I have been a Duke fan for my entire life.  Some of my earliest memories are of watching Duke games at home, clapping along and doing all the hand motions along with the student section.  From early on I knew I wanted to go to Duke and sit front and center in Cameron, paint my chest, and go nuts.  As I got older and started to go to a few games a year my opinion stayed the same.  I would always be the guy up in the seats that did all the cheers with the students, getting more than a few dirty looks in the process.  Being in the student section seemed like the most fun you could possibly have.  It’s exciting to sit that close to the court in any stadium but at Duke you had a chance to really affect the game.  In middle school, I snuck down there at halftime and just walked in.  I weaseled my way into a decent spot behind one of the baskets and had the time of my life.  I couldn’t wait to get to Duke to go to every game like this.  As embarrassing as it is to admit, the thought of being at all of the basketball games is probably the biggest reason why I came to Duke.  All of my friends had decided on Carolina and it was really tempting to follow them there and have a great time.  Academics played a role of course, as did family connections (both in getting accepted and choosing to come) but without basketball games there is no way I would have made the choice I did.  That is why it truly pains me to have to tell you that Cameron Indoor Stadium is a shell of the place it used to be.  The real Cameron Crazies don’t exist anymore.

During my freshman year at Duke (I am a senior now) I went to every game, lived in a tent for over a month for the UNC game, and generally put a lot of effort into being a Cameron Crazie.  It was the most disillusioning experience of my entire life.  I had expected a bunch of very serious basketball fans mercilessly heckling the opposing players and loudly supporting their own.  Sadly this could not have been further from the truth.  The vast majority of the people were freshman who hadn’t started supporting Duke until they got in and didn’t start watching games until they got to school.  Even worse the mean edge that made Cameron special was completely gone.  Creative and insulting cheers were met with stony glares from the other students and more than a few verbal admonitions.  “We’re not Maryland,” was a common one, as was “we are better than that.”  By attempting to actually get under the skin of opposing players I alienated myself from the new, softer Cameron Crazies.

I also offended this new and worthless brand of Duke “fan” by having the audacity to drink before the games.  Getting a good seat requires waiting outside for at least three hours.  For me, this requires a couple of beers.  Before the UNC game of that year a senior girl accosted me and said, “I can’t believe you are drinking before this game.  I could never do that.  I take Duke Basketball way too seriously.”  I of course responded by asking her to name the UNC starting five, or every Duke scholarship player.  She couldn’t do it, and I doubt more than half the kids in line could have done it either.  Needless to say, I don’t go to a lot of games anymore.

Being a Cameron Crazie has become more about overt and ridiculous displays of “team spirit” like sleeping outside for months at a time, or painting your entire body than actually having a tangible effect on the game or being knowledgeable about the team.  Fans can affect a game by making noise or by intimidating opposing players and referees.  Duke students used to do both, but all the neutered student section can do now is clap loudly and launch worn out cheers on repeat.

The counter-argument here is that the student section hasn’t changed, but I have.  I see and experience it differently as a 22 year old than as an 11 year old.  There is probably some truth to this, but there has also been a real and negative change in the behavior and attitude of the Cameron Crazies.  If I tried to list all of the funny and offensive chants that either I have heard about or heard myself it would take forever, but I do have a few favorites that should never have died out. “If you can’t go to college go to State” is a great one as is chanting “bullshit” whenever the refs make a bullshit call.  This list compiled by ESPN.com also has a few winners.  My personal favorite was when Florida State player Nigel Dixon, unaffectionately known as “Big Jelly” was struggling with a weight problem in the mid-2000’s.  When he played at Cameron someone always had a fried chicken leg on a fishing rod that they dangled in front of him while he shot free throws.  They also repeatedly chanted “Please don’t eat me.”  He was always so flustered that he never had even an average game in Cameron

In case you still aren’t convinced, I am far from the only person to have noticed this.  The New York Times recently published an article entitled “A Little Less Crazed at Duke,” and even the Duke student newspaper, The Chronicle, has noticed the lack of student attendance and general energy.   More importantly however, the basketball program has noticed it.  Two years ago, members of the basketball coaching staff came and met with at least four fraternities on campus in order to increase attendance among the Greek organizations.  A prominent assistant coach and a graduate assistant came and sat down and had a few beers with the members of my fraternity in our common room.  We discussed the reasons that most of us don’t go to games and what it would take to get us there.  I cannot remember his exact words but they were approximately, “We do not like the make-up of the crowds today.  We want a drunker, angrier crowd.”

