The Case Against Duke

Some years ago, I stumbled upon what I called, at the time, “The Anti-Duke Manifesto”. It was written by a brilliant young UNC Law student, named Brian Allen. His entire treatise has been republished for posterity on Truth About Duke. Allen has since published a book of his musings (you can find it here).

I mention this because with the Duke game approaching this weekend, it is a good time to revisit why we do (or should) hate Duke. Who am I kidding? It’s always a good to time to talk about why Duke is the worst.

I will briefly summarize (for Lord knows, I could spend all day dissecting the minutiae of hating Duke) what are for me, the three biggest reasons that Duke sucks.

Biased Officiating

Often cited, it is one of the most mystifying phenomenons of modern sports. Literally thousands of examples exist, but for Terp fans; the 2001 Final Four is forever burned into our collective psyche. I won’t resurrect that painful weekend for you, but if you can recall another instance where 60,000 fans simultaneously booed the referees at a neutral venue; please let me know.

Shane Battier became known for being great at drawing charges. Excuse me? WTF does that mean? The blocking/charge call is the consummate bang-bang play. If someone is particularly adept at drawing the charge, perhaps they will get the nod 60% of the time as opposed to an average player getting the call 50% of the time. Shane Battier did not have a blocking foul called against in either his Junior or Senior season. Perhaps that is an exaggeration, but you get the point.

What’s even worse is how often game announcers (namely Dick Vitale and Mike Patrick) will morph this into a positive attribute and a testament to Duke’s superior style of basketball. A case in point is the way in which Vitale and his ilk treat huge discrepancies between the number free throws Duke attempts vs. their opponents FT attempts. Somehow, it’s not biased officiating. Instead, hapless defenders have no choice but to foul under the pressure of Duke’s unrelenting athleticism and style of team basketball.

Racist Undertones

Duke has a reputation for having “lots” of white players. Even the most ardent of Duke fans will not deny the label. An unfortunate outcome of this reputation is that it can and does attract racists. In particular, you will find this characteristic prominent among fans who are not alumni (or related to an alumnus).

Typically, the racist undertones are not out in the open . Instead, it is cloaked in other language. Things like “they play team basketball” or “they are real student athletes”. I interpret these phrases as code words that are used to hide old and odious racial prejudices. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but think about how many times you have heard that said about Duke. Of course, every utterance of those phrases does not implicate the speaker as a racist; but the language clearly has a subtext. To deny it is to ignore the reality.

Not only are the implications in these cloaked statements disrespectful to every African-American student athlete in the history of college athletics, but a quick check of the facts reveal that Duke’s “whiteness” isn’t even grounded in truth. If you tally the Duke All-Americans under Coach K, that the majority of them are African American (8) and not white (5)!

The Cameron Crazies

The media has anointed them “the best fans in college basketball”. The truth is that they print out “cheer cheats” so they can coordinate their disgusting drivel. Some gems from the cheer cheat include:

– Referring to Juan Dixon’s deceased parents as “crackheads”

– Calling Steve Blake “ugly”

– Referring to DJ Strawberry’s Dad as a “cokehead”

Some may chalk these comments up to a “few bad apples” in the crowd. How then, do these epithets descend from the student section year after year?

Look, all college students lack class. Just look at our student section. I’m not suggesting Terp fans are any better. They are just as poorly behaved as the “Crazies” and they are definitely less organized. What I’m suggesting is that the media stop fawning all over these over privileged rich kids like they are some sort of uber-fan.

I could go on and on. In fact, I haven’t even started on Coach K (after all these years, I still can’t even begin to spell his name). Frankly, he deserves his own post.

Hopefully, my little journey through the “aura” of Duke has sufficiently prepared you for Sunday’s game.

Until then, let’s go Terps!



  1. In another thread fan conduct at games has been discussed. Well, “Gary Williams” sent a letter to the Terrapin Club about fan conduct at Comcast Center.

    I put Gary’s name in quotes because I really don’t think he wrote the letter. To me it has Debbie Yow written all over it. Besides, the letter would be better served being handed out to students that come to the game, the Terrapin Club isn’t the problem LOL. Anyways here’s the text of the letter:

    A Message from Coach Williams
    Dear Terps,

    Thanks for your support of our basketball team. You have helped make Comcast Center one of the great arenas to play and to watch a basketball game.

    Sunday’s game with Duke will be nationally televised. We want to show the country how great the crowd is at Comcast Center.

    Maryland fans have been criticized in the past during nationally televised games. One problem has been chanting obscenities. This has to stop. This should be beneath us. This sends the wrong message. Our school, our fans, and our team are not about this.

    This has nothing to do with how loud you can be, how much fun you can have, or how wild you can be.

    Chanting obscenities has hurt us with referees, has “fired up” the other team and has given television announcers the ammunition to criticize our school on national television.

    We always talk to our team about playing TOUGH in big games. I am asking you, our fans, to be TOUGH on Sunday. DO WHAT IS RIGHT.

    Thank you,
    Gary Williams

  2. Regardless of who wrote it, it is the right message. It is so low class to just cuss the whole time. Maryland needs TV to pay the bills and if enough complain then the TV will dwindle and it will be Ghetto U. Make the world remember that the game was won by players not that the fans caused ESPN or whomever to add extra delays because of the profanity. Wrong type of media is all I am saying. Keep it Classy College Park.

  3. Jerremy, interesting post on Duke. Back in my day at CP, UNC and NC State were the focus. No matter how much we disliked one another, there always seemed to be an undercurrent of unspoken respect between the schools. No matter how many epithets we threw at them, deep down we still respected them. I think they respected us too. Dean’s boys could get under our skin with their four corners offense, but it didn’t engender a pathological hatred of the Tar Heels. NC State broke our hearts a few times, but for the most part it is a distant, even “classic,” memory now. It even seems some Pack fans feel a sort of connection with us nowadays as “second-tier ACC” to UNC and Duke. Somewhere along the line, State lost its standing in the Tobacco Road pecking order. Duke on the other hand is something else, especially with the 80s and 90s CP grads. I think it is all rooted in their condescending attitude and air of superiority. SInce Koach K came it has been enculturated to such a degree that the mere site of the Blue Devils is enough to agitate every UMd grad past or present. The media just fans this stuff with its constant fawning over Duke. The only way I see to deal with it effectively, is beat them and beat them bad with a lot of class and dignity. Make their uppity preppie students cry each time out. Tall order, but doable if we play our game and not theirs.

  4. Al, I don’t understand your use of the term “Ghetto U”. Not only is it offensive, but cursing has nothing to do with the “ghetto”. Most of the kids who are doing the cursing during games are from the suburbs.

    How ironic that you rail against decorum at Comcast Center, but have no problem spewing racially insensitive remarks on this board.

    To borrow your own words, “keep it classy” on Turtle Soup

  5. The racist undertones also tie in to the officiating issue and game announcing of course – there’s often that subtext to the announcers’ horror at seeing Duke’s white golden boy players “attacked” by the “thugs” of FSU, Va Tech, etc.

    Case in point Mike Patrick on Paulus & Reid in the Duke-FSU game.

  6. DAMN! Jeremy Gold, bringing it STRONG on the Soup. The Vampire has been slain . . .

    Enough with the “MD students misbehave” discussion. It’s tired. I know, we’ve done plenty to earn the rep, but the media (particularly the local media) have completely overblown it. If you think for a second that other major programs — including Duke — aren’t equally offensive when railing against opposing teams during games, you’re kidding yourself.

    Not sure I agree with Jeremy’s “Racist Undertones” point. Duke certainly isn’t a favorite choice of, let’s say, less privileged African American ballers who hail from the inner city, but I think that has more to do with Coach K’s style and Duke’s rep as a school for rich white kids than any truly racial prejudices. Who knows; I’m white, so I can’t really speak to it.

    Amen re biased officiating. Ever since Duke was coronated as God’s gift to college hoops, they’ve enjoyed an advantage in this area, and it’s infuriating. The flopping/player control foul BS is particularly ridiculous. The NCAA really needs to do something about the prevelance with which programs angle for the charge call. It slows the game down unnecessarily, but much worse, encouraging and rewarding flops breeds poor defense. Of course, we have Shane Battier to thank for all of this. So annoying.

    Speaking of flopping, who saw the Duke-VA Tech game last night? Deron Washington made a complete fool of himself, trying to draw charges and generally rough housing with the Duke players. Don’t get me wrong; I love to watch teams play Duke aggressively. But Washington took it to another level, and it completely backfired. What a clown. VA Tech just isn’t a very good team. I hate that we lost that game.

  7. The first one in an argument to use expletives has run out of real words to use. I live 3000 miles from campus, but make it back to see at least two games a year and watch every game on TV. Last year I brought a good friend and UCLA grad to the Duke game. Although mild compared to other years I was embarrassed for my university when the chants started. I guess it’s like watching some kid at a party getting drunk and the life of the party; at first it’s funny then pathetic and hard to watch. I’m at that stage with our fans in certain games. Keep it classy, it’s rude, stupid and pathetically predictable. It’s not a tradition to yell F*** Duke or any other expletives. This is all of our University. You have stewardship of it for four years or in some of you cases six take care of it and represent it with class.

  8. Mike, I agree with you. the cursing is at best childish, at worst offensive. I just think that Maryland is not an exception in this department. If you look at any major school that groups the students near the court, you will find similar behavior.

    Maybe it is different at Pauley Pavilion with Coach Wooden right behind the UCLA bench, but it exists everywhere.

    What’s worse: yelling “F*ck Duke” or yelling “go back to the ghetto” after Maryland beat UNC last week? In my opinion, I’d rather have my kid hear a few F-bombs than racist comments like that.

  9. Jeremy I was trying to say it is all low class and I am against it, but Maryland can do more with more money and I would hate to see revenue lost because of ignorant fans. And just so you know I grew up in the ghetto and I am white. It was poor people not a racial place. Poverty has no color last time I checked.

  10. Jeremy- real good post as well.

    Would like some thoughts from other Souper’s, as well on what follows:

    To coin an ESPN show….Pardon the Interruption….. but why we (now) and why does the black community insist on cloaking themselves with the mantle of “African-American”.

    It seems that this has permeated our culture. Look,
    millions of people have come to America one way or another and it’s great to have them here (except the illegals) and many have contributed significantly to our way of life, even Arnold Swarznegger.

    Why is it we don’t refer to him as Austrian- American and why doesn’t he use the term himself?.

    Why is there such a compulsion for the media and blacks themselves to embrace this seemingly self-agrandizing label?

    Hell, I have 50% MicMac Indian (Nova Scotian Tribe) in me and I have no compulsion to be labled American- Indian.

    Why don’t the majority of Spaniards, French, English, Hungarian, Polish, Irish, Jewish or Hindu…Americans use this agrandizing label?
    Ever notice that any reference to Muslims ends there. One hardly ever see’s or hears the term “Muslim American’s”. Hell, that could get them shot.

    Now we have African-Americanl Ballers” as used by CT in his post.I feel certain he just was just following suit on the reference to African-American’s”.
    Why don’t we refer to our white basketball players as Irish-American, Jewish-American, Spanish-American etc?

    I’m just curious about this and the reference to “African (or Afro) American” on this site seems to give further license to now extend to all sports, trades etc.

    Go Terps…..or should we say ….

    “Go African-American Terps and the rest of the team”.

  11. ghetto

    1. (n.) an impoverished, neglected, or otherwise disadvantaged residential area of a city, usually troubled by a disproportionately large amount of crime
    2. (adj.) urban; of or relating to (inner) city life
    3. (adj.) poor; of or relating to the poor life

    I don’t see nothing is this definition about race maybe you do.

  12. Al, go back to bed till the sun goes down. You’re way too bright not to know what you were saying, and it was racial.

  13. No it wasn’t if the money does not come in it will become like Johns Hopkins. A great school in a bad area maybe even a ghetto. So if you want to make it racial then so be it.

  14. It has elements of all three of Jeremy’s topics, but what I hate most about Duke is the unbelieveably whiney players (they get this from their coach). They can hack the bejesus out of you, and it’s a part-of-the-game, hard fould. If they get touched, they flop over. Then, when no foul is called, they give that pouty school-girl look and plead their case to the ref. Ref’s take it in every time. It irritates the heck out of me and they are the only team with a litanny of culprits: Battier, Riddick, Paulaus, etc. who contanantly do it. Remember Henderson’s hatchet job on Hansboro last year? Remember that he complained that the foul was an accident and he was just playing hard? Coach K (not to mention Dick-head V), of course, defended him. Outrageous!!!

