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On Duke and Hatred, Part II

During the ACC Tournament, Mike Krzyzewski's six-year old grandson wandered into a bookstore in Charlotte and happened to see the cover of "To Hate Like This is to be Happy Forever," a book-length rumination on Duke, North Carolina and rivalries by Will Blythe. The cover, pictured here, shows a grotesquely distorted face of Coach K, who many opposing fans refer to as "Rat Face." Six-year old Michael Savarino saw the image and began to cry.

"He came back and he just asked 'Why' " Michael's mom, Debbie Savarino, told me. " 'Why do they hate Papi?' I said, 'Some people have very poor judgment.' "

We were chatting just before the Duke-West Virginia game on Saturday, as the Blue Devils were showered with their usual helping of pre-game jeers. Moments later, the Mountaineers came onto the court, and young Michael, the grandson, stood and booed. His mother stopped him immediately.

"Absolutely not," she told him. "You cheer for Duke."

It's been a fine week for reflecting on Duke and hatred. Peter Rosenberg, the Maryland fan and humorist, released his second "This is Why Duke Sucks" video, a homophobic (if sometimes amusing) rant against the Blue Devils that already has been viewed 50,000 times. The sleepy Verizon Center crowd was roused to life twice by the prospect of rooting against the Blue Devils; the two loudest games of the weekend were easily Duke-Belmont and Duke-West Virginia. FanHouse reviewed the many kinds of Duke hatred and the Internets went crazy over a missed out-of-bounds call against Belmont, while a New York Times blog post containing anti-Duke musings from the West Virginia locker room received lots of Internet traction. And then Maryland fans stayed for a second session of women's games, at least in part to boo Duke.

And look, I've had my share of "hehehehe, Duke is poopy, hehehe," moments when I was young and impressionable. But last week I happened to wander into the Duke locker room for a few moments, and lo and behold, the Blue Devils seemed an awful lot like all the other players (albeit with fewer tattoos): fairly bland to the media, mostly friendly and well-spoken, more interested in their handheld electronic devices than in the media folk pestering them, and above all, just incredibly young-looking.

I know this will be treated as treasonous nonsense by anyone not affiliated with Duke, but up close, it seemed awfully odd that these teenagers should be worthy of hate.

Before the West Virginia game, I visited with Coach K's family, trying to figure out what it's like to deal with that every time they hit the road. The Coach K section included about 15 family members and 25 friends, and they said the NCAA tournament was usually their easiest, least boo-filled road trip of the year. They said they too would root for the Belmonts of the world against a two or three seed every time, and they said that the arena uniting against Duke was a perfectly natural NCAA tournament moment that would have happened to any high seed. Still, they admitted that the boos sometimes grate.

"It gets old," said youngest daughter Jamie Spatola. "Every year, every game...."

"We've become somewhat accustomed to it, but the new guys on our team aren't accustomed to it," Coach K's wife, Mickie, told me. "J.J. Redick was accustomed to it, but Kyle Singler isn't accustomed to it. It's like, why? Kyle Singler is one of the all-time great kids, and he just walks out on the court and gets booed. It's like, 'What did I do wrong?' It's perplexing to the boys on the team, because they're always like, 'What did we do? What did we do wrong?' "

"Some of our guys are 18-year-old kids," middle daughter Lindy Frasher added, "and there are grown men yelling [expletive] you at them."

There are five grandchildren in the family, and the grown-ups now warn the older grandkids what to expect: "When Papi comes out they're probably going to boo, but we're going to cheer." Coach K's kids know the drill from personal experience; when Lindy was in grade school, she went to a Duke game at Wake Forest and sat in front of a man who spent the entire game yelling "Dumb Polack!" at her father.

"She says to me, "Am I a Polack?' " Mickie Krzyzewski remembered. "I said, 'Yes you are.' She says 'Why is that man yelling it like it's something bad,' and it was one of those 'We'll talk about it after the game' moments."

"Of all the things, here's what bugs me," she continued: "When our kids take the court and everyone in the stands boos. The game hasn't even started. It's not like they're getting booed for anything they did. And all these adults, all these grown-up people are hissing and booing at them. They're just kids. I would never boo anyone just for walking on the court. I wish they would see themselves. You ought to put them on TV so they could see how ridiculous they are.

"I always feel like apologizing to our team. When that happens, I always wish I could get their attention and say, 'It's nothing against you. Please just ignore it.' "

Debbie, the oldest daughter, said she used to boo opposing teams and Duke rivals like crazy. But "after listening to so many people boo our team, we don't," she said. "We don't boo. We only cheer for our team."

I don't want to be puritanical about this. Sporting events thrive on passion. We're not talking about riots or violence or viciousness, although that latter emotion obviously exists in college basketball, and no doubt at some Duke games as well. For no particular reason, I hate the New York Yankees, and would likely boo them without a second thought. Still, some part of me sympathizes with unpaid kids and their friends and family members who get booed everywhere they go, just for their uniform.

Anyhow, there was a woman at both sessions over the weekend holding a Duck Fuke sign, in that classic Dukie script, holding it up proudly during TV timeouts. Coach K's family noticed.

"Probably 17 years old, a beautiful young girl, and I'm like, 'What are you getting out of that?' " Mickie Krzyzewski wondered, sort of sadly.

So I went up to the girl with the Duck Fuke sign on Saturday, when she was also wearing a Sean Taylor jersey. She wouldn't tell me her name, because she was concerned I would make her into a villain, but she said she was a "Maryland fan, born and raised." I told her that Coach K's family seemed bothered by her sign.

"Well good, that's the point," she said. "Remind them that this is a sports match. Don't take it personally."

