Sports

Dear Duke, I’m Sorry

By Chris Johnson
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North Carolina v Duke

Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

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A few weeks ago I wrote a Valentine’s Day letter to Duke.  For the most part it wasn’t, well, lets just say very nice.  It apparently raised quite a ruckus, so for that I would like to apologize.  So Duke, I am sorry.

Duke I am sorry that I wrote a blog that was so degrading to you and your players, I’m sorry that I called Ryan Kelly a hobbit.  I’m sorry that I compared the Plumlee brothers to statues.  That was not right of me and I shouldn’t have done that.  When I wrote that piece on Valentines it was meant to be tongue in cheek and funny but I now realize that it wasn’t and for that I am sorry.

While I am apologizing there are few other things I would like to tell you I am sorry for.  Duke I am sorry that you got run off of your own court last night.  I thought that you guys had been struggling at home but that display last night was something horrendous.  I had to keep looking to make sure Carolina was playing Duke and not Wake Forest.  I will say that the game at Carolina when Duke won, I felt like they stole one but I don’t want to talk about Austin Rivers game winning dagger.  I want to talk about the fact that Rivers was 5-12 for field goals and only 1-6 from the three point stripe.  They say you live by the three you die by the three.  Last night was a prime example of how that can happen.

Duke I am sorry that you lost the ACC regular season championship.  Heading into the game you were tied with Carolina at 26-4 and 13-2 in the ACC with a shot at holding the best record in the conference.  I’m sorry that you were able to beat Carolina in their own house but when it mattered the most on senior night for the title, you decided not to show up.

I’m sorry that you will not be the number one seed in the ACC tournament next week.  I’m sorry that in a time when your team should be excelling and clicking on all cylinders you have been exposed for a team that is not as good on defense as the Coach K teams of the past.  K has thrived on teams that are able to over achieve and take their opponents out of their game plan.  And while he has been very successful with doing that in the past, this year’s team just doesn’t have it.

I’m sorry that for all intents and purposes you have lost a number one seed in the NCAA tournament.  A tournament that will be wide open this year with sleepers under dogs and Cinderella’s.  This will be a year that the number one seeds will need that advantage to help them advance and there will be a big difference between seeing a Notre Dame team in Greensboro verses seeing a Cincinnati team in Omaha.  This year’s tournament is going to be as tough as they come and any advantage you can get will be a great help.

I’m sorry that despite all efforts from the referees last night to put you into the game that you still came up short.  Some of the calls last night were absolutely horrendous and it was clear to me that Karl Hess and his crew were doing all that they could to keep the Devils in the game.  By the way, I almost fell out of my seat when I saw that Hess was on this game.  For what he did at NC State he should have been suspended, and yet he is the head referee in the crown jewel game of all ACC games, puzzling.  I think that without the help from your friends in stripes you would have gotten beat by 35.

I’m sorry that you came up short in this clutch matchup and despite the fact that Coach K put a team of rag tag players together to over achieve that you will not be able to put your mark in the history books this year.  I’m sorry Duke, it just wasn’t your year.  I’m sorry that for every time you think about the Rivers three in Chapel Hill I will remember the James Michael McAdoo put back dunk that was just a means to the end of how Carolina came into your house and put an exclamation mark on a statement game.

I have been getting some emails from readers lately with questions, thoughts, and criticism feel free to keep them coming.  I am going to answer a few in an upcoming mail bag blog. So send to cjohnsonwfnz@gmail.com.

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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