stars and planets realign


Those of you who are sports-repellent may find relief that this may be my last NCAA basketball-related post until autumn, but I can’t let the night go by without relishing in the special schadenfreude that is Duke University losing. I absolutely loathe seeing them play, so I’ve managed to miss every dook game except the ones where they play us – and tonight was no exception.

It wasn’t until my curiosity got the best of me when I began downloading the score on my Treo with about five minutes left in the game. Tessa and I were in a Mexican restaurant on Pico, and instead of eating, I was hitting the ‘refresh’ button over and over while giving her updates. I swear to god, there’s no better way to experience a dook loss. All of the ill will without actually having to see their players.

Much will be made of J.J. Redick’s horrendous performance in this (and, for that matter every) tournament of his career, and I know a few die-hard Tar Heels who even expressed a tiny bit of pity when he fought back tears on the bench. I’m no alabaster-hearted monster, but fuck that. Those were not tears of tragedy, they were tears of “denied entitlement,” the same tears cried by every dook player in their last game (Carrawell, Wojo, etc).

Who feels pity for the mid-major seniors playing for teams like Southwest Missouri State, who foul out of their last game, knowing their job prospects lie barely north of service management? Don’t shed a tear for Redick; a couple million in the NBA as a four-year journeyman flameout will put the smile right back on his face.

And hats off to LSU, who obviously brought it, and brought it together. I find it immensely satisfying that a school from Louisiana, a state battered by a hurricane and left for dead by our administration, beat Duke University’s squad, helmed by an unmitigated jerk who uses Koach K Kourt to raise money for Republicans.

K himself now goes on to coach the Americans in the Olympics, which, as I’ve said before, is why I’m pulling for Croatia. Unless Antawn Jamison is on the team, and then I’ll be torn. Frankly, I don’t see the value in K’s two coaching edicts:

1. Win at all costs.

2. Fuck you.

He has been happy to throw his kids and his assistant coaches under the bus in order to solidify his draconian empire (see Randolph, S. and Gaudet, P.); he played Redick and Shelden Williams 39 minutes a game this year while sacrificing the careers of his blue-chip bench. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to play for that guy, but the Kool-Aid seems to be strong over there in Derm.

Pity? Whatever. Tessa hates it when she sees the glee I take in dook’s misfortune, but you know what? They have always stood for everything I stand against. You can’t appreciate the singularity of your convictions unless you have an antithesis. The Carolina Way is my faith, and every religion has its Devil.

31 thoughts on “stars and planets realign

  1. jje

    I always say that a dook loss, especially in the tournament, is ALMOST as good as a Carolina win.
    JJ’s tears didn’t bother me at all. AHHHH…C-YA!
    That said, I was truly moved by the emotion shown by Adam Morrison at the end of the UCLA-Gonzaga game. Morrison was probably one of most crushed-looking kids I’ve ever witnessed on the basketball court and it was such a genuine reaction that I shed a few tears myself. At that moment, he symbolized what’s still pure and good about the college game. It was sadly refreshing.
    And I can’t lie – having a little boy has definitely changed how I see and react to the world. I couldn’t help but imagine Connor in that situation (yeah, yeah – of course I dream of him wearing the light blue jersey), and it brought out the mama bear in me.
    What an interesting night for bracketologists, though. Somehow I’m back at the number one spot in my group of 12 mommies. Woot Woot! This one goes out to all my mamas who picked South Alabama and NC State in the finals…

  2. scruggs

    Since I work remote and have no one to share this with…
    Great summary of the situation, but I found it pretty enjoyable to watch the loss unfold. You would have seen LSU play great defense and rebound with a vengeance to overcome poor shooting themselves.
    “He has been happy to throw his kids and his assistant coaches under the bus ”
    In his postgame interview, they asked K how hard the loss is given his two seniors. Does K correct him and say, “hey, remember, we have 4 seniors with Melchionni and Dockery who play significant minutes?” Nope, just more blah blah about JJ and SW. We all know how The Carolina Way never forgets the little guy.
    I will pull for every ACC team when playing out of conference with Dook as the one exception. If I could respect their program in the slightest, maybe that would change. But until then, Duck Fook. However, even with him, I’d stick with the US team.

