Monthly Archives: August 2011

The Partisan Slam of the Day

Once in a while, Tobacco Road Blues will be scouring Duke and UNC message boards for the funniest, saddest, or craziest example of partisanship. Hatred is a central tenet of the rivalry, and while we would never officially condone it, must less celebrate it, we’d be remiss to ignore it.

Today’s slam comes from user ‘bymorris’ at The Devil’s Den, and is simply a picture from an old UNC media guide:

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“The Best Rivalry in Sports”


Apparently SportsCenter did a “Top 10 Rivalries” piece yesterday, and this was the photo finish:

2. Duke-UNC
1. Yankees-Red Sox

I’ve probably seen a thousand of these features in my life, and that pecking order seems pretty standard. I’m not sure why it matters that we rank rivalries; I’m fortunate enough to have a stake in both of the two mentioned above, but it’s beyond me to put them in order. And because rivalries are regional, how would I ever be able to evaluate Ohio State-Michigan or Auburn-Alabama? Those teams mean nothing to me.

Actually, that’s not true; I hate them all. I wish all four schools would lose their funding tomorrow and be shut down by the state. Or maybe just burn to the ground. That’d be quicker.

But rivalry curiosity got the better of me this morning, and I googled “Top 10 Sports Rivalries.” Here’s how Duke-UNC finished relative to Yankees-Red Sox on a few different sites.

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The Beijing Brawl

Here’s what we know

-Today in Beijing, an exhibition game between Georgetown and a Chinese professional team called the Bayi Rockets ended when a fight broke out in the fourth quarter. According to Wikipedia and other sources, the Bayi Rockets are a military team, and their players all serve in the People’s Liberation Army. When Georgetown coach John Thompson III led his players off the court, the game was tied at 64.

EDIT: We now have video.

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LIVE BLOG: The first (televised) (exhibition) game of the season!

Okay, I am here. The game is on tv. I’m trying to infuse myself with some November excitement. No, screw that- MARCH excitement.

Don’t miss my Duke in China primer on Grantland, or the bonus content on this very site. Here’s a semi-appropriate blurry picture:

I’ll be time stamping by time remaining in each quarter. If you’re watching between 8 and 10 eastern, refresh for new content.

First quarter

8:04: Miles Plumlee with the first basket on a tip-in! There’s a lot of music playing during the game, and I guess every quarter is ten minutes long.

7:30: Seth Curry with a bomb! This is fun! Basketball!

7:15: Announcers are already saying China gets all the calls. A player they call “an excellent distance shooter” misses two free throws. White Raven with a vicious board, and Rivers gets a hoop plus harm. I think we’re all going to like that partnership.

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The Duke Foreign Adventure: A Primer

Just in time for tomorrow’s first televised game, the good folks at Grantland are running my primer on the ‘Friendship Games.’



When you’re finished, come back here and click “continue reading” for some bonus content below.

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Duke-China Part 1: The Live Blog

This is placeholder post. I prepared a Duke goes to China primer last night, but Grantland wants to use it so I’ll be linking to that this afternoon.

For now, Duke is playing its first game against the Chinese U-23 national team in Kunshan. It’s the only one of the team’s four games that wont be televised, and Taylor Doherty’s Chronicle live blog isn’t working, so I’m following @DukeBluePlanet’s twitter feed.

GOD, what is this, 1930? But with twitter?

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This theme of this post can best be described as: JOY.

When I heard those iconic four notes to kick off ESPN’s first Monday Night Football telecast of 2011 last night, I must have looked like a kid who just won first place in the Pinewood Derby.  The lockout really is over! This is football! It’s real! No more pretending to care about the NBA, no more agonizing front-page coverage of golf (hobby, not sport), no more seeing UNC on the front page of ESPN for more accusations of academic and athletic impropriety.

(One can dream, right? Maybe just until October? Please?)

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Duke Twitter Rankings: The Kendall Marshall Challenge

Today, in advance of Duke’s first games in China, I’m introducing a new feature. The premise is simple- I evaluate the twitter accounts of every Duke basketball player for the past week, list the highlights, and give them an entertainment score out of 10. Here’s the official logo:

The word I would use to describe my rating system is “holistic.” There are no formulas, no science, just the feeling I get in my gut. Here’s where it gets really tough: whoever wins the week with the highest score will have to face Kendall Marshall, who reliably has some of the strangest, funniest, and weirdest tweets of any athlete I’ve come across. If a Dukie can do the unthinkable and take him down, the Tobacco Road Twitter Belt will be theirs.

Now, in order from worst to first, here’s how the week played out in the twitter world of Duke basketball.

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The TRB Comments of the Week!

Every Monday, we'll be choosing one comment from the previous week that made our hearts swell with joy, pride, or love. Then we'll be choosing another that made the rest of our organs swell with shame, hilarity, or disgust. All comments are printed as written.


There was some great stuff last week, but the positive comment of the week is a no-brainer. It comes from a reader named Dot Harward on Devil Wolf's excellent Duke football post:

Loved your article! I have loved Duke football as a child then as a Duke grad. At 82 years I still love Duke football. Now at 82 years I find it difficult to walk from the parking lot to the stadium, but I am determind to be ther this year.


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