There are many reasons why the crowds in Cameron have been shrinking in both size and enthusiasm.  Some of these reasons, such as Duke’s increased exposure on television and better TV’s to watch the games on, are outside of our control.  There are many things however that the administration can do to increase and diversify the crowds.  Obviously there are also a lot of things the people who currently go to games can fix, but we will get to those later.  The administration, or the athletic department, or whoever makes basketball decisions (Coach K obvi) needs to find a way to get some fresh blood into Cameron.  Currently the time commitment required to get a decent seat at the games is too much for a large segment of the students at Duke.  Duke is a pretty tough school so most people only have time for two big time commitments.  School work is one of those commitments for everyone so unless you are willing to sacrifice everything else to wait in line for games then you can’t get a decent seat.  I, like many people, choose a social life and a Greek organization.  Many other people choose athletics, both varsity and club, or other campus activities.  There has to be a dedicated effort to allow people to get a decent seat without sleeping outside or waiting in line during the day for 8 hours.  Most people just won’t do it, and without a decent seat it’s much more enjoyable to watch the game at home or in a bar with a huge TV. I am not sure the best way to make this happen but there needs to be a serious effort made or else crowds will continue to dwindle and the people there will continue to be ineffective and soft.

Now on to a problem that I do know how to solve: the behavior of the people who actually go to games. I’ve got a few easy steps for people to follow.

1.  Get Angry

Stop worrying about seeming classy and composed.  You are in a packed mass of college students.  There are no consequences for being a soulless bastard.  Just go to town on opposing players and refs.  Trust me, it’s fun as hell.  And more importantly it actually helps the team.  A proper crowd should emotionally hurt opposing players and actually scare the refs.  I would never advocate physical violence, but I absolutely advocate being loud and angry enough that somewhere deep down the refs think you might jump over press row and rip them limb from limb.

2. Stop Dressing Like a Total Douche

The costumes and gimmicks and absurd paint don’t help the team.  It helps you get on TV.  This transparent attempt to get some airtime might be my least favorite part of the current Cameron Crazies.  If I see one more jabronie wearing a Spiderman suit or Darth Vader mask I am going to snap.  What is the point of spending your life in line to go to a game if your costume is so absurd you can’t see in it?  No one is intimidated by this.

3.  Get Good and Drunk

This one is self-explanatory.

4.  Retire Some of the Lamer Chants

Some of the chants make all Duke students look terrible.  Do we really need the “boink, boink, pass” garbage anymore?  Does anyone think that works?  If you honestly do then you’ve got a problem that I cannot help you with.  Also I never want to hear a “read the rulebook” chant.  That is just sad.

Most importantly, let everyone else around you enjoy the game in their own way.  If you don’t want to get drunk and be angry then that’s a personal problem, but let the rest of us have our fun.  We are all between 18-22.  I have my whole life to sit quietly in the seats and cheer for good plays.  I only have a limited number of games where I can get drunk and try and start “Tom Izzo is a chode” chants.  So next time you get the urge to chastise someone for being a little over the top just remember, I know I don’t go to Maryland and I am absolutely not better than that.

People have been asking me for days to write about Jeremy Lin.  I have refused so far because I didn’t have anything new to say.  Lin has been covered so extensively in the media that it is almost impossible to come up with anything original.  Or at least I thought it was until yesterday when I watched my first full Knicks game with Lin in the line-up.  By the end of the game everyone in the room was paying as much attention to the stereotyping and subtle racism as to the game itself.  Which is saying something since the end of that game was Linsane. As a result I had to bring back my favorite blog gimmick: The Racist Announcer Watch.  If you missed the first two Racist Announcer Watches they can be found here and here.

 

Jeremy Lin has brought out the absolute worst in racist announcers, and more importantly has ended the commentator monopoly on subconscious racism and stereotyping.  Thanks to Lin sportscenter anchors, television producers, and most egregiously ESPN Webmasters have joined in on the fun.  All of this has given the Racist Announcer Watch a lot to take in.  I am mostly going to focus on issues during the ABC telecast yesterday but I can’t completely ignore this absurd ESPN headline from early last week.

