The independent news organization of Duke University

Does Duke football have a future?

JTaps: Duke Football's new coach, David Cutcliffe, has made all the difference. Having led Ole Miss to four bowl games in six seasons and been the mentor for both Peyton and Eli Manning, Cutcliffe has a lot to bring to Duke Football. And he's already leaving his mark-the season- opening win over JMU ended the 16-game home losing streak for the Blue Devils. It was their first win at home since September 17, 2005. Coach Cut is changing the way we play football.

R$: This isn't an Obama rally. It takes more than four wins [as of printing] to call this a new, "changed" season for Duke football. No disrespect to Coach C but Coach K has three championship posters hanging. No change necessary.

JTaps: Listen R$, you can win all the championships you want, but you still only have 9,314 fans there to celebrate the victory. With Wallace Wade's 33,941 seats, think of the possibilities! And Coach K has said it himself-it's all about the fans.

R$: You don't think several million fans were exposed to Duke basketball during Coach K's Olympic run? Let me know when Duke Football does its Asian tour. No one comes here for football.

JTaps: That may be true, but they do come here for Tailgate. With seven Tailgates this year, the students have a newfound enthusiasm that's sweeping the whole school.

R$: After the first game, student attendance plummeted. How many undergraduate students stumble over to the game from the parking lot?

JTaps: Previous years: don't matter. Now, if you go to Tailgate, you go to the game. And who wouldn't want to go wake up at 8 a.m., put on your favorite Halloween costume on a random Saturday, chug a beer and dance to your favorite techno-remix?

R$: Have you even heard of the Cameron Crazies? Those are actual creative costumes. And they don't need to pump themselves full of lukewarm, ratty beer to have a good time.

JTaps: Wake up and smell the Tailgate parking lot. Crazies were famous 10 years ago. Seen any Crazies jingling keys or throwing underwear on the court anymore? Didn't think so. We're in a new phase now. It's football time.

R$: Is that a joke? K-ville lives on... 1,200 kids sleeping outside for months at a time. That's more commitment than three hours of crappy pretzels and an afternoon hangover.

JTaps: Sure that's commitment. But it's all for one game. And no one has to sleep in the cold and get communicable diseases to see Duke Football. Plus, no one gets sick from Tailgate-bacterially sick, that is.

R$: I get sick just thinking about people deserting the basketball team for the suddenly trendy football team. I came here bleeding Duke blue. Basketball blue.