Saturday, March 5, 2011

Rise, Ye Blues: Duke-Carolina

The year's last Hot Potato will be Duke's margin of victory. Put a negative number if you believe in fairy tales. Standings:


-Both teams are very strong on defense.
-It would be good if Kyle Singler shot well and Harrison Barnes didn't.
-If UNC hits their threes in general, things could get hard.
-We need a second scorer.
-Zeller and Henson will need to be contained some way, somehow.
-We'll need to make it rain.




Today we are the foot soldiers of the blue revolution. Today we are the vanguard of the People's Army of the Duke Republic. We have come down from the mountains, our exile ended, and we are marching on the tyrant's palace. We will fight past their Praetorian Guard, surge through the vicious mercenaries, and bring thunder down on the palace door. They will tremble inside the walls, knowing the hour.

Today, Carolina is on the wrong side of history.

They won't volunteer to relinquish the reins of power. It must be wrenched from their oily grasp. But we have taken their measure, and we have found them wanting. We've felt the genteel insinuations, the assertion of lineage and tradition. We've watched while they mock N.C. State's commonness on one hand and then assert their own nobler version while shrinking from our northern aggression. The quiet arrogance; the silent admonishments; the clubby brotherhood. They would make us outsiders.

And yet we have news for the Powders: you are in an old, decaying world. The ACC stretches from the brutal Irish in Boston to the beautiful Cubanos in Miami. It encompasses the foggy mountains of Blacksburg and the searing streets of Atlanta. It includes the warlike Terrapins and the gentle Deacons, the blustering Tigers and the proud Seminoles.

Belief in the old order has vanished. Your imagined aristocracy is not viable. The foundations are crumbling.

Which is why today- in that bland cavernous money-grab you call a basketball arena, amidst the wine-and-cheese Ram's Club set deigning to clap their papery, callous-free hands while the students raise their feckless voices somewhere in the deep and distant rafters- the Moody Blues are going to invade your house.

While blond women in light blue sweaters and pearl necklaces lean into their husbands and ask why certain shots count more than others, we will clamor for Nolan Smith. While freshmen in invisible witty t-shirts squint their eyes from Phase 5, we will empty our throats for Kyle Singler. While bored cheerleaders point to one side of the stadium and then the other, invoking the most boring cheer in sports, we will rise for Mason Plumlee. While the Powder people and their Powder children cheer for the white people and Michael Jordan in the video montage, we will incite greatness in Seth Curry.

We want wars of attrition. We want Pyrrhic victories. We want scorched earth and marches to the sea. This is a confluence of rage and duty. This is America recognizing itself. This is the closed fist of the people hammering the edifice of privilege. This is the mob at the Bastille. This is the crumbling wall in Berlin. This is earthly deliverance. This is a declaration.

We will not shrink from battle. The plains of Durham are thick with Moody Blues, and in hours the westward march begins. The glory builds. With each step, we approach the faltering enemy. We converge on the Dome, that bloated monstrosity fit for car shows and circus acts. Though they press into the confines, seeking safety in numbers, by and by we stand unified in close proximity as they quake on quivering Heels. Our numbers are too many for Roy Williams to evict.

And when you look into our eyes, Carolina- and you will be compelled, make no mistake- you will see the conflagration. You will see the smoke and the molten rage. You will see our thriving soul aglow with the imminent victory.

But we won't see yours; we will see only blue flames. We will be struck mad and frenzied by the vision, by flickering tongues of fire destined to consume the emptiness at your center.

In days past, in the roaring epicenter of a real stadium 10 miles distant, the Crazies have unleashed a war cry: "Go to hell, Carolina."

Tonight, there's no need for that. We're bringing hell to you.


  1. As they say in those Bud Light ads, HERE WE GO!

    Also, Shane, I'm assembling my army.


  2. There will be blood shed tonight. When the dust settles, two things will become evident. 1)- that Nolan Smith is actually made of magic and pixie dust, and 2)- that Duke is the best team in college basketball.

    Gods of the floor by 7.


    1. You guys got your ass kicked. Duke sucks!! HAHAHAAHA!

  3. Chris Herren's SponsorMarch 5, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    If Duke somehow scores more basketballs in the net thingy than the team in the other uniform they will most likely win unless the other uniform team while making less shots actually makes more shots that are worth more points such as 3 pointers then the other team might come away with the victory either way it shall be an exciting match full of honour and pride. I like, Duke to win this one in exciting fashion because they will find that third scorer?

    -Ro Shiell

  4. Duke by 4.

    By the way, very insightful strategy for the game. But you forgot one crucial point- I think Duke will win the game if they score more points than UNC.

    -Craig J.

  5. My prediction for tonight is Kyrie Irving comes out of the locker room in his crisp #1 jersey after halftime. He gives a devastating crossover to Harrison Barnes who just runs out of the gym crying all the way back to Iowa. Kyrie precedes to dunk on both Zeller and Henson and just walks off the court smiling. Duke wins by 10.

  6. I totally support Keith's prediction.

    Duke by 3. And congrats to CMoney on her victory!

  7. I hope that is Ro Shiell and he is doing a wonderful parody of himself. It's brilliant regardless if it's him or not.

    Duke by 9. I'm playing for second!

  8. Beautifully put, Shane.

    Duke takes it by 4

  9. That was the most beautiful thing I have ever read. Duke will win tonight!

  10. Thanks for the input, Ro.

    Jake, in the immortal words of Bart Scott: CAN'T WAIT.

    Everyone else: I am so jacked. This is going to be fantastic.


  11. I'm gonna play Devils Advocate here and say Duke by 15,and the rest of you should be shot for your lack of faith.


  12. Duke by 1. Duke up 3 in last seconds and Barnes hits a long shot to tie but his toe was on the line! UNC loses. Triumph for the Devils. Sadness for the Holes. Kyrie gets up and dances on the map of NC at center court. GTHCGTH

  13. duke by 1

    -Craig B.

  14. Um, let's not get ahead of ourselves, Birthday Girl, I haven't won yet. Lord knows I've blown bigger leads.

    I am going to say Duke by... 1.

    So that I can remain a Friend of the Blog and also play it as safe as I understand mathematically.

  15. love this.
    can't wait for tonight. i think we all will be sweating buckets.

    duke by 8.

  16. Tempted to pick a negative number... not that I don't believe, but the team doesn't travel well and they almost got blown out at home last time... I'll keep the faith though - Duke by 3.

  17. Duke by 4


  18. "Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win."

    Sun Tzu

    Duke has already won. By 4.

  19. Greatest. Thing. Ever. Wonderfully done ! The last two paragraphs are pure beauty.

  20. Jonny's Tzu quote is perfect. GTHC as you lose tonight by 6

  21. Can't get reception from Kwajalein, so forgive the tardy input but I am NOT WATCHING the game. I'm going with (-6). I want badly to be wrong, and bask in the warmth of my wrongness. I will be pissed if I win or come close to the hot pota(toe) this time! Go Duke.

  22. Forget the potato famine, Ryan Kelly's great-great grandparents should've been laid to waste in indentured servitude in the Caribbean

  23. how'd that work out for you?

  24. I'm going to pretend to be prescient and say negative fourteen.

  25. Good game, dookies. Nolan Smith is a force, and a class act to boot. But the universe has moved back toward its natural state...

    Go Tar Heels!

  26. Got pretty loud in there last night, no?