Best Seat in the House column by Chris Graham
I come by my Duke-hatin’ naturally.
I live to see Duke lose. I get actual physical pleasure from seeing Duke lose.
And my blood boils when I even think of Sean Floppier taking a “charge.” And the guy has been in the NBA for … how long now?
(And yes, I love how Coach K is the coach of Team USA, and how Floppier and J.J. “Ridin’ The Pine” Redick are on his roster. What, Wojo and Collins weren’t able to get their visas in order?)
I should admit here, though, that as much as I live and breathe Duke-hatin’ – excuse me, Dook-hatin’, since I know from an e-mail that a Duke alum sent me last summer that it isn’t considered a nice thing by the alums to be called a Dookie, so there you go, you guys are Dookies – I actually do have a lot of respect for the way the K-Man runs his show.
OK, so I don’t like how ACC refs genuflect to him every time he sneers in their direction after a foul call, but even give him credit for that – if you can get the guys in stripes to give you calls, you have to take it.
But no, what I respect about Duke is the system. I was on a call with Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg recently, and Greenberg said it about as well as anybody – that there are maybe five coaches in America who get to pick and choose who they want because their programs are that attractive, and then there’s everybody else who has to sell, sell, sell to get kids to come play for them.
Mike Krzyzewski is one of those five guys, and he didn’t come to that without having to battle his way there. The guy wasn’t a popular choice when Duke hired him back in the day, and they practically ran him out of town before he got the program moving in the right direction.
So I quibble with how his kids stop opposing offensive players by practically jumping backwards at the slightest hint of contact to make it look like a charge. Alright, I do more than quibble – I curse like a drunken sailor with Tourette’s.
And I can’t stand how it just seems like Duke will make the buzzer-beating shot to win by one every time the opportunity presents itself.
(Remember that halfcourt shot that beat Tech a couple of years ago? That kid gets 50 more chances at that, and he doesn’t make a single one. But he made the one that counted. And let’s not even get into Christian Laettner.)
This column was supposed to be about me hatin’ Duke, er, Dook. I guess I’ve done my job.
It is only begrudgingly that I root against them, I have to say.
I mean, it’s hard to hate the bad guy unless he wins all the time.
Another reason to hate them – they’ve lost two in a row.
Chris Graham is the executive editor of The SportsDominion.