I see what you mean now, I just saw some people say "You're not a real fan if you didn't attend the University". I know (not from personal experience) how different it is to be in the fan section to the regular section... It's just a different energy.
I'm not saying people can't be a fan if they didn't attend the university; I'm saying it's different.
The Panther analogy doesn't work to me since the Panthers are a single team that represent the Carolinas. The organization is part of a 32 team business with teams that rep cities or regions all over the country. NC State's athletics are supposed to represent the University. I 'chose' to be a Panthers fan true, though the biggest reason I became one was because I live in NC. I suppose if you live in Chapel Hill or Raleigh it would be hard not to pick a team. And likewise, there are plenty of people who went to the university and aren't 'fans'. But it is a different fan experience if you attended the university.
I guess it just angers me when people who live in Wilmington or Boone or wherever trash talk me about how many National Championships UNC has won when they haven't even been to Chapel Hill and only watch their basketball team, AND only when they're good. I have plenty of friends who went to UNC who I respect a lot more when they poo talk me than someone who chose UNC because they were good when they were young.
Oh, and I've seen that university athletics comparison chart all over the interwebs, How many of those National Championships were before you were born? That's like me bragging about Grover Cleveland being elected President in 1884 because I'm a Democrat.
Yes, UNC is an older university with a much more storied athletics program, I'll grant you that. NC State has had it's moments, and I believe they're on their way to creating some new ones THIS YEAR.
Well I live about two hours away from Chapel Hill and have been pulling for them (all sports) since my younger days. I've been there for the good times and the bad.
And that chart was all in good fun sir because like you said most of those championships were before I was born.