Anti-Duke Manifesto-The Complete Hate

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Mike Krzyzewski and his players don’t understand the antipathy. They know it’s out there, but they truly don’t know why. Fans of all schools love to hate Duke, with growing enthusiasm it seems, and the trend is baffling the great coach to no end.

As a lifelong basketball fan, and as a graduate of both the University of North Carolina and the Duke University School of Law, I feel infinitely qualified to eliminate the confusion. Although many writers, in piecemeal fashion, occasionally comment on isolated reasons behind the ABD (‘anybody but Duke’) movement, I am aware of no comprehensive piece that discusses all the interrelated reasons why this basketball program is loathed so intensely by so many. I will attempt to do so herein.

–Chapter One –

The Duke Persona

First is the persona shared by the coach, his team, and the supporting student body. A rarely seen blend of obscene arrogance and shameless hypocrisy is the cornerstone of Duke basketball. Whether it is Christian Laettner wagging his tongue after a lay-up, Brian Davis tauntingly skipping across the floor after a break away dunk, or Chris Duhon matter-of-factly stating that all other ACC teams simply compete for second place in the annual conference tournament, (ironically said before Maryland defeated Duke for the 2004 title), the rank conceit and condescension are insufferable.

As for the equally unrelenting hypocrisy, examples abound year after year. In every close game, for instance, Coach K spews profanities at game officials for the extremely rare call against his team, while, at the same time, starring in a television commercial promoting the importance of good sportsmanship. Admittedly, his boorish behavior gets results, as every ACC official reacts to each outburst by calling an offensive foul against his opponent at the next possible opportunity.

Nevertheless, Krzyzewski, unabashed and blind to his hypocrisy, stated during the 2004 ACC tournament that because nothing is gained from working the officials, it is something he does not do.

The language this coach spouts is truly appalling, even by competitive sports standards, yet the media anointed him to sainthood status long ago. Gary Williams shouts game profanities with similar regularity and is understandably criticized by the media for doing so. Bobby Knight is similarly blasted for his well-publicized misconduct. And yet Coach K – a Knight disciple – not only receives a free pass but is worshiped as the great gentleman – ‘an officer and a gentleman’ as one commentator said during a game break last year. MSNBC sports writer Mike Ventre called him, ‘the closest thing we have to royalty in college basketball.’ Somehow the media equates the man with class, when, in reality, he is two letters removed from the word.