Thursday, February 10, 2011

Go Duke, Go!

I'm a Marylander who has shamelessly converted to Blue Devil fan.  I cut my college basketball teeth on the ACC.  In highschool, I dreamed of life wearing Carolina blue and having class with Brendan Haywood and Joseph Forte.  Little did I know then that I would marry a Dukie and wind up in Cameron, the place I had previously seen only on TV - the place where I watched Christian Laettner, Grant Hill, Shane Battier and later J.J. Reddick lay into the Tar Heels and Terps.
 We're reigning National Champs and if you forget it, I'll be happy to remind you.  I'm also going to start using "we" very loosely.
 The grad school section may not be as rowdy as the undergrad section, but we have the very important job of distracting the opponents when they try to make free throws.  It'd be interesting to compare teams' average free throw percentage versus their average in Cameron.  I'd like to know what kind of job we do.  From memory, I think we do a pretty good job.
 The true crazies are the undergrads though.  They're sleeping in tents all season.  They're painting themselves blue.  They're huddling with the masses.  They know all the chants and cheers.  AND they do them in unison.  The grad school section definitely takes a back seat to them.
 If you haven't seen Singler on television, watch him the next time you have the chance.  It's like Coach K went looking for the kid who has the most Blue Devil looking eyes.  If you think it's freaky on TV, I can tell you it's even freakier in person.
 In these two photos (above and below) you can get a sense for the intimacy of the stadium.  Cameron is notoriously small and loud.  The energy inside is electrifying.  It is by far the best sports venue I've ever been in.
Besides cheerleaders, we've got crazy towel guy, dutifully twirling his towel with every score and at the appointed time at the direction of the chants, "Crazy Towel Guy! Crazy Towel Guy!"  Here's some video we shot of him when Mr. Palindrome was planning his Halloween Costume:
This guy is serious.  He's only missed like one game in the past 30 years.  Hardcore.

 Going to games together has been the highlight of our time in Durham.  The stress of school and the house melt away on the hallowed court.
 Oh and the players aren't half bad either!  This is a shot I took from my standing room only spot of Mason dunking.
 Here Kyle flew forward after a rush to the basket and we all gasped in horror at the though that he might (knock on wood) have hurt his knee.  Don't worry, he walked it off just fine and went on to score 14 points in the game.
This guy, though, this guy deserves lots of Blue Devil love.  Nolan tears it up each game.  He's averaging over 20 points a game and just scored 34 against UNC.  Look at those ups.  He always comes off looking short compared to the others, but he's 6'2"!
 Seth has been playing more with Kyrie out and he was 5/7 from behind the arc that night.  We devils love our 3s!
 How could I forget?  The man.  The myth.  The legend.  Not much yelling at the game against Boston college, but I heard that fans could hear him from the locker room firing up the guys during half time of the UNC game last night.  It's like watching a master at work.  He paces, he sketches, he yells - and his team wins.  Must be doing something right.
That's just a little taste of the Cameron experience and why Duke basketball is so infectious.  

If you're a Tar Heel fan, I'm especially sorry for the gloating that I'll be doing over the next year.   And Mom, I'm especially sorry for all the times I've cheered, "Go to hell, Carolina, go to hell!" It's just that EVERYONE ELSE was doing it.


  1. I never really followed Duke basketball because I'm too bonded to my undergrad school (Wisconsin). But your post makes me wish I'd made it to Cameron at least once!

    And it's a nice counter-action to Ed's constant Carolina boosterism. He had to go to a watch party alone last night. I used to go with him, but eventually had to put down my foot that "not caring about the team is one thing, but it doesn't mean I want to hear a roomful of people bash my school all night....." Go Blue Devils!

  2. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. So since Carolina hates Duke and NC State hates Caroline, we love Duke. Our fight song also sings, ..."go to hell Carolina..." granted we also tell the Devils to "stand in line" but they rarely do!

  3. Awww Duke...makes me miss being at college/Elon!

    And random fun fact...I had a handful of classes with Shane Battier's sister - she went to Elon!

  4. My boss is a HUGE Duke fan! Basketball season is very tense in our office, haha!

  5. This makes me so, so incredibly sad. ;-)