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 26, 2008; 1:38 PM ET
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Next: Mike Wise Hates Your Brackets


Thanks for this, Dan. Full-out hatred was on display at the VC for no apparent reason.

If you want to be for another team, fine, but don't be a hater.

Posted by: Voice of Reason | March 26, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Dan I think you did take this a bit too puritanically. First, you make it seem as if Duke are the only team in sports that are hated. You know thats not true.
Second you make it seem as if Duke are victims somehow because people boo them before they take the court. People boo them because of the deep rivalry that has existed for decades and the current style of play that Duke exhibits.
By the way, that new "This is Why Duke Sucks" video is more than occasionally amusing, its pretty funny throughout. Sure its immature, but since when are sporting events some real display of culture.

Posted by: JDP | March 26, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Not everyone who boo's a team/ref/coach/etc. is some type of bellicose drunk.

Passion is part of sports. And it can include negative passion. For people that get emotionally invested in games (which is many many people for many many teams) its natural to yell at the opposition. Especially when that opposition is Duke.

Posted by: Strat | March 26, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Good post Steinz. I hope some folks read it and take a moment to think about it.

I'll root against Duke everytime, but there are lines that don't need to be crossed. Throwing things, being vulgar, wanting to hurt folks, are all a sad commentary on our nation and our society.

There's nothing wrong with rooting against Duke, but we as fans, and as participants, could do a lot more. And this goes at all the games, at DC United and Redskins games.

Here's a thought too:What would happen at Maryland if Gary Williams grabbed the microphone in the middle of one of the bluer cheers, and told the fans to knock it off? Or in UNC if Roy Williams pointed out egregious signs and had them removed by security?

Now if only we could get the folks at ESPN to not broadcast every single one of their games every year, or at least assign someone other than Dick Vitale to be the "color guy" (read: blatantly cheering for them) I don't think people would hate them so much.

Posted by: DC Centurion's Shield | March 26, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I don't think you can place the blame or even responsibility on Roy or Gary. They aren't going to play censor.

Nobody wants to hurt players or coaches or anything like that. That reasoning is like charging someone for attempted murder for saying "I'm going to kill you." It just doesn't make sense. Sure people get passionate but that doesn't mean they've lost their minds.

I can yell at Duke players about how they flop and are just rich white kids, or how they never will turn into anything in the pro's or how they are effeminate or how Scheyer looks like an idiot all the time and do so in somewhat more colorful language even and feel no regret later because as the person last quoted in the article even said the only purpose of these cheers is to throw off the other team.

This post really is slanted to make it seem as anyone who has ever booed a team in his life is some type of barbarian. Thats just not true.

Posted by: JDP | March 26, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Well done Dan.

JDP, you just don't get it do you? It's one thing if UMd is playing's another to just go out of your way and cheer against them.

Posted by: Kim | March 26, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Look, JDP, I spent most of Monday celebrating the fact that Terps fans were booing the Duke women. I think booing is funny, and I get tired of quiet, boring fans. But after I spent all that time talking to Coach K's family, i wasn't going to turn around and rip them for how they feel. It just must seem different, I think, when your grandpa is the one nicknamed "Rat Face."

Plus, there's a difference between booing and hatred, no? Couldn't you theoretically boo a team without necessarily professing to hate the 18-year old kid in that team's uniform?

Posted by: Dan Steinberg | March 26, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Booing is one thing, shouting expletives is another.
Please discover your classier side.

Posted by: Mason Patrick | March 26, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

wow, the entire Krzyzewski is just wired differently, huh?

Posted by: littles | March 26, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Kim, maybe you don't get it. Haven't you ever heard the saying: I root for two teams, Maryland, and whoever Duke is playing (change team names as needed). Obviously if there is a rivalry you root against your rival even if you're not playing them. I don't think thats controversial.

Dan, you're right there is a difference between booing and hatred. But I don't think people even with the vulgar signs hate, in the true sense of the word, Duke. Sure there are strong feelings that come from your own love for your team and the natural side effects of them losing a lot of games to Duke.

Obviously the Krzyzewski family has a reason to feel the way they do. I surely wouldn't enjoy being on the receiving end of the insults I've heard. But thats life, and its not necessarily malicious.

Posted by: JDP | March 26, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

embrace the hate and learn to love it.

Posted by: qualude conduct | March 26, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

The real question is, will Wiz fans boo the Cavs like this come playoff time?

I would hate to think the DC-Metro area saves all its booing energy for rivals of the lowly Terps and close to lowly Redskins.

Posted by: | March 26, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

also.... isn't Duke hating so early 21st century?

Posted by: qualude conduct | March 26, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Over at Hoya Hoops, Tony posted this

about Duke's perception in the media. A big part of the anti-Duke sentiment you get all across the country stems from all the positive press they get. West Virginia clearly outplayed Duke and the story wasn't WV won, it was Duke lost.

Posted by: Johnny | March 26, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse


I fully understand 'rivalry' I was extremely happy to see WVU upend UofA last week. I've waved FedEx envelopes stuffed with dollar bills at Lute Olsen. But I wasn't going to go downtown just to scream at some kids in the wrong shirts, and someone in a Wilbur suit.

I just don't get why a Maryland fan would be at the Verizon Center last week. They were elsewhere (in an completely different tournament). Actively going out to cheer against Duke just seems like a waste of energy.

Posted by: Kim | March 26, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

The gratuitous vulgarity is totally uncalled for and lame, but fans didn't just single out Duke for no reason whatsoever and start hating them. They are an extremely irritating program. There's no denying that. If it weren't the case, this blog entry would never have been written and this discussion would never take place. From the "Cameron Crazies" and their really cool "cheer sheets" to Wojo slapping the floor to Coach K screaming at referees and keeping starters in even when they are up by 25 points to their guys trying to take a charge CONSTANTLY to the 8 billion "huddles" per game at every stoppage of play...they are just flat out annoying. I really refuse to think the millions of people who think this way are so far off base and just singled them out for no reason.

