Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The (Tobacco) Road to Self-Discovery

No, this post isn't about my new-found affinity for cigarettes. As the Drama Queen says, "that's nasty!" It's about basketball. Or, more specifically, about The Rivalry.

While this blog is pseudonymous, I feel pretty safe in admitting that I went to Duke. Sometime in the 1990s. I'm a Duke alum, fan, and a former Cameron Crazy. I camped at K-ville. I painted my face (but not body like the kids these days). I jumped and screamed with the best of 'em. And so last night, of course, I joined in the ritual known as the Carolina Game.

Great game. We won, which made it great. Otherwise, it just would have put me ina foul mood.

But over the course of the last 24 hours, I've learned to things:

1. I have willingly (if not knowingly) linked to a Tarheel in my blogroll! (Gasp and clutch pearls!)

2. I don't really hate Carolina. Sure, I tell them to go to hell, but do I hate them? Not really. Especially this team. I don't even KNOW these guys. When you're halfway into the first half and you find yourself saying, "Hey, there's David Noel. I remember him," there's not much hatred in that sentiment. I didn't hate Sean May. I hated McCants, but that was justifiable. I don't even really hate Roy Williams. But that's maybe because he so famously said, "I don't give a shit about Carolina" after Kansas lost their championship game -- and even better, told the reporter that her question was not one that a good human being would ask. So true. Any guy who says that, even if he later takes the job, has won points from me.

Sure, they're our rivals and I want to beat them, but hatred is such a strong, visceral thing. I've found that the past few years (let's call them the Doherty years) have deflected my hatred to new, more worthy targets. Who do I hate?

1. Wake. From Packer to Prosser and everywhere in between. Hate them. I just do. Don't know why.
2. Maryland. This is the most intense (and dirty) rivalry in last few years of the ACC, and while there's not much to it anymore, it still exists in my gut. Plus, there is the comeback. Best basketball comeback ever.
3. The jerks who expanded the ACC. Wait, they should be #1. We don't play everyone twice a season anymore, and it sets up "Rivalry Week" matchups like Boston College/Wake? Oh, yeah, that's a rivalry.

So there you have it. A couple of years ago, I got together with about 10 good buddies from my college days, including two all-Duke couples, to attend the first rounds of the NCAAs in Raleigh. During the Texas/Carolina game one night, someone asked if anybody would marry a Tarheel. I remember one answer in particular. My roommate's husband, who graduated before we got there, said, "Definitely. Which would you prefer: someone who understands the rivalry and the importance of this weekend and can share it with you, or someone who doesn't even get it?" So in a choice between a Tarheel and a non-basketball-fan, I'd take the Tarheel.

But I'm glad I've got my little Blue Devil.



Blogger Quinn said...

Oh, and speaking of my little Blue Devil! Bonus conversation:

[TV announcer talks about Eric Montross (former UNC center) doing TV in the area]

Me: Montross is doing TV? I always thought he had a face for radio.
Him: He's the cameraman.

Heh. Although, in the interest of full disclosure, we both agreed that Montross was not nearly as ugly as we remembered him.

9:11 AM  
Blogger Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

Oh, he's still pretty ugly.

10:57 AM  

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