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More than just a game: Carolina vs. Duke (D vs. R)

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Vox_Reason Donating Member (589 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 04:30 PM
Original message
More than just a game: Carolina vs. Duke (D vs. R)
Tonight will occasion the 221st renewal of the college basketball rivalry between the University of North Carolina Tar Heels and the Duke University Blue Devils. You might have heard about it on ESPN recently. In their estimation, only Ali-Frazier and Michigan-Ohio State are bigger rivalries in all of sports.

For those of us in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill "Triangle" area of North Carolina, these events are simply like no other. The proximity of the schools (8 miles apart) amplifies this national-scale rivalry to almost unbearable levels. All over the area today, events are taking place before and during the game that will attract thousands of avid fans. The radio already crackles with the pre-game hype. Local TVs are broadcasting from outside Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, interviewing Duke students who have been camping out since January for tickets to tonights game.

Triangle residents will huddle around TVs in homes, restaurants, theaters, and anyplace that can get a TV signal to watch the game. Some will turn down the ESPN sound to instead listen to their favorite homer call the game on their teams radio network. The local ratings will be astronomical. Life will essentially shut down around here at 9:00 tonight. The rest of the world will simply fade into insignificance for 2 and a half hours, and every moment will explode with nervous energy and excitement.

This article, if you can handle the web cooties, is one of the best Ive read about it:
Powder Blue Heaven

It begins:

I hate Duke basketball. And I hate Mike Krzyzewski.

This is not your garden-variety hatred, something you utter with the gravity of a helium balloon. This is a hatred pure of heart, uncorrupted by the sophistries of reason and reasonableness. Its taproot is deep within my soul, in a place where only those ancient bestial emotions lurk. Whenever I see Krzyzewski stomping up and down the Duke bench face contorted in rage, twisted by arrogance, those glirine eyes darting obsessively to and fro as he gesticulates with a pomposity only he can muster a red glaze comes over my vision, an animalistic rage wells from my primal id. I imagine myself endowed with psychic powers: If I concentrate hard enough perhaps he will falter, his team suffer some terrible reversal of fortunes, or, at the very least, that sneer will be wiped from his face for just a moment.

And a couple of new books are quite worthwhile:

To Hate Like This Is to Be Happy Forever: A Thoroughly Obsessive, Intermittently Uplifting, and Occasionally Unbiased Account of the Duke-North Carolina Basketball Rivalry, by Will Bythe, and Art Chansky's Blue Blood: Duke-Carolina: Inside the Most Storied Rivalry in College Hoops.

From the Blythe book:

"It is a basketball rivalry that simply has no equal. Duke vs. North Carolina is Ali vs. Frazier, the Giants vs. the Dodgers, the Red Sox vs. the Yankees. Hell, it's bigger than that. This is the Democrats vs. the Republicans, the Yankees vs. the Confederates, capitalism vs. communism. All right, okay, the Life Force vs. the Death Instinct, Eros vs. Thanatos. Is that big enough?"

For those with additional interest in the contest beyond the local experience--alumni, university employees, etc.for those who have ever inquired If God is not a Tar Heel fan, then why is the sky Carolina Blue? and those who bristle and sneer at the question, this is about right vs. wrong, good vs. evil, and yes, liberals vs. conservatives. I can only liken it to the experience of watching election night voting returns the last few elections for many DUers. I know that sounds hyperbolic, but I'm trying to convey the scope of the anxiety, anticipation, and pillow-rending, hair-curling, blood boiling excitement, and that's the best analogy I can provide for you, dear readers.

And indeed, if one would choose to view it in such a way, there is a rather striking political side to this rivalry. It is very stark and very clear. UNC stands loud, proud, and most unabashedly as the icon of liberalism in the Carolina-Duke rivalry. It is the nation's oldest public university, located in a community that is as blue as San Francisco in the middle of red state North Carolina.

The University of North Carolina was anticipated by a section of the first state constitution drawn up in 1776 directing the establishing of "one or more universities" in which "all useful learning shall be duly encouraged and promoted." State support, it directed, should be provided so that instruction might be available "at low prices." A modern example of how Carolina exemplifies its liberal roots is the Carolina Covenant program, which provides a way for low-income students to graduate without debt.

Duke is a very expensive private institution founded in 1924 on tobacco money with an overwhelmingly wealthy out-of-state student population. Its alumni include Richard Nixon, while Carolinas include James Polk, the 11th president who was responsible for expanding our nation to the shores of the Pacific. Dukes faux gothic frillery and disdainful, elitist student body who sneer at their middle-class counterparts at Carolina, as personified by the frequently very unsportsmanlike Cameron Crazies, might remind you of some of the qualities that we so admire about republicans.

Iconic basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski held fundraisers for Elizabeth Doles campaign for John Edwards vacating senate seat, which should be enough to send any DUer without a dog in this fight over the edge. He also plays all kinds of manipulative games with referees and in the offseason gives $40,000 keynotes about leadership and being a profane, arrogant prick.

The contrast between the coaches of both programs is indeed striking. From a University of Kentucky message board:

Where Krzyzweski is patronizing and aloof, Carolina Coach Roy Williams is as plain as spilt cornflakes and as approachable as warm apple pie. Where Krzyzweski requires a thumbprint to take the elevator up to his office, you get the idea you could find Roy hanging out by the janitors closet swapping jokes with the cleaning crew. Where Krzyzweski bristles with military discipline and seems to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders, Williams self-depreciating sense of humor and plain old plainness make it seem as though he might not get offended if you dared ask him a question out of turn.

Most importantly, and what makes Roy so damned likable compared to Krzyzweski is that he isnt a phony. Hes not trying to tell us he is a leader of men, not a coach, because he is a coach and he's clearly proud to be one. It is what it is and needs no embellishing. He didnt hold a press conference when the Lakers asked him if he was interested in their head coaching position, but he could have. He doesnt do any of the maddening things that are a trademark of the Krzyzweski regime.

Before the affable, decent, emotional and classy Roy Williams returned to the fold at Carolina, the coach that defined UNC basketball was Dean Smith. Dean Smith comes from the root of the college basketball tree by way of Kansas, which was Roy Williams previous charge. He was a member of the Kansas teams that won the national championship in 1952 and finished second in 1953. His coach at Kansas was the legendary Forrest "Phog" Allen, who had in turn learned the game from its inventor, James Naismith.

Dean Smith is one of the most important liberals in North Carolina history. You can read the brief but excellent page on him at Wikipedia and see why he should be so venerated by liberals everywhere in America.

An excerpt:

Smith was also perhaps the most prominent liberal in his traditionally conservative state. In 1964, Smith joined a local pastor and a black UNC theology student to integrate The Pines, a Chapel Hill restaurant. He also played a large part in desegregating the city of Chapel Hill when he integrated the Tar Heels basketball team by recruiting Charlie Scott as the university's first black scholarship athlete.

"When I was named head coach the first call I got was from Bob Seymour, our pastor at the Binkley Church," Smith has said, speaking of a church noted for its inclusiveness. "Bob said now that youve been named head coach, you can resign as chairman of the student affairs committee, and your first church work will be to find a black basketball player."

He opposed the Vietnam War and, in the early 1980s, famously recorded radio spots to promote a freeze on nuclear weapons. He has been a prominent opponent of the death penalty. In 1998, he appeared at a clemency hearing for a death-row inmage and pointed at then-Governor Jim Hunt: "You're a murderer. And I'm a murderer. The death penalty makes us all murderers." He often took his players to visit death-row inmates.

While coach, he was recruited by some in the Democratic Party to run for the United States Senate against incumbent Jesse Helms. He declined. But in retirement, he has continued to speak out on issues such as the war in Iraq and gay rights.

A quote:

I just really believe that so much of anybody's ethical action is, `Do it for the least of these my brethren, do it unto me,"' Smith said. "For the unconditional love we receive from the Creator, we're supposed to respond with ethical action.

Yes, Carolina-Duke is just another basketball game, but for some, this game is so much more than that. Duke has beaten Carolina 16 of the last 19 times since the late 90s in very close contests. Before that, Carolina was winning the majority of the clashes. Remind you of any other trends? When Carolina won the 2nd meeting last season on its way to a National Championship, it was the first opportunity I had since the nightmare in November to exult in the defeat of a hated rival. It was an outpouring of so much of the frustration, anger, disappointment and misery in the wake of theft 04, and it was just what I needed.

It all came out with such liberating ferocity that I might have freaked out my brother in law, who was watching the game with mebut it didnt, because he grew up here and he understands what the game means. This past Christmas, he gave me the Art Chansky book about the rivalry linked above as a nice symbolic acknowledgement of what that moment meant to me, which is saying a lot, since we dont agree at all on politics.

He understands that for the people of the Triangle, the epic battles between the Tar Heels and the Blue Devils, which occur at least twice a year and sometimes (and most excruciatingly) more than that, are some of the biggest local events of the year. Even people with no interest in sports cant avoid being aware of it. What if Alabama and Auburn were 8 miles apart? For the people that lived in the area, the only annual Iron Bowl football game would probably create a distortion of the time-space continuum for people living in the community.

Tonight, Ill be going where I go and doing what I do, in the words of 30+ year Tar Heel broadcaster Woody Durham, and hanging on his every word as my beloved Tar Heels enter another epic, valiant struggle against the evil empire and their loathsome leader, Darth K. I hope you will join me this evening in cheering on the boys in Carolina blue, who represent as fine and admirable an embodiment of personal and institutional liberal excellence as there exists in our great country.

GO HEELS!
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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 04:40 PM
Response to Original message
1.  I hate that prick, Coach "K".....he gets all the calls, just like the
Rape-ublicans
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ncrainbowgrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. You took the words right out of my,... fingers? head?
Go Heels!
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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:32 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. I was in Raleigh last summer....my friend took me to the Duke U
primate center.

thought I might see *, but all they had was lemurs!
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ncrainbowgrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. Bwahahahahaha!
:rofl:

Good one! Mind if I use that statement later tonight?
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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. please do! I loved that place. I work in jr. high school, and
whenever I wear one of the lemur T shirts I bought there, I get curious responses from the kids....sometimes from teachers, too



http://primatecenter.duke.edu /

my Tshirt

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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 04:46 PM
Response to Original message
2. Dean Smith was/is a good Democrat.
In your rivalries you forgot Redskins-Cowboys, Celtics-Sixers, Liverpool vs. Arsenal.
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OKNancy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 04:50 PM
Response to Original message
3. Keep politics out of sports
This isn't red vs blue. It's a basketball game. It's a great game and a great rivalry, but man I hate it when politics are put on a team. How do we know some of the players aren't Dems. or that who is a Democrat or a Republican? As a matter of fact, my daughter works at Duke and she is a raging liberal as are almost all her co-workers.

Sorry, I just don't think there is anything valid with making it political.

Good luck to your team.
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ugarte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Exactly. The Duke Marxist Studies Dept. is among the best
led by Fredric Jameson, a truly monumental figure in the field.
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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #3
12. didja miss this?
Iconic basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski held fundraisers for Elizabeth Doles campaign for John Edwards vacating senate seat
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Road Scholar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:00 PM
Response to Original message
4. I don't just pull for Carolina just because my daughter went there
but I do pull for any team playing Duke!
Another NC Liberal :toast: :toast: :toast: :toast: :toast: :toast: :toast: :toast: :toast: :toast: :toast: :toast:
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mahatmakanejeeves Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:08 PM
Response to Original message
5. "UNC ... is the nation's oldest public university"
**UNC stands loud, proud, and most unabashedly as the icon of liberalism in the Carolina-Duke rivalry. It is the nation's oldest public university, located in a community that is as blue as San Francisco in the middle of red state North Carolina.

The University of North Carolina was anticipated by a section of the first state constitution drawn up in 1776....**

William & Mary, which is a public school, is much older. It is the second oldest school in what became the United States, so UNC is hardly the oldest. You may be able to argue that W&M is a college.
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Jim Lane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. UNC as the first
Edited on Sat Mar-04-06 05:38 PM by Jim Lane
UNC was the first institution in the United States to operate as a public university (chartered 1789, began operating 1795). The College of William and Mary was founded in 1693, but was a private institution until 1888.
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demgurl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:22 PM
Response to Original message
7. My hubby loves the heels but I am a Dukie.
Here is a cute commercial for all of you no matter which side you are on:

http://www.newsobserver.com/content/multimedia/sports/c...
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bobbieinok Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
9. reminds me of the 'Big Game' (Stanford vs Berkeley)..as an OK girl
in grad school in CA in the 60s, I KNEW what the BIG GAME was: OK vs TX

in OK in the 50s, when OU was # 1 in football for years, there was a joke..

'There is more praying in OK the day of the OU-NotreDame football game than any other day of the year; all the Southern Baptists are praying for OU and all the Catholics are praying for NotreDame.'
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:32 PM
Response to Original message
11. I love Dean Smith
I am by no means a basketball fan, but Dean Smith deserves the adoration of liberals everywhere. Though since Duke hosts the North Carolina gay pride festival it can't be all bad.
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Mabus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:42 PM
Response to Original message
14. KU-MU, The Border War: A rivalry born of blood
The rivalry between the University of Kansas and the University of Missouri doesn't receive nearly the media hype that the ACC rivalry does but then reminding people of the KU-MU rivalry would open the issue up to questions, such as, "what started the KU-MU rivalry?" among those with curious minds. In turn, these questions would only serve to open wounds that America, especially in the aftermath of Katrina, still isn't ready to talk about - the question of race and racial relationships.

See, the KU-MU rivalry began in the mid-1800's with something called the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 (hereinafter "Act"). This Act lead to something called the Civil War and then, a little more than hundred years after the Act, the beginnings of the Civil Rights movement (via Brown v. Topeka Board of Education). But what are things like slavery, civil rights and blood shed that compared to the UNC-Duke rivalry? :eyes: Yes I know, this stuff isn't as exciting as being within 8 miles of other universities but it's the best we can do. But I digress. Where was I? Oh yeah, the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, see under this Act the citizens of Kansas would be allowed to decide whether Kansas entered the Union as a Slave state (a state allowing slavery) or a Free state (a state outlawing slavery). I know in these days of the importance of "who has more wins" this slavery stuff is pretty trivial and doesn't deserve as much recognition of a rivalry between schools in a larger television market share.

If you're bored, you can stop reading now.

In the aftermath of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 a flood of people decended into Kansas from both sides of the slavery issue. It wasn't just people picking up and moving, say, 8 miles up the road. Instead people, like my ancestors, believed that slavery was wrong. They left their families on the east coast and journeyed westward to make sure that Kansas entered the Union as a state that did not condone slavery within its borders. The reason people came to Kansas was something that we are fighting for today - voting rights. Each side was attempting to get as many people eligible to vote on the slavery question as possible.

I don't know what it was like in North Carolina in the mid-1800's but out here on the Great Plains it was a pretty damn interesting time. See, these competing sides didn't just stop at getting people registered to vote but they went one step further. They were also active in a type of voter disenfranchisement that is commonly called "death". Both sides - anti-slavery and pro-slavery alike - practiced the permanent disfranchisement of voters. We got good at it. So good at it that not only did we practice permanant disenfranchisement with each other but we practiced it on Missouri residents. This was only fair as they used the same permanent disenfranchisement methods with us. In fact, this period of voter disenfranchisement is how we earned one of our state's nicknames "Bleeding Kansas".