    Compare that to our guys. Boom hardly ever gets a call go his way, but I’ll be darned if he doesn’t take his medicine after every questionable call and actually channel the energy into harder play. If you hadn’t noticed it before, watch him this game. The kid is 100% class. Or remember when Vaz got the questionable T called for pounding at the basket-post. I thought for sure that it was a legitiamte thing to gripe about, but I was wrong. GW treated the call as part of the game. Vaz appologized publically to the ref and the team. That attitude is what I appreciate most about a GW coached team.

    Regarding the vulgarity that’s become part of ALL student sections (don’t single out UM) – it is unfortunate. My take is that some kids are truely witty and they get TV facetime for their wit. Most kids are not that witty, but they want the attention, too (they probably had parents who did not pay much attention to them, but that’s more psycology then we need here). So to get attention, they resort to “shock.” It’s all a silly cycle and every U should set a limit and when the limit gets crossed, their should be strict and immediate consequences. FANs get tossed and technical foul gets called. As far as pet-peeves go, however, this one is pretty far down my list.

  15. Lets not forget that the level of poverty and crime commonly associated Prince George’s County is just as prevalent in Durham. A recent link on the webpage plainly states that there has been a murder and two robberies in the past week. This probably isn’t weekly commonplace, but who am I to interpolate?

    Remember the racial fallout regarding the Duke Lax team’s alleged rape of a black woman?

    I for one, am proud of the racial, religious, sexual and otherwise social diversity which exists on the Campus of the University of Maryland. I think this diversity is something that most Maryland students prefer over Duke’s reputation for being dominantly Caucasian, but only manifests itself in putdowns like, “Duke is all white,” which the media rightfully misunderstands because frankly, there is nothing wrong with being White, just the same as there is nothing wrong with being Black.

    We think our situation is better than Duke’s, but we are still getting no respect for it — we even experience the reversal, where Duke seems to get praised for it. This confounds me, as it should everyone else. It makes me angry.

  16. Al, if you don’t think the term “ghetto” has been racialized in our culture, then I have to say that I am a little surprised. When the UNC fan yelled “go back to the ghetto” I think everyone understood the implication. He wasn’t refering to Dave Neal. To deny that is to live like an ostrich with your head in the ground. Just be careful about throwing around those terms, regardless of your own upbringing.

    Gerry- I don’t want to turn Turtle Soup into a blog on social justice, but I will briefly give you my take. If I were an American of African descent, then I would be well aware of the fact that white people have been labeling my ancestors for hundreds of years. Those labels were almost always derogatory and denigrating.

    What’s more, Irish, Italian and other immigrant groups were absorbed into American culture within a generation or two of their arrival here. The same cannot be said of African Americans. They still struggle with racism and social injustice. Until African Americans are fully embraced into American culture they have the right to refer to themselves however they please and I feel obligated to respect their decision.

    Now back to Terps basketball…….

  17. Okay, that’s enough social commentary . . .

  18. Fine enough. I will say that if Vaz has more assists than shots and the bigs stay out of foul trouble then Terps will win another close one by 5.

  19. Sorry if this was already posted, but a good write-up on Mr. Gist here:

    Keep your fingers crossed that the freshmen were sufficiently humbled by losing to American so the UNC win does not spoil them for Sunday

    Parimeter D, ball security, and 30 from Gist = Victory

  20. For those with some history, Duke/K were not the first floppers — that was pioneered by Dean Smith in the same era of the dreaded four corners offense. Funny, when Smith coached his teams to draw charges, he was hailed as a genius. When K does it, it is considered evil.

