Saturday, February 4, 2012

dook Sucks by Reed Tucker and Andy Bagwell

The best thing about hating Duke University is that you never have to explain yourself. Back in 2004, when I made a few T-shirts that said "I hated dook before hating dook was cool," nobody asked, "wait, why do you hate dook?" It's one of those things - like nausea, acne and wasps - we can all agree on.

This book is, of course, great. I loved reading Tucker and Bagwell's (full disclosure: Carolina grads) 26 charges and numerous exhibits as to why dook is the absolute worst. I couldn't agree more and I loved how riled up it got me for the game on Wednesday. However, being an attorney, I know that not all of these charges would stand up in court (and Tucker and Bagwell even acquit dook of some of them), so I want to go through them and proffer my own analysis. Plus, it'll be fun to recap all the reasons why dook sucks.

Charge 1: dook is dirtier than a bus station bathroom floor
Absolutely guilty. Tucker and Bagwell list several incidents that are borderline but might just be chalked up to tough basketball, which is probably true of any program over several decades. However, they also have quotes from non-Carolina alums (like Phil Jackson) calling dook alums dirty. The most damning, however, are a pair of incidents that should never be forgotten. First is the Laettner stomp. If you've ever watched a tournament game you've surely seen Laettner's game winning shot in overtime against Kentucky in the 1992 elite eight game. What you don't see is the clip from earlier in the game where Laettner straight up stomps on a fallen Wildcat's chest (don't worry about speculating that it was unintentional or incidental; Laettner has admitted in interviews that he purposely stomped on that dude's chest to send a message). He got a technical, but he really should have been ejected for it. Dirty. Second is the Henderson forearm. I was actually at the game where, in the waning seconds, Gerald Henderson straight up hits Tyler Hansbrough in the face, breaking his nose. There was nothing unintentional about it. The worst part was K trying to excuse it in the post game. Dirty.

Charge 2: the annoying, pointless floor slap
True, the floor slap is super annoying, and it seems to be unique to dook, so i'm going to go ahead and label this one guilty, but only a misdemeanor because it's just annoying, not hateful. Although it is pretty ridiculous to read about players who average 4 points a game slapping the floor when beating a low major by 20 points.

Charge 3: dook gets an easy road to the final four every year
Sure seems like it. Tucker and Bagwell admit that this one doesn't have any proof to back it up, but if you look at dook's 2010 championship, their path was pretty weak.

Charge 4: the mascot is incredibly lame and, worse, French
Apparently dook's blue devil is named after a brigade of French soldiers from WWI. True, the French military isn't exactly the most terrifying basis for a mascot, but the thing that galls me the most about dook being the blue devils is how brazen they are. They aren't even trying to hide their evil! They just throw it out there! Bitches!

Charge 5: the word lifetime evidently doesn't mean the same thing to coach k as it does to the rest of us
This charge focuses on the circus surrounding the Lakers' courting of Krzyzewski in 2004. Shortly after K signed a lifetime extension with dook, he dragged his flirtation with the Lakers out in the press for weeks in order to get leverage for a better salary and new practice gym. Sure, not so classy and not so loyal, but the best part is that K was the Lakers' second choice: GM Mitch Kupchak (a Tar Heel alum) first approached Roy Williams, who quietly turned the offer down. No media charade, no hand wringing, just loyalty.

Charge 6: dook is where big men's careers go to die
Tucker and Bagwell bring a bunch of statistics to show how post players at dook under achieve, but who really cares?

Charge 7: dook causes cancer
This section details how dook university is nothing but a monument to the Duke family's legacy, a family who owes their entire fortune to tobacco and cigarettes. So rooting for dook is rooting for cigarettes, basically. You'd probably feel less dirty rooting for Enron University, if you ask me.

Charge 8: dook's fans are fair weather
This section backs up what I've thought for a long time: dook doesn't have great fans like Dick Vitale would desperately have you believe, they just have a bunch of snotty kids who want to be on TV. If dook actually had good fans, you'd see them at sports other than basketball, but no one shows up to anything that won't get them on TV. I've been to many non-revenue sports at Carolina and I've been to several UNC-dook women's soccer games at dook, and I can tell you there's no comparison. The so called Cameron Crazies get excoriated later in the book, but I'll say here that even they are starting to crumble. There have been a number of articles recently detailing how they don't come to the games anymore. For some ACC games, students only use about half their allotted tickets. I'm not sure what else there is to do in Durham (it's pretty much a hole), but apparently the students have better things to do than live up to their reputation.

Charge 9: (this charge has been redacted for fear that coach k might drop tons of F bombs)
Basically this charge is that K is a giant asshole. He berates officials, he belittles his players, and he apparently cussed a blue streak at a bunch of student reporters because they had the gall to give the team a B+ midseason grade. And here's the thing: it's one thing to be a total dick. I don't want to be around it, but maybe that's his motivational style and he's been fairly successful, so whatever. The thing that gets me is all the bullshit about him being this great "leader who happens to coach basketball" (see: amex commercial). If you're going to be a complete ass, be an ass, but don't cloak it.

Charge 10: dook never plays true road games
This one received the blessing of ESPN's Joe Lunardi, who said the facts back up the claim. I don't care too much about this one, though, so let's move on.

Charge 11: there is a significant pro-dook media bias
I think Dookie V is mostly just a front runner, heaping praise on whichever team is good and launching so many superlatives that they lose all meaning. If every coach and player is a super guy, class act, then no one is. But he does have a particular affinity for dook. This one seems more subjective, even though Tucker and Bagwell cite non-UNC sources (i.e. Lute Olsen). I think it's true, but I won't base my arguments to civilians on this one.

Charge 12: coach k dyes his hair
Turns out he doesn't, but whatever, don't confuse me with the facts.

Charge 13: the stomp
See: Laettner, being a prick, supra

Charge 14: dook's coaching tree is not exactly a mighty oak
Not a whole lot of coaching genius coming from k's line. Notables are Quin Snyder, one of the slimiest coaches I've ever seen (literally, his hair was totally gross) and Jeff Capel (of the OT half court buzzer beater to force 2OT against Carolina in 1995, which I only bring up because CAROLINA WON THAT GAME, which they don't mention nearly enough), who got super busted/fired for recruiting violations at Oklahoma. Not super hateful, just kind of sucky.

Charge 15: dook is paranoid
I'm going to skip over this one because while I guess it's lame for dook to go ahead and buy to prevent anyone else to use it, it's not stupid or surprising. Can't really blame them for this one.

Charge 16: dookies are a bunch of rich, elitist punks
Basically dook is the 1%. And like the conversations in the public forum generally about wealth and privilege, it's not the wealth that we begrudge, it's the douchebaggery.

There are several more charges, ranging from dook players suck in the NBA to everyone in NC and Durham hates dook, from dookies constantly flopping to having ugly cheerleaders. In the end, Tucker and Bagwell contend that it all comes down to a sense of unfairness:

Think about the reason you hate Duke most. Reduced to its simplest level, it probably comes down to a feeling that they're getting away with something, that they're being treated differently than other teams, and that is what is so galling.

All of that is true, but it's not why I hate dook the most. I hate dook because it's pure evil and it hate it with the fire of a thousand suns. This book lays out a number of reasons why dook deserves our ire, and I'm glad someone put it down in book form.