  3. Laurie from Manly Dorm

    I watched my Netflix-delivered “The Squid and the Whale” last night (heart-wrenching, by the way), so I did not realize that Duke lost until this morning. The best news I got all week! Call me a bitch, but I love to see Duke players and Duke fans cry!

  4. GFWD

    I love that Rat Bastard lost with 40% of the All-American team on his bench. I love that he lost while having the most coveted point guard in the recruiting sweepstakes last year. I love that he lost with the most highly touted big man in last year’s recruiting class. Recall that McRoberts was picked to fare better than Hansbrough. I love that he had the unmitigated gall to say, in his post-game press conference, that it was a strain this year since he only had SENIORS and FRESHMAN and that it was especially burdensome for his TWO seniors (j.j. and The Klingon) to have to carry that responsibility.
    This poons of a coach has to now live with the fact that his other responsibilities away from basketball probably cost his team and his players (remember, he’s a leader of men, don’t you know) a reasonable shot at a title that was theirs for the taking. They got the plum seed in the plum region–my backyard–and had the easiest pre-tourney road to the Final Four.
    Thing is, the Rat Bastard probably won’t care. Now that his legacy is complete, he’s content to ride the wake of his own PAST successes.
    I got so much joy out of watching the end of last night’s game. Like Ian, I cannot stand watching dook unless we play them. But to see their dejected hang dog faces at the end of the game was priceless. Those tears from j.j. were realizing that he’s going to be nothing more than a footnote for the rest of his career. Sure, he’ll make more than I’ll ever make with the stroke of a pen this summer, but he’ll never again get three screens set for him to make his shot. And, as a #2 shooting guard, he’s got to deal with players much smarter, much taller and much more athletic than him for the rest of his short career.
    That’s why j.j. was crying.
    Geaux Bayou Bengals
    Interesting how Rat Bastard pulled j.j. and The Klingon with 9 seconds left in the game and said in his post-game press conference how it was a no-brainer, being down 5 points.
    Yet, earlier this year at the end of a regular season game at FSU, he pitched a bitch with officials when his team was in a similar position, even though the end result was a foregone conclusion.
    That hypocritical fuck.

  5. Tanya

    Oh happy day! A happy day indeed! We partially watched the game while dining with some of our best friends at Sushi Blues in Raleigh last night. It was so funny to see at least half the room cheering on LSU knowing that not a single person there was a grad or regular LSU fan. Ah, dook hate in numbers – gotta love it.
    My favorite part of the whole game was watching JJ head to the bench, fighting back tears, and K had to practically tackle him to get a hug from JJ. It was obvious K wanted a JJ emotion shot for the cameras, and he didn’t get it. I’m not seeing too much love lost there. And I’m not surprised.
    If you ask me, I think the ACC teams all came in with a disadvantage. Our teams were used to having the refs call all kinds of ticky-tacky fouls all season and using the foul line as part of their game strategy. Well, from what I could observe, most of the refs just let the fellas play, and it cost the ACC teams. I think that’s why Carolina started throwing up 3’s right and left since Tyler was getting hammered inside, and the whistles never sounded. I think that’s why dook lost, too – that, and because K threw a saddle on JJ and Shelden and tried to ride them to victory (as he’s done all season). JJ just wore out. And thank God for that. DING DONG, JJ’s GONE!!! Oh HAPPY DAY!!!

