Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Top Three Reasons why UNC-Duke isn't a Truly Great Rivalry

ESPN's endless hype compels me to make three quick points:

1. Duke and Carolina aren't playing for anything. They're both going to be in the tournament, so they're basically playing for a slightly better geographic placement. Still my beating heart. Even if most fans cared about the college basketball regular season, which they don't because the tournament has killed it, the game still wouldn't be for big stakes because the ACC pretentiously declares the winner of its postseason tournament to be the champion. Thus, the Heels and Devils aren't even playing for a championship. Instead, they're playing for the right to play Maryland instead of Boston College in the first round of the tournament. Texas-Oklahoma this is not. Call me if they meet in the ACC Tournament Final.

2. There are no Duke fans in the State of North Carolina. Or so I've been told by every friend I've ever had from UNC. The jokes about the University of New Jersey at Durham are funny and all, but they do detract from the incessant "they're eight miles apart!" bullshit. Duke is a little oasis of Connecticutians in a sea of Tar Heel and Wolfpack fans. If this isn't a border war and it isn't a civil war, then what the hell is it?

3. The entire country (save for those of us who are luckily in the Raycom footprint) has to watch the game on mute. You can't seriously think that anyone can listen to Dick Vitale perform verbal fellatio on these two admittedly fine programs for more than five minutes without hitting the mute button. And for all the talk about the game's atmosphere, how much of that comes across when confronted with a choice between silence and the brutal rape of one's own ear drums by the man who personifies the term obnoxious yankee?

I watched USA-Mexico tonight, followed by Juno. Piss off, I'm a man and I can do what I want.


Anonymous said...

Interesting comment about Duke being the home of foreigners. Just some UNC flap or are there some facts behind this. First time I had heard that allegation.

BTW. Just finished watching last night's game via DVR and thought it a helluva battle until UNC went into overdrive.

peacedog said...

You have got to let this "they aren't playing for anything!" nonsense go. I don't ever want to see this again, ever.

I got sucked into a video game, which is worse than watching a sissy sport (that I love, mind you) and a glorified chick flick (which was good).

Anonymous said...

I watched the soccer match too. Do you think Sven is toast?

Anonymous said...

Next, you'll be telling us that the Yankees-Red Sox series in May is also meaningless!

Anonymous said...

i enjoyed the soccer match as well, as it provided further proof that Rafa Marquez is a complete asshole even when he's not being a shitty defender for Barca.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. These points are all absolutely correct.

I grew up in NC and literally did not know anyone who became a Duke student or graduate until I went there for law school. They come down 95 from NJ and points north, stay for 4 years, then leave.

Anonymous said...

About there being no Duke fans in NC--not really true. For whatever reason, there are large numbers of people who didn't go to college here who cheer for Duke. I chalk this up to two factors: One, the bandwagon, while not as crowded as it used to be, is still pretty full of folks with no pre-existing allegiances. And two, they all work with--or for--dillweeds who went to Carolina and know firsthand what an appalling mix of pretension and class anxiety they can be.

Anonymous said...


I went to UNC and can tell you that your point about Duke is a UNC-centric view. (Remember the Lacrosse "rapists"; none of those guys were from NC).

With that said, there are plenty of people from NC who go to Duke (especially for grad school) and even more who cheer for Duke (without ever going there). You need to ask some people from Duke if they consider themselves a true NC college.

For the record, I always thought the Duke campus was weird. It has all these stone buildings and architecture like it was built in the 1600s like Harvard or Yale. Naw, dude, those buildings aren't even 100 years old.

Also, Coach K has a fanbase.

Ed said...

Duke students don’t come from North Carolina?! That’s no rivalry. That’s like that creepy catholic school two miles south of the Michigan border. That’s no rivalry either, right Bo?

You know what would be great - if one day in the future some bright mind invented something called “statistics” to show what percentage of Duke students actually do come from North Carolina and what percentage come from say New Jersey or Connecticut.

My guess is they would find 15 percent of Duke students come from in-state (comparable to Vanderbilt and larger than ND and most Ivies), while 5 percent come from NJ and 2 percent from Conn. And the percentage of Duke students who come from the South outnumber NJ-NY-New England natives by about 2:1.

Facts. Almost as reliable as the insight of "Psycho-T" fans.

Michael said...

Peace, you know my position on the importance of a regular season. I started thinking this when the Braves were unfairly maligned for their Octobers and it's gone full steam ever since.

Ike, I'm glad that I ripped on Marquez in public after the Racing match. He's a liability waiting to happen. When Milito is healthy, Rafa will be fourth choice behind Puyol, Milito, and Pique. Pique is growing on me a little. And who am I kidding; none of these guys have to be THAT good to win when Barca keeps 65% possession and opponents keep ten behind the ball. The Blaugrana won a CL with Oleguer and Marquez as starters, for crying out loud.

What I'm getting from the last three comments is that I listen to my UNC friends a little too much. Ed, regarding the Notre Dame-Duke comparison, aside from the fact that both schools represent pure evil :), the difference is that Chicago is a heavy Notre Dame town. There is a geographic pull in the Midwest for the Irish. I'd imagine that ND-Michigan can be a lot of fun in a sports bar in Chicago because of the size of the fan bases there. Duke doesn't really have that pull in Charlotte or Raleigh, as far as I know. In any event, the point I really wanted to make in the post was the first one. Maybe I should have heeded Scalia's advice to concentrate on one's best arguments.

Scott said...

It's kind of like Georgia Tech in Georgia. A lot of students that go to Tech are from elsewhere. And usually leave Georgia when they are done with school.

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