I know it was 1982 because it was the year Sam Perkins, James Worthy, and Michael Jordan played for Dean Smith and won the NCAA Tournament. It also happened to be the year my brother (my only sibling) was born. Not quite as momentous as Smith winning his first national championship, but I suppose it secures second place.
It is an unwritten rule that UNC fans must hate Duke and Duke fans must hate UNC. There is no compromise on this. Suggesting anything else is blasphemous.
I realize I am no longer the UNC fan I used to be. I have been converted to a Demon Deacon. I love Wake Forest. I feel such a debt of gratitude — not just to the baseball team — but to the entire athletic department. The way the school has rolled out the red carpet to embrace our entire family leaves me speechless. It’s not just a school for us; it is becoming an extension of our family.
However…..old habits die hard. I hate Duke. I plead to the gods of basketball to destroy Coach K’s Court. However, tonight was different. Thereby, it became my first.
Tonight, Duke played Syracuse. Syracuse is new to the ACC. And here they are showing up at our party and crashing it. They have been undefeated almost the entire season (thank you, Boston College). Their rabid fans pack our state’s arenas in their sea of orange.
Earlier this year we attended the Wake Forest-Syracuse basketball game. When Syracuse defeated Wake, these fans left the arena screaming, cursing, belligerent and obnoxious. Again….this was our house and our party and they came crashing. I decided then and there I would cheer for any opponent they had. They needed to lose. They needed to be reminded that THIS was the home of the ACC and they were just somebody’s obnoxious cousin who got invited to tag along. So tonight… I cheered for (this is terribly painful to admit) for Duke. (insert dry heaving) It’s true. You should never say never.