  6. Kate from the DTH front desk

    My dad and I usually call each other early in the morning while I’m on my way to campus or he’s on his way to work. When he called this morning, I was laughing about Dook’s loss and he told me that rooting for a team to lose made me less of a person and a poor sport.
    Still at home and near my computer, I decided to read your post to him. When I finished, he didn’t say anything right away… then he said, “Yeah, I guess that’s right. Eh, f*ck ’em.”

  7. Quinn

    Just thought you might like Gawker’s ( particular brand of snotty on the subject:
    Duke, the number one seed and perennial favorite of casual basketball fans with small penises, lost last night to the L.S.U. Tigers of Baton Rouge. While average-to-large-sized penis wielders can now watch the tournament safe in the knowledge that they no longer have to see Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewsk gurn and snarl (except maybe in American Express commercials), we offer some small consolation to those with tiny penises: Hey, the Yanks might win it all this year.

  8. chip

    Tessa is right about the karmic harm of taking joy in the misfortune of others, but when it comes to Duke flaming out in the NCAAs, I’m willing to take that risk. I’ve mostly stopped watching Duke games because of that…I realized I was just waiting for them to lose…I’ve only watched this year when they played UNC and Georgetown since my wife is a Hoya. Last night I watched the first half and then read a book in the adjoining room while my wife relayed the highlights.

  9. Ken H

    Ian – long time lurker (and fan, back to the dillon fence days of the late ’80’s), first time commenter. But, a great combination of events has given me the need to speak. First, I get in my car after work just in time to catch the last 30 seconds of the Dook loss. And then I get home to have my “I hated Duke…” t-shirt waiting for me. It has always amazed me just how I can continue to loathe them more with each passing year. If only it were JJ in the middle of the court crying & not Adam Morrison….


    It was a guilty pleasure watching Duke crumble. I saw the last half of the game at a restaurant where they had the subtitles on and the sound turned down. Evidently we are not the only Duke haters. In Coach K’s post game interview the transcriber embelished his last statement. He Typed, Coach : “We all could have done a Georgia Tech job.”

  11. Annie

    Yet another grin-inspiring anecdote a la, “How I Heard About Duke’s Ignominious Loss Last Night”:
    Around 9:35 pm I’m returning from an evening on the road interviewing jurors in Randolph County NC. On the way through Carrboro I zap into the Citgo for beer. The woman behind the counter, a sighing, prematurely gray local who works the evening shift, is unusually bright and chipper, greeting me with a full eye-crinkling smile. I think, “Can she be that happy to see me? I was just here two days ago…” I ask how her night’s going. She beams again, “Oh, I’m having a great night!” She pauses for effect, then continues: “It’s always a great night when Duke loses!!”
    I practically dance back to the car, where my Mulduresque partner, a recent transplant from Chicago, has been waiting. It hasn’t taken him long to catch on to the Tar Heel Way… “Guess whaaaaat?” I sing impishly. “What?” he replies in his pragmatic way, probably thinking (with exasperation) that I’ve seen a cute guy in the store. “DUKE…LOST!” His face instantly breaks into a sun-through-the-clouds smile: “They LOST??” He sounds as if he can’t believe it. “They’re OUT of the tournament!” I trumpet, pulling onto Main Street with a zestful confidence. With Chicagoan understatement, he murmurs, “Oh my gahd.” Then, like a true born and bred Tar Heel, he says, “I’ve been waiting for this!”

  12. TDSUNC92

    From SI: [Freshman Garrett] Temple [of LSU] could tell that Redick was getting frustrated as one shot after another failed to find the net.
    “When he missed it, he was pretty upset,” Temple said. “He was complaining to the referees about not calling fouls.”
    So typical of those rat bastard whiny beeytaches. Real powerhouses don’t NEED extra help.

  13. Sean M

    Minor detail, and probably something you’ve mentioned in a past post, but I LOVE how you don’t even capitalize “dook”. Made me laugh.
    My only soft spot for them is that my brother’s wackjob of an ex-wife was a big fan so when my nephew was born in ’92, she HAD to name him Christian. Yes, as in Laettner.
    My roommate, on the other hand, went ballistic. I guess her father used to be Vice President, Vice Provost, and I believe a professor there.
    But I was still happy to see them lose. So so happy.

