Tuesday, April 03, 2007

If Anybody Deserves Mock And Scorn

It's the Dook University Blue Devils...

Of course, the hated aren't taking it lying down. The problem with that is of course, I seriously can't tell if this is parody or for real.

First we start with how all the Dook hatred began:

To a large extent, what now gets called Duke hating started at Maryland and was spread by Gary Williams, who in various ways insinuated that Duke gets all the breaks. In the 2001 Final Four, when Duke came back against Maryland, he famously yelled at a courtside official, “how badly do you want Duke to win this game?”

Oh really? So Gary Williams is the one to blame for all of this. Funny, but why did it take almost ten years AFTER back-to-back National Championships for that to grow? Of course, what isn't mentioned by these guys is how that entire Final Four was a downright farce. Not only did Maryland get outright jobbed, Arizona took it on the chin from the refs as well. But more on that later.

Emotions have always run high for Duke-UNC, but the intensity of feelings in College Park grew malignant, with two infamous incidents underscoring what became a dangerous situation: 1) Carlos Boozer’s mother getting beaned by a bottle and suffering a concussion, and 2) the nationally televised taunts of Maryland fans yelling “**** you J.J.” as Redick calmly shot foul shots.

Asterisks mine, this is a family blog...

Here's where the whole thing begins to fall apart. While the infamous J.J. Reddick chant did come after the 2001 Final Four (and wasn't while he was shooting free throws either). The Mrs. Boozer incident was BEFORE the 2001 Final Four. Furthermore, the Mrs. Boozer water bottle incident was in retaliation to the taunting of the Maryland students done by the Dook fans in Cole Field House after the "Gone in Sixty Seconds" Game in 2001 (Which of course is another prime example of Dook have a game handed to them by the officiating crew). What isn't also mentioned was the Dook Parents (names will be withheld) who went into the student section in Cole in 1999 and started a fight with some female fans after a game had ended that Dook won.

The idea that these incidents happened in some sort of isolation and without any kind of provocation is a downright lie. I know, I was there and saw everything that went on.

It was striking, and telling, that Maryland reacted more aggressively to the televised cursing than they did to the violent assault on Mrs. Boozer.

This is a flat out falsehood. In response to the Mrs. Boozer incident, the students were removed from the first ten rows behind the visitors bench for the remainder of the 2000-2001 season. As a result, students felt that they were no longer wanted at home basketball games and student attendance dropped as a result. For the final season in Cole, the first ten rows of seats behind the visitors bench were assigned to various student groups in a large block for the individual games. It was understood that if anything happened that the group assigned those seats would be held responsible.

Finally, in response to the Mrs. Boozer incident, the newspaper toss after visiting team introductions was permanently banned.

The responses by Williams over the years have been disappointing; rather than facing down the hooligans among Maryland’s fans, he has instead either egged them on, as he did when he made provocative comments about a song which the university banned, or when he said he wished people would “get off” the students backs, saying “we’ve got great fans,” or he has rather cravenly stepped out of the way: anything to avoid being booed in his own building, apparently.

When Maryland Fans throw things at visiting players and fans along with continual taunts, they're called "hooligans" and "thugs." When the World Famous Nerd Herd (aka Cameron Crazies) throw things at visiting players and fans along with continual taunts, they're called "great supporters" and "funny" and "a great atmosphere."

But in 1992, with Christian Laettner’s “stomp” of Aminu Timberlake (we’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: if a 6-11 guy plants his foot in your stomach and you get up laughing and clapping, it’s not much of a stomp), which, remember, closely followed UConn’s Rod Sellers pounding Laettner’s head onto the Meadowlands floor, Duke started getting some heavy criticism from the media and, of course, from the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

LOL! This is high comedy here folks.

So because a player on another team in another game slams a guy's head into the floor, he's allowed to "stomp" on another guy on another team in a completely different game and venue...

The only thing missing from this is some kookball demonstration similar to the rabbit cage-World Trade Center-Newspaper experiment.

Starting around 2000, “Duke hating” moved from an ACC thing to the media at large (we’ll return to the media shortly) and also with a new level of intensity to the Internet, where bulletin boards and blogs began to push the limits of acceptable criticism and debate.

Wait! I thought Gary started the whole thing by himself in 2001?????

It’s gotten to the point where every call at the end of a close Duke game is highlighted and questioned. ... But as far as we could tell, ESPN never got to a central truth of the Clemson situation: one of the officials is responsible for setting the game clock, not the scorekeeper. ESPN allowed this misconception to linger, which was just wrong and terribly unfair to the scorekeeper, who, as fate would have it, is a UNC graduate (for those of you not around here, Duke and UNC ties cross like this all the time). The perception that Duke manipulated the clock was allowed to stand on the sports network of record.

Because people who seriously follow College Basketball know that the scorekeeper, scoreboard operator, and clock operator are all provided by the home team.

"The perception that Dook manipulated the clock" comes from that fact. Furthermore, had Dook's clock operator properly done his job and the scoreboard operator had properly communicated to the referees that there had been a problem with the clock (which in all fairness does happen on occasion) the referees would have then used the television replays at courtside to properly determine how much time should be put on the clock. But the Dook provided scoreboard and clock operators did not do this. ESPN giving out that perception that Dook manipulated the clock in their favor is proper because it is true, no matter where the scoreboard and clock operators went to college.

When a similar clock situation occurred at Virginia Tech, it was a blip. When Greg Oden threw a guy out of bounds, it was all but ignored, at least in comparison to, say, Christian Laettner’s “stomp.” When Georgetown’s Jeff Green abandoned his pivot foot before he hit the winning shot against Vandy, there was some discussion, but not what it would have been had he played for Duke.

First of all, those schools do not have the history of arrogance and jobbed games in their favor going against them. Secondly, there was considerable coverage and discussion of the Whats? victory over Vanderbilt.

Al Featherston had some words for Jones as well when Jones called Christian Laettner’s “stomp” “one of the most vile things ever done on a basketball court,” terming it "unforgivable." To us, it doesn’t stack up with Ron Artest’s charge into the stands to punch a spectator, or even with Chris Paul’s cheap shot to Julius Hodge’s testicles or most of Bill Laimbeer’s career. Certainly John Chaney’s ordering his goon to hurt another player would be far, far worse, and some of Bob Knight’s excesses have to rate too.

With the exception of Chris Paul and MAYBE Bill Lambeer, not a single person mentioned will ever live down their infamous moments. Why should Chirstian Laettner?

Anyway, that's enough dissection for today. The idea that Dook hatred is unjustifiable is downright laughable. Dook has well earned their reputation and it will take some time for them to lose it.


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