An Owner's Manual for the new-look ACC

ACC Commissioner John Swofford - Sam Sharpe-US PRESSWIRE

Here is a handy guide for living in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Greetings, Mr./Mrs. Consumer:

Congratulations on your upgrade to ACC 5.0! We think you will find ACC 5.0 to be a more than adequate substitution for the now-discontinued Big East product*. Enclosed you will find pertinent information regarding the use and care for your ACC 5.0, as well as a FAQ section for your perusal.

*This user's guide is relevant to the following models: Pittsburgh, Syracuse & Notre Dame. The Louisville model is currently under a one-year waiting period (and they can't get here soon enough.)

Use of your ACC 5.0

ACC 5.0 is a sophisticated, shiny tool used for enjoyment of revenue and non-revenue sports alike. All previous versions of the ACC product contain a history of winning championships, which fans and alumni of member institutions are quick to talk about, especially when their school is not faring very well (see: N.C. State University basketball). ACC 5.0 is best enjoyed with the understanding that the owner's school of interest no longer occupies its lofty place in the athletic food chain. Questions regarding this matter can be directed to Durham or Chapel Hill, where they will then be snickered at and ignored with fervor.

Care for your ACC 5.0

Technically, you no longer have to care about your ACC 5.0 for the next eleventeen or so years, now that Ninja Commissioner John Swofford and the ACC Council of Presidents have signed off on the Grant of Media Rights. It was touch and go for a year or so, with folks on their best behavior: "Thank you for the cheese basket, Mr. Wellman, but I can assure you we're not kicking you out."

Despite the recent solidification of the ACC, please remain considerate of the feelings of Clemson and Florida State, who signed off on the Grant of Rights with wistful dreams of the SEC still dancing in their heads. Just ... be nice.

Oh, and if you see Maryland, remain courteous, but it is not untoward to ask if they have made any progress on that $50 million check they owe us. Please remind them that we don't do layaway.

ACC v 5.0 Football Travel (2013)

Pittsburgh

The Panthers travel to Duke, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech in 2013.

Wallace Wade Stadium is a great place to watch a game, with plenty of available game day parking. Additionally, Durham is close to Chapel Hill and Raleigh, so there are things to do in the area for entertainment.

Warning: Playing Duke will make you grind your teeth for three hours, and the Devils could possibly beat your ass, thereby ruining your season.

Cameron Indoor Stadium sits next to Wallace Wade, and is worth every bit of the hype it receives. Alas, the doors will probably be locked but you can get a photo op on the swath of grass outside the main entrance marked with a "Kryzewskiville" sign.

Last time I checked, Georgia Tech is still located in Atlanta. Atlanta is a town with colleges, but is hardly a college town. If you bring the kids, head to World of Coca-Cola, one of the most underrated "museums" on the planet. Atlanta has zillions of great non-chain restaurants, but don't leave without some onion rings and a Frosted Orange from the legendary Varsity down the street.

A trip to Blacksburg means a trip to meet some of the nicest, most knowledgeable football fans in the ACC. Make sure you get there early enough for "Enter Sandman" before they commence to beating your team up...sure, other teams use "Sandman" but theirs is Metallica-endorsed. Blacksburg itself, however, is in the middle of nowhere, so you may need to manufacture your own entertainment. Maybe try to take turns reciting the "Old Hokie" cheer, taking a shot for each line you flub.

Syracuse

The Orange travel to N.C. State, Maryland, Georgia Tech and Florida State in 2013.

Carter-Finley stadium is a great place to watch a football game...if you're wearing red. Visitors beware. Not for bad fan behavior, but the incessant discussion of how Wolfpack football is "one player away" grows tiresome. You will, however, go home humming the N.C. State fight song, and it will take a few weeks for it to dissipate.

Maryland. Is a Big Ten school. Who owes us $50 million. But the Mighty Sound of Maryland band is quite possibly the best in the country- whether it's football or basketball season.