Really ESPN?  Really?  How could anyone possibly think that headline was okay?  We have moved on from the accidental or at least veiled racism that I love to mock and gone straight to downright inappropriate.

That headline has been all over the mainstream media.  Anyone can point out racism that blatant.  What you really need the Racist Announcer Watch for are the more hidden and casual examples.  Fortunately for me there were a ton yesterday.

 

Firstly, the announcers referred to Lin as a “smart” or “cerebral” player over ten times during the game.  This is a tricky one because by all accounts Lin has a high basketball I.Q. and no one can doubt his actual intelligence given that he went to Harvard.  I am not buying it.  Dirk Nowitzki is an exceptionally smart basketball player who has mastered shot angles and trajectories better than anyone in the league today.  And yet his intelligence was not complimented once during the game.  Commentators defend themselves by claiming that Lin’s Harvard education, and not his race, is the reason that people focus on his intelligence.  I am also going to call bullshit on this one.  NBA players come out of schools like Duke, Stanford, and Vanderbilt all of the time.  Granted these schools are a notch below the Ivys but its not that big of a step, and I definitely have not heard Van Gundy or any other announcer gushing about Robin Lopez or Carlos Boozer’s intelligence.  If you are looking for more proof then look into the ways in which Buffalo Bills QB and Harvard grad Ryan Fitzpatrick is described.  His intelligences is rarely if ever mentioned.  Repeatedly harping on the intelligence and smarts of the most prominent Asian player in the NBA makes you a racist announcer.

The most egregious, and funny examples of racism during the game yesterday did not come from the announcers however.  They came from the producers, cameramen, network executives, or whoever the hell decides what cameras to cut to during the game.  Whenever Lin did something well there was a crowd shot featuring someone of Asian decent.  A couple of times you could see the cameras panning, searching for the proper demographic to zoom in on.  Even worse, multiple times during the game the feed switched to a camera somewhere called Hong Kong station in Chinatown.  The room was predictably filled with Asians going crazy and hugging each other after each great play by Lin.  I literally could not believe they did this once, much less frequently.  How is this not bigger news?

The move by the NBA and the TV networks to emphasize Lin’s ethnicity is getting pretty blatant.  It makes sense from a business perspective, (increase jersey sales and other revenues both among Asian-Americans and in Asia) but it is not fair to Lin.  He is a great player in his own right and since February 4th has more points than anyone in the NBA not named Kevin Durant. (and Durant had to drop 51 last night to get ahead of Lin)  He deserves to be recognized for this.  A camera placed in any bar in NYC would have properly captured the excitement that Linsanity has brought.  Hell, a camera in my room yesterday would have caught a bunch of avowed New York sports haters going completely nuts during the game.  Focusing only on Lin’s ethnicity devalues him as a player.  Unfortunately since there has been little to no negative press for this sort of behavior we have no clue where networks will draw the line.  Remember I warned you guys when ABC has cameras in every Panda Express in New York.  It’s not gonna be pretty.

 

Saturday Night Live did a great parody of the media coverage of Lin last week.  Not surprisingly they went a lot further than I did.  Check it out if you haven’t seen it yet.

saturday-night-live-cold-opening-linsanity-postgame#s-p2-sr-i1

 

Finally, I think we need to set an expiration date on Lin puns.  It is lazy and at this point not even that clever.  Anyways, we shouldn’t be spending our time coming up with Lin puns when what we really need to be doing is readying ourselves for the Novakalypse.

 

 

Soccer is one of the best spectator sports around.  If you understand whats going on, and have a rooting interest, then the games are exciting and fun to watch.  Since I, and probably all of you, live in America then going to high level soccer games is impossible.  The MLS is improving but right now it’s still pretty weak shit.  Going to an MLS game will probably poison your opinion on soccer so just don’t do it.  Trust me on this one.  Since going to games isn’t an option we are left with catching them on TV.  This is getting easier and easier to do as ESPN now carries a few games each week.  Fox Soccer Channel also has a bunch of games.  If you don’t have FSC then stop reading because you are probably poor.  (Seriously though, it’s really easy to get.  Less than 5 bucks a month for a huge sports package that has it.)

Soccer is an ideal sport to watch on TV for a number of reasons.