Posted by: Fred | March 26, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Actually attending an NIT game is a waste of energy.

Plus people who are from the D.C. area just might want to go watch a tournament game just for the excitement of it, especially when a big name like Duke is in town.

Posted by: JDP | March 26, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I think that hating Duke in this area (especially on the MD side) has almost turned into a reflex, kind of like the idiotic "O" during the National Anthem. I think people have gotten so caught up in it, they forgot why they were doing it in the first place. It's really gotten pathetic, Dan points this out nicely (almost everything around MD basketball has gotten rather pathetic - and don't go all crazy, I'm a born and raised Terp).

The Duke examples are one thing, but what really turned me off this season happened when I was watching the Wake home game. Amazingly, Maryland won and I could actually stomach watching some of it, then at the end, the students went in to their whole 'Goodbye, you suck, blah blah blah' routine towards the Wake bench. Seriously, you cheer for a school that lost at home to Ohio and American, but you lack the sense of humility to respect a bunch of kids in your conference that are playing this season in memory of their deceased coach?

I think that many Terp basketball fans have totally lost the plot. I'm much more interested in following the football team nowadays. At least there an obsession with Duke means next to nothing.

Posted by: Kev | March 26, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Take 2 on this comment, which didn't show up last time I tried posting it...

I was raised to have an irrational hatred of the Soviet Union and UNC basketball. The Soviets because of what they did to my family (I'm Latvian) and UNC basketball because Dean Smith was a crybaby who always got his way and his team always won.

My Soviet hatred is still strong, but my UNC hatred has dissipated, probably because of some combination of the ascent of Duke and the Matt Doherty era.

I learned to hate Duke all by myself, thank you very much. The smugness of the players...the legacy of flopping...the legion of bandwagon fans who couldn't find Durham on a map, let alone spell it...the fact that Coach K is revered as this Patron Saint, when he is easily the most vulgar SOB on the sidelines in the ACC.

Gary Williams has this (deserved) reputation as a screaming, sweating, passionate mess. Coach K is portrayed throughout all forms of media as this intellectual, caring man who cares about crafting his players into proud young men over everything else. It's nauseating BS. Everytime a borderline call goes against Duke, K glares at the officials and curses with the hellfire. It happens, and it's forgotten. Gary blows up and there's five minutes of commentary.

Part of that is the doing of the Networks who cover the games. They fawn over the program. Objective observers could watch the games and wonder why all the focus is always on Duke. The funny thing is that Dick Vitale isn't even the worst perpetrator of Duke favoritism on the mic. His partner, the senile Mike Patrick, goes beyond fawning over K and the program. It's a freaking Duke love-fest whenever Patrick does a Duke game.

And here's another thing I think about Coach K. He is a great coach. He took a team with 9-7 or 10-6 talent in the ACC and lead them to 13 or 14 conference wins. He's recruited himself into a hole with a lack of a post-presence and athletes on the perimeter (save Gerald Henderson) and still coached circles around the ACC this year. I get that he's great at his job.

But he gets such a free pass for his attitude and instills an attitude in his players that is revolting. I have no beef with Duke being a winning program. I HATE them and I HATE Coach K because of how they act and how they are treated by the media. A vindictive a-hole of a coach teaching his players to flop and carry themselves like their S don't stink, all while being portrayed by most media outlets as the paragon of all that is right in college basketball, and by extension America. Give me a break. They don't deserve a puritanical perspective.

Posted by: Markus V. | March 26, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Dan, did you ask Mickey about Duke's own fans? She and her family are awfully self-righteous about passionately negative fans from other teams, given that the "Cameron Crazies" have pretty much attempted to seize the "nasty fan chants" mantle for themselves over the last 10 years.

Also, DC Centurion's Shield, signs aren't allowed in the Dean Dome. If people bring them, security's usually pretty quick to confiscate them without Roy needing to point them out.

Posted by: Kate | March 26, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"I would never boo anyone just for walking on the court."

That's because you're better than other people!

Posted by: Unsilent Majority | March 26, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

If you don't want to be hated, don't be a smug, self-aggrandizing hypocrite.

Posted by: everyone | March 26, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Hey, remember when Duke fans threw bags of white powder out on the court during games against Maryland a few years back? You know, cause Maryland's best player was Juan Dixon, and his parents were heroin addicts and died of AIDS? That was clas-sy!

Posted by: R.L. | March 26, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I forgot about the baggy incident. Do you think they told little Mikey about that one?

Posted by: Scott | March 26, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Also - don't forget the chants of "crack baby". That was nice.

Posted by: R.L. | March 26, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I said it before and I'll say it again: this just shows Maryland sports fans have no class. They resent more successful athletic programs like Duke and Virginia Tech. Coach K and Coach Greenberg become convenient villains because they are superior coaches to Maryland's sweaty, angry Coach Williams. Some of them claim that Virginia Tech is a lousy school. Guess what? I am a high powered lawyer with a stunningly hot wife. You can't beat that with a bat.

Posted by: Speak to Ben Coleman | March 26, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"What did i do wrong?" YOU WENT TO F-ING DUKE, LOSER!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 26, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Good post, Dan.

Speak to Ben Coleman, please stop trying to represent Hokies.

Posted by: sitruc | March 26, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

It's nice to read that Coach K's family has been pondering the meaning of sportsmanship lately. It's about time. I found their laments amusing given what I have read about, more than once I might add, their own poor sportsmanship at various games over the past 25 years. Mickie's cursing is legendary and her daughters have done their share over the years too. Not just during Duke games either. I know two people who are completely trustworthy who have witnessed this behavior at several ACC Tournaments.