    I have been taken aback as the Duke hatred has grown from what could be a great rivalry into a very negative obsession by Terp fans. When I was growing up in the McMillen/Elmore/Lucas era, the same things were said about Carolina. There were Carolina refs. When Carolina lost a recruit to Maryland (like Buck Williams), word was spread that Buck couldn’t have gotten into UNC. I once had a Carolina fan tell me that “their” black players were “different” than the ones at Maryland. Terp fans hated all of Tobacco Road, but IMHO, the root of the Carolina animosity that that, pure and simple, Dean Smith & Carolina left Lefty and Maryland in the dust. I see some of that here — while the Terps have had Duke’s number in recent years, Coach K has built Duke into the gold standard. 3 National Titles, even more Final Fours. When you are on top, you start getting calls, but Duke was a top program long before that. Yes, Duke students are assholes as is Dick Vitale, but that doesn’t detract what K has done at Duke. Maybe you don’t like the way Coach K looks, but you can’t deny that up until the last year or two, Duke was the premier program in college hoops. While GW was stringing together Sweet 16 appearances, Duke was stringing together Final Four appearances. The Tar Heel envy of my youth has turned into Blue Devil envy today. But we need to let go of the inferiority complex — show some respect to what is still a top program and then cheer on the Terps as they beat Duke.

  21. F*ck Duke , yeah I said it.

    Shoot we have beat them every bit as much as they have beat us in hoops the past 4 years…

    I don’t even like that we have a whole post dedicated to them on the soup.

    I’ve moved on and hate BC now. Same rich preppy smarmy kids as Duke but the added bonus of being Pats and Red Sox fans. Their liek the Duke of the NorthEast and they keep beating us… That’s who I want to hate now…

  22. Al, one thing. Hopkins is not in a bad neighborhood. It’s in a great neighborhood, one of the best in the city. The hospital is perhaps not in the nicest part of town, but the actual main campus is as nice as it gets. I grew up across the street.

    Re strategy for Sunday, I think both Gist and Boom need to be careful not to get into early foul trouble. I see Henderson and Nelson slashing early, trying to get our bigs out as well as set up the perimeter game…

  23. Oh and Gerry, for a guy who couldn’t handle one Obama plug, I think you’re way out of line.

  24. TerpInVA, are you sure you went to Maryland?

  25. CT,

    I grew up in Silver Spring and started going to games when my father got season tickets when McMillen & Elmore were freshman. I’m a lifelong Terp fan. I just think it’s sad that Terp fans are so obsessed with Duke. Maryland has beaten them on the court the last several years and that’s what counts. I don’t like Duke, but you cannot deny the success of the program that K has built in the same way you cannot deny the success of the program that Smith built at Carolina. It makes me sick to my stomach to say that, but it’s true.

  26. I honestly think that any player who flops is a hazard to everyone around him on the court. He can get stepped or fallen on, his own teammates can roll ankles, the other team’s players can get tripped up etc. It is dangerous, passive aggressive, and bad for the bodies and careers of players everywhere.

    Maryland has forced Wake Forest and UNC to miss lots of three-point attempts in the past few games, and I foresee no difference for Duke to have trouble with our defense as of late.
    Gist and Boom will have big games if they can stay out of foul trouble, and I expect there to be a lot of Dunks on our side of the court. Boom and Gist will have a field-day with blocks against the smaller Duke guards whose ‘inside presence” consists of driving from the arc and completing with a loopy layup… and Singler who can hold his own, but will probably be in foul trouble because he moves inside to outside wayy too much because coach K will want to use him as an outside threat to draw our big men out in transition.

    Expect to see LOTS of full court press, especially after big dunks, which is when Duke likes to slow the ball down and walk it slowly across the centerline hoping to take the crowd out of the moment (they did this consistently versus VT).

    Mil-Bourne has finally found his Identity, Bowie can play D, Tucker can score, the white guys, Neal and Hayes play solid from the bench. I even bet that Braxton will see time against the Blue Devils because they lack inside size so badly, and Dino will help Vas when things start to get out of control around the mid of the halfs.

    Remember, coach K sold his soul to the (blue) Devil, so say a prayer for him, say a Hail Maryland.

  27. Terpin VA,

    You are missing the point of dook-rage by such a wide margin that I, too, think you are a dook trowler, or maybe you don’t follow college basketball?

    dook had a mini-dynasty in the 1990s (lots of unsportmanlike behavior in that era, too, but it’s ancient history). Congrats to them for that, but that doesn’t mean I need to give the current team automatic repsect.

    Since Gibbs & the Redskins won a lot of superbowls in the 1990s, maybe you also expect the current Skins to act pouty every time that get a foul called on them. But I don’t. I’d be embarassed.

