Halloween Costume Idea: How About a Duke Football Fan?

Mike KlineAnalyst IOctober 30, 2009

DURHAM, NC - SEPTEMBER 13:  The Duke Blue Devils celebrate with fans after defeating the Navy Midshipmen 41-31 during the game at Wallace Wade Stadium on September 13, 2008 in Durham, North Carolina.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

If you live in Durham, NC and still haven't decided what to dress as for Halloween, then I've got an idea for you.

How about a Duke Football Fan?

Lord knows the Blue Devils football team desperately needs them these days. Not because they are struggling through hard times but because they are as successful as they've been in more than a decade.

Go to any Duke home game and if you get 20,000 people plus in Wallace Wade you are lucky. It makes since seeing as the football team hasn't produced a winning product or anything close since 1995.

But now that the team is winning with greater regularity you'd expect for more people to come.

You'd be wrong though.

Since Coach David Cutcliffe took over at Duke, he has posted an 8-11 record. Not great, not good, but compared to the previous coaches' records, he might as well be Bear Bryant.

He did after all learn a thing or two from the man when he was at Alabama.

At most games there is always good fan support from the opposing teams and sometimes it out weighs the support for the Blue Devils.

Now that is not to say you don't have the loyal Duke fans, because they are there and show up week in and week out. And they have done so regardless of how bad the team has been.

And trust me they've been plenty bad. Pretty much every win the Devil's post ends another losing streak.

The trick for Cutcliffe is to get the casual fans in Durham and even the student body to buy into what the Blue Devils are selling.

Cutcliffe has done everything from promotions, e-mails, and voice messages to entice fan support.

You name it he has tried it but it has only brought moderate gains in attendance.

The most disappointing fact has to be that the students don't come. ESPN and various other Duke-centric web sites have posted articles or editorials on the state of student support for Duke Football.

The reception and response has been lukewarm and chock full of excuses.

The games start too early, the team sucks, the basketball team has a preseason game in which the outcome will never be in question, but I need to attend.

The old adage that win and they will show hasn't caught on yet at Duke. I think perhaps some students and casual observers are still leery of any success.

After all in 1995 the team won eight games and went to a bowl. Many thought that was the sign of better days but it was just a mirage in the ever expanding desert that has been Duke Football.

Cutcliffe, though, has the potential to be Duke's version of Moses and lead the Blue Devils football team out of that desert and into the promise land.

Only catch is he needs some followers. Who better to support the team than the students of the university for which he coaches?

Cutcliffe knows as well as anyone despite how much better the team is, if he doesn't build a passionate fan base then the success is only minimal.

The best thing the Blue Devils can do now is continue to win games. At 4-3 they have a real shot at a bowl game. If they can win their next two games, both on the road, they come home to face Georgia Tech.

And believe it or not if Duke wins their next two games they will still have a shot, although a slim one, of winning the ACC's Coastal Davison. So that show down with Georgia Tech at home becomes huge.

If that can't conjure up some support then perhaps nothing will.

So, if you are a resident of Durham or neighboring community and you have secretly been supporting a college football team that is known more for not being as good as another certain sport then perhaps you should try on a new costume.

How about a Duke Football Jersey? I guarantee no one will even recognize you.




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