While were in the midst of college basketball, a question entered my mind a few days ago. Why do folks strongly dislike (OK,hate) the Blue Devils of Duke?
I’ll admit it, I’m among the haters. I compare Duke to the Yankees , or the Cowboys, or even Notre Dame. These teams have been the prolific winners through the decades. They are always on national television, because most people will turn on their TV’s to boo them as well as cheer them.
I trace this hatred back to the 1991-1992 seasons of college basketball, where Duke did something that is very rare in college basketball, win back to back national championships. How could you not hate that team? Their main player was a tall preppy jerk, the Justin Timberlake of basketball, Christian Lattner. The most despised college basketball player of all time. The player who hit the dramatic game winner against Kentucky in the 1992 NCAA Tournament. In the same game, Lattner stepped on an opponents chest, and had no remorse about it afterwards.
But Duke basketball is about perception to its bashers, and the perception is that the Blue Devils get all the calls and breaks. The perception is that they get all the calls, too. That’s because of their saint of a basketball coach Mike Krzyzewskie, the 64 year old coach with the four national championships, and already a Hall of Famer.
Are all Duke players arrogant? No
Still, were back to perception.
Oh, and to hear ESPN announcer Dick Vitale boast about Dukes greatest fans on earth, is almost disgusting. They are known as the Cameron Crayzies, because they camp out of Cameron Indoor Stadium to get the best seats. Another example of the team we all love to hate.
Oh, and by the way, Dukes mascot carries a pitch fork.