Anti-Duke Manifesto-The Complete Hate

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Duke students and fans similarly experience difficulty with consistency. As all basketball fans know, the student body is legendary for decades of orchestrated efforts to humiliate opposing players. They, for example, threw snack cakes at Dennis Scott because he once had a weight problem; they dressed as Frankenstein in an Eric Montross replica jersey; they named an ‘All Acne Team’ of opposing players and further named Mike O’Koren the Oxy 10 poster boy; record albums were thrown at an N.C. State player accused of stealing a stereo; pizza boxes were hurled at another Wolfpacker accused of robbing a delivery man; Maryland forward Herman Veal was showered with condoms and women’s panties after being accused of sexual misconduct, (a charge of which he was exonerated – precisely like Shelden Williams); Steve Francis received a serenade of ‘SAT’ because of academic struggles. The list goes on and on. All of these coordinated stunts were performed on regional, often national, television – the better to publicize the ‘creative genius’ of the Duke student body.

In the face of this churlish history, J.J. Redick, during the 2003-04 season, complained of opposing fans’ insensitivity towards Duke players. ‘Just from this year,’ he whined, ‘there have been so many incidents from other team’s fans, saying rude and crude remarks to us.’ Which is the more amazing: that Redick would be surprised or troubled by opposing fans’ comments or that he would show the gall to complain of the perceived unfairness publicly? Last season, Duke fans flooded North Carolina newspapers with letters expressing outrage that UNC fans affirmatively cheered for Mississippi State during its second round NCAA regional match-up with Duke in Charlotte. To these clueless prima donnas, Carolina fans ‘crossed the line’ by simply cheering for a neutral third-party school to defeat its hated rival.

Duke hypocrisy reached a record zenith only a few years earlier during Matt Doherty’s first year as UNC head coach. At Duke, Doherty concluded a closed team huddle, in a raucous environment where his team struggled to hear his words, with the statement, ‘Duke still has the ugliest cheerleaders in the ACC.’ Somehow word of this statement reached the media. The Duke students and alumni immediately exploded in outrage. How, they asked, could a coach utter such a callous remark? Surely such insensitivity could not be tolerated.

Unbelievable, but true. Somehow in the Duke mindset, a half-century of mocking the physical appearances of individual, teen-aged players, on national television is good-natured fun, while a coach’s private comment to his own players about a group of cheerleaders is grounds for persecution. Bringing its hypocrisy full-circle, the Duke student body, in its 2005 Maryland pre-game ‘cheer card,’ (yes, they actually print and circulate such a thing), encouraged the students to continue to spout cheers and jeers about how ugly they believe Steve Blake to have been – even though he had graduated and left the team the year before.