SPORTS AND RECREATION OF NORTH CAROLINA

Tip-off of a Duke-UNC basketball game at the Dean Smith Center
Motorsports
The state is also a center in American motorsports, with more than 80% of NASCAR racing teams and related industries located in the Piedmont region. The largest race track in North Carolina is Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord where the Sprint Cup Series holds three major races each year. The NASCAR Hall of Fame, located in Charlotte, is due to open in 2010. Many of NASCAR's most famous driver dynasties, the Pettys, Earnhardts, Allisons, Jarretts and Waltrips all live within an hour of Charlotte. In off-road motocycle racing, the Grand National Cross Country series makes two stops in North Carolina, Morganton and Yadkinville; the only other state to host two GNCC events is Ohio. For sport amateurs, the state holds the State Games of North Carolina each year.

Football
Despite having over nine million people, North Carolina's population being spread out over three major metropolitan areas precluded attracting any major professional sports league teams until 1974, when the New York Stars of the World Football League was relocated to Charlotte in the middle of the season and renamed the Charlotte Hornets (although the team was referred to as the Charlotte Stars for the first game in Charlotte). The National Football League (NFL) is represented by the Carolina Panthers, who began play in 1995, and call Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium home. In 2004, the NBA returned to the state with the Charlotte Bobcats who play their home games in Time Warner Cable Arena. The Carolina RailHawks are a men's professional soccer team in the United Soccer Leagues, and their home field is the WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary. The American Indoor Football Association (AIFA) is represented by the Fayetteville Guard who plays at Crown Coliseum. North Carolina was home to the Charlotte Rage and the Carolina Cobras of the Arena Football League.

Basketball
Prior to that, the Carolina Cougars of the American Basketball Association played in various North Carolina cites (playing in the ABA for five seasons, ending in the spring of 1974). Current Charlotte Bobcats coach Larry Brown started his coaching career as head coach of the Cougars. The first successful major professional sports team to be created in North Carolina were the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association (NBA), which began play in the 1987–88 season. The state remains without a Major League Baseball franchise despite numerous efforts to attract a team (including the 2006 push to relocate the Florida Marlins to Charlotte).

Hockey
On June 19, 2006, the Carolina Hurricanes, a National Hockey League (NHL) franchise based in Raleigh, won the Stanley Cup. The Hurricanes, who call the RBC Center home, are the first major professional sports team from North Carolina to win their sport's highest championship. The team moved to the state in 1996 and played their games at the Greensboro Coliseum for their first 2 seasons in North Carolina before moving to their current home at the Entertainment and Sports Arena (later named the RBC Center) in Raleigh.

Baseball
North Carolina is a state known for minor league sports, notably the setting of the 1987 comedy Bull Durham about the Durham Bulls of the Carolina League. The state boasts over 30 minor league baseball teams in six different minor leagues, including the Triple-A International League teams in Charlotte and Durham. There are a number of indoor football, indoor soccer, minor league basketball, and minor league ice hockey teams throughout the state. North Carolina has become a top golf destination for players across the nation, notably in Pinehurst, and the community of Southern Pines of Moore County which is home to over 50 golf courses, as well as the coastal corridor between historic Wilmington, North Carolina and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with over 110 golf courses.

Wrestling
From the 1930s to the early 1990s, the Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling professional wrestling promotion, under the Crockett family, operated almost entirely out of Charlotte. Mid Atlantic was a long-time member of the National Wrestling Alliance and many of their top stars appeared on national television on NWA and later WCW events. Many retired or still-current wrestlers live in the Charlotte/Lake Norman area, including Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Matt and Jeff Hardy, Stan Lane,Shannon Moore and R-Truth.

Rodeo
North Carolina has become a hot bed for professional bull riding (PBR). It is the home of the 1995 PRCA World Champion Bull Rider Jerome Davis. It is also home to several professional stock contractors and bull owners including Thomas Teague of Teague Bucking Bulls. The Golden Belt Buckle state champion for 2009-2010 is Brad Ballew out of Asheville, North Carolina. The Southern Extreme Bull Riding Association SEBRA headquarters are located in Archdale.

