The independent news organization of Duke University

Letter: Coach K should apologize

letter to the editor

Coach K should apologize.

I agree with Dick Vitale when he opines that Coach K is one of he greatest coaches ever; in any sport. No one man, apart from maybe James Buchanan Duke himself, has done more for Duke University than Coach K.

But to go off on the Crazies without even having heard what was being chanted like we were a chair in Bob Knight’s way while losing a non-conference game on his home court was just wrong.

I consider myself a Crazie, albeit forty-some years removed. When I was there, the front court was manned by Terry Chile, Willie Hodge and Mark Crow. And they played their hearts out. One game, down 8-0, referee Lou Moser, who we always thought had—shall we say—an inappropriate relationship with North Carolina State Coach “Storming” Norman Sloan, called yet another foul on the Blue Devils prompting Duke head coach Bill Foster to run down the court after Moser waving his white handkerchief in surrender. Moser called a technical foul on Foster which, in turn, caused one of Duke’s linebackers to leap over eight rows of students so that he might run down the court to have a conversation with Moser. The next day, Foster said that he had to control himself after that incident, as he was truly afraid that we would riot. I was there when Dean Smith, who definitely had an inappropriate relationship with referee Hank Nichols, came into Cameron and ordered Phil Ford to hold the ball for the first 20 minutes. No one chanted “Go to Heck Carolina” that day (some readers might remember when Athletic Director Tom Butters asked the Crazies to stop chanting “Go to Hell Carolina” ). Score at the half 7-0 Duke; final score 47-40 Duke. I was there when group of guys always walked in behind Lefty Drisell wearing skull caps, (except for the year it was skull caps and crutches, as Lefty had broken his leg) mimicking Lefty’s baldness. And I was there when Clemson sent in tough guy Stan Rome to rough up Duke star guard Tate Armstrong, and I can assure the reader that “Rome still Sucks.”

The point is that the Crazies are Duke. Without us, there is no show. With us there is a show, no matter how good the team. “Jeff Capel, Sit With Us," was almost ‘Jeff Capel, You are One of Us.’ It was innovative, playful, not improperly timed, and at least a little funny, chanted by fans who had slept outside for a chance to get a ticket. Don’t presume to tell us what to cheer.

Coach K, next home game come sit with us. Spend some time with us, and apologize to us so that we can love you again just as much as before. And Let’s Go Duke.

Steve McCullough graduated with the Class of 1978. Forever Duke.

Comments