Like clockward, the hate comes out in March. After a rough and tumble three weeks that saw the Duke Blue Devils drop four of six, the Devils have rallied to four straight wins, including a solid three game stretch over Wake, Maryland and Virginia Tech (the last two on the road). Does it mean the Devils are ready to rip through the ACC tournament and get deep in the NCAA tournament? No, not really. The wins were nice, but let’s not forget, Wake sucks on the road and Maryland and Virginia Tech are two teams that are probably destined for the NIT. However, if they can ruin senior day in Chapel Hill, then we can start to talk.
Of course, the wins aren’t the story, oh no. the real big story from this stretch is the fact that Duke…get this…traveled…twice during two of those games. This is all everyone wants to talk about. In fact, Scheyer’s “walk” deserved not one, but two posts on one of our favorite blogs, The Big Lead (we’ll be forgiving since on the weekend’s TBL is taken over by Cousin of Ron Mexico, who’s jokes are about as fresh has his catchy name (Seriously, does anyone really care about Vick anymore?).
For the record, Elliot Williams DID walk. Let’s get that out of the way. However, it got so much coverage thanks to yet another You Tube posting, you would think it was the first time a player shuffled his feet and didn’t get called for traveling. It’s kind of comical to think that there are people out there (Terps, cough, cough) who can’t watch a basketball game anymore without Tivo and a video camera. (Keep one thing in mind, the person posting the videos is probably a Maryland fan. The Terp faithful are a lonely group. These are the same people who reuse the same tired Scheyer-picture trick from three years ago, and who’s best chat was “Fuck Singler.” The Terp men have typically have gone years with seeing a live, unpaid-for vagina, so we have to be forgiving — they have the time to do this kind of stuff).
Of course, the hate can be found mostly on the comment threads where you can read the annual; Duke gets all the calls, Refs are afraid of Coach K, Duke is on TV too much, Scheyer makes faces, Paulus likes tea and Singler is white. Did I already mention Duke gets all the calls. One cleaver guy on You tube refers to Gerald Henderson as Henderthug (obviously unable to forget about the time Gerald nailed Hansborough two years ago) . Wow, I bet picking out that name took all night. I reminded him that Gerald had not only apologized, but he and Hansbrough had actually played in pick-up games together since then. He proceeded to call me a liar and a douchebag. Since he had yet to discover the “google” I provided him a link to the story.
As a Duke fan, what can I do? People are going to believe what they want to believe. Blogs like TLB, Deadspin and Rush the Court (another one of my favorites) know when you post Duke, the hits will follow. Check out any comment threat, a Duke post will have 4-5 times more comments than any other post. In this most recent incident, it takes a certain amount of devotion and a huge blind spot to see Scheyer’s “traveling” yet not see the three times he was fouled by two Tech players. Why would Tech be doing that? Because they were down by three with 19 seconds to go and had been fouling since the one-minute mark. In fact, in the second TBL post, there’s a video of Tech’s Bell throwing an elbow into Singler’s throat. It seems to me if the refs are shaken in their boots over Coach K, they surely would have called that one?
What I have never got about all this is the simple fact that people hate Duke more than they like their own team? (I’m excluding UNC fans, at least the ones I know personally). I’m not kidding. I feel like these ‘haters’ could name the Duke’s ball boys, but couldn’t tell you who the sixth man on his own team is.
Now I understand hate. In football, I hate Notre Dame with a passion, but I bet I spend less than an hour in a whole football season reading about Notre Dame. However, I’ll spend hours and hours a week reading about my teams (For the record, I grew up living in Miami and Durham as a child, so I cheer for both Duke and Miami. And yes, I was furious when the Canes switched to the ACC). Remember the Douche bag up top I wrote about, he is a UNC fan. I clicked on his You Tube site and in his favorites he had more anti-Duke videos than pro-UNC videos (note: Don’t worry Tar Heels fans, I won’t use this guy to judge all UNC fans. We all have our D-bags).
Anyhow, it’s March. The weather gets warmer, my taxes will get done, Maryland fans get to look forward to the NIT (again) and the hate will come flowing out. Bring it on.