1. It looks badass in HD

Don’t overestimate the importance of this one.  Every thing is better in HD but I think that soccer gets a much bigger boost than other sports.  because the field is so big and the players are very spread out there are a lot of wide angle zoomed out shots.  This makes it impossible to tell what’s going on in low-def.  With HD technology however everything is crisp and even casual fans can figure out what is happening and who is playing who.

2. It is on at weird times

This may sound like a bad thing but here me out.  Soccer almost never competes with other sports.  During the season there are games every Saturday and Sunday morning at 11 and most Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 2:30.  These are dead times for traditional sports and for TV in general.  There is nothing better than waking up and catching some soccer before the football games come on, or getting out of class and seeing a game or two.  This is especially crucial for me since I feel like all time not spent watching sports is wasted.

3.Announcer with funny accents

This one speaks for itself.  My favorite are the Scottish guys.

4. The games are reasonably short

I am a huge football fan and actually kind of like baseball but unless its a really important game I get sick of doing the same thing for over 3 hours.  Baseball is especially egregious.  The average Red Sox-Yankees game (the only exciting regular season baseball game) was over 3.5 hours last year.  That is just absurd.  Soccer games are made up of two 45 minute halves and have a 15 minute or so halftime.  They are over in less than two hours usually.  This allows you to watch a full game and then go on living your life.  Another reason games are so short is…

5. No fucking commercials

There are no commercials during actual game-play in soccer.  Each half is uninterrupted.  There is a running clock and no timeouts of any sort.  This proves that soccer players are in stupidly good shape, but it also makes for a great way to spend some time.  If you sit down to watch soccer then that is what you will do.  No one trying to sell insurance or cars or whatever the hell will interrupt your time.  There are a few ads during halftime but you can switch to another channel since halftime is always 15 minutes.  It is the perfect set up.

I realize that it will be hard to get into soccer without a team to root for.  This is easy to fix.  First and foremost watch all of the USA national team games.  That is a clear rooting interest and requires no research on your part.  If you want to pick a club team then I recommend playing a shit-ton of FIFA.  That’s how I picked my team.  I loved Chelsea so much on FIFA 2005 that I have followed them ever since.  In case you aren’t a gamer or don’t have time to spin the FIFA disc ( shame on you) I will break down the best teams in the game to make it easier.

 

Chelsea

Chelsea plays in the English Premier League and is one of the top finishers every year.  They are located in London.  It was a struggling team until the early 2000’s when Russian oil baron and general oligarch, Roman Abramovich, bought the team.  He has pumped literally billions of dollars of his own money into the team and created a juggernaut.  They have struggled this year but with that kind of cash they will bounce back.  Also they have Didier Drogba, an absolute monster of a striker from the Ivory Coast.  He doubles as an unstoppable force in FIFA.  Just look at the dude.

Manchester United

Manchester United is the world’s most popular soccer team.  They have fans literally all over the world and for some reason have become Asia’s team.  I have no clue why this is but they make a stupid amount of money by touring and selling jerseys in Asia.  On the field they are the most successful team in the history of English soccer having won 19 championships.  They are led by Englishman Wayne Rooney.  He personifies what old English people like about soccer, namely hard work and a lack of speed.  Nevertheless he is a great player and scores a ton of goals.

Arsenal

Arsenal always have a bunch of young talent but have been unable to turn this into winning any sort of championship in years.  They are led by a French manager (soft) named Arsene Wenger.  He is seen as some sort of genius coach but the lack of recent results are starting to make people skeptical.  The reason to root for Arsenal is striker Robin Van Persie.  He scores goals that seem impossible.

Liverpool

They have many followers in England but are not a 5-star team in FIFA so I don’t care at all about them

AC Milan and Internazionale

Both these teams are great and have a very long history.  Unfortunately for them they are Italian, and even worse have Italians on their team.  As a result no one gives a shit.

Barcelona

Barcelona is the consensus best team in the world and has been for a few years.  They use a short passing game and a couple of dominating players and are almost unstoppable.  This year they are only second in the league but their body of work over the past 4-5 years is unrivaled.  And their best player, Lionel Messi, is only 5′-7” so its the perfect team for short people.

Real Madrid

Real Madrid is the only team that can really challenge Barcelona’s title as best team in the world.  They play an exciting game and are worth a watch.  If you are a douche then this is the team for you because they are led by this guy.

