The past 10 days have been an absolute whirlwind. Between Amsterdam, Paris, new friends and travel adventures, it’s been a blast and a half. It was also a very difficult time to be away from Chapel Hill—so much happened, and we weren’t there for it.
But all that can wait, because today is the day of the greatest rivalry in sports. In Chapel Hill, Beat Dook Week is something of a holiday— Campus buzzes with energy, classes get skipped, schedules are rearranged, everything gets pushed aside to plan around the all-important game. #dookfans starts trending on Twitter, the Blue Devil’s head gets spiked on a pole, and generations of born and bred Tar Heels all over the world do whatever it takes to watch every agonizing second of this game.
For many of us, Carolina basketball is a hallowed monument of storybook quality, with larger than life legends that turn into heroes. Our heroes are Dean Smith and Michael Jordan, Phil Ford, Sam Perkins, James Worthy, Tyler Hansbrough, Roy Williams, Marcus Paige, and so many others. In the story that is Carolina basketball, the villains are Coach K’s flopping dookies, and it has never been any other way.
We’ve been raised to hate that school 8 miles down the road with a loathing that defies description, and today is when we remember why. We would love nothing more than sending the rat that is Coach K crawling back to K-ville with his rodent tail between his legs. We mock the idiotic Crazies who have nothing better to do than spend two months in a tent in the freezing cold. We’re still bitterly angry at those cowards who refused to travel 8 miles in a little snow last year because they were terrified of a Dean Dome packed with students. We vividly remember Tyler Hansbrough’s broken nose, the Austin Rivers shot, and the Bloody Montross Game. But we are certain that, at the end of the day, the sky is Carolina blue and that’s all that really matters.
“The biggest fallacy about this whole Carolina-Duke rivalry is the 8 mile thing, as if proximity somehow indicates similarity. It’s like assuming East and West Germany must be comparable since they were close to each other. Duke fans believe spending 196 hours in a tent indicates passion and devotion. Carolina fans believe 196 hours in a tent indicates a telling lack of other social engagements.”– Adam Lucas
This rivalry runs deep, and it’s serious business. There have been books written about the hatred running along Tobacco Road, and these books become New York Times bestsellers. Do you know why? Because last year, when we waited 8 days and beat Dook and stormed the court and rushed Franklin and jumped over bonfires, that was as good as it gets. Because elation and despair are tied to a basketball game, and those pretentious, obnoxious, unbearable dookies are the worst kinds of humans.
In the last 87 meetings, UNC has 44 wins. Duke has 43. Tonight’s game will be against a very, very good team in a very, very tough environment. But wouldn’t it be fun to make that number 45?
I’ll end with one of my favorite excerpts from the beautifully written “Why I Hate Duke” column (but you should really read the entire thing).
“Now I realize that school spirit is a pretty goofy thing to some people, but I’ll tell you something: I hate Duke with an infernal passion undying. I hate every leaf of every tree on that sickening campus. I hate every fake cherub Gothic piece of crap that litters the buildings like hemorrhoidal testaments to imagined superiority. When I see those Dookie boneheads shoe-polishing their faces navy blue on television, squandering their parents’ money with their fratty elitist bad sportsmanship antics and Saab stories, I want to puke all over Durham.
So this is my request, boys of basketball: Tonight, I not only want you to win, I want Krzyzewski calling home to his mother with tears in his eyes. I want Alaa Abdelnaby to throw up brick after brick. I want Rick Fox to take Christian Laettner to the hoop so many times that poor Christian will be dazed on the bench with an Etch-a-Sketch and a box of Crayola crayons. I want Bobby Hurley to trip on his shoelaces and fly into a fat alumnus from Wilmington. Send Thad and Lorna home with their blue tails between their legs.”
Go Heels, Go to Hell Dook, and God Bless them Tar Heel boys.