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Shout Out To Coach K - Dec 2 Badger Game
Hey Coach K!!!
Coach K... I am your biggest fan. Or your programs. Or Duke. Okay probably not THE #1 Fan but a big fan. Maybe the biggest fan in Wisconsin. For sure in my city or at the very least on my block. Oh damn, that woman down the road who walks every day - on the other side of my street. Coach K, I am a huge Duke fan. Possibly the biggest on my side of the street.
I've been a fan since the 80's. I've named my dog Quin after Quin Snyder. I wanted to name our first born Quin but my wife didn't go for it. So I got the dog. The 2nd dog. After many cats. Here he is.
QuinClick thumbnail to view full-size
I started with the Quin Snyder group. Danny Ferry and Amaker and Bilas, Hondo Henderson and Alarie and it just went on each season. I wanted to cheer on my home state but in the 80's Wisconsin was happy just to win games and didn't make ncaa tournaments in men's hoops. So I became a fan of the ACC and the UNC/Duke and NC State/Duke rivalries.
Just beating Carolina became the mark of a good season. But Duke was so successul they were an easy team to follow. You either loved or hated Duke and most hated Duke in Wisconsin - that situation probably hasn't changed. I latched on to each team Coach K put out season after season. Became a big Bobby Hurley fan. After the beating by UNLV I was at a Duke low. We had a big party that year. The last time I watched Duke games with people really. As you know it was not pretty. We had a 3pter board, a "dunk" tally board and a blocked shots board. Not a lot of tallying went on in our house. Maybe next door with the Duke haters. It was a painful exit.
But then the next year with that semi-final victory over UNLV!?! Greatest game ever. I watched that game alone. Who would come back with the way I'd sent them out at halftime the year before? The group of unbelievers alone may have cost Duke the game for all I knew. I wasn't taking any chances. I beat on the ceiling ritually to every stop, every steal and every score until the upstairs neighbor came down and asked me to stop. Which after that I did my ritual quietly. To beat UNLV after losing the way Duke lost the year before. Sweet moment.
There probably never could be a game sweeter than that. In our house if you asked my kids who they wanted to win in a game of basketball they would always say Duke. They were trained. Who should win between Duke and Carolina? Duke! Between Duke and the Badgers (never happened back then)? Duke!!! Between Duke and The Packers? Duke. Between Duke and a group of daddy's friends? This one threw them at first but soon they would respond correctly with Duke!!!!
I have tickets to the Duke game December 2nd in Madison against the Badgers. Awkwardly, I am also a UW-Madison graduate. I would say I would be happy for Wisconsin to beat Duke because of that accomplishment but that would be a lie. No one will allow me to be happy for the Badgers and who cares because I want Duke to win. This I realized was true when I watched happily the first and only time Duke played Wisconsin in 2007. It was that same game I played with my kids but it's true I want Duke to win. I'm a bad alumn.
I'm not sure if I just go in Duke blue. Or if I have an outer layer of red and then take that off to reveal the Duke colors? Or if I remain respectful and just maybe wear my worn out Duke blue cap? Or the one with horns even? I feel an urge to yell "Coach K Rules!!!" during a quiet pause say during a moment after Plumlee slams one home to a dazed Kohl center? I fear I might be soaked with soda before the night is over. My buddy is a tad worried as well.
Any chance I could grab a seat down by the bench?