Ronaldo is such a mega-douche that he wears hair gel during games.  He also flops, bitches about every call and just generally pisses me off.  He is a great player though and makes any team he’s on better.

 

All of these teams have the right combination of talent, success, and visibility on American television.  As a result a neutral fan should choose one of these teams and just go with it.  If you want a more in-depth analysis on the English teams then Bill Simmons did this one a couple of years ago.  Otherwise just pick your favorite team and thank me later.

I realize that this idea was supposed to be a weekly post.  It wasn’t.  Sorry about that but it’s been a busy month.  I promise this will be a more regular feature going forward.  If you missed either of the first two AWATSFT posts they can be found here and here.

Anyways, it hurts me to have to name Jamaal Charles as this week’s AWATSFT winner.  Charles is one of my favorite athletes and was probably in the top 15 first people I followed on twitter.  He is on of the 5 best running backs in the NFL, and along with Lesean Mccoy is the top candidate to break a sweet 60+ yard run.  (full disclosure: I am a huge Chiefs fan and diagnosed homer.)  Unfortunately for the Chiefs and my fantasy football team, Charles went down with an ACL tear in the second game of the season.  I think this may have caused him to go insane.  His tweets have gotten progressively more absurd to the point that I recently thought his account had been hacked.  Charles has been blowing up my feed Tony Allen style recently so I would encourage you not to follow him.  Here are a few of his more egregious tweets.

“How many people like the weeken I need to know now..,”

“Talking about all of them damn restaurants got me hungry as hell… Who? want take me out to eat now..”

“Hol up knowmtalkinbout Hol up!”

“I feel like rollerblading…”

“I told the bed I was so tired and it say come to bed so I can hold u tonight..,”

“Goodnight! Be safe if u going out tonight.. I’m going go make love to my bed tonight cause it was talkin to me earlier..”

First and foremost, punctuation and spelling are just disastrous.  I realize that typing things properly on a phone when you are drunk can be tricky but some of this stuff isn’t even close.  And I am pretty confident that if I had more than 75,000 people reading my tweets I would chill with the typos.  And whoever taught Jamaal about ellipsis should be ashamed of themselves.  Charles has managed to overuse and misuse … so much its absurd.  Multiple tweets end in ..,  I guess Charles thinks that a period always ends a sentence and when he wants to continue a thought he rocks the ..,  This would be an understandable mistake… for a kid in second grade.

I also want to touch on the obsession with his bed.  Those two tweets are part of a long series of romantic exchanges between Jamaal Charles and his bed.  Nothing really inappropriate was said but its a creepy overall vibe.

Charles also has an annoying habit of telling whole stories via a series of four or five tweets.  And by stories I mean jokes that might have been funny in fifth grade.  Maybe.  Here’s an example:

 

“Johnny’s dad thinks, “I’ll get a head start on Johnny’s gambling. He calls the teacher and says, Johnny will be starting your class.”

“tomorrow but he likes to gamble so you’ll have to keep an eye on him. The next day Johnny walks into class and hands the teacher an apple.”

“Johnny smiles and says, “I bet you ten dollars you’ve got a mole on your butt.” The teacher thinks that she will break his little gambling..”

“She pulls her pants down and shows him her butt and there was no mole. Johnny goes home and tells his dad that he lost ten dollars…”

“To the teacher and why. So his dad calls the teacher and says, “Johnny said that he bet you that you had a mole on your butt and he lost.”

“The teacher says, “Yeah, and I think I broke his gambling problem.”

“Johnny’s dad laughs and says, “No you didn’t, he bet me a hundred dollars this morning that he’d see your ass before the day was over.”

 

First of all this story or joke or whatever it is really isn’t very entertaining.  More importantly it shows that twitter is a ridiculous medium through which to share bad jokes of this length.  It took 7 tweets and the way twitter feeds work everyone will have seen the punchline first.  Just a really stupid maneuver all around.

 

In this section I normally salute an athlete who uses his twitter account properly but this time I want to do something different.  I am starting to realize that twitter is the only thing keeping me up to date on current events and big news.  Things like Whitney Houston’s death, election news, and the fact that Nicki Minaj brought a pope imposter as her date to the Grammy’s (Really Nicki Minaj? Really?) would come to my attention well after the fact, if ever, were it not for Twitter.  I refresh ESPN and SI about 50 times a day but rarely find time to check on what is happening in the real world.  As a result this week’s example of a proper use of twitter comes not from an athlete but from one of the first people to break the news of Whitney Houston’s death on my twitter feed, Bill Simmons.

