The Rivalry Question of the Week

We’re rolling out new features like crazy today. This week’s question is inspired by a comment in yesterday’s Erwin Cup rules post about the possibility of Duke and UNC meeting in the NCAA basketball tournament. I assigned the winner of this hypothetical game 30 points, the most of any potential match-up, because I think life might literally come to a halt on Tobacco Road if it ever happened. So, the question:

Would you want Duke and UNC to meet in the NCAA basketball tournament?

It’s never happened before, which is kind of insane. It’s almost like the sporting gods get together to plan it, start considering the fallout, and decide they don’t want to touch it with a ten foot pole.

Do you agree with the deities? Is there mercy in keeping the teams separated. As with any big decision, it will help to make a ‘pros and cons’ list.

Pros

-If your team won, bragging rights forever. Or at least until the next time it happened, which could take decades. This is the quintessential trump card, and it would never lose its value.

-It would be a historical event. You’d have a rooting interest in one of the highest-stakes basketball games ever.

-You’d be buzzing with adrenaline for a week. You’d finally know the feeling of being moments away from battle in a war.

Cons

-Losing this game would be exceedingly worse than winning it. Particularly if the rivalry is sort of a mild entertainment for you. Unless you really, really, really loathe the other school, the thrill of winning the game will wear off at least a little by the next season. Losing will sting forever. It’s almost too painful to think about. I have a little experience with this; in 2004, the Red Sox became the only baseball team to come back from an 0-3 deficit in a playoff series (it’s been done three times in hockey, and never in basketball), and they did it against my Yankees. It was crushing at the time, and the Game 7 win from a year before stopped mattering at all. Today, it’s still annoying to think about.

-Fans of the other school would give you shit forever. Neutral fans who only understand the rivalry as some kind of ESPN gimmick would give you even more shit. You might have a 24-hour window where both groups gave you a little space and respected the pain, but after that it would be open season on your emotions.

-The game itself would be nothing but stress. Win or lose, you wouldn’t enjoy a single second. Any deficit would be apocalyptic. Any lead would be a chance for a devastating comeback. You’d spend most of the game yelling and screaming and feeling on the brink of a personal disaster. It would undoubtedly be the worst game you’ve ever watched.

-Win or lose, you’d probably come down with post-traumatic stress disorder.

You can probably tell my answer: hell no. I’m content to leave the natural order undisturbed and act out our yearly drama on the ACC stage. Let me know your take.

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27 Responses to The Rivalry Question of the Week

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  1. Lisa says: