Bedlam In A Band Box

January17/ 2000

… A big Swagger shout out to Dale The Dookie for inviting BobLee to the recent Duke v Maryland game in Cameron.   ….Lots of impressions and old memories as we absorbed the “game atmosphere” at Eddie Cameron’s Gothic Gymnasium in West Derm.  We had not seen a game there in many years and first-hand impressions are a tad more valid than what one might hear on Franklin Street (ya think!)….  Put it on the list with Amen Corner, Touchdown Jesus, and The Green Monster.

   Just the name sets it apart – “Indoor Stadium” – a “tad” pretentious especially considering it was so named prior to The Eisenhower administration.  That it has outlived several generations of sports arenas, coliseums, and assorted “domes” says something about the equally iconoclastic institution it represents.

Duke University COULD demolish “Cameron” and construct whatever it wanted to.  Money never stopped Duke from doing anything.  Need a new hospital wing or chemistry building or to compete with Jerry Buss’ wallet … dig out a handful of bearer bonds from the Duke family’s sofa cushions or charge the Sultan of Brunei a few extra million the next time he sends a relative to Derm for liposuction. That Duke keeps its “cozy” little gym speaks, in BLS’ opinion, well for the gaggle of dysfunctional descendants of Ol’ Buck & Wash Duke, and the well-heeled snooty minions who run Duke’s day-to-day operations.

    As long as the basketball coach is named Krzyzewski rather than McGeachey, Duke basketball will sell every seat in any building it plays in … home or away … or it’s 2nd home at The Meadowlands.

I totally understand why, economically, UNC no longer plays boys basketball in Carmichael and why Kay Yow has her own private gym in the Charred Barn next to The Case Center, while Herb plays at that Canadian bank’s barn at the fairgrounds but, BUT like HamChuck said when his “Peter-san” was killed … “but I didn’t want it to happen”.

A Duke game in Cameron is a full sensory experience.  Before you even walk in you know you’re not at some cookie-cutter InsertNameOfBankPhoneCompanyDotCom giant vanilla box.  Instead you must decide which cookie-cutter faux-gothic reproduction is “the gym” and which is the Anthropology Department.  You do know its NOT the football stadium.  That’s the dreary bowl next to it with the hardly ever used seats and non-functioning restrooms.

Hey Joe Alleva … FIX THE FREAKIN RESTROOMS at Wally Wade.  Those toilets (and the one under Mike’s upper lip) are the #1 embarrassment for your institution.  (since goofy Doris Duke bought the farm.)  

Duke basketball in Cameron is what college basketball “should be” if there weren’t such things as inflation, Nike, or ESPN.  The Crazies will never be the zany Dennis Miller wannabees they once were in the late 80s but someone did finally powerwash the Howard Stern-ishness out of them.  “Sweat Gary Sweat” was a good one.  All the arm and hand machinations are wonderfully silly and delightfully collegiate.    

The average age “below the brass rail” is 19.2.  The average age “above the brass rail” is “Jurassic”.  Dale and I were above the rail.  But to everyone’s credit, the atmosphere of the physical surroundings plus the energy emanating from “below the rail” has all 9,326 in full lynch mob fervor.  One definitely cannot “conduct bizness” at a Duke basketball game unless one’s business is testing decibel meters.  No “wine and cheese” … more like “raw meat and battery acid”.

The Dook Snoots won’t like the comparison, but:

Cameron is “NASCAR NOISY”

   Some one should tell Dickie V about how wild it gets in Cameron.  Maybe he would mention it!

Ol’ Roy certainly has The Legend’s Lair on Skippa Drive hopin’ and rockin’ now, but the poor saps up in “nosebleed” still need binoculars and a respirator.  Same at that Canadian bank’s building, except nobody’s in those “nosebleeds” except twice a season.  The folks on the top row of Cameron can still see JJ smile and read Mike’s lips (YIKES!).

A very distressing note … Duke recruits more 5-Star Footballers than 5-Star Cheerleaders. “Devil With The Blue Dress On” used to be one of THE best, and most aptly named, college fight song EVER.  Guess what?  The Duke cheerleader/Dance team no longer do it because … IT WAS TOO HARD TO DANCE TOO.  These two baggers make 1590 on SAT, major in International Biomedical Genetic Engineering w/ a minor in Swahilic Literature and daddy owns half of Hoboken; and they can’t master shaking their scrawny booties and waving two pompoms ????  

Hey, Mike Sobb … go hire half a dozen double-jointed hotties from Thee DollHouse to gyrate to “Devil w/ Blue Dress”.  Promise’em Sociology degrees.  

Alas … the average Duke coeds I saw looked like first runner-ups in a Cindy Sheehan lookalike contest.  Two Britany Gastineau couldbees spied on the way out but overall quality was “two kibbles & a bit”.

   “The Duke Dancers” come out at halftime, prompting the question … “Why would anyone want to clone Olive Oyl twelve times?” I’m sorry.  I know they all have proud mammas and daddies BUT ….. I’m sure they can all take “Pi” to 12 decimal places and they’ll all be CEOs of Hewlett-Packard some day which is probably where they oughta be.

One other observation.  If you are a youngster growing up in India, you have three possible career paths … (1) run a motel … (2) wear a headset in a Calcutta call-center … or (3) be a world renown pediatric neuro-surgeon at Duke Medical Center.

If you haven’t done so … put “see a Duke BB game in Cameron” on your “before I die” list.  If you’re stupid enough to attend wearing Carolina Blue, it might be “JUST before you die”.


 ACC DisHonor Roll Update 

   Massive write-in campaign for Joseph Forte secures a Roll spot for this DeMatha bad boy (and his mamma … Wanda, Wanda, Wanda; “Lying To A Legend” is blasphemy!).  Joe’s sundry tussels with Mad Matt, his Woollen Gym hijinks, his NBA abject dumbness even by NBA standards and, of course Mamma Hightower’s tomfoolery are too DiHonorable too ignore.  JOE FORTE – COME ON DOWN!

   Adrian McPherson garnered support but all his troubles were tied to his betting issues.  Chris Rix had several silly stunts but nothing approaching real crimes.

   Same w/ one-issue Olden Polynice from UVa.  Terry Holland’s defense of Olden’s abject classroom cheating was classic.  Appearing before the UVa Honor Court on Olden’s behalf … Terry pleaded “But he’s the only big man we have!”


 Swagger’s Stumper

Rupp’s Boys defeated  ___?__  in the ’66 semis 

before facing Texas Western?  


    Pierce Brosnan first came to fame as Remington Steele.  He moved on. Stephanie Zimbalist, alas, simply disappeared into the swamp of The Lifetime Channel.  Doris Roberts became Ray Romano’s mamma.

    Check out this link on Auburn’s Bobby Lowder … dubbed by ESPN as “the most meddlesome booster in college football”. … .

    BobLee had a great time Friday night down in Goldsboro.  Baseball, Barbecue & Bluegrass … The only “B” we missed was stopping by the Baddour Family Home Place.  Would that WELCOME on the mat have been meant for me? … Prince Albert, Detective Clark and moi also spent an hour in “Cooperstown South” – Clyde King’s private memento room … not our First time but ALWAYS a Special time.

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