Posted tagged ‘duke’

Under the Crazies

March 12, 2008

So this past weekend, I filmed one of my little episodes with Casey at Duke before the North Carolina game. It didn’t look like I was going to be able to get in on my non-existent media clout, as the SI credential was rightfully promised to Stewart Mandel, who I would guess would put the credential to good use by taking worthwhile notes from a good vantage point during the game. I found out that he got caught in some sort of storm in New York, so suddenly, if there was nobody else that would use the pass, it was mine. Bingo. I went from hoping to meet a desperate scalper to having to climb over the media table to get to my seat. Not bad.

I wasn’t at all prepared to take notes – I just had Casey’s computer, which was actually Candice‘s, and his man purse, which was devoid of anything respectable to write on. My pad was in my backpack, which was with Casey while he went for a return trip to Cook Out, for another milkshake. Fair enough.

My solution was to write on the one piece of paper that somehow made its way in front of me – a two-sided sheet explaining all the chants the Cameron Crazies would be rolling through, as well as the list of recruits that were at the game. I had a writer from the USA Today (respectable) on one side of me and one from the NY Daily News (tabloid) on the other, so I had to at least make an attempt to look like I belonged, as there was a placard that said SI.com in front of me. My solution was to take unreadable notes in the margins of the paper that I would be able to read a later time for a blog, but that nobody else around me could decipher and realize that I was a fraud. The ensuing is a series of bullet points of what I noticed before, during, and after the game. Let’s hope I can read at least four of these items…

• The Duke cheerleaders seemed very energetic, and it appears that the one who is standing in front of me trying to excite the student section does an ungodly number of sit-ups. I should do more sit-ups.

• One of my best friends in college (Corndog) was in the Oregon Marching Band and he had a friend who was in the Duke Marching Band. Apparently, a ton of people join the football band and sit through an atrocious season every year because being in the basketball pep band is the pot at the end of the rainbow. I can’t remember how the band was during the game, but they rocked the pre-game. Hard.

• You can’t simply walk to your seat at the media table because of the throng of Cameron Crazies smother every conceivable inch of clean air in this place. The solution here is that media types have to climb over the table from the court to get to their seats. I thought it was pretty funny to see if any of the old-timers would hurt themselves during this very basic maneuver, and then I promptly hurt something in my shoulder doing it. Damnit.

• My favorite part of the game was the pre-game. I don’t know if it was seeing semi-famous people walking around, or being excited over pretending that I belonged on the floor before the biggest college basketball game of the year, but there was an unmistakable energy in Cameron that I’ve never been a part of before. Oh, and Erin Andrews was there (scary thin, needs Carolina BBQ).

• The Manning brothers and Matthew McConaughey were apparently at the game. I don’t recall seeing anybody sans shirt, but I’ll assume this is true.

• It’s 2008, and to me anyway, it seems like people have generally evolved past the usage of your common toupee. Not so much among sportswriters. The trend is still very much alive and well on media row, in case you were wondering.

• Yesterday, because I’m very vain, I watched the game on TiVo and found myself. I’m positive it was me because I instantly found the guy who had to constantly try to look around the undercarriage of a specific ref who made it a point to set up shop directly in front of me 70% of the time on that side of floor.

Coach K‘s camp would definitely be better than Coach J’s. And remember, he a leader who just happens to be a coach. How I love commercials.

• At 8:41 in the first half, we get out first Duke flop. The flop simulation in my video makes a little more sense now, although my dad had no idea what I was talking about.

• It may have happened, but I completely missed seeing the Scheyer Face in person. Rats.

• During a TV timeout, Jay Bilas raced around the court, met up with Crazies at half court, and then got on a surfboard that was on top of Duke students who were rolling on the ground and towing the board at the game time. After the board passed over them, they jumped up and ran to the front, where they would then meet the board to tow some more. The end result made it look like Bilas (knees bent, arms out surfer style) was surfing across the court. It was pretty cool looking, but completely insane.

• Duke had a baby mascot come out to do mascot-y things. It appeared to be a seven year old with a uniform and a smaller mascot head. This was way better than the schools that try to have a male and female mascot, which should be abolished immediately.

• I wrote down, “hard dunk, i wish i could.” This seems self-explanatory.

Greg Paulus, at one point, was on fire. I couldn’t hear or see the broadcast, but I have no doubt that Dickie V probably got a little moist watching this.

• At halftime, I had a pretty good M&M cookie and some Sprite in the media room. So strange that sportswriters have a reputation of being gross and overweight…

• Another flop at 16:28 in the second half. The universe was in order.

• The big chant of the night was, “Ty-ler Tra-vels…EVERY TIME.” Well, he sort of does, but Tyler Hansbrough still got hacked for 40 straight minutes. As much as some people don’t like him, he’s exactly the type of player that every team would love to have – he gives tremendous effort, cleans up everything around the basket, and makes his free throws. The chant is still kind of true, though.

• I wasn’t that impressed overall with North Carolina. In person, I could see why they would lose to a better-coached team. There’s always five really good basketball players on the floor for the Tar Heels that can score in crazy-quick bunches, but they can be figured out.

• Duke inched its way back into the game by finally settling down and working towards the best shot. They of course then blew it by turning the ball over and forcing shots. Oops.

• As they got closer, the crowd, as it should have done, exploded with every big shot. There are a lot of reasons not to like Duke, but this was a really good home crowd.

• Jon Scheyer tried for the four point play (fake and up), didn’t get it, and probably cost Duke their final chance at closing the gap in the last minute. There had to have been a Scheyer face here, but I didn’t have the angle.

• Duke loses, people are sad, I leave immediately to meet Casey to beat the crowd and get to a bar to watch the second half of the Oregon game. Oregon wins, all is well.

I should have a legitimate pass to an event coming up soon, so I’ll try to take some more notes if anybody likes reading these long-ish posts. At the very least, Yackie probably will, and Sully and Big Daddy Eisner will hold off on demanding more blog posts.

Out.

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