I wrote this post in 2010 about my experience with Duke Basketball. Today is the BIG GAME between UNC/Duke in Cameron…Can’t wait! GTHC!!! I don’t work there anymore but I still believe in Coach K and his empire. Once you get a taste it is hard to forget.
I didn’t really care about sports during my undergraduate experience. I actually went to college for the academics.
When I arrived at my graduate school I realized that mob mentality could easily be inspired by a basketball…this mentality often led to fires (win or lose) and police officers with pepper spray on horses in the middle of fraternity row—where I lived. “Hey guys, don’t forget to move the benches in off the porch.”
And now at my first school of employment …a place where Tarheels are told to go to Hell in the way that some people say hello, the darker shade of blue, the place where the coach only needs one letter for you to know who he is (he’s better than Madonna or Britney) The school where the priorities are clearly spelled out by the height of the buildings on campus…God, basketball, and oh wait, was there something else? Yeah, there is actually a lot more but at 11:45 PM we have entered NIGHTTIME DUKE so we don’t need to talk about that other stuff…let’s just have fun; let’s PARTY HARD and work even harder after we finally awake tomorrow morning…
Being in Cameron is like walking into Wonderland. It is a lot smaller than it looks on TV. There is a large Devil walking around who you actually find quite endearing, a Crazy Towel Guy (what’s the story?), an intensely choreographed student section that extends their magical arms to the center of the court and zaps the opposing players with their blue cloud of voodoo…can you hear it? OOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Look at all the banners hanging from the rafters…”Our students leave Duke as champions” Thank God I have a little something to do with that…I HOPE!
“Cause every time we touch I get this feeling…”
“Rip ‘Em Up, Tear ‘Em Up, Give ‘Em Hell, Duke”
The first time I went to a game I LITERALLY ran into Dickie V…he gave me a hug and I was a goner! The IFC President taught me all the chants and dances—DM is my favorite B-Ball Buddy EVER!
On a campus of hierarchy/ranks/core (the # changes each year) Duke B-Ball is the Great Equalizer.
I now know what Durkheim meant when he spoke of collective effervescence.
My heart jumps out of my chest and I can’t contain my excitement.
I understand why the students talk about basketball as if it is a living-breathing animal…because it is.
I get why (really?)—Yes, why they would camp out to experience a Duke/UNC B-Ball Game. I’ve been to two and they were AMAZING!
I become a part of Duke in that moment in a way that makes this place that I call work actually my home…from here on out my heart will bleed a little Duke blue, a little Maryland red, and A MASSIVE AMOUNT OF William & Mary Green & Gold…
I don’t think I’ll ever watch basketball in a more magical place than Cameron Indoor Stadium—Bible!