  14. Sean Williams

    We were in the middle of a writing session, rehashing all the possible mistakes of what we’ve written so far, re-producing all of the moments that we thought were settled, in the hopes of breaking into something magnificent, essentially saving our time-outs for the end game, when my phone started ringing.
    “Are you Tivo-ing anything,” is the beginning of the first call. Then the description of Big Baby being left alone to shoot a free throw, and still getting the rebound on the miss. Redick shooting 3 of 18 or something, Paulus getting blocked…
    The phone kept ringing, like it always does after a Carolina win. Greatest recruiting class in history squeeks one game past a Tar Heel rebuilding year, even though they have a one seed. The media starts paying attention to the inequitable calls, and suddenly dook’s season goes in the toilet.
    I rather like Redick, I like McRoberts game, I don’t hate this team the way I hated Boozer and Jay Williams, but it’s wonderful to see K starting to fray at the edges.
    Our writing session went really well.

  15. Lindsay

    The proper spelling of dook* is not only uncapitalized, but contains the asterisk that should be beside two of their titles the in the NCAA record books: the 1992 win over Kentucky when Laettner should have been ejected for stomping on Aminu Timberlake’s chest and the Final Four hosejob that the refs performed on Maryland to give dook* the win that put them in the 2001 title game.

  16. joe q.

    My four month thirst for JJ’s tears is quenched. It is a sweet and intoxicating elixir.
    Could there be more to life?

  17. Justin McGuire

    It is indeed a joy to know that the dookies are done for another year and that J.J. and the rest of what remains of the “Super Six” is gone forever.

  18. jon

    I think I’m going to start carrying a sign to sporting events. But instead of “John 3:16” it will say “JJ 3-18”

  19. Ian

    Jon, if you do that, I will buy your tickets to every game.
    Joe Q is indeed the illustrious Joe Quinn, easily one of my favorite brothers ever to poop the purple and gold.

  20. SJ

    err… for the uninformed among you, Carolina is still playing ball..
    “Sunday’s game will be televised live on ESPN2 as part of the network’s complete coverage of the women’s tournament. Mark Jones will handle play-by-play duties, Debbie Antonelli will provide color commentary and Rebecca Lobo will report from the sidelines.
    The game also will air on the Tar Heel Radio Network, which includes eight stations across the state of North Carolina. WCHL-AM 1360 in Chapel Hill is the flagship. Taylor Zarzour is the Tar Heels’ play-by-play announcer and Jan Boxill provides color commentary.
    Radio broadcasts and live game statistics also are available on the internet at”

  21. Matt

    Ian said this was the last basketball related post until autumn, so I’d better say my piece now.
    I jumped on the George Mason bandwagon right after they beat UNC, but I’ve actually liked the school for a while. When SCOTUS was considering the Solomon amendment GM was the only law school in the country to file an amicus brief in its defense. Dozens of other, supposedly “better” schools, like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, et al, filed briefs against it, arguing that denying them access to the federal feeding trough if they banned military recruiters from campus was an unconstitutional infringement of free speech. SCOTUS’s unanimous decision upholding the amendment evidences GM’s superior legal reasoning skills, but it also showed how radical the other schools have become.
    GM can also boast as one of the only conservative law schools in the country (Richard Posner and Douglas Ginsburg taught there, among many other prominent conservatives). Whereas 90% of the faculties of Harvard, Yale and Princeton donate exclusively to Democrats (donations over $200 are public record and, yes, someone tallied them up), GM is nearly the opposite. There’s an excellent article on GM and these things in the March 13 edition of National Review (I’m sure your all subscribers).
    Anyway, all I really wanted to say about it is this: Cinderella’s a conservative. Go Patriots!


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