. The drive from Cary to Boone sets the tone as you go from sprawling city to mountain view. They have best tailgating contests, everyone is so nice and friendly, it is literally like one big tailgate before the game. Even if App is up 40 points in the 4th quarter, most everyone is still in the stands. True school spirit. I suggest if you have never been to an ASU homegame you should go.

  • slastonecold Nov 13, 2007

    my grandmother was a boone native.......many years seeing her.she gone now but i go to the mountains as much as possible.will live there one father who also passed awy last year graduated from app state.go app

  • bleslie Nov 13, 2007

    You are correct JD!

  • jdlewis76 Nov 13, 2007

    The only two Republicans to win the Governor's Mansion in modern history are Jim Holshouser in '72, and Jim Martin in '84.

  • bleslie Nov 13, 2007

    I had a very nice chat with Senator Smith about politics and football. He played on the gridiron at Wake Forest during the days of Brian Piccolo. Smith is visiting and eating barbeque is each of NC's 100 counties. He admitted it will be tough for a Republican to win the Governor's Mansion. Only two have done so in modern history. Can you name them?

  • seahunt Nov 13, 2007

    Bill, how did you get along with Sen. Smith? I read in yesterday's paper that he is now the frontrunner for Gov. on the Republican side, having come up from third of three.

  • Raleighnative58 Nov 13, 2007

    Hey Bill. We're headed up this weekend to see App's last home game against Chattanooga and visit our son! We can't wait! We have heard so many cool stories about the Mountaineer's and can't wait to experience it ourselves! Thanks for giving us a preview of what is to come!

  • Mtn Man Nov 13, 2007

    We need to rename this blog, it sounds like.

  • cedwards24 Nov 12, 2007

    Bill, I take Hwy 21 to I-77 to Hwy 421, we were in a hurry to get to the tailgate. My aunt owns the house beside yours in Glade Valley. I was also up there the weekend you took your pictures in October and plan to go back to the mountains to get our Christmas tree the first weekend in December.

  • bleslie Nov 12, 2007

    I meant to point out there was still a lot of pretty foilage in some of the lower elevations. Highway 21 between Elkin and Roaring Gap was aglow in yellows and reds.




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