First things first...not every college hoops fan despises Duke. But I phrased the title that way because it helps illustrate just one of the many reasons why some fans do despise Duke. Duke fans, and the media, think that everybody in the country is just as obsessed with Duke basketball as they are.
Sorry guys, but we're not. In fact, many fans don't care one wit about Duke and only like to see them lose so that pundits have to eat their words that have built up over the course of a basketball season.
Of course, there are some fans that genuinely despise the Duke program. And, I have to admit, some of the reasons seem pretty valid to me. However, it is important to understand that a lot of those reasons actually have nothing to do with Duke itself, but as I alluded to a moment ago is because of what others believe about Duke and force down everyone's throat on a yearly basis.
All that being said, here are 10 reasons why a lot of college hoops fans despise the Duke Blue Devils. And for another look at 10 reasons fans despise Duke from the perspective of a Duke fan, go here.
(It's really interesting to see the different perspectives on charges/flops and the hatred due to Duke's winning. Kind of proves my point, I think.)
While I hate it when Duke fans and the media say they are despised because other fans are jealous of how much they win (it really makes my skin crawl), there is a large amount of truth to it. Of course Duke fans say it like they are the only school that wins at an obscenely high rate (they're not), but the point still bears mentioning.
Duke does win a lot. And no doubt a lot of fans are haters just to be haters.
But this happens with a lot of teams in college basketball and other sports. I would say that right now there isn't a team in college basketball as despised as the Kentucky Wildcats due to the fact that they are winning so much right now, they are recruiting so well and people generally don't like John Calipari.
To be fair though, Duke has had to deal with this more than most in college basketball for the past decade or so. But big deal. This is what every good team has to deal with at some point and there's nothing particularly special about the anti-Duke sentiment in this regard.
Still, it has to at least be considered as a reason for some of the hatred towards Duke.
I used to think only I was really bothered by this until I mentioned this article to a few friends and they all, unprompted, mentioned this as one of the things that made them despise Duke the most. So I think it has to make the list.
While I get a good chuckle out of Duke losing in the NCAA tournament every year, my laughter sometimes turns to fury when I watch the inevitable Coach K press conference. If you like condescension and whining about officiating then these are great. Otherwise they will make you want to puke.
I remember possibly the worst of these being a few years ago after LSU beat Duke and Coach K was in not so rare form after a loss. About every other sentence had to do with his astonishment at how physical the refs had let the Tigers play. Physical this, physical that. K was clearly complaining about his guys being roughed up and just would not let it go.
Instead of praising the other team for just beating his guys and playing tremendous defense, it was all about how his team just couldn't play due to how physical the officials let the game be. Maybe, just maybe, LSU was the better team on that day.
Anyways, this is sadly the norm for Coach K after tournament losses.
This makes me mad to watch, but I also have to praise Coach K for this: He works the refs like no other coach in the country...and it works. But while it works it also angers about 99% of the non-Duke fans in the world.
I don't think I've ever watched more than a minute of a Duke game go by without seeing Coach K absolutely ripping some poor ref with every four letter word known to man, and probably several that he is making up as he goes. And those guys almost always just take it.
Actually, they don't just take it. They usually call three or four charges in a row against the other team.
Does any other coach do this after every game? You know what I'm talking about, Duke has just won or lost and Coach K takes about five minutes to hold up the handshake line and lecture the other coach and/or a star player about god knows what. And he's doing all of the talking.
Who does he think he is, the smartest coach on the planet with a mission to teach every other poor, dumb coach how to do their job. It just seems so arrogant and unnecessary.
And he always has that same dumb look on his face no matter the situation. It's like the Phil Mickelson fake smile face that I hate so much. I'm really dumbfounded by the whole scene. Maybe he's just giving out cooking recipes or something but it just really gets on my nerves.
Thank god they wear all of that paint, because that is one homely looking student section the rest of the time. Ok, so that wasn't very clever or funny.
Which pretty much makes me a prime candidate to write all of the Duke student section cheer sheets.
Back in the good old days of the 1980s the Cameron Crazies weren't really a unique student section, but they probably were the best. You could count on some pretty funny, and sometimes cruel, chants to liven up a broadcast and everyone generally accepted the fact that it was a pretty neat experience.
Unfortunately, like most things eventually do, the Cameron Crazies have gotten stale. The creativity is gone and now instead of "funny cruel" the student section only goes from extremely lame jokes to "shouldn't go there cruel" with little in between.
And they were dumb enough to get tricked into chanting Myron Piggie. I thought Duke was a school for smart kids?
I'm a Kentucky fan, so I'm biased on this one a little bit. But I really think this was the moment that Duke went from the school most people liked to see do well to one of college basketball's most despised schools.
I don't want to get too far into racial politics here, but imagine if the roles had been reversed and a black player had deliberately stomped on the chest of a white player in this situation. I have a hard time thinking that the black player wouldn't have been thrown out of the game.
But Laettner, and by extension Duke, got handled with kid gloves in this instance by the refs and the NCAA. And it doesn't help that Laettner was not only the most arrogant player in the country when this happened, but he still is today and is still lying about what led up to that play in the game.
For a really informative look into the incident, please read this.
This one is not nearly as prevalent as it used to be, but it still makes the list if for no other reason than Duke used to be the absolute worst big school in the country (non-Syracuse Division) when it came to scheduling out of conference road games. Now they will actually play some people on the road during the ACC/Big 10 Challenge and the occasional tough game, though the preference is still on neutral site games.
Even now though, it seems like Duke only wants to play in New York if they can get away with it since they have such a large alumni base in the New York/New Jersey area. Last year, for example, with the Challenge game being at home, Duke played one road game in New York against St. John's and they played Butler in where else...New Jersey. The year before that they played at Wisconsin in the Challenge and actually played Georgetown in D.C....and then had some games in New York.
I mean, really? That's just weak...but whatever works I guess. They still get a No. 1 seed almost every year. But again, that's just weak.
Do yourself a favor and go to Youtube and enter "Duke Flops". And you will see maybe the number one reason that people hate Duke.
This is my main reason for any hate I have of Duke...I hate flopping. And Duke does it ALL THE TIME.
Shooting a three: flop.
Getting dunked on: flop.
Too slow to guard somebody: flop.
One of the nicest things about writing for B/R is the free use of Getty Images and their many sports pictures. It's great.
And it was just a little too perfect that when I searched for Dick Vitale the first pictures of him dealing with basketball were him at a Duke game hamming it up with his fellow Dukies. I swear it's true.
Duke and Dick just go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly. Dick is constantly slobbering all over Duke and vice versa. It's disgusting to anyone that doesn't care for Duke, but it's great for the school.
ESPN has been Duke's best recruiting tool for years and those of us that don't cheer for Duke can't help but notice all of the times that ESPN has gone above and beyond to prop up the Blue Devils even when they aren't the top dog in the sport or aren't even playing in the game on television at the time.
I'll never forget watching a Florida-Vanderbilt game a few years ago when a buddy of mine said that if Dick Vitale could go more than three game minutes without mentioning Duke that I had to give him $1000. I agreed and 34 seconds into the game I was already safe.
On a related not, I can't stand ESPN. Not just for this, but for everything from them propping up the Rose Bowl over the BCS title game when it was the only one on ABC to about a million other reasons I won't get into here.
Marcus Camby takes money and UMass has to vacate a Final Four trip.
Corey Maggette takes money and Duke doesn't have to vacate a Final Four trip.
Rod Sellers elbows Laettner in the head and gets suspended for one NCAA Tournament game.
Laettner stomps on Aminu Timberlake and doesn't get suspended in the NCAA Tournament.
Duke and the NCAA: Where Double Standards Happen.
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