Posted by: MKC | March 26, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Do his grandkids every say, "But why is Papi calling that man in the striped shirt a 'motherfaker'?"

When they say, "Why are they booing Papi?", did you ever think to be honest with them and say, "because when Paulus fell back like that - that's called a flop." Or how about, "See that guy with the bloody face? That's from Henderson's elbow."

Reading how the taunts affect the krzitheads just warms my heart.

Posted by: B.E. | March 26, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

There are two teams that I can say I truly hate, the Duke Blue Devils and the Dallas Cowboys. I HATE THEM WITH A PASSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: TB | March 26, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I understand not hating unpaid kids who happen to play sports, but these kids knew they would be booed every time their names were announced. That's a downside to going to Duke, I suppose, but a small price to pay for a $120,000+ scholarship, winning all sorts of basketball games, getting more attention than you deserve, and, very occasionally, playing in the NBA. No need to get nasty or violent, but these are grownups who knew what they were getting into when they took Duke's money.

Posted by: danj | March 26, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

What everyone is missing here, no matter who you passionately hate or root for as a sportsfan, is the concept of good sportsmanship, and quite frankly, manners.

It's one thing to boo a team during the context of a game, but quite another to bring that outside the game.

Booing people's family?

Justifying your own bad behavior by comparing it to others bad behavior?

Rioting in the streets and setting things on fire?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 26, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Unsilent Majority has a point. This entire interview with the K family is exactly why people hate Duke. They play the victim when they are really just elitists.

Duke is not some innocent program that people like to pile on because they can't defend themselves.

Posted by: JDP | March 26, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

maybe if Duke had classy players like Grevies Vasquez they would be less hated

Posted by: qualude conduct | March 26, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Here's what I wonder: Does this type of vitriol happen in other conferences? Surely there's plenty of rivalry elsewhere, but I wonder... at UCLA/USC games, are there a bunch of spoiled whiney jerks everywhere? or does that only happen in the ACC?

What people fail to see is that, while Duke might be the epitome, practically every school in the ACC is high-priced and full of whiney white kids who think their S don't stink. Topping the list are Duke, UMD, UNC, VaTech, UVA.

Posted by: g | March 26, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I could say a lot more... but I'm going to leave it with, I hate boooing at any sports event. I don't do it even with the teams I hate. I'll cheer for the other team for no reason, but not boo the team I dislike.

Posted by: darth kittius | March 26, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Umm, Kev, we have won a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP just two years ago and we're well on our way to winning antoher one, but that's in women's ball so I guess it doesn't count as much.

Personally, and this also goes for all of the people I go to games with, I don't curse and I don't get outright mean. My friend's and I will go through the opposing team's media guide looking for things we can use in a chant, but we don't try to be hateful or anything. No, I won't tell you how we get the guide, we just get it.

When it comes to Duke in particular, well, it's Duke. It's kind of akin to "I root for two teams, my team and whoever is playing the Yankees/Dallas/Red Wings/Etc." Yeah, there's a bit of bitterness, though we have been the more sucessful program in the 2000's.

Speaking spefically of the women's games this weekend, the utter classleness of their cheerleaders and band certainly helps make our point for us. Duke is not a bunch of saints and we really wish the media, ESPN in particular, would stop acting like they are and give them the same scrutiny that they give everyone else.

Posted by: EricS | March 26, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

hmmm...i remember during the rivalry of all the things duke has done such as throwing the baggie...and also other things such as wearing the cap and gown during the games to signify the 0% graduation rate @ marylands basketball team...and the cheer sheets...yet they get a free pass...hmmmmmmm

Posted by: meraj | March 26, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Good read Dan. Mad dap to the Terp fans that booed the Dukies. I'm still cracking up from the This is Why Duke Sucks video. :D

Posted by: DB | March 26, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

What's next, Steinberg? A post about how Bill Belichick secretly just wants to be loved?

Posted by: RL | March 26, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

No need to go over why people hate Duke -- the myriad reasons can't be detailed here.

But they're certainly without their rights -- morally and legally -- to do so, whether any Krzyzewsk family member is offended or not.

The only issue is how much is too much. If I ever attend a game involving Duke, you can be sure I'll be booing with them. But keep the offensiveness out of it -- we can all be passionately against a team without lowering our dignity or theirs.

Posted by: Rick Kang | March 26, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

No need to go over why people hate Duke -- the myriad reasons can't be detailed here.

But they're certainly without their rights -- morally and legally -- to do so, whether any Krzyzewski family member is offended or not (and it IS somewhat hypocritical given the "talents" of the Cameron Crazies over the years).

The only issue is how much is too much. If I ever attend a game involving Duke, you can be sure I'll be booing with them. But keep the offensiveness out of it -- we can all be passionately against a team without lowering our dignity or theirs, or insulting players' family members.

And any player who signs with Duke that doesn't realize the sheer animosity they engender must not know anything about Duke or even watch them on television...

Posted by: Rick Kang | March 26, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

G - comparing VT to Duke shows that you obviously have never met anyone from VT or been to VT - VT is full of whiney white kids. Funniest thing I have heard all day!!!!

Posted by: NoVa | March 26, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I mean, you saying "VT is full of whiney white kids" is the funniest, most ridiculous thing I have heard all day!

Posted by: NoVa | March 26, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Duck Fuke!

Posted by: Laura | March 26, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Duck Fuke!

