As you guys read in the last post, I'll be following Duke and Carolina football pretty extensively once I head down to Chapel Hill. When I went to Duke between '01 and '05, I probably saw six football games in four years. The fact that the Devils were one of the nation's worst teams played a big role, but I also had things to do in those days. At least I think that was the case. I remember having friends and meetings and romantic trysts. I can't remember any specifics, or even the name of a single friend, but trust me, I was one of the bigger men on campus. I was so cool that people would actively not invite me to parties because they were afraid that I would 'out-cool' the host.
Now, I have like three friends. The bulk of my time is spent working, writing, and hanging out with my girlfriend. I also find myself doing adult things like yelling on the phone at people that work for Pep Boys. When my girlfriend tells me we have to attend some social function, my first reaction is to fall at her feet, grab her legs, and beg her not to make me go. I take pleasure in horrible activities like jogging. Most of all, I dig sports. Going to a live game is like getting kissed on the mouth by a supermodel for three hours. Actually, it's better, because after a few minutes you'd probably want to stop kissing the supermodel and get a drink of water. I can drink water any time I want at a Yankee game, for a price.
So seeing the Devils or Heels on the gridiron will be the highlight of my week, I'm sure. And if I'm going to get serious about football writing, I need to start doing some research. I know next to nothing about Duke and Carolina football. Butch Davis and David Cutcliffe are the coaches, but I honestly can't name a single player. That will change, but not today. I don't have time to look up specifics. I don't even think it's possible to find rosters online; I'll have to make some phone calls later. Instead, I'll get right to the predictions. Please note that some of the scenarios may be impossible, and most of the names are made up.
DUKE/UNC FOOTBALL: 15 EDUCATED GUESSES FOR 2010
1. First and most important, both teams will go undefeated. They will tie each other in the final game of the season, and then play again for the ACC title. They will also tie that game, and because it will be a down year in the NCAA, they'll meet again for the national title. Duke will win 38-0.
2. Antonio Marcel, Duke linebacker, will record 7 interceptions on September 18th when Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy suffers a mental breakdown and throws him the ball on every possession until being pulled late in the second quarter. Marcel will record 0 interceptions the rest of the season.
3. Duke Coach David Cutcliffe will hold a charity boxing match where he defeats Duke women's basketball coach Joanne McCallie in a split decision after 7 rounds.
4. UNC will not suffer any sanctions at the hands of the NCAA, but they will be barred from holding bake sales in downtown Chapel Hill after offensive lineman Thor Bummel does some suggestive pantomime with a jelly donut.
5. I will start a fan section in Durham called the "Devil Dervishes." Our main thing is that whenever Duke scores, we play Arabian music and spin in circles.
6. I will start a fan section in Chapel Hill called the "Tar Heel Hellcats." It will be a group of sultry women in sparkly black evening gowns and long gloves who write and sing their own fight songs. I stand in front of them, staring icily at the field, wearing a fedora and smoking a cigar.
7. UNC President Nieman Alonzo will make a friendly bet with Duke President Harcourt Brace before the big rivalry game. If UNC wins, Alonzo and Brace will exchange wives for one evening. If Duke wins, same thing.
8. UNC placekicker 'Legless' Andy Little will be the first football player in history to play with an amputated limb. In place of his right leg, Little will have an attached mechanical device that can kick a football 90 yards in a straight line.
9. The Duke offense will pride itself on giving up no safeties. Cutcliffe will herald himself as the 'no-safety' coach. When Duke loses, they'll say things to the media like "well, at least we didn't give up a safety." The whole thing will last until the fourth game, when Duke gives up a safety.
10. There will be a huge riot in Chapel Hill on October 16th when a UVA player says that Carolina's powder blue is 'faggy.'
11. Duke will make the playoffs, but lose to the Baltimore Ravens in the wild card round.
12. Carolina's opener against LSU will be marred when the Tigers show up without helmets to protest the 'wrong-headed' policies of BP in relation to the Deepwater Horizon spill. They'll sustain 8 concussions and lose on a last-second 75-yard field goal by 'Legless' Andy Little.
13. In a bid for the Scholar Athlete of the Year award, Duke QB Rainier McDonald will make a big show of studying a physics textbook on the field between offensive plays. He'll wind up losing a narrow vote to his teammate William LeVance, who will hold bubbling beakers aloft while playing defensive end.
14. Butch Davis will institute a system called 'total football' where the center can snap whenever he senses the defense is at its most vulnerable. Unfortunately, manic-depressive center John Marshall will often stay over the ball for minutes at a time, incurring delay-of-game penalties and bumming everyone out with his listless demeanor. At other times, he'll sprint from the huddle and snap before anyone is ready.
15. David Cutcliffe will go through a 'retro' phase where he swears off the forward pass and encourages the hardiest men from the student body to join the Devils and push the other team off the field in a great mob.
Bonus: Duke and UNC will tie in the race for the 'Horrid Tree,' a highly-coveted football award. Chopped down in 1745 by Amos Arnold, North Carolina's first resident, the Horrid Tree is an eerie maple stump covered in fungi and vines. It's given annually to the team with the best spirit in the entire state.