…. Internet Legends operate with a very small rule book. There are darn few “have to’s” in my vocational venue. Like Gus McRae, Woodrow Call, Jack Reacher, Mitch Rapp and Jack Bauer, I simply do what must be done. Occasionally a “have to” lands in my lap that cannot be ignored regardless of the more pressing perils ahead of it in the topic queue. Today BobLee MUST discuss Those Devils With The Blue Mess On.
We live in a quick-fix culture. Whether its lose weight, grow hair, stop global terrorism, or analyze Duke Football just cut to the chase Doc. Give me a magic pill and spare me the rhetoric. I’m too busy to care about the symptoms or the causes, I just need to (1) drop 20 lbs before the reunion …. (2) cover this bald spot …. (3) get on a plane without taking my shoes off ….. or (4) believe my grandchildren will one day watch Duke win an ACC Football game.
For those outside the immediate “gives a damn about Duke University” family, the solution is quite simple. It’s Mike Krzyzewski’s fault. This quick-fix is sold in the same 3 AM infomercial box-set with “it’s Dickie Baddour’s fault”, George Bush’s fault, the refs fault, Hillary’s fault, my ex-wife’s lawyer fault, or the public schools’ fault.
The “logic” behind blaming it on Rosemary’s Other Baby is not in hoping enough people actually believe that to resolve the problem with Duke Football but rather to so discredit Mike that his juggernaut basketball program might be derailed in the process. With Mike now being within 1,000 days of catching Ye Olde Legend in total Ws, a derailment of Duke basketball is most desirable among the Franklin Street Hoot & Holler Crowd.
I must be careful here. If I get sidetracked into analyzing K-Hate I tread upon the toes of the 327 and counting UNCaholics who annually self-publish new books about “Why I Worship Dean …. Hate Kzhooski …. Despise Laettner …. And Where I Was When MJ Hit The Jumper in ‘82”. God help Barnes & Noble, the literary world certainly needs a few 100 more of those epic regurgitations …….. where was I?
Even buying the “urban myths” that everyone in the operating room for K’s infamous back surgery is now living in exile in Bolivia …. and the “fact” that Mrs K does operates a whorehouse out of the Hope Valley CC pro shop have not derailed the K Juggernaut, methinks blaming him for decades of plagues and pestilence at Wally Wade Mausoleum is an equally ill-aimed rant-athon.
I find it incredibly coincidental that of all the weeks of all the years since the Dawn of Civilization it is THIS WEEK that not one but TWO of Earth’s greatest Gordian Knots are up for yet another go at untying. ….. Duke Football and Peace In The Middle East. Alas, both Joe Alleva in West Derm and George Bush in Annapolis are likely playing solitaire with decks of no more than 42-43 cards at best.
George needs his very own “Accords” because goofy Jimmy Carter got to have his own worthless “accords”. Did Millard Fillmore and Warren Harding have their own “Accords”? Should we call Joe’s Grand Plan – The Alleva Accords?
In the interest of bandwidth, I will simplify. Any attempt to revive Duke Football from its current vegetative state must address two primary issues. …..
(1) The Gang of 88 ….
(2) Wally Wade Mausoleum.
All the yadda yadda about “academic standards” is legitimate of course. To “be successful” in major college FB requires a certain level of “winning”. “Winning” requires outplaying your opponent and that means having equal or better players. Talented athletes with average coaching will win more often that average athletes with superior coaching. Talented athletes with superior coaching play in prime time.
The pool of qualified candidates for Joe to consider numbers 75+. Every one of’em has play books, practice plans, a few whizbang Gipper speeches and the ability to utter benign coachspeak clichés while maintaining a straight face. Whittle those 75+ down to the 20 or so that will take the job for what amounts to coaching chump change. Butch’s recent ransom of a $300,000 “raise” was 90% of Ted Roof’s $350,000 total “salary”. Marvelous Marv and Forty Point Frank were in Ted’s tax bracket.
That Duke’s Rent-A-Wreck recently came within 3” of defeating UNC’s Maybach is grist for winter gnawing.
We all are familiar with Duke’s Notorious Gang of 88. That coven of Pseudo Intellectual Misfit Hooligans has replaced the Iron Dukes as the true power brokers on The Gothic Rock Pile. How powerful are they? The world knows what they got away with during the recent Nifongian Unpleasantness. While Truth, Justice and one sharp-eyed associate in Joe Cheshire’s office did ultimately prevail …. The drive-by shooting from The Gang of 88 went totally unpunished.
When Prez Broadhead anted up to buy pardons from the three “rich white families” for Duke’s administrative atrocities, a key proviso in the deal was that The Gang of 88 be granted full immunity from any civil recourse. 88 heavily armed academic blowhards were set free to rant, rage and represent Duke University to The World.
If Broadhead and the surviving members of the Tobacco Road Borgias are afraid of 88 socio-cultural anarchists what chance does any mere football coach have?
