In 2007, long-graduated DTH columnist Ian Williams wrote that “Every religion must have its Devil, and ours are Blue.”
Well, of course they are. And the way we hate Duke tells a story: we hate the flopping, the elitism. It’s a low blow to focus on just one ex-student, but we definitely hate Richard Spencer. As Tar Heels, we’re supposed to be everything Duke fans are not.
We don’t flop, and by that we mean we try to tell the truth and we try to be brave. We try to fight for justice. We try to show the best of what public education can be.
We certainly don’t always live up to everything we say we’re proud of, but we have something — somebody — to remind us to try and do better. He’s been gone for two years now and he hasn’t coached in two decades, but Dean Smith’s legacy still shows us who we ought to be.
In my house growing up, Dean Smith was a figure of near religious reverence; the guy you want to raise your kids to be just like. Point to the passer. Stand up against what's established. When you’re in a position to do good in the world, do it.