Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Duke, Why I Hate Thee So...

February 7th was a personal holiday, as is Marth 4th. Carolina vs Duke, right vs wrong, good vs evil. At least that's the way it feels.

As I paced my living room and hurled obscenities at Carolina's inability to deny wide open 3's, I realized how much I hate Duke. Where does this come from?

It started, in part, alongside my contempt for Notre Dame. The children of my Buffalo (NY) suburb bought up all the Notre Dame hats and Starter jackets they could get their grubby little digits on. Why? Why support a bunch of catholics in Indiana? You're not going there for school, you'll probably never even visit South Bend. Why? Because they latched onto a winner (this was before ND's decline).

Duke went through a similar process. After a few Final Fours and national titles, everyone in Buffalo was a Duke fan, or seemed to be at least. I wasn't; I could sense the evil that seeped from the pores of Coach Kryzssessdkwiervnmc,asasd##$ski. This was before I knew where Duke was, or who went to Duke, or why I logically shouldn't like them. I just knew. The stench of Satan was upon them.

Later I would move to North Carolina, go to school at UNCW, and live in Chapel Hill. I fell into the Tar Heel fan base, and I fell hard. There was something special about that team in 2002-03. The 19-16 squad showed flashes of the brilliance that would cut down the nets in 2005. And with this new UNC obsession fandom, it would be easy to hate Duke as the rival, as the spoiler. That's probably why many UNC fans can't stand them.

Let's get to the meat of my Blue Devil disdain. It's not the players; they are probably the ones I like the most over at Duke. They are, for the most part, less talented players (than UNC) who play very well as a team. Their intensity is typically quite high and, perhaps most importantly, they believe they can win. I don't hate them for that.

Mike Krzzzcwer,cnnbwerou::nnmski, while looking like a Blue Devil, is a very talented coach. Can't deny that. I may not like his constant bitching to the refs (you already get the majority of calls), but he always constructs a formidable, confident team out of players who probably won't do well in the NBA.

Finally, here it is, I hate the Duke students. I can't stand them. Living in Durham and Chapel Hill in the last few years has given me many chances to deal with these people on a regular basis. Duke is referred to as the University of New Jersey at Durham, and that is accurate. Many, possibly most of the student population hails from NY, NJ, and other Northeastern states. I have nothing against the Northeast, I did grow up there, but these aren't middle class kids. No, a quick peek at student parking proves what you already thought: these are the progeny of the wealthy. They are elitist, arrogant, rich little bastards. Many will acquire jobs purely through family connections, others will massage the alumni network for an entry into their field of choice. The lone upside is that Duke graduates are far less likely to remain in the area, thank god.

What do I hate about Duke? I hate seeing their student base going insane in Cameron Indoor. I see unity there, I see cooperation. I see exclusivity. It's a representation of the way they will continue to maintain the barriers; to gobble up the lion's share of the pie, not that they earn it, but because they feel entitled to life's spoils through fortunate birth. The basketball becomes part of the background, all I see is thousands of brats celebrating the genetic lottery. Duke is the epitome of "who you know" counting for more than "who you are". As a middle class kid raised on the idea of meritocracy, Duke is the dispelling of the myth. The proof. And I hate Duke.

1 comment:

Eric said...