College sports
Although North Carolina did not have a major-league professional sports franchise until the 1980s, the state has long been known as a hotbed of college basketball. Since the formation of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in 1953, the conference's North Carolina member schools have excelled in conference play. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), Duke University, and North Carolina State University are all located within 25 miles (40 km) of one another, creating fierce rivalries. Wake Forest University, another ACC member, is located less than 100 miles (160 km) to the west of these schools in Winston-Salem. UNC has won five NCAA national championships in basketball: 1957, 1982, 1993, 2005, and 2009. Duke has won three NCAA championships: 1991, 1992, and 2001. NC State has won two: 1974 and 1983. The Duke-UNC basketball rivalry has been called one of the best rivalries in sports and the two schools are often contenders for the national title. In addition to the ACC schools, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte went to the NCAA's Final Four in 1977, and Davidson College near Charlotte went to the NCAA's "Elite Eight" in 1968, 1969, and 2008. In 2007 Barton College in Wilson won the NCAA Division II championship in men's basketball. Although basketball remains the dominant college sport in North Carolina, several schools have also enjoyed success in football and other sports. Wake Forest University has also enjoyed substantial success in football; in 2007 they won the ACC football championship and participated in the 2007 Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. This was the first major bowl berth for a North Carolina-based team since Duke defeated Arkansas in the 1961 Cotton Bowl Classic. East Carolina University also enjoys much success in football. Located in Greenville the Pirates have won both the 2008 and 2009 Conference USA Football Championship. The East Carolina Pirates are the first back-to-back C-USA champions since divisional play was started in 2005. The Pirates will play in the Auto Zone Liberty Bowl for a second consecutive year on January 2 2010. Elon University made 4 trips to the NAIA National Championship in football game winning back to back championships in 1980 and 1981. Lenoir-Rhyne University won the 1960 NAIA National Championship in football. Appalachian State University, Elon University, Western Carolina University and North Carolina A&T State University have all made trips to the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision championship playoffs. Western Carolina University has made one trip to this championship game, while Appalachian State University became the first school to win the championship three years in a row from 2005 to 2007.

Recreation
Due to geography, rich history, and growing industry, North Carolina provides a large range of recreational activities from swimming at the beach to skiing in the mountains. North Carolina offers fall colors, freshwater and saltwater fishing, hunting, birdwatching, agritourism, ATV trails, ballooning, rock climbing, biking, hiking, skiing, boating and sailing, camping, canoeing, caving (spelunking), gardens, and arboretums. North Carolina has theme parks, aquariums, zoos, museums, historic sites, lighthouses, elegant theaters, concert halls, and fine dining.
North Carolinians enjoy outdoor recreation utilizing numerous local bike paths, 34 state parks, and 14 national parks which are the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Cape Lookout National Seashore, Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site at Flat Rock, Croatan National Forest in Eastern North Carolina, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site at Manteo, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Guilford Courthouse National Military Park in Greensboro, Moores Creek National Battlefield near Currie, the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, Old Salem National Historic Site in Winston-Salem, the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, Uwharrie National Forest.

Music
North Carolina is known particularly for its tradition of old-time music, and many recordings were made in the early 20th century by folk song collector Bascom Lamar Lunsford. Musicians such as the North Carolina Ramblers helped solidify the sound of country music in the late 1920s, while the influential bluegrass musician Doc Watson also came from North Carolina. Both North and South Carolina are a hotbed for traditional rural blues, especially the style known as the Piedmont blues. The Triangle area has long been a well-known center for folk, rock, metal, and punk. James Taylor grew up around Chapel Hill and his 1968 song "Carolina in My Mind" has been called an unofficial anthem for the state. Also coming from Chapel Hill is the band Squirrel Nut Zippers, who played a big part in the 1990s swing revival.

Famous food and drinks from North Carolina
A nationally-famous cuisine from North Carolina is pork barbecue. However, there are strong regional differences and rivalries over the sauces and method of preparation used in making the barbecue. Eastern North Carolina pork barbecue uses a vinegar and red pepper based sauce and the "whole hog" is cooked, thus using both white and dark meat. The "capital" of eastern Carolina barbecue is usually considered to be the town of Wilson, near Raleigh. Western North Carolina pork barbecue uses a tomato-based sauce, heavily diluted with vinegar, and only the pork shoulder (dark meat) is used. The "capital" of western Carolina barbecue is usually considered to be the Piedmont Triad town of Lexington, home of the Lexington Barbecue Festival which brings in over 100,000 visitors each October.

North Carolina is the birthplace of Pepsi-Cola, first produced in 1890 in New Bern. A regional soft drink created and still based in the state is Cheerwine. Krispy Kreme, a popular chain of doughnut stores, was started in North Carolina; the company's headquarters are in Winston-Salem. Despite its name, the hot sauce Texas Pete was created in North Carolina; its headquarters are also in Winston-Salem. The Hardees fast-food chain was started in Rocky Mount. Another fast-food chain, Bojangles', was started in Charlotte, and has its corporate headquarters there. A popular North Carolina restaurant chain is Golden Corral. Started in 1973, the chain was founded in Fayetteville, with headquarters located in Raleigh. Popular pickle brand Mount Olive Pickle Company was founded in Mount Olive in 1926. Cook Out, a popular fast food chain featuring burgers, hot dogs, and milkshakes in a wide variety of flavors, was founded in Greensboro in 1989 and operates exclusively in North Carolina.

Ships named for the state
Several ships have been named for the state. Most famous is the USS North Carolina, a World War II battleship. The ship served in several battles against the forces of Imperial Japan in the Pacific theater during the war. Now decommissioned, it is part of the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial in Wilmington. Another USS North Carolina, a nuclear attack submarine, was commissioned in Wilmington, NC on May 3, 2008.

Luciano Mende

Nenhum comentário: