I’m a line monitor, and I’m worried that since the UNC game is over, people will stop caring about Duke basketball. How do we keep students excited about the Blue Devils?
It’s strange to me that line monitors would have trouble convincing anyone to do anything. I mean, y’all get upwards of a thousand people to forfeit their $56-a-night housing fee to sleep in mud. Still, I understand your concern. At some point every year, the Duke administration inevitably starts to fuss over game attendance—which, as leaders of an institute of higher learning, is obviously their primary concern.
But that’s where I come in. A few disclaimers: I may not be the best person to give this advice, as I’ve never tented—in part because I’m allergic to tarp, but mostly because I’m not an idiot. Additionally, these tips will not work if the Duke basketball team gets any whiter, becomes a regular NIT-attendee or if you watch women’s basketball. Because let’s be real, who outside of the Women’s Center cares? It’s not like THEY’VE ever beaten UNC.
So how can we modern Machiavellis manipulate Dukies into caring about sports now that the UNC game is in the past? For starters, engineer more rivalries. As everyone at Duke is from New York, New Jersey or Asia, approximately none of us cared about the Duke-UNC “rivalry” before we came here. Yet within weeks of our arrival, we all know that people who go to UNC are baby-hating, goat-banging, hash-slinging slashers. Is this reality? Of course not. UNC students are just like Duke students, except with lower IQs, less money and better-looking faces. So why do we hate them? Because when freshmen arrive on campus, everyone thinks it’s cool to make jokes about how much UNC sucks—mostly because they’re too awkward to think of much else to talk about. As O-week goes on, they find that their new “hatred” of Carolina is one of two things that they have in common with their classmates—the other thing being excruciating diarrhea as their body adjusts to the food at the Marketplace. Our rivalry with Carolina does not exist because we hate UNC, but because it unites Duke. Crazies don’t go to the UNC game to watch sports—they do it to engage in a three-hour student section group hug.
If line monitors want to increase game attendance, they should just try to make students hate more things together. Perhaps a first step would be Maryland or N.C. State, as the schools are convinced (and agonizingly so, from our perspective) that Duke cares about them at all. But it’s not like we ever lose to them, so … what rivalry? This being the case, it would probably be easier to get Duke students to hate an inanimate object than to hate schools so irrelevant. I suggest we encourage Dukies to hate basketballs themselves. Then, they’ll attend games simply to see those orange bastards take a pummeling. YEAH, TAKE THAT BASKETBALLS. THAT’S WHAT YOU GET FOR CONFUSING BLIND PEOPLE WHO TRY TO READ YOU.
Another way to make students go to basketball games or anything else is to make it difficult. There’s no better way to get people to think that something matters than to make it hard to attain. Add the scent of competition to something and Dukies will be there, ready to be the best at it. I mean, what did you think Tailgate was? NOT a bonding experience where all of Duke got together to celebrate good friends and a school they loved, that’s for sure. Like most things at Duke, it was a ruthless competition, seeing who could accumulate the most beers on and in their person and still make it to a football game (or, you know, not, because football sucks).
Pre-basketball game rituals are the exact same. Especially for those students who aren’t succeeding in any other realms at Duke (I’m looking at you, enginerds), tenting is an outlet to feel social or something. You may not be able to work out your problem set, make friends or find someone who’ll handle your Vienna sausage, but goddamnit you CAN sit in the cold for six hours without a pee break. If we add a competitive nature to other games throughout the year, they too would become high-status and fully attended. I say we “Hunger Games” it. Compete and win basketball tickets, or we’ll take away all your food points. This way we not only guarantee full attendance, but we also get to include all the girls out there who are already playing the hunger games. If there’s one thing this campus is good at, it’s anorexia. Keep doing what you do ladies—none of us have any idea.
And that’s really all it takes. With the simple mixture of directed hatred and competition, these otherwise-intellectual Dukies can be entertained by “student”-athletes bouncing a ball around for an hour in exchange for free tuition. If you get the students excited enough, maybe they won’t ask why Duke spends millions of dollars to make semi-professional sports teams and academic institutions the same thing.
After “Space Jam” set an early-childhood precedent, the Dookie will only watch basketball games if they involve aliens. Until the Duke program becomes more inclusive, the Dookie is boycotting. You can follow the Dookie on Twitter @DearDookie.