Posted by: Laura | March 26, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Peter Rosenberg being a Maryland fan is one thing (and treatable with medication), but to call this stooge a "humorist" is a severe stretch. He's a typical fan who never played a second of organized sport growing up, and now he thinks he as a fan has the power to determine the outcome of a game.
On his couch in Twerp red IS a loser.

Posted by: Caphcky | March 26, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Someone should take Coach K's family to a Premier League game. They would likely pass out.

Hating Duke is no different than hating the Yankees, the Cowboys, the Lakers, Notre Dame or Manchester United.

Posted by: odessa steps magazine | March 26, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Beautiful young girl, Sean Taylor jersey, with a "Duck Fuke" sign= my kind of woman

Posted by: Damn | March 26, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Nova. It is laughable to suggest that VT is full of whiney white kids. It's not laughable to suggest that VT is a basketball program on the rise while Maryland is in decline. As DC area attorney I enjoy rubbing in this fact to opposing counsel.

Posted by: Speak to Ben Coleman | March 26, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Cry me a river. What do you think the treatment would be had that Belmont or W. Virginia game been played at Camerron. It would have been just as loud going the opposite direction. What I don't like about stories like this is it makes Duke look all innocent and perpetually wronged. Please, throw all that angelic crap out the window. I saw Lattener stomp on Roddrick Rhodes' chest as he lay on the floor after a foul and remained in the game. The same game he hit that fade away to go to the final four. If it hadn't been for that "angelic" image Duke portrays in the media, Lattener would have and should have been thrown out of that game. And confronting a lady with a sign that didn't have any profanity or anything directed toward anyone personally, please get over yourself. This is exactly the type of grandious, woo is me, I'm not the bad guy crap that make us boo you at every turn. P.S. Go, Memphis Tigers!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Malcolm | March 26, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I mean he so far up in his own ass it is unbelievable. Maybe he should represent one of the Vick brothers or some other class act. Screw off Ben Coleman you are a Douche!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Speak to Ben Coleman is a Douche | March 26, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

What idiot wrote that Greenberg is a better coach the Gary Williams. It isnt even close that Gary is better coach then Greenber. wow. Get Serious.

Posted by: #22 | March 26, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

What idiot wrote that Greenberg is a better coach the Gary Williams. It isnt even close that Gary is better coach then Greenberg. wow. Get Serious.

Posted by: #22 | March 26, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Greenberg has owned Gary Williams since VT entered the ACC. VT is currently the superior program and the gap is widening. Maryland would kill to have a player like Michael or Marcus Vick in their mediocre football program. If you eat meat you're no better than Michael Vick so give the dogfighting stuff a rest. As much as I enjoy reading these bitter and jealous responses, I'm going home to my gorgeous wife now.

Posted by: Speak to Ben Coleman | March 26, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

This is a good post by Dan. It reminds us that, behind the overweening entitlement of the program, there are people. Perhaps a few of them sound overweeningly entitled as well, but then, so do most of us, at times.

I don't hate all of Duke's players. Just Kyle Singler, currently. (And I don't really hate him; I just hate his game.) My overarching hatred is reserved for Duke the program and Mike "I Can't Be Bothered to Anglicize My Name Properly" Krzyzewski, as slobbered on by hordes of ESPN "analysts." The reasons are legion and have mostly been stated above.

Do I, personally, spew fathomless strings of expletives at Duke players? No, I do not. Rooting for sports teams is supposed to be fun, and stewing in hatred all day is not fun. I root for the team playing Duke. That makes for some good times.

Moderation in all things is wise counsel. If one can hate a basketball team moderately, that is the hatred for which I strive.

Posted by: Lindemann | March 26, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone tell the little 6 year old that pappi lets gang-rapists come to his school? How about Matt Christensen assulting a ref? Can't remember a MD player ever doing that. Or the Henderson thing last year...can't remember a MD player ever doing that. Or Nelson bashing Vasquez after a game...can't remember a MD player ever doing that.

Dook is the model for sportsmanship - MY ASS.

Posted by: Shelden Williams | March 26, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Cheer for your team and not against the other is a message I try to spread all the time. I don't understand bilious hatred over a game.

Posted by: Maggie | March 26, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

As a Duke alum and father of two Duke alums, I must say that we rather enjoy being booed. It gives another chance to do our favorite cheer, "That's alright, that's o.k., you'll all work for us some day!!"

Posted by: Bo | March 26, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

At this point, how do Duke players not expect it? They've been the most hated team in college basketball for quite a while now, and should be expected if you choose to play for Duke. If the players can't handle it, maybe they should play somewhere else. And if they can, why is everyone getting upset about it?

Posted by: David | March 27, 2008 1:42 AM | Report abuse

Duke losing should be in the dictionary as one of the defintions of "schadenfreude." (sp)

Posted by: metatext | March 27, 2008 2:43 AM | Report abuse

I guess Mickie K. has a short memory:

"And still the Dukies were left screaming that Hansbrough got preferential treatment from the refs. The oft-repeated chant: 'Tyler travels every time!' And not just the body-painted student horde screamed it. Also raucously shouting it were the always-demure Krzyzewski women, wife Mickie and daughters all in the act."

From Pat Forde's article on the UNC-Duke game.

Posted by: Matt | March 27, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

I have been working at Duke for about a year, although I don't consider myself a Dukie or even a Duke fan. I remember during the Duke - WV game the announcer saying, "The Blue Collars just beat the Blue Devils!". This struck me as very odd - its not as though the Duke players come from any more privledged a background than the WV players. I assume that they are all scouted as high-schoolers and recruited for their talent. Rather, the announcer's comment pertained to the symbolism of Duke eliticism and of WV's working-class ethos. But it is fantasy. Hatred for Duke is hatred of Duke's power and prestige, of rich little kids whose parents are buying them the world. Yet is there any reality to this? Why do adults allow this hatred to consume them, such that they fall fully in line with this standard (and boring!) storyline? Duke basketball players are simply trying to succeed in a game, and the adults are blind to their oddly real fantasies. Is it a surprise that the Duke lacrosse players, not long ago, found themselves similar enwrapped in someone else's fantasy?

