Duke basketball: The three steps to replacing Cameron Crazies

Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

Picturing a Duke basketball home atmosphere without fans sparks some ideas.

Let’s assume coronavirus concerns linger to the point that indoor sports venues do not return to welcoming masses in time for the next Duke basketball season. Let’s also assume this aspect of life never fully returns to the old normal, even years down the road.

Imagine what the atmosphere inside Cameron Indoor Stadium would feel like under this new normal. Actually, since so many would never again be on hand, think of what the games would sound like from home: the squeaking of sneakers on Coach K Court mixing in with the voices of players, coaches, immediate family members, the wealthiest donors, and maybe a sprinkling of students.

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So try to fathom the college hoops landmark in Durham never again reaching its 9,314-seat capacity as Cameron Crazies, in far lesser quantities than in the good old days, all wear masks and stand no less than six feet apart. And envision a barren Krzyzewskiville, population zero, forevermore; after all, a jam-packed village of jam-packed tents isn’t exactly in line with proper social distancing.

All in all, consider the potential effect of a permanent muffler on the Blue Devils’ renowned homecourt advantage (not to mention the ding to the bottom line should thousands of Iron Dukes suddenly stop donating to the athletic department every year the five-figure checks that once secured them the right to purchase season tickets).

Even with all these foreseeable restrictions on attendance in place, though, Dukies can at least dream of a day when the Duke basketball experience becomes a shining example of how to make the best of such crummy circumstances. How so? Here are the three proposed steps: