Anti-Duke Manifesto

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Editors Note: As part of our UNC vs Duke game day mini tradition here at Keeping It Heel.  We share with you the greatest Anti-Duke, Dook hate column ever written.  If you ever run in an argument with a Duke fan or just feel the need to spread some Dook Hate the Anti-Duke Manifesto will remain tucked away here at Keeping It Heel on this page for such occasions.

“The Anti-Duke Manifesto” was written by Brian Allen, a graduate of both UNC and Duke Law. He has some very interesting points to make about Duke and why people hate the basketball program so very much, it’s a very long read but one that has become the Duke Hater’s bible.  Now that all the chapters have been published I thought it was only appropriate to publish the whole manifesto the day we go to battle with the scum known as Duke.

WHY WE HATE DUKE – A Comprehensive Analysis

Second Edition

Foreword to the Second Edition

I initially drafted this document for two related reasons: (1) as a candid response to the multitude of persons who constantly ask the question, ‘Why do people hate Duke so much?’ and (2) as a contribution to an undergraduate alumni group that is forever unified in its Duke enmity. It seemed the least I could do for my brethren, particularly the group leader who does such excellent work keeping us all united and updated in our anti-Duke sentiments via email. I fully expected the initial draft to be shared with the 200+ members of the alumni group. I did not anticipate that it would from there be posted all over the Internet on various sports message boards. National sports boards, such as ESPN’s Sportsnation, kicked this around pretty thoroughly with over a hundred reader comments. It was a natural post for and From there, individual school boards posted it, with Maryland’s sparking another lengthy thread of commentary and cleverly dubbing the essay the ‘Anti-Duke Manifesto.’ I have seen it on other school athletic sites, including UVA’s, Kentucky’s, Virginia Tech’s, NC State’s, UCLA’s, and several others. It was recently referenced in the New York Times in a lengthy article on Coach K.

One of my former co-workers, a UK grad, suggested I update the essay on an annual basis since there is always more discussion to be added. Given the circulation that it seems to be getting, I will, from time to time, update this work as appropriate, (but no guarantees as to annually).

The comments I read from the original edition have been generally positive and appreciate. I have also reviewed a number of comments from Duke defenders, who were surprisingly limited in the substance of their rebuttals. The chief reader retorts/criticisms, from both supporters and detractors of the original piece, have been the following:

1. That Duke is simply hated because its basketball program is so successful, much like Major League Baseball’s Yankees;

2. That the examples I provide are too UNC and/or ACC oriented;

3. That the composition is too long and wordy; and

4. That I, the humble author, need to ‘get a life.’

Taking these in order, I respond as follows:

Many a Duke fan attempts to dismiss the article outright by simply labeling it the product of jealousy. SI writer Phil Taylor exemplifies this mindless approach with his myopic article entitled, ‘Blue With Envy.’ Washington Post writer Tony Kornheiser recently echoed this shallow drivel in a column that specifically compared the hatred to that held for the Yankees. I suppose this is an easy enough way to avoid addressing the countless examples, statistics, and decades of hard historical evidence that support the criticisms outlined. But it is a little too simple. Perennial success, standing alone, does not breed hatred. Does anyone hate Lance Armstrong? Or Tiger Woods? Or Serena Williams?

Thinking back over my lifetime, there have been, and continue to be, other sports programs that are equal if not superior to Duke (and the Yankees) in their levels of long-term success – UNC basketball, UCLA’s Wooden-era basketball, Kentucky basketball, the Lakers of the late 70s and 80s, the NBA Celtics of the 60s and 80s, the Michael Jordan Bulls teams, and many more.

With the exception of the Yankees, none of these teams ever came close to engendering the level of pure, unadulterated hate that Duke commands. As for the Yankees, I personally do not hate them, though I do routinely root against them in the playoffs. I simply cannot bring myself to hate Bernie Williams, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, et al. (Granted, if they begin to slap the field while on defense and jump in opposing base runners’ paths with impunity, I probably will.) The reason I root against them, and the reason so many people do hate the Yankees’ franchise, is because it simply buys whatever talent it desires. Always has. From Babe Ruth, to Reggie Jackson, to Dave Winfield, to Alex Rodriguez and Randy Johnson, when Yankee ownership sees a player it needs, it simply buys him.

I don’t think this is the reason why we hate Duke, (although after Corey Maggette I cannot eliminate this possibility). No, the reason we hate Duke goes far deeper. If the Duke defenders who offer this defense would simply read the pages that follow, they would easily see the fallacy of this reasoning.

Criticism no. 2 is well taken. Schools from across the nation have classic examples to share. I owe Kentucky a particular apology for overlooking the obvious – Laettner’s pass for stomping the chest of an opposing Wildcat. I attempt to correct that deficiency by providing a more diverse and cross-representative sampling of examples in this revised edition. But the reader must understand that while many schools experience the misfortune of dealing with this program, we in the ACC must stomach Duke year in and year out. Consequently, there will be more examples provided from ACC play.

I find the third criticism annoying. As the title forewarns, this writing is intended to be a comprehensive analysis of the reasons why we hate Duke. That such an inexhaustible subject can be covered in less than a multi-volume treatise is, to me, a small wonder. As an attorney and an historian, I tend to support my arguments thoroughly. It is the reason why no Duke supporter has been able to formulate an intelligent rebuttal to any of the points made – with the possible exception of the free throw disparities.

At any rate, fairness dictates that I leave no stone unturned in an endeavor as important as explaining the basis for Duke animus. Bear in mind, there is no requirement that it be read at once. Hopefully the chapter breaks will help in this regard.

As for those who complain that the piece contains too many big words and long sentences, I apologize. However, we must keep in mind that many a Duke student reads this essay. For a student body that chants, ‘We beg to differ,’ at game referees, and that memorizes the definitions of words such as ‘juxtapose’ and ‘ignominious’ in order to gain admission to the place, it is only fair that we communicate in a way they can appreciate. With that said, I will attempt to simplify things a bit.

As for criticism no. 4, I suppose the point is valid to a degree. It is sad that I devote free time to this mission. At the same time, however, it is far easier than a non-Duke hater would believe. Somehow the words simply flow, the only task being to organize the infinite points. And, in the end, I can think of no cause more important than debunking the myths of this loathsome school.

With that said, I present below, the second edition