Posted by: Matt C. | March 27, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I hate when Duke fans pull the holier than thou card.

Remember when Duke used to chant "Or--phan" at Jaun Dixon?

Remember when that weird speedo free throw guy made lewd gestures on National TV?

...yea I thought so.

Posted by: Jeff V | March 27, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I think Duke hatred is the obvious reaction to the antics of the Cameron crowd and other factors, listed in no particular order:

The NCAA selection committee's clear favor shown toward Duke: The Blue Devils should have been left out in '07 (when they exited in the first round); Duke clearly was not deserving of a second seed this year.

The media's clear favoritism (qv: Dick Vitale).

The fact that Duke, a private North Carolina institution [endowed by a tobacco fortune] somehow manages to field a largely white team.

They win a lot. Not so much in the recent past, but, as The Big Dipper told us, everyone hates Goliath.

But really, it starts with the arrogant behavior of the Cameron crowd. Given how much exposure the "Crazies" get, thanks to Duke having so many of its games nationally televised, it's small wonder that hatred of Duke has swelled to irrational proportions.

Then there's the whole rape thing ...

Posted by: Jamey | March 27, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

You should all bookmark -- This guy runs a whole blog devoted to rooting against the Blue Devils!

Posted by: mike | March 27, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Oh please, more fake sanctimony from the self-righteous Mickie Krzyzewski. And to have a member of Coach K's family complaining about the use of vulgarities... the mind boggles.

Speakng of hypocrisy, ask Mrs. "I just root for Duke" who she cheered for at the 1991 UNC/Kansas Final Four game. Duke basketball became universally hated the old-fashioned way; they earned it.

Posted by: Neil | March 27, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse


The K family girls have a reputation for nastiness at games including cheering openly against Carolina and foul language. Perhaps they were on their best behavior knowing a sports writer was around.

On top of the, the Cameron Crazies have a long history of chanting nasty stuff about opposing players. Less now than in the past, but still common. The K family can't have it both ways.

Posted by: sdingedlein | March 27, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Hey RL and Jeff V.:

I was at every one of the Duke games when Juan Dixon was a player. That stuff did not happen, and if it did people would have been thrown out the minute it happened (by the crowd if not by K; he probably would have gotten on the mic to stop it). FWIW, Duke also did not chant "PLO" at Steve Kerr (Arizona State).

Am I saying the Crazies always are above board? Absolutely not (heard many stupid and/or inappropriate cheers in my time). But get them for the things they do, not for the hype.

And even if one or two people did do something like that (Speedo Guy 2, who nobody liked, etc.), I'll make you a deal: Don't generalize that to the Crazies, and the rest of the world won't generalize hitting Carlos Boozer's mom with a water bottle as representative of all Maryland fans.

Posted by: JDF | March 27, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Poor dook. Whatever have they done to earn such enmity.

Maybe it's that their primary cheer for their archrival is "Go to Hell, Carolina, Go to Hell."

I guess chanting "J.R. Can't Reid" is somehow more civilized than the boorish behavior they complain of.

I guess the fact that K disciple Tommy Amaker has been profiled by the NYT as engaging in shady recruiting efforts AT HARVARD for crying out loud shows the squeaky cleanness that they purport to have.

The sanctimony from the dookies is simply beyond the pale.

The fact that you drank a little too much of the koolaid over the weekend is obvious.

Posted by: uncsig | March 27, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ben Coleman:

How many NCAA Men's Basketball Championships has Va Tech won?

Answer - Big fat 0.

I'm sorry, I forgot Va Tech is a football School, not a basketball school. Let me rephrase the question.

How many NCAA Football Championships has Va Tech won?

Answer - Big fat 0.

By the way maryland has won both the Men's Basketball Championship and Football Championship, and we can also throw in the Women's Basketball Championship for good measure.

I'm going home now to F@CK, my wife. She just happens to be a high powered washington attorny, and I'm a high powered washington doctor.

Yes my friend, you have lost.

Thanks for playing. Please come again.

Posted by: Hey Ben Coleman | March 27, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I just want to say great article Dan. I hope the bratty Chronicle writer didn't change your mind about the duke hatred issue. I'm a Duke alum and I thought the kid that wrote the article is a freaking moron for writing that statement. But anyway, I agree wholeheartedly with your take on the ugly Duke hating. It's really pathetic. I think Mickie K may be onto something. Maybe if you could tape some of these people that are yelling vile crap at the top of their lungs towards 18-22 year old kids and show the tape to them later in front of their own family and kids, they'd see how ridiculous they look, and be shamed into acting more like adults. I imagine it would be something akin to seeing video or pictures of yourself from a night of drinking and realizing that you were'nt looking as money as you thought you were, and in fact you look liked an ugly mess.

Posted by: Los | March 27, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I just want to say great article Dan. I hope the bratty Chronicle writer didn't change your mind about the duke hatred issue. I'm a Duke alum and I thought the kid that wrote the article is a freaking moron for writing that statement. But anyway, I agree wholeheartedly with your take on the ugly Duke hating. It's really pathetic. I think Mickie K may be onto something. Maybe if you could tape some of these people that are yelling vile crap at the top of their lungs towards 18-22 year old kids and show the tape to them later in front of their own family and kids, they'd see how ridiculous they look, and be shamed into acting more like adults. I imagine it would be something akin to seeing video or pictures of yourself from a night of drinking and realizing that you were'nt looking as money as you thought you were, and in fact you look liked an ugly mess.

