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The Daily Tar Heel

Columnist Puzzles Over Duke Fans in Blue Heaven

As the Duke University basketball game approaches us on Sunday, much will be written and said in the media about the great rivalry that we share on the basketball court with the pricks from Durham. Dickie V. will loudly proclaim to anyone who'll listen that the UNC-Dook battle "is the best in America ba-by;" Billy Packer will undoubtedly heap praise on the Dookies while briefly mentioning that the Tar Heels will too play in the game, and countless DTH writers will rely on bashing Dook to get 850 words (guilty as charged).

In fact, in my four years at Carolina and a lifetime as a Tar Heel fan before that, I've probably read or heard thousands of such pieces on the rivalry. But despite all the information that's out there on UNC vs. UNJ at Durham, there has always been one thing that I've never seen answered. If the hate between us and Dook is so intense, then how in the hell are there Carolina students that are, gasp, undercover Dookies?

I know, it seems too horrid to imagine, but these sick souls do exist.

There are actually people trolling around the Southern part of heaven, watching games in the house Dean built and walking the same hallowed grounds that Billy Cunningham and Charlie Scott once did, who are ... excuse me while I lose my Chick-Fil-A ... Dook fans. These aren't the demented people who pull for Dook "when they're playing anyone else besides Carolina." Oh no, they're far more troubled than that. These fellow Carolina students are certifiable Wojo-loving, Krzyzewski-adoring, Cameron Crazies who think Shane Battier is actually taking a charge when he's flopping under the basket.

They've rooted for Mark Alarie over Joe Wolf, Johnny Dawkins over Kenny Smith, and Jeff Capel over Jason; they're full-fledged Dookies.

The scary thing is that you can't even spot out these narcs. They wear the same khakis and Carolina blue oxfords we do, they get hammered at the same bars we do, and some even have the gall to dance on top of overturned cars to celebrate beating Dook like you do. (Y'all are on your own on that one.)

They wear Carolina hats, date Carolina girls and wear Carolina class rings but still somehow manage to, gulp, root for Mike Dunleavy. It's a truly inexplicable phenomenon.

I'll never forget the first time I met a fellow Tar Heel student who was a Dook sympathizer; it was at C-TOPS before my freshman year. I had just gotten out of the one program I actually attended during the three days of C-TOPS when I tried to make small talk with someone I thought would be a fellow Carolina fan for the next four years. I was commenting on how I thought it was pretty cool that even the fire engines in Chapel Hill were Carolina blue, when the Dookie told me that she hated the very sight of our shade of blue. She said she had always been a Dook fan and always would be, no matter where she went to school.

After coming back to consciousness, I wondered if this could really be true. Are there really Dookies in Chapel Thrilla?

Sadly, over the years I've come to find that there are Dookies all around us and have even developed close friendships with some of these twisted folks. Surprisingly, aside from the fact that they feel that naming your court after your head coach is more than a cheap way to satisfy his ego (Ladies and gentlemen, the Pete Gaudette 35-second shot clock!), they're usually good people. That's why its so bewildering that they voluntarily subject themselves to watching Coach K and his merry band of ex-point guard washouts constantly berate the refs.

At first I tried to blame the confused Tar Heels' distorted loyalties on sheer ignorance. It's understandable that somebody could grow up in a Dook household and thus cheer for Dook until he or she came to college. I figured while he or she might even root for Dook for freshman year, surely after four years on the Hill, this would change. Well, here it is four years later, and that theory has gone the way of the pet rock. I see the same ol' Dookies, and they still think that, blah, Grant Hill is better than Vince "I'm So Naaaaaaaaaaasty" Carter.

So then I tried to reason that sheer stupidity was why some Carolina students rooted for Dook. I knew it was a reach, but I was starting to get desperate. As expected, that theory turned out to make no sense, because I overlooked the fact that all the dummies around here were already pulling for N.C. State University (ya'll didn't think you'd get away unscathed did you?).

Alas, the mystery of why a UNC student would ever pull for Dook remains unsolved. But all is not lost, as I saw the Dook fan from C-TOPS partying on Franklin Street after our win in Durham. "How come you're out here celebrating?" I asked in an excited drunken stupor, thinking she had switched sides. "I thought you were a Dook fan." "I am," she said, "except when Carolina winning means a huge party."

Oh well, I guess some things never change.


Amol Naik is a senior history major from Lumberton. Reach him with questions and comments at

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