Coach David Cutcliffe, one of the great personalities in college football, is now entering his fourth year at the helm. In his first year, he won four games, tying the school’s best record since 1994. In 2009, he came within a Wake Forest win of leading Duke to its first bowl game since 1995.* Last year, Duke had a slight dip to 3-9, but four of those losses were by six points or less.
*A loss in the Hall of Fame Bowl to Wisconsin. The last time Duke won a bowl game was in 1961, a 7-6 win over Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl.
This year, I think Cutty is ready to finally get over the hump. And I don’t just mean the Bowl Game hump. I think he’s ready to win a national title.
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This week’s question is inspired by an email from Dan, who writes:
It’d be great if you write about the nicknames some time. I’m particularly interested in “dook.” I don’t know anyone from Duke who finds it insulting, or even annoying, but many UNC fans seem to treat it as a real “gotcha” stinger.
And also by a g-chat with William:
William: you should do a follow up to the dook fighting post about the heels fighting styles.
William: haha, sorry, i always spell it dook out of habit.
(Read part one here.)
“People who say I should go to hell, well, I’m here.”– Nevin Shapiro.
For a notorious rat, Frank Serpico never had much of a loyalty problem.
Long before Rudy Giuliani found his city so starved for perpetrators he had to start cracking down on jaywalkers, in that same Drop Dead decade when Jimmy Burke and his crew (the real-life GoodFellas) ripped off JFK, crime in the New York of the 1970s was at an ignominious apex- both outside and inside the law. A well-oiled arrangement permitted lower level cops to shake down drug dealers and numbers operators for a regular contribution while the brass looked the other way. Not everybody was on the take, but pretty much everybody who wasn’t taking money kept quiet about those who did. Continue reading
It’s the second one. Just as crazy as I remember. I do wish the camera was on the near side, but it’s nice to have it anyway, courtesy of GoDuke:
I was talking today with a fellow UNC alum about the upcoming season, and it got me thinking about how we as a fan base are feeling about the snafu that’s been this past year. Specifically, my friend mentioned how he was having trouble getting himself amped up for the start of what, on the surface, appears to be a lame-duck season for us Tar Heels. Let’s face it – this is not a good time to be a Carolina fan, as I wrote in my Firing Butch Davis piece. Once the novelty of football being back wore off (preseason NFL shitfest managed that pretty fast), my thoughts returned to Carolina as I thought, “This must be a tiny bit what it feels like to be a State fan.”
Welcome to football week on Tobacco Road Blues. New contributor Andrew Westney kicks us off…
“You took your first pinch like a man, and you learned the two greatest things in life… Never rat on your friends, and always keep your mouth shut.” – GoodFellas
Jimmy Conway’s credo is a little Yogi Berra-esque, in that it makes perfect sense if you don’t try to make too much sense out of it. The point is this, ya mook: don’t tell the cops anything, especially about your amici. As that picture amply illustrated, though, you don’t always know who your friends are, or worse, sometimes the guys you thought were your friends will run out at the first sign of trouble. But even then, a lot of people would rather go down with the ship than ever turn rat.
Good thing for journalists and dramatists, then, that a few individuals, with their heads screwed on a special way, choose to violate this code. Because the best corruption tales beg for a rat: sure, intrepid reporters can break a scandal based on dogged review of documents and endless interviews with peripheral parties, but nothing drags the tarp off the cesspool like an insider naming names, taking no prisoners amongst those who until yesterday were his pals.
Last year, I was pretty lax about going to see non-basketball sports at Duke and UNC. I hit up most of the main football games, and I was definitely on the spot come hoops season, but I never went to a single soccer match, and only made it to a couple baseball, tennis, and lacrosse games in the spring. It’s lucky I did, though, because those late experiences kicked me into gear. I remembered how much fun it was to watch elite college sports of any kind, and I vowed to make an effort to get to more games this year.
Still, I didn’t know if I’d like watching women’s soccer this weekend at the Carolina Nike Classic. The defending national champs (Notre Dame) were in town, and sure, UNC has the most successful college program of any sport in the country, and yeah, I’ve been getting really into soccer over the past year and a half. But logic be damned- I was afraid to be bored.
Let me tell ya, I was one misguided dude.
What’s up, gang. A couple things before we move on. First, braggadocio: if you look quick, you can catch my name on the front page ESPN.com, just below Bill Simmons. While that will undoubtedly be a fleeting glory, you can read the article on Ric Flair that got me there here. And if you really want, you can hear me talk about it from a scratchy phone here or here (37:00).
Second, some quick things about the UAE game yesterday.
When looking back on one’s childhood, memories are often are attached to some sort of extreme emotion … fear, pain, excitement, joy, and the like. Other memories are tied to significant milestones or rites of passage as we reach new experiences along the way to adulthood- first kiss, the first thing you bought with your own money, or for me, the first time I was allowed to stay up late.
The year was 1986, and the special occasion that prompted my parents’ generosity was the men’s collegiate soccer national championship from Tacoma, Washington, which kicked-off well after 10PM Eastern time. Duke topped Akron 1-0 that night for the first ever national championship at a school that would become synonymous with winning. Now, when you see Duke dominating the competition in basketball, lacrosse, field hockey, golf, tennis and more, remember that it was Duke soccer that jump-started it all.