Posted by: Los | March 27, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I just want to say great article Dan. I hope the bratty Chronicle writer didn't change your mind about the duke hatred issue. I'm a Duke alum and I thought the kid that wrote the article is a freaking moron for writing that statement. But anyway, I agree wholeheartedly with your take on the ugly Duke hating. It's really pathetic. I think Mickie K may be onto something. Maybe if you could tape some of these people that are yelling vile crap at the top of their lungs towards 18-22 year old kids and show the tape to them later in front of their own family and kids, they'd see how ridiculous they look, and be shamed into acting more like adults. I imagine it would be something akin to seeing video or pictures of yourself from a night of drinking and realizing that you were'nt looking as money as you thought you were, and in fact you look liked an ugly mess.

Posted by: Los | March 27, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I find it amusing when people bash Duke for not turning out good pros. Who gets the blame for JJ Redick being drafted too early: Redick, or the Orlando coaching staff? Is there a college program that doesn't turn out stinkers with surprisingly regularity?

And, since Maryland fans seem to be leading the way on Dook bashing, why don't we compare the alums in the NBA:

Duke: Maggette, Brand, Deng, Boozer, Dunleavy, Grant Hill, Battier, Dahntay Jones, Duhon, (plus guys who don't play like Redick, McRoberts, and Shav Randolph)

Maryland: Dixon, Blake, Joe Smith, Wilcox, Stevie "Franchise"

For a team that supposedly doesn't product good pros, they certainly seem to have a lot of NBA starters. As best I can tell only UConn has more, and UNC has about the same.

There are plenty of reasons to hate Duke, just try and pick the right ones.

Posted by: rtc | March 27, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

One minor correction to someone's post in here. Laettner stomped on Aminu Timberlake's chest, not Rodrick Rhodes's.

Also, this is incredibly nitpicky and I'm not suggesting that throwing any sort of water bottle at someone is okay, but it was an empty water bottle that hit Boozer's mom in the head. She proceeded to milk it for everything it was worth, just like Duke players do on the court.

And lest people presume Duke is above such reprehensible fan behavior, I will remind you Dukies out there about the incident when Tony Akins's mom was roughed up during a Duke-GT game a few years ago at Cameron.

Posted by: Markus V. | March 27, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Duke: Maggette - mediocre player on a HORRIBLE team - would be at the end of anyone else's bench

Brand - HATED playing at Duke, and left early, so he has a shot at being good ... but - injured - alot,

Deng - left duke early, so he has a shot to be good, but injured a lot,

Boozer, beast - funny how he was the least hyped but will probably have the best career

Dunleavy - LOL

Grant Hill - Made of glass, has been stealing money for over 10 years

Battier - has perfected the flop at the NBA level - congrats

Dahntay Jones - LOL -

Duhon - LOL - headcase - his own team hates him -

(plus guys who don't play like Redick, McRoberts, and Shav Randolph) - LOL at these guys being drafted ...

Posted by: John, California | March 27, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse


You forgot Buck Williams, Len Elmore, Tom McMillan, Brad Davis, Tony Massenberg, Walt Wiliams, etc. No, they don't play NOW, but don't try to characterize Maryland as only having 5-6 guys go pro.

I mean, even Gene Freaking SHUE went to Maryland. I think Maryland has a longer history of sending players to the pros.

Posted by: bethesdaguy | March 27, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I loathe Dook so much I cancelled my American Express card after K became their poster-boy a few years ago. I recently saw a State Farm TV ad featuring K and propmtly switched to another provider. Vote with your feet, Dook-haters!!

Posted by: Keith | March 27, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Gimme a break! Without a doubt Duke is on the receiving end of an endless stream of "boos, yells, and hatred" from a large part of the non-Duke crowd, BUT let's be sure to acknowledge that it was DUKE who started this mess. So, it's good that they get just a small taste of what they've given to the rest of us over the years! Hmmm, anyone remember these famous Duke creations...1) the "J.R. Can't Read" chant against UNC and J.R. Reid (who just so you know had a higher SAT score than any other player on Duke's squad), or 2) when the Cameron Crazies threw hundreds of twinkies onto the floor, or 3) when the Cameron Crazies threw hundreds of pairs of sneakers onto the floor? (Those were just a few examples.)

Posted by: cworld78 | March 27, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

I think I remember the Cameron Crazies throwing condoms onto the floor once. It was kind of funny to see that video they showed on ESPN a few weeks ago where the Blue Devil mascot was doing that stupid surfboarding on the students routine and then when he jumped off the board I think he twisted his knee or something.

Posted by: bjc | March 28, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Your boys are back with a Duke related post...

Posted by: Made 'em Jump Like Rod Strickland | March 28, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm a UNC fan, which means I also dislike Duke immensely. It's natural to dispise what you perceive as your polar opposite, that's what makes sports fun.

That said, I think booing is stupid, and if some of these low-lifes have to boo an 18 year old college student, that's probably done more with their young life, than the aggressor has in their ENTIRE life, just to feel like their life is somehow pathetically complete, that's just sad. I don't hate the players, per se, but I don't like what they represent.

And that is, Coach K, I'll give you the baseline of why Duke is hated. It's Coach K, and what he represents. He's fairly arrogant, he constantly makes tounge-in-cheek comments regarding his opponents, especially after a loss, and then acts like; "Who? Me?" It's annoying, to say the least. He thrives on his team/University being the "villan", so he can sell his players on total focus, total commitment. Well, if you stir the pot like that, don't be surprised when the stew goes bad!