  28. Simmer down, TerpInVA, I’m just messin with you.

    I don’t mind our obsession with beating Duke, so long as we learn to channel and apply it to the rest of the ACC games on our schedule, which often is not the case. That’s the tragedy of the Duke obsession — the fact that Comcast will be full on Sunday simply because we’re playing Duke, and not necessarily because the fans love and want to support their team. Beating UNC and Duke in the same season is fine, but coupled with losses to sub-par ACC opponents and/or non-conference cupcakes at home, those wins count for nothing. Both the players and the fans need to learn to channel the Duke hatred and apply it to the rest of the teams on our schedule.

    As for the Dookies, I readily admit they’ve built a great program in Durham, and Coach K’s a legit hall of famer. But spoiled rich kids just aren’t my style, and I’ve got no respect for the way they look down on the rest of the ACC. I’ll always hate Duke.

  29. Okay, I’ll admit it…I wrote the letter for Gary. It wasn’t Debbie. I’ll take the fall for it. Sorry guys.

    RE the Officiating Bias: I remember in the mid-late 1980s when Koack K would harp about UNC’s advantage in foul shots. He even took pop shots at The Penguin…er, I mean Dean Smith…in the media over his belief that everyone loved Dean and ignored how he chewed on refs. Now the pupil has become the master.

    RE the game…inside out. Dook is soft.

    RE Al…man he takes some heat on here. He must wear a flame retardant union suit or funky Mormon magic underwear (I’ve read that brother Mitt wears it, too…pretty cool).

  30. RT Travaloni- I’ll respect Jeremy’s request to “not turn this site into a blog on social justice” but neither am I out of line re comments about “African-Americans”. It was this site that first brought it (Jeremy & CT). I merely focused attention on the issue when black basketball players were referred to as “African-American Ballers”.

    The term is self agrandizing and there are no smooth corners to it. Lots of other “Americans” throughout our history, have been similarly maligned e.g, Jewish, Muslim, Spanish, Mexican,
    Italian, Polish et al. These Americans are NOT running around clamoring to have their ethnicity precede their American citizenship.

    My remarks were legitimate and trailed comments put forth on this site. There was nothing offensive about them.

    I do, however, believe the term “African-American” is self-serving and self-agrandizing and we ought not to focus one one’s ethnic background but as MLK urged us to “judge people not by their color but by the content of their character”.

    Go Terps….all of them…..regardless of their ethnicity.

    Peace be with you.

  31. I don’t know what everyone is talking about here. I always refer to myself as an “Italian American” or at least an “American of Italian heritage”, especially when I am sunning myself, in a Speedo showing all of my bulges and body hair, on Lake Como. I embrace my WOP-ness as much as I embrace my gold chains and day-glo outfits. If I had any hair left on my head, I’d slick it back so that when I drive around in my IROC, it wouldn’t get messy.

    It drives my wife nuts.

  32. Wheels, where I live some of the neighborhood Italian restaurants have wop salad on the menu. I kid you not.

    Just a quick aside on the African-American identity issue: it’s important to remember that for most of American history blacks weren’t granted the hyphenated identity vouchsafed to even the most put-upon European immigrants. Hyphenation implied that recent arrivals were at least assimilable; until the Civil Rights movement, law and custom denied to most black Americans the basic right to assimilate, to graduate into full American citizenship. So we shouldn’t be surprised to see black Americans embracing hyphenated Americanism in the wake of the civil rights movement. They are merely saying we are black people and Americans too. Gracious plenty of other ethnicities have done it before. It’s part of the ongoing American narrative.

    What does this have to do with MD basketball? Not much, but I had little to add to the smart comments on how, if we pound the ball inside, and guard the three point line, and bring our A game, we should have little trouble wiping the condescending smirk off the face of the fans most Soupers love to hate.

  33. Back to basketball for a moment LOL

    The latest on Eric Hayes is that Gary said he will get ‘starter’s minutes’ for Duke, likely as the starter, as long as he stays healthy, Eric said he is in the ’90s” as far as percentage of ankle health again.

    Hayes is a smart decision maker and a good shooter, so having him available for ‘starters minutes’ is big for this game against a very good opponent.

    Duke is very young – five of its top seven scorers are freshmen or sophomores – but it’s a tougher squad physically and emotionally than last season’s team. Virginia Tech tried to bully Duke and they got a beating for their efforts.