“Young Whitney had a staggering amount of potential. She only reached some of it. RIP. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Df5aaUbRx_s

It was timely, informative and provided some context for the event.  Well done.

Duke-UNC: What We Learned

February 11, 2012

I was planning on recapping the game yesterday but was unable to do so due to the goofy grin that was plastered to my face for about 24 hours after Rivers hit The Shot.  I was completely unable to sit down and concentrate on anything yesterday.  Watching 4 hours of late-night Sportscenter after the game probably didn’t help my productivity yesterday but I couldn’t help it.  They kept showing The Shot but with more angles and more crowd shots of crying UNC girls every time the show cycled back through.  Anyways, writing about the game itself isn’t worth the time.  There have already been roughly infinity stories on the subject plus I think 100% of the people reading this will have watched the game.  I have watched it twice so far. (Thanks Tivo)  Instead we are gonna go over the things we learned from the game and what they mean going forward.

1. Austin Rivers is the Truth.

This is an obvious one but its worth talking about.  Rivers was the best player on the court from start to finish.  Carolina’s length on the inside forced Rivers to turn to the weakest part of his game; his three-point shooting.  That shot was on the money Wednesday night as Rivers went 6-10 from 3-point range.  And these were not basic spot-up shots.  All six of Rivers’ made threes were off the dribble and most of them, including The Shot, were off some funky hesitation moves and with a hand in his face.  This video shows all 29 points Rivers scored on Wednesday.  Watch how deep he shoots from on a couple of the threes.

Rivers was impressive in more ways than one Wednesday night.  About two hours after the game the entire team rolled into a Durham bar to celebrate.  The entire team except for Austin Rivers.  I don’t blame the team for wanting to celebrate, and in fairness they did not appear to be drinking, but I respect the focus on the part of Rivers to avoid the big crowds.  Rivers will always be a big man on campus, but if he went to the bar Wednesday he would have been The Man With The Golden Dick.  He didn’t, and he wasn’t.  Rivers sole focus on basketball is not the most endearing trait from a personal popularity standpoint, but its one that will take him, and hopefully Duke, a long way.

2. Harrison Barnes is a headcase.

For most people Barnes’ 25 points and 3 rebounds would be a spectacular game.  Harrison Barnes is not most people.  He is a 6-8 wing scorer with great control and so much natural talent that he draws comparisons to T-Mac.  Barnes should completely dominate games like Durant did in his year at Texas.  And Barnes should absolutely destroy a team like Duke that has to guard him with 6-5 Rivers and 6-4 Andre Dawkins.  Instead Barnes flitted in and out of the game with brief stretches of dominance followed by long stretches of indifference.  The worst of these stretches was when Barnes was covered by Tyler Thornton who stands a massive 6-1.  With a 7 inch height advantage Barnes failed to score even once in about 3 minutes.  C’mon man.

3. Kendall Marshall doesn’t suck.

I so badly want him to.  He strikes me as the prototypical douchebag Carolina player.  The Danny Green type who would be no one if he wasn’t on such a good team.  Unfortunately Marshall is better than that and is going to demolish Bobby Hurley’s assist record if he stays 4 years.  That is unless I go Nancy Kerrigan on his ass.

4. I am a brilliant prognosticator. (Or a total homer)

I made the following prediction in my game preview post on Wednesday, “Austin Rivers is having his coming out party tonight.”  I don’t mean to toot my own horn… but beep beep.

5.  Mason Plumlee isn’t ready for the big time.

Mason didn’t have a bad game.  His line of 8 points on 50% shooting and 14 boards seems pretty impressive, but if you watched the game then you know that Mason is not in the same league as either John Henson or Tyler Zeller.  These guys are two of the best post players in the country, but they are nothing compared to the opposition if Mason decides to leave school early and enter the draft.  He needs to come back to school for another year and refine his post game, and most importantly give Duke 21 feet of Plumlee next season.  21 fucking feet!!

