If only there existed a group of people that could tell us what it is like to be unfairly persecuted against, misrepresented in the media and hated simply because of the color they wear. A group of people that do nothing inherently wrong, and everything inherently right. And are solely hated for who they are. A group that just tries to live good lives and be good people on a day to day basis. That does absolutely nothing to provoke the malfeasance and divine dislike that they receive. Hatred based on inconceivably irrational logic and a lack of understanding and appreciation for the culture they have created.
Where can we find a group to tell us about the details of the viciousness they endure? To enlighten us with the lessons of how they trudge on in day to day life; facing the hatred and ill will of an uninformed and biased opposition. To detail the history of hate levied against their people. A group to teach us that, in the face of torment and caustic words, the appropriate response is to cry out in defiance and complain to all that will listen. Although, usually the only sympathetic ear is attached to the nerdy, rounded head of their fellow group members. But no matter! If the media does not cast an entirely positive light, cry out one must.
Through trembling lips and teary eyes they tell the world: "We shall be your whipping boy no longer! You will LOVE us! YOU will! You WILL!
As one, they come together as a people and allay the jealous and hateful insults with an offensive attack meant to show everyone how wrong they are!
"Freedom", screamed William Wallace on the torture table.
"Stop being mean", would be the rallying cry of this venerable group of ideological stalwarts and warriors of self preservation in the face of innumerable forces designed to thwart their very existence.
But, where is such a group?
Are they a civil rights coalition aimed at fighting racism? An anti-defamation league aimed at combating negative stereotypes and mistreatment? A group fighting for acceptance and the right to live out their lifestyle choices in equality and peace?
No, this group has undertaken a far more socially responsible movement. A movement designed to not only impact how we think, but how we live. This is a group that has been the recipient of hate and persecution that Negroes, Jews, Homosexuals and all other groups combined could only imagine in their worst dreams.
And now, it is time for them to respond. The time has come for this group to rise up against the media, opposing fans, naysayers, carpetbaggers, muckrakers, rabble rousers and all such undignified entities that would find fault with their identity. Fault with the identity they have willfully chosen: Duke Blue Devils (fans and team alike).
Unwilling to allow the proliferation of anymore hate against them, they have responded with a detailed history of the roots of the ill-placed hatred; and a sure fire plan to stamp it out.
"But the performance of the media at times, particularly in light of a recent incident during the tournament, has been disturbing, and several reporters have contacted us to express their concern and their hope that we would take this up. Wish granted."
On high, the wish for a consolidated and powerful response to any media that might perform an act which could be construed as not flattering towards Duke is most appreciated and most righteous. We feel a kinship and a solidified perseverance in our own work when we read such highly motivated and ideologically sound expressions.
"To a large extent, what now gets called Duke hating started at Maryland and was spread by Gary Williams, who in various ways insinuated that Duke gets all the breaks. In the 2001 Final Four, when Duke came back against Maryland, he famously yelled at a court side official, “how badly do you want Duke to win this game?”
And in that one moment, when a frustrated coach mocked the referees, a Pandora's box of execration was unleashed. And an easily swayed and unnaturally accepting media and citizenry wrapped themselves in loathing and brought Gary Williams vision of intolerance to life.
"His jihad against Duke and his perception of a favoritism towards Duke have had results which were likely beyond his wildest dreams. "
And here would be our only point of contention: Beyond his wildest dreams? Indeed. His precursory attack on the referees with the accusation of favoritism was calculated and intentional. Williams knew quite well that such an insult would lead to the rest of the basketball world forgetting that Coach K and Duke were worthy of only love. The results fully realized what Williams intended that day, with those refs.
"But in 1992, with Christian Laettner’s “stomp” of Aminu Timberlake (we’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: if a 6-11 guy plants his foot in your stomach and you get up laughing and clapping, it’s not much of a stomp), which, remember, closely followed UConn’s Rod Sellers pounding Laettner’s head onto the Meadowlands floor, Duke started getting some heavy criticism from the media and, of course, from the Commonwealth of Kentucky. And no discussion of Laetter in this context would be complete without mentioning the rumors that he was gay and that he and teammate Brian Davis had an intimate relationship."
For some reason, the author inadvertently forgets to mention Gary Williams' role in all this. After all, he started the hatred for Duke in 2001, right? Wait. What?
And we agree. For some reason NO ONE can mention Laettner and Brian Davis without bringing up that rumor of an intimate relationship. Thank goodness the author of this article lays that slander to rest with an all none to definitive denial and deters its proliferation by ambiguously referencing it in a context which bears no relation to it. That is the text book method for debunkment.
"In the late ’90s, antipathy towards Duke coalesced around Steve Wojciechowski, who played with a surpassing intensity despite his limited athleticism. One national columnist responded to e-mails by telling people he just couldn’t stand Wojo and thought he shouldn’t be a candidate for any postseason honors (he said it in a harsher way than that)."
Who is this columnist that would suggest that Wojo shouldn't be the player of the year? We remember watching Wojo slap the floor with the agility and poise of a rabid gibbon; and we thought, "Now there, there is the ACC player of the year." And then Duke lost the game and Wojo shed salty, giant tears. And we thought, "What passion!"
"Online, it was far worse. Duke fans had long since gotten used to the taunts about Krzyzewski’s surgery and the suggestion that he bailed on his team."
Excellent point. Anyone who knows basketball knows that his team bailed on him!
"But then there are some truly abhorrent sites. There is the normal pedestrian crap, which we don’t link to, and then there’s stuff like the nakedly racist Nation Of Islam Sportsblog"
We assure all readers, the posters on this blog are clothed at all times.
"However, the willingness of ESPN (among others) to fan the flames is pretty hard to take - and grossly unfair. It’s gotten to the point where every call at the end of a close Duke game is highlighted and questioned."
And this is further evidence of the hate. Questioning close calls, or pointing out obvious errors by referees couldn't be more prejudicial and hateful towards Duke. The madness must end.
"Still, it’s hard to understand how ESPN can allow Stuart Scott to openly display his bias towards Duke. It gets tiresome to say the least to hear him promote UNC and constantly denigrate Duke. ESPN also employs Bomani Jones, who could moonlight at the Nation Of Islam blog with statements like this: “without question, I’d say that Duke is a white supremacist institution.”
Agreement! ESPN should balance the tables. It would be wonderful if they had a Duke grad as a major analyst. Or a Duke fan as their top color man. If only.....sigh.
And we can't agree more here with the brilliant method of combating the "Duke is a white supremacist institution." Going after a Negro anchor and Negro writer is the BEST means of promoting a Duke image of colorblindness. Well done, author! Well done.
"There’s nothing one can do about individual wacked-out fans, but when the media loses their sense of perspective, whether out of a rooting interest or because slagging Duke pumps up ratings, the only way we can deal with it is to express ourselves, frequently and forcefully. "
Agreed. We would suggest the same. Do yourselves......frequently and forcefully.