    The Terps need to be great on defense, smart with the ball on offense and REALLY PATIENT offensively to win this ball game.

    I’m a believer, GO TERPS GO!!

    P.S. If you’re going to the game, get there at 5pm for the shoot around and show the team much love.

  34. Ok guys, its Saturday, the day before the big game. Let’s put the sociology lessons behind us and talk some hoops. Here’s something to kick around–was last Saturday’s effort an abberation or have they really turned the proverbial corner? Of course, I’m hoping its the latter, but we’ve been disappointed before. Are they really beginning to develop as a team, or was that just some cosmic alignment of the stars that occured last weekend in the Dean Dome? Thoughts?

  35. Wheels- Comical but not funny.

    Frustrated Fan- Sensible, However, we are ALL Americans…..isn’t that enough? And, the majority of players/people touting their African American
    label didn’t migrate here, They were born and raised here. I think it’s ok to reflect on their African-American heritage, once in awhile but not to the extreme’s we are seeing this one ethnic group proliferate into everything from politics to…….now sports.

    DiamondbackRuss- This IS basketball. We haven’t left that subject aka African-American Basketball players.
    JohnE – We ARE talking hoops.

    Wheels- In my city there’s an “Italian-American Heritage Center. It’s a club and bar/restaurant. I’ve been there dozens of times. It’s a great place. But they don’t wear their heritage on their sleeves. They are very civic minded and proud to be Americans.

    When we take hyphenated Americanism into sports
    as many are (now), it becomes “exceptional” . David Thompson, Michael Jordan, John Lucas,Kobe Bryant, and a long list of other black players didn’t invoke such agrandizement. BTW Coach Tubby Smith is a good friend of mine and he saw no use for the hyphenation.

    Being American was enough.

    As Martin Luthor King reminded everyone….
    Free at Last, Free at Last, Free at Last.

    There’s enough devisiveness in America as it is. I’m merely trying to keep it out of sports. Probably impossible but it’s great we can at least chat about it and get some intellligent and meaningful feedback.

    Juan Dixon,James Gist, Lonnie Smith,Len Bias, Mo Howard, John Lucas, Len Elmore, are/were great American basketball players at Maryland… were Tom McMillan, Steve Blake,Brad Davis, Jim Obrien, and dare I say N.C. Medley were too. Their ethnic heritage was not a factor in their identity.

    To All Soupers – I appreciate your patience with me on this issue. This is not Sociology 101. I believe it’s important and it may be rooting itself in society AND sports, at a level that may be cumbersome in the future.

    Go Terps……all of them.

  36. Gerry — Enough already. We get it. Take your soap box to a site devoted to these issues. No disrespect, but I’m here to talk MD vs. Duke.

    Re our win at Chapel Hill, I don’t think it was an aberration, but we shouldn’t expect an automatic ‘W’ tomorrow due simply to the fact that we handed Carolina its first loss of the season. Duke’s a strong team, maybe not #3 in the country strong, but they’re no cupcake, and they’ll give us everything they’ve got tomorrow. With Hayes back and the frosh backcourt playing so well, and assuming Gist decides to bring it consistently, we should have a solid second half of the season.

  37. Prediction time and it is easy.

    87-76 Terps if Vaz has more assists than shot at the 8 minutes remaining in the first half. 85-81 Duke if he has the same. 94-75 if he leads the Terps in shots taken. He is a guard and Gist and Boom play better when they are involved. Okay they play great. If Vaz keeps the shots (especially the bad ones) to a minimum then the shorter Puke have issues. The only thing that will ruin my prediction is that Duke goes 11 or better from 3. Then 87-72 Duke. Vaz is the key however. Is he team or is he MEMEMEMEMEMEME?????

  38. There is a movie coming out about Len Bias sometime in 2008. Here is the trailer which alternately made me proud to be a terp fan in awe of his talent and made me tear up in sadness with what could have been.

  39. Thanks for sharing the trailer harryfish. You’re right, it still hurts to see it and what could have been with Lenny. The photo of him shooting that J over Michael Jordan makes one wonder what might have been had he made it to the NBA. How many titles the Celtics may have one if had joined Bird, McHale and Parrish on that frontline? It is still so very, very sad to think about. RIP Lenny B.

