Every week, it's something new. David Cutcliffe has proven on countless occasions that he likes to pal around with the media, both in his Tuesday press conferences and in his post-game press conferences. I wrote a story about how his past head coaching experience has shaped his relationship with the regular media corps, and my description of the differences between Cutcliffe and Ted Roof still hold, I think: If Roof was softspoken, Cutcliffe is gregarious. If Roof's weekly press conferences were gloomy, Cutcliffe's are refreshing. If Roof sidestepped tough questions after blowouts, Cutcliffe embraced them after Duke's two-game losing streak last week." Now that Duke has lost two in a row again, the same has, once again, held true.
This week, Cutcliffe opened his press conference by alluding to a story he told at an earlier press conference when I asked him about students ditching football games for Tailgate. He responded with a tale of walking out onto LSU's field when he was head coach at Ole Miss and being greeted by a real tiger being cattle-prodded by a group of students who had clearly been drinking their "Kool-Aid." The point? You can have fun in Wallace Wade Stadium in addition to the Blue Zone. (And yes, I did call up that post by searching this blog for "cattle prod.")
He made sure to check that Clemson and its rabid fan base do not, in fact, have a live tiger waiting for him in Death Valley. Mission accomplished. The harder task? Well, in Cutcliffe's own words...
“I looked up Webster’s [dictionary] definition of a challenge—I’m here to educate you today—and it said 'an act or statement of defiance, a demand for explanation or justification, a century’s call to an unknown party for proper identification’ and the last one said ‘Taking a team to Death Valley to play Clemson.''"
I wonder if Cutcliffe's copy of the dictionary is available for purchase in the Duke Store.
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