After watching Wisconsin beat Duke and clinch the Big Ten-ACC Challenge for the Big Ten for the first time in the eleven year history of the challenge I got a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Not because the Big Ten won, though that was part of it, but because Duke's loss sealed the victory.
Is there a more unifying experience in college sports than rooting against Duke's basketball team?? As a Michigan fan I have a steadfast dislike for everything from Ohio State, but there's no denying the amount of quality NFL players they have produced. Duke on the other hand is quite a different story.
I don't think any other team has produced the amount of gritty, emotional players, that just have those "intangibles" quite like Duke does. What's amazing is how well all their players have translated to the NBA. Oh wait, no they haven't.
For such a "powerhouse" college basketball program they have produced a grand total of zero greats and only two pretty good NBA players - Grant Hill and Elton Brand. On the other hand they produced some amazing poets (fast forward to 4:59)
While the Cameron Crazies are wild and do deserve love for camping out and going nuts at every game, we recently took a trip to Durham to see the biggest football game in the last 40 years for the Dukies, as they took on top 10 Ga Tech in what could have been a game where they actually put themselves in control of their own destiny for a BCS win.The video below was shot from the top of the stands and yet you can basically hear the calls on the field - keep in mind that at this point in the game Duke actually had a shocking 10-0 lead.
Of course they went on to get blown out 49-10, en route to losing their last 4 games in a row and yet another season without a bowl game - so maybe those Duke football fans just knew better than to show up.
The real question here is who the most hated Duke player of all time is? In recent history it was definitely J.J. Redick. Anybody that throws up the shocker (fast forward to 7:20) after making a big shot at UNC cements their place as one of the all-time hated Blue Devils. By the way he's going to make a rap album - cant wait for that gem to hit iTunes. More than Redick the Blue Devil I hated most was Greg Paulus.
Here is a guy that started three seasons at point guard for the Blue Devils, during which time we always heard about how much of a leader he was, how much he meant to the team and how he was also the No.1 quarterback recruit in the country. Well after three years of starting Coach K finally realized he sucked and benched him senior year. Then we had to hear about how much of a team player he was for not complaining when he got benched. And, yet somehow as he was the QB of the 'Cuse this year we sort of rooted for him - proving its not the man, its the college.
It gets tricky though as you look back through the years. They've just had so many d-bags grace their program. Christian Laettner was one and then Cherokee Parks came after him. Then there was Dunleavy who became a No. 3 overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft and Josh McRoberts who at one time was being called a less, athletic version of Chris Webber, which makes all that "Baby Jordan" talk for Harold Minor sound legit - I mean at least he won a dunk contest.
There's so many players to choose from. Which Blue Devil do you hate more than any other?