Dear Duke, Happy Valentines Day

By Chris Johnson
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Duke v North Carolina

Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Valentine’s Day is a holiday you either love or hate.  Nobody is indifferent on their feelings for Cupid’s special day.  Either you are single and you don’t want to be and everything about the holiday makes you squeamish, or you are in a great relationship and you can’t wait to show how much you love your special someone by showering them with chocolate candies and life-size teddy bears.  Well, since my girlfriend is out of town and I have decided to spend my Valentine’s Day doing my taxes, I am what you would call a bitter berry.

As I sat and started to look at things I started to realize that it wasn’t really Valentines that has me so angry.  It is that Carolina-Duke game from last Wednesday.  As a lifelong Carolina fan I am still genuinely pissed off about that game, and since I have a forum to sound off on I am going to spend this V-day sounding off on the Dookies I’ve hated the most over the years.

No Tar Heel fan can hear the name Christian Laettner without getting a little sick in their mouth.  Although he only sports a 5-6 record against the Heels, he played like a thorn in the side for any anti-Blue Devil.  His credentials while at Duke were very impressive and we all remember the legendary shot he had against Kentucky.  In fact, I’m pretty sure it is against ESPN’s religion to talk about the NCAA tournament and not bring that shot up.  We get it – he hit a buzzer beater – move on.  Show the clip where he stomped on the Kentucky guy’s chest.  Where do you think Ndamukong Suh learned to do it?  Between the super short shorts and his New Kids on the Block haircut he is the king Duke-bag.

You can’t mention Laettner without talking about Bobby Hurley.  He oozes everything that Coach K breeds.  While he doesn’t sport that great of a record against Carolina, either, he does have back-to-back championships.  The only thing better than a Tar Heel win is a Duke loss, and this guy didn’t do much of that.  While his story after leaving Duke is somewhat inspirational, being able to comeback from a near fatal car wreck to play basketball again, I do think that he shows a strong resemblance to The Situation.  I am holding him accountable for this whole Jersey Shore mess.

While I am on guards for the Dookies I might as well talk about Steve Wojciechowski.  He is the Blue Devil that just won’t go away.  After playing four years at Duke and being the master of the floor slap he went on to become an assistant coach/K cheerleader.  In 1998 he was named National Defensive Player of the Year, and nobody has done more for people under 5’11” since Webster.  He remains one of my all-time disliked Blue Devils.  His name alone, Woj – just say it out loud – Woj, is enough to make me want to slap something other than the hard wood.

As I sit here angry about the false claims that it was going to snow and it didn’t, it reminds me of Trajan Langdon, the Alaskan Assassin.  First off, I didn’t even know they could play basketball in Alaska.  How exactly can you dribble in the snow?  And then this guy comes to Durham dropping threes everywhere, really.  My favorite memory of the assassin was when he traveled in the 1999 National Championship game with about six seconds left leading to a 77-74 loss for Duke.

While at Duke, Langdon set the school record for the most three pointers before it was later broken by our next least favorite Devil, JJ Redick.  This guy was a major thorn in UNC’s side and he has a 6-3 record against the Heels.  He is first in scoring and three pointers in Duke’s history, making him one of the worst of all the Devils. Amongst other things there was way to much man hugging going on during the Redick years.   While he may have every stat in Durham, he is missing a Final Four win, which raises the question: does JJ stand for “just jealous” of Hansbrough?


I’m sorry I’m so angry on a day that is supposed to be filled with love, but this rivalry can bring out the worst in me and I am counting down the days until March 3rd.

PS:  Happy belated birthday Coach K

Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect those of Sports Radio 610 AM WFNZ The Fan.

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