Between that, and the irrational Man-love of people like Dook Vitale and Billy Packer, two of the most polarizing figures in all of college basketball, it's not hard to figure out why people cheer against them.

Duke, as a whole, also likes to purport themselves as this Disney-esque, squeeky clean Institution, bastion of all things good, and you KNOW that's not the case.

They let Tucker Max in, for God's sake!

Posted by: Freewashpost | March 28, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I guess the funniest part of this is that the kid recognized his "Papi" as it is unlikely that a six year old read the title.

Posted by: Tar Heel 4Evah! | March 28, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Coach K was hand-picked to be this summer's Olympic coach. So which team are all of you detractors going to cheer for? Why don't you boo Coach K in front of the Olympic team and see what kind of response you get?

Posted by: David | March 29, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

The sad part is a number of people did boo him when they introduced him before one of the exhibition games in Vegas I believe. just think about that one: A home game on US soil for the US olympic team and the morons boo the US head coach because what? They think he's arrogant? drops some F-bombs on the sidelines during games? makes a helluva lot of sense....

Posted by: Los | March 31, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Here's something Dan must not realize re the Kryzyzewski family and how they act at basketball games. From last spring's ACC Tournament (the week after Gerald Henderson broke Tyler Hansbrough's nose). They bring on the "hate" themselves because they are obnoxious jerks and the fanbase reflects that, as do many of their players past and present. Ergo, in addition to the never ending hype from much of the sports media (particularly ESPN), Duke brings most of the hate on themselves.


Sitting in front of Mike Krzyzewski's family at the ACC Tournament is like taking the seat on an airplane that's directly in front of a couple with a very young child. You're not sure exactly what's coming over the next couple of hours -- good, bad or in between -- but there's a very strong chance that the experience will be memorable.

This year, the Krzyzewski family was seated in the first row of the stands, directly behind the Duke bench, perhaps 15 feet from the long row of players, coaches and other personnel. The only things between the family and the team were a single row of media seating (including my spot) and a narrow walkway on the floor of the St. Pete Times Forum.

In the family's row this year were the coach's wife, Mickie Krzyzewski, at least two of the couple's daughters, and other family members. Duke player Gerald Henderson, sitting out the Blue Devils' quarterfinal matchup with N.C. State because of a suspension, sat at the other end of the row. Among those in between was Duke associate athletic director Mike Cragg.

Just as Krzyzewski himself has softened his tone (with much less profanity and baiting of officials in recent years) on the sidelines over time, the Krzyzewski family has done so as well. The overwhelming majority of their comments at this year's tournament were made in support of Duke's players individually (e.g., "Good hustle, Greg!" or "Nice play, Josh!") or collectively (e.g., "Defense!" or "Talk!" or "Help!"), even in a losing cause.

The funniest thing the Krzyzewski clan did was a direct response to repeated heckling of the Duke coach. Every single time a fan yelled "Sit down, Krzyzewski!!" at Coach K on the sidelines, the Krzyzewski family -- in unison, and without hesitation -- would stand up in defiance. It was a classic display.

Meanwhile, there were some real zingers directed at the officials (sometimes by name), including a few obvious references to archrival North Carolina and its star big man Tyler Hansbrough:

To Duke player David McClure, after he drew contact under the basket but didn't get a foul call: "Check your nose, Dave. With these guys, you know you're going to have to bleed a little bit to get a call!"

On a play where the officials walked over to the scorer's table and asked to look at the court-side TV monitor: "No! Don't look at the monitor! One of our guys will get thrown out somehow!"

After a hard foul called on an N.C. State player: "If that was one of our guys, he'd be suspended for the rest of the season and maybe next year, too."

After a play on which Wolfpack big man Ben McCauley rotated on his pivot foot several times before converting a basket in the lane, drawing screams of "Walk!" from many other Duke fans in attendance: "Who do they think he is, Tyler Hansbrough?"

After a close call went against the Blue Devils: "See, it's a Duke conspiracy, everybody. Duke gets all the calls."

At a time when Wolfpack coach Sidney Lowe was having an extended discussion with one of the officials during a timeout: "Hey, why are they allowed to have a little tea party over there? What about us over here?!"

Near the end of the State-Duke game, with the outcome obvious, a fan yelled at Coach K, "Hey, Mike, pull your starters," yet another reference to the regular-season finale between Duke and UNC. One of the males (not Cragg or Henderson) in the Krzyzewski camp turned and responded to the heckler: "Shut up, (expletive deleted)." Mickie Krzyzewski then restored order by reminding everyone not to speak directly to other fans.

Posted by: FredWomble | April 1, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

You guys think all media is for duke? I beg to differ. When duke has an "off-season"(means more than six loses or no sweet sixteen) they get more crap from the media than any other school in the nation.
And don't even act like K is the only coach who curses.
And just because you don't like a team doesn't mean they suck.
Show some class people.

Posted by: Luke_for_duke | April 6, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I think JDP should study up a little more before he starts bashing duke so hard and talking about how their players never will amount to anything in the NBA. He probably doesn't know that duke has 13 active NBA players which is second only to UConn's 15 and that Grant Hill is the only NBA rookie to ever lead in ALL-Star votes his rookie season. He sounds to me like he has a deep dark hatred for duke for some reason I can't understand. Did they do someting to you? If you don't pull for them that's fine but be an adult about it. I am a season ticket holder at Cameron and I love it. I pull for Duke because they represent class, just like the university. you don't see many tattoos, beards or rediculous hair cuts or (not-cuts) While you are busy bashing coack K take a minute to think about what he has accomplished with all these rich white kids. But when you finish reading my post you will call me an idiot duke fan and keeping calling players and coaches names. I just want to know who you pull for. That's all.

Posted by: Redickulous | April 8, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

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