Of all ACC schools, Florida State looks to have the inside track on the next national champ from the ACC. There's not much to see in Tallahassee, but it is the state capitol. It's also the closest thing you'll get to an SEC atmosphere in ACC 5.0. Keep in mind you'll probably lose the game, so pack a pair of binoculars to focus on the best reason to go to this game: the fabulous FSU Golden Girls.


Goldengirls_medium

Notre Dame

The Irish won't play any conference games until 2032, apparently, and then will only play a partial slate. I guess they have to save room for their rivalries with Purdue and Navy. Whatever. My guess is that by the time they actually play a conference game, the Irish will have a clause stating that their opponents should only come from the bottom half of the conference food chain. After all, they need all the wins they can get- their BCS free pass ends after 2013.

Key Terminology for ACC 5.0

"King Karl": basketball official Karl Hess; vilified in Raleigh for throwing Chris Corchiani and Tom Gugliotta out of a basketball game- vilified everywhere else for showboating that extends games by hours.

"Clemson-ing": The action taking place when a Clemson athletic team falls apart in grand fashion after having complete control of a contest.

"Bzdelik'd": "If there hadn't been four previous versions of the ACC, it would still be ACC 1.0."

"N.C. State $**t": see "Clemson-ing" in Raleigh, only funnier.

Ron Cherry: senior football official; too damned entertaining to despise; originator of the legendary "giving him the business" personal foul.

"The Blue Zone": The UNC student section at gorgeous Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill; or: the place Tar Heel fans go when reminded that Duke and Wake Forest have both won ACC football titles since Carolina last won one.

"Hokie": We still have no freaking idea. Even the official explanation is confusing.

"Quest For 40": Applicable to basketball, means you are watching a University of Virginia game. If they are playing Boston College, it becomes a "Quest for 30."

"Barbecue": A noun. Not a verb. You got me? A freaking noun.

"Maryland": I mean it- where the #$%^ is our money, you ingrates?

"The Rivalry": No, not Duke versus North Carolina. Pssssssh! In order to be labeled, "The Rivalry" you need to have your own bingo game. Suck it, Tobacco Road.

"Nevin Shapiro": Former University of Miami super-booster currently serving time for a jillion-dollar Ponzi scheme. Also the source of NCAA investigation into multiple improper benefits to Hurricane athletes, including providing cash to and allegedly funding sex parties on his boat for athletes. Also known to football players as, "the greatest guy ever."

"Cimarron": A secondary mascot for Florida State athletics, because Chief Osceola riding Renegade out to midfield while holding a flaming spear wasn't cool at all.

Finally, "#goacc": There was that day where @martinrickman lost his mind over Florida State and was trying to rally people around the ACC. No one really understands it. He doesn't understand it. Here is kind of what happened through tweets. This was the first recorded instance of #goacc as we know it:

But also things were just really weird and he sent about 500 tweets in an hour on the subject:

Now #goacc just kind of lives on, and it belongs to everyone because the ACC is for togetherness.

ACC 5.0 FAQ

My team's starting lineup fouled out in the first fifteen minutes against Duke. What happened? -

What happened was that you should've done your homework (see Barnes, Rick). Duke and North Carolina have historically been in the upper echelon of foul differential every season. Part of that is their athletes are superior to your athletes, the other part is, well...

What are those coeds wearing to football games in September and October? I've never seen them at a game before? -

Those are sundresses, God's gift to the American South. When you visit, make sure to say thank you.

Follow-up to the above question: I see a bunch of guys wearing khakis and ties on football game day. Do I need to overhaul my sports wardrobe? -

No, those are just fratbros. They do this at some of the SEC schools, too. Don't do this. Ever. But if you do, make sure your khakis aren't pleated.

Clemson is coming to my school to play basketball. Can they beat us? -

Absolutely. That applies to all of ACC 5.0, except the Chapel Hill model.

Why does it matter whether I get KFC or Bojangles for the tailgate? It's all the same, right? -

On second thought, you may not be ready for ACC 5.0 yet. I hear Conference USA is still looking for help, though. Please return your product to the ACC offices in Greensboro ... and don't tell UCONN.

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