  40. The highlight where Lenny jumps up to do a reverse dunk and he gets so high that his head is above the rim; is unbelievable. His feats stand the test of time. No one has ever done the things he could do before or since. Oh, what could have been.

  41. CT- It’s nice to say “no disrespect” but it’s another thing to deliver on it.

    I’ve been a MD basketball fan for over 30 years and there’s as much to this issue as there is to MD vs Duke.

    My posts have “all” been about basketball and there’s more to basketball than W’s & L’s etc.

    Your basketball posts have been “average” or below.. Are you sure you’re a MD fan?

    No disrespect but I’m here to talk basketball too.

    AL V’s not so bad afterall but you’re a close 2nd.

  42. Thanks for that Len Bias link. I was at Maryland during the Bias years (graduated in ’86) and what a great time it was. I took such pride in telling everyone about Bias and he was a legitimate superstar. Kieth Gatlin “ET” with those freaky no-look ally oops… That should be a great documentary.

  43. My thanks too for the Bias link. Before there was Michael Jordan there was Len Bias, who, had he lived, might have been to MJ what Tom Brady is to Peyton Manning. But if you read some of the promo on the trailer link, the producers make the claim that Bias’s cocaine overdose spawned the draconian drug policies of the 1980s. So maybe Gerry is right that you can’t separate sports from society. It’s just that I don’t agree with his take on matters social. But I like his BB commentary, CT’s too.

  44. Anyone else want to offer up predictions for fun?

    My best guess is Terps win 73-69. Duke’s only loss has been to Pitt in overtime and neither team scored more than 66. I didn’t see the game, but the low score indicates a slower tempo than what the Devils usually play at, especially for an overtime game.

    Maryland plays up or down to their opposition. Considering our defense and penchant for having terrible offensive days, I don’t think the score will be very hefty at all. (Of course it pains me to think so negatively, but if we win the game with anything less than 100 points, the media will attribute it to Duke having an off night, not Maryland outplaying them)

    Anyone else want to venture a guess? p.s. For those of you who attend the games at Comcast, I’m also calling the Shell Shuffle to be # 2.

  45. I’m calling the “Dance for your Dinner” and “Show Us Your Card” to be won by girls with big boobs.

    Those of us there tomorrow, Rock The Freakin’ House!!!

  46. Al V, not to push the point, but Dan Steinberg of the DC Sports Blog has come across the same trend of Maryland beating teams from (North) Carolina. He states it better than I did at the end of this article.

    Hope that clears everything up – lets continue the trend.

  47. Jacob, cool link.

    Back in my day (gawd I sound old) we had a name for guys that dropped to the floor as soon as anyone touched them. It began with P and ended with Y.

    These Duke guys seem to want to wear it on their sleeves with pride.

    Go Terps!!

  48. duke’s strategy to win:

    1. get turnovers : double team our turnover prone players : vasquez and boom

    2. get long rebounds: coax the terps into erratic three point shots early in the shot clock

    3. get gist and boom in foul trouble: via offensive charges (flops)

    4. keep boom out of the box: turn off the radio (this is a joke)

    terps strategy to win:

    1. mental toughness: we must protect this house!!! enough said

  49. This sucks. The game isn’t being televised in my area, not even on ESPN Full Court. Will any of the Dish TV/Satellite channels be carrying it? My only hope is for some smoke-filled sports bar might pick it up. And because I’m on a Mac platform running an OS that doesn’t support All-Access on Demand, I won’t be able to listen to Johnny Holliday’s broadcast.

    This is frigging ridiculous, what with the telecommunications opportunities made possible by our brave new wired world.

  50. Frustrated Fan-I feel ya dawg. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I will be able to watch the game here in Knoxville, TN. It’s not on ESPN Full Court because it’s a Fox Sports game.

    When I listen online I usually stream one of the following stations:

    105.7 WHFS
    1300 AM WJFK
    WJFK 106.7 FM

    Good luck and…


  51. DBR–WaPo says it’s a Comcast Sports broadcast. Is this the worst cable system in the history of the world, or what?

    Thanks for the streaming links.

  52. Alright Gerry, no need to get your panties in a bunch. I have nothing but love for all Soupers, even the Vampire. Just tired of the commentary, which not surprisingly, has petered out.

    Bring on the Dookies.

  53. It happens every now and then………

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