One of the most famous of these "Bleeding Kansas" battles is called Quantrill's Raid. It occurred in Lawrence, Kansas on Aug. 21, 1863. There are many first hand accounts of what happened. Most say that about 140 people were killed, around 30 people were seriously wounded, and close to a total of 80 widows and 250 orphans were left in Quantrill's dust. In addition there was a lot of physical damage, with close to 75 businesses and 100 homes destroyed.

Our rivalry was born in blood. The blood of people who fought for freedom and equality long before anyone donned a KU, MU, UNC or Duke basketball uniform.

As you can tell, I think the KU-MU rivalry is more than just a game. Hell, it is more than a rivalry.

:hi:

Sorry in advance for any strange phrasing or what not, I typed in a hurry because I'm late to an appointment.
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Va Lefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:46 PM
Response to Original message
15. "A pox on both their houses."
I graduated from UVA in '84 (God i'm getting old) and it's a shame they both can't lose.
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radio4progressives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. I graduated from Lejeune High in 1968...
basketball was just about everything, when i was growing up... :hi:
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 06:15 PM
Response to Original message
18. Only one school has won more basketball games than UNC...
:)
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 08:47 PM
Response to Original message
20. Nearing the half
Edited on Sat Mar-04-06 09:04 PM by marions ghost
Duke by 1

Make that Carolina in the lead...23-21

Duke leading again 27-23

Carolina closing 28-27

Carolina UP by 1

Duke leading 33-30

Tie 35-35 (1 minute to the half)

Duke UP by 1 at the half



....they're gonna be doing this for awhile :)
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:16 PM
Response to Original message
21. 83-76
:woohoo: Carolina :woohoo:
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mwooldri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:54 PM
Response to Reply #21
26. I'm not into basketball but my wife's cousin graduated from UNC...
... so it's an acceptable result.

(backflips down the hallway).

Ok now, I've regained my composure. Well, I suppose anyone who is enrolled at a UNC institution, whether it's the flagship university at Chapel Hill or any of the UNC-<blank> places or any other place co-opted into the UNC system (like my Aggies!) should support the flagship UNC basketball team. Personally I'd like it if A&T would throw a lot of money into their basketball program and forget their football program - saying your school ranks poorly in the MEAC means nothing when you can say your school was NCAA national champs in 2005... or are leaders in the ACC... AH well next semester I'm switching schools but not because of the sports program! (other personal reasons, mainly academic).

I wonder how blue Coach K turned the air tonight? ehe :)

Mark.
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WildEyedLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:30 PM
Response to Original message
22. Well, now what am I supposed to do?
I'm a proud Illini, and I'm not sure I'm over last year yet. But, I hate Duke too.

Actually, what I hate is the "all ACC, all the time" NCAA hoops coverage by the national sports media.
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NCarolinawoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:49 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. I have a Mom and brother who went to Duke,
a sister and another brother who graduated from the University of North Carolina, and another brother who went to Wake Forest; and now I have a nephew who attends North Carolina State University...so it's all ACC all the time.

Happily, I attended a small private university in Ohio, so I just kind of watch it all as it happens and try not to take sides. LOL
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mwooldri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 11:13 PM
Response to Reply #24
28. Well we're NC A&T "Aggies" in this household.
So we're with the "MEAC" - whatever that is.

Ah well, better support the flagship school of the UNC system eh?

Mark.
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mnhtnbb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:37 PM
Response to Original message
23. WHOOOOOEEEEEE!!!!!! Here come the choppers over
Franklin Street! I live 1/2 mile from downtown Chapel Hill and it's gonna' be a party TONIGHT!!!!
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cynatnite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:51 PM
Response to Original message
25. It's just a basketball game...
I hope your team wins, but not EVERYTHING is about politics. :eyes:
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KeepItReal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 11:11 PM
Response to Original message
27. Duke was 100% wrong for those "Go to Hell Carolina" tees
Guess Karma didn't waste any time on that one.

Way to go Tarheels.

"I can't stand Duke!" - Me
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