6.  The Tyler Zeller tip in was the weirdest play any of us will ever see.

It was absolutely absurd.  Kelly got fouled on the shot, Mason definitely fouled Zeller on the tap in, and then Zeller probably goal-tended as he tapped the ball in.  That means that Duke should have gotten 3 free throws, or that UNC should have gotten the ball, or that Duke should have gotten 3 points depending on the way the referees interpreted the play.  Instead the refs just swallowed their whistles and let it ride.  I vote we just pretend the play didn’t happen and never speak of it again.  Deal?

7. UNC students are really sad

And I for one could not be happier about it.  Check out this video for proof.

http://www.dailytarheel.com/index.php/multimedia/10634

8. This picture is the greatest thing that has ever happened.

 

There are still a few lingering questions that Wednesday night’s game failed to answer.

1. Which team is the better title bet?

I have no clue.  UNC is more talented but I trust Duke more down the stretch.  Simply put Duke’s best player, Rivers, has the killer instinct necessary to take over and Carolina’s, Barnes, does not.

 

more importantly,

2.Who the fuck was that little white guy that played for UNC?

My first reaction to seeing him in the game was that Roy had screwed up and accidentally inserted a walk-on.  After consulting with the RAW Thoughts Advisory Board (my buddy miller) I determined that he is actually the back-up point guard for Carolina now that Strickland went down.  This is really bad news going forward for UNC.  Marshall played 38 minutes in the game and that is not sustainable.  Especially since most teams will be able to apply much better ball pressure than Duke and tire out Marshall, or worse yet get him into foul trouble.  This might be a fatal flaw for UNC’s national championship dreams.  On the bright side he has great court vision.

 

The Duke-UNC Rivalry

February 8, 2012

I am from Raleigh which for those of you that are stupid, is deep in UNC territory.  Nearly all of my friends growing up had family connections to Carolina and were adamant, and obnoxious followers of Tar Heel basketball.  Even those without family connections almost exclusively rooted for Carolina cause they were so damn good when most people picked a team in first or second grade. (We call these people frontruners, and they suck balls).  I on the other hand, come from a Duke family and have been a diehard duke fan as long as I can remember.  Growing up a Duke fan in enemy territory has given me some unique insights into the nature of the rivalry and allows me to give unbiased answers to some frequently asked questions.

1.  Why is the rivalry such a big deal?

Duke-UNC is the greatest rivalry in college sports and in my opinion in sports in general.  This is due to a number of reasons.  The first and most important of which is geographical.  ESPN always talks about how close these schools are and they are not kidding.  You can get from Duke’s campus to Franklin Street in under 15 minutes.  This proximity forces the schools to interact often and keeps things interesting.

The second reason is a tradition of shared excellence.  Both schools are good academically and athletically.  Duke holds a slight advantage in the game of life, and UNC has been slightly better at sports but its a close contest in both.  This is really important to the health of a rivalry.  NC State would like to believe it is a rival to Duke and Carolina but State is literally worse at everything than these two schools so no one takes them seriously.

2. Why do Carolina fans take the rivalry more seriously?

Fans on both sides are serious about the game but in many years of experience I can say with certainty that Carolina fans are personally insulted by the existence of Duke University.  This translates to actual hatred of Duke basketball players and coaches.  This hatred comes from a deep-seated inferiority complex. UNC fans hate Duke because they feel like second-class citizens.  This is the same reason State fans hate UNC and ECU fans hate state.  No one hates East Carolina University.

3. Will I sit around and watch 7 hours of classic Duke-UNC games today?

Yes.  Yes I will.

4.  Why is Kris Lang so ugly?

No one knows for sure.  Scholars maintain the answer was lost centuries ago.

5.  Which team has douchier fans?

This is a really tough question to answer.  Carolina fans consistently refer to Duke as DOOK which is the height of douchebaggery.  Duke on the other hand has people like this guy. Duke fans also make cheer sheets which is the softest thing this side of Drake.  Lets just call this one a push.

6. What the fuck is going on with Roy’s ties?

This is a question brought up by every girl I have ever watched a UNC game with.  My mom, sisters, friends, and girlfriends have all perplexed.  Lets take a look.

This is just egregious.  C’mon man.

7. Who Will Win?

Duke.  Duke will win by between 4 and 7 points. (Knocking on wood.) Carolina has more talent but is a flawed team.  Marshall is badly overrated and Barnes for whatever reason is reluctant to take the ball to the basket. Austin Rivers is having his coming out party tonight.

 

Go to hell Carolina