Feature: Duke Hater’s Den: Coach Krap and Dickie V Bromance


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Welcome to the first edition of Keeping It Heel’s Duke Hater’s Den feature.  We hate Duke so much we’re dedicating a regular feature to air out all the hate.  In the first part of the ongoing series Monica vents her hate on Duke and the regular ESPN-Blue Devil love affair between Dick Vitale and Coach Krap. 

Feeling a little hate inside?  Wanna scream Duck Fuke from your rooftop?  So do we, be sure to check the Duke Hater’s Den for all your hate needs right HERE

“This Thanksgiving I Was Thankful for the Mute Button”

 If playing a formidable opponent, I like watching Duke Basketball. Sometimes I think I take more pleasure in seeing Duke lose than watching the Tar Heels win. The best losses are when the Devils are routed or lose to an underdog. Personally, no defeat was sweeter than last year’s Duke loss to Arizona in the NCAA tournament. I turned 30 years old last March and decided to celebrate by taking a solo vacation to Cozumel, Mexico. There were many highlights of my 5 day, 4 night stay including snorkeling, daiquiris and midnight rendezvous, but the icing on my birthday cake was Arizona eliminating the Blue Devils on March 24, the 30th anniversary of my birth.

This past week I watched a good bit of Duke’s play at the Maui Invitational hoping they would experience an early season stumble in their favorite Thanksgiving tournament. In case you didn’t know, Duke has never lost a game in Maui. If you didn’t know, no worries ESPN commentators were quick to remind you of their streak every 5 minutes in between talking about Coach K’s recent, record breaking accomplishment. Duke faced Tennessee in their opening game, and I found myself searching for the “Mute” button early on in the first half.

Page 2: More Duke Hate and the brown nose of Dick Vitale
Ten years ago, Dick Vitale was the only commentator with “dook on their nose.” Vitale’s love affair with Duke Basketball is well-documented earning him the moniker “Dookie V.” The bromance between Vitale and Coach K reached its steamiest this past July when Dick snuck in his most sycophantic ESPN.com article to date entitled, “Coach K Underpaid.” Yes, you read that correctly. The 4th paragraph of the article is the most disgusting as Vitale opines:

"“Don’t you think if Mike Krzyzewski really wanted to go to the NBA he would get double the numbers he makes at the college level? Maybe he would also get partial ownership of a pro franchise    thrown in? Minnesota made a run at him, and the Lakers at one point showed some interest. I have to    believe he would get a lot more than he is making at Duke right now.”"

First of all, Coach K doesn’t go to the NBA because he knows it would go about as well as fellow Duke Coach Steve Spurrier’s stint in the Bigs. Secondly, Krzyzweski clearly does not know how to coach professional-caliber players which is why Duke produces sub-par NBA players compared to Carolina, Kentucky and Syracuse. Thirdly, when the Lakers did court Coach K back in 2004, he engaged in his little tease and threatened to leave Duke. The University responded with a salary increase and allowed him to supplement his income through endorsement deals with companies like American Express. So excuse me Mr. Vitale if I’m not ringing a bell outside Wal-Mart for Coach K.

My point is Vitale used to be the only commentator with an obvious proclivity toward Duke Basketball. Now, however, it seems as if every sports commentator has a special place in his heart for the Blue Devils.

Exhibit A: Mike Patrick.

Earlier this fall, I noticed Mike Patrick calling college football games. At first I was perturbed. I hear enough of his sorry opinion during basketball season. Then I realized that it was actually a good thing. With Patrick calling college football, it would prevent him from announcing basketball games until at least early 2012. In recent years Patrick has been far worse and more obvious in his pro-Duke analysis, and he has made me (dare I say it) miss Dick Vitale. And let’s not forget about Billy “This game is over” Packer who thankfully announced himself into early retirement. As a former Wake Forest player, Packer may have been pro-ACC in his coverage but the obvious exception was Carolina. No doubt, the Heels inflicted quite a few beatings on the Demon Deacons while Packer was a player which may explain the bitterness.

ESPN’s coverage of this past week’s Maui Invitational was equally egregious. My father is a very soft-spoken man who rarely raises his voice, but even he was yelling about ESPN’s one-sided coverage. For example, a Plumlee brother would complete a decent drive and the announcers went wild exclaiming, “What a tough shot by Plumlee!” A Tennessee player would make an equally if not superior play at the other end which they would nonchalantly describe as “nice play” and then resume talking about what number of career win Coach K was going for that day. Furthermore, if one wants to get really drunk really quickly while watching a Duke game, simply take a sip every time an announcer mentions Austin Rivers or Kyrie Irving. That’s right even though Irving spent the latter part of last season on the injured list and his return arguably caused Duke’s early exit in the NCAA tournament, ESPN’s love affair with him has spewed into this season.

There is one ESPN commentator that I admire for his fair and usually objective coverage: Duke’s own Jay Bilas. I have always respected Bilas as an announcer and analyst. This is partly because Jay has always highly regarded Coach Smith and recently put Coach K’s record into perspective, “…he’s not going to pass Dean Smith….on influence in the game.” In Duke’s win over Kansas Wednesday night, Bilas rightly pointed out that Seth Curry got away with a walk before Thornton’s 2nd lucky 3 pointer that sealed Duke’s victory. As far as ESPN bias towards Duke goes, Bilas is the exception that makes the rule. But for every Jay Bilas there are four Dick Vitale’s. So unless you want to have a little fun and get tanked while watching Duke, do like I do and keep the remote handy and be thankful for the mute button.

Feeling a little hate inside?  Wanna scream Duck Fuke from your rooftop?  So do we, be sure to check the Duke Hater’s Den for all your hate needs right HERE.

Duke is puke…Wake is fake..The team I hate is NC State..You can’t go to heaven in a Red canoe…Cause God’s favorite color is Carolina Blue!!!!