They had sat out in the rain, the snow, the heat, and all that goes with the waiting area of the great Gothic cathedral of basketball known as Cameron Indoor Stadium.
For all their show of courage, tenacity, and effort, the residents of Krzyzewskiville came away disappointed as the Blue Devils dropped another conference basketball game.
A third straight Wednesday night loss for Duke, this time by 14 points to UNC, left all of Durham wondering if the Blue Devils should cancel mid-week ACC games.
The heroic "Krzyzewskivillites" chose to stay outside so, the doldrums that set in after yet another league loss are a bed of their own making. One has to wonder, what do they do now? Do they stay in place for the rematch with Wake Forest in two weeks?
Maybe Duke and Wake Forest need the rematch scheduled for February 22nd at Duke. At the time of the first confrontation, in Winston-Salem, Duke was No. 1 in the country. The week before, Wake Forest had been the top team in the land.
That game was a tense action-packed affair with the Demon Deacons winning in the final second. Since then, the Blue Devils are playing .500 ball and Wake is below .500.
So what happened? Some announcers have stated that Wake Forest was spent after the grueling contest. Some say such young players can't get their energy level up to battle in the ultra-competitive ACC.
That analysis shows a complete misunderstanding of the heart of a competitor. The Deacons will recover. The real question for Duke fans is, will the Blue Devils survive the upcoming northern tour of Boston College and St. Johns?
Here is a thought for the members of Krzyzewskiville–put everything in perspective. You are students at the finest school in the South. When you are attempting to reach the upper levels of your career, you will be judged on your past performances and future potential.
No one will care if you flunked out of school because you slept in a tent for six weeks to see a ballgame.
So, take it from an old hand who has seen a thousand people hired and fired in his life, get out of those tents and get back to class. Don't worry if someone gets your place in line, go back to your responsibility of being a good student.
By doing so, you will find your troubles regarding study time and grades will fade away. Likewise, the Duke Blue Devils will be fine without knowing that you are asleep outside the building for months.
In these intense and challenging economic conditions, you must trust your judgment. Go inside, make good grades, and make yourself a person that all of your friends, family, and fellow students will be proud of for years to come.
Who knows, maybe the next Barack Obama or Nancy Pelosi is asleep out there right now, and don't you hope they fill their minds with all of the academic opportunities available?
Duke Basketball will live to fight another day; Krzyzewskiville students should make sure they are around to see it.