Here’s some freakin “money lines” for you. One of the reasons I respect Coach K (the ONLY UNC alum to ever write that phrase!) is that he has successfully overcome “The Gang of 88 Syndrome” for 20+ years. If Truth be known (Truth & Coach K …. An impossible pairing for sure), I bet Mike has had rougher internal battles with the goggle-eyed Gothic Ghouls on his own campus than he has had in Reynolds, the RBC or The Legend’s Lair. That he has carved out a “survive and prosper” niche for his program is a testament to the South Chicago F-Bomber’s resolve.
Trust me …. “The Gang” hates basketball players every bit as much as they hate lacrosse players, football players and all the athletes in general who gave them wedgies in high school PE and treated them like “Carrie” at the prom.
That Mike Krzyzewski has indeed beaten the Gothic Ghouls gives them that much more determination that football shall NOT.
If Broadhead and the assorted Neurosurgeons, hedge fund cowboys, boardroom bandits, courtroom peacocks, and sterling silverspoons that occupy the Upper Room of the Duke Chapel are afraid to even send The Gang of 88 to bed without supper, what chance would even Bill Belichek or Knute Rockne have to get a JuCo fleet foot into the Yow Center.
Sure, UNC has its goofy Susie Estroff-led squirrel faction, but a few of’em are sorta playful (if you wear gloves). There is nothing playful about Duke’s Gang …. getting away scot-free with their Nifong Prank understandably embolded them to a bullet-proof mentality.
And then there’s Wally Wade Mausoleum ….. I figure I’ve visited 50 different college football venues in my life. That drab dreary concrete slag heap gives me acid reflux when I have to visit it once every two years ….. and that’s BEFORE I have to pee in the quonset hut in the woods. You know me to be that rare man who can find a pony in most any pile of horse hockey. There ain’t no pony in Wallace Wade Stadium.
The Duke Chapel is very pretty …. Wally Wade is very ugly. Cameron Indoor is an incredible college basketball venue. Wally Wade is a pitiful Division lll football venue.
OK, it hosted The 1942 Rose Bowl. In 1942 Jo-Carol Dennison of Tyler Texas was Miss America. Jo-Carol was a vision of lusty loveliness in her day. That “day” was 65 years ago. I am not paying $5.00 to a granny-porn site to see 83 year old Jo-Carol wearing a thong and splayed out on a tempu-pedic with a come-hither look in her cataracted eyes. …… BULLDOZE WALLY WADE NOW!
Duke only needs 30-35,000 seats but half of Wally’s are in the freakin’ horseshoe end. The closest seats to the playing field are three Leo Hart to Wes Chesson “go longs” PLUS a 3-wood with the wind.
Wally’s wide open-end gives the slag heap all the intimate coziness of downtown Derm during its annual Nifong Festival.
That Dr Leroy Walker /Al Buehler Memorial Track was terrific for hosting the Pan African Relays back in the 70s. The 47 relatives of Dr. Leroy and Al that attended that “event” hopefully had a ball. It’s 2007. Outdoor Track has yielded its prominence in American spectatoring to Poker and Dwarf Tossing.
Joe …. Do not waste a penny putting lip gloss on that mule of a stadium. Knock it down, blow it up, give it to The Gang to hold their America Sux Rallies …. I don’t care but DO NOT HOLD ANOTHER FOOTBALL GAME IN THAT HORRID PLACE.
Build a CAMERON OUTDOOR ….. The Tobacco Road Borgias Endowment controls enough acreage around Derm to hold Battle of Gettysburg AND Waterloo re-enactments simultaneously. Pick out a cozy little spot and build Cameron Outdoor ….. a state-of-the-art Snake Pit where opposing teams fear for their safety from nutty New Jersey nerds breathing down their necks …. But where visiting fans can urinate without standing ankle-deep in warm yellow liquid with a head on it.
There are three primary rules about Triangle Football ….. (1) Avoid F-Bomb Alley in Rawlee …. (2) A Kenan game actually has Four Quarters but you only need to be in attendance for Two … you pick’em …. (3) Pee BEFORE you go to Wally Wade or take a spare water bottle. #1 and #2 will be tough to change …. #3 is do-able.
There is an old Peahead Walker story that Peahead gave his recruits tours of Duke’s campus telling them it was Wake Forest (the current Southeastern Seminary). A Duke Football coach would be well-advised to give his recruits tours of Northern Derm or Jordan High fields and tell’em it’s Wally Wade.
There you have it ….. Wanna wake Duke Football from its 30 year coma ….. The Gang of 88 Syndrome & Wally Wade Mausoleum ….. solve those two issues and the Devils could be heading to Boise in December within five years. Since Joe cannot change either of these bureaucratic challenges we will simply reprint this column in four years.
This is all the free advice you get Joe. I’m charging you for further consulting.
Duke Coaches since JFK was shot include Bill Murray, Tom Harp, Mike McGee, Red Wilson, Steve Sloan, Darth Visor, Barry Wilson, Fred Goldsmith, Carl Franks, and Ted Roof. Bill Murray went on to SNL and success as greenskeeper at Bushwood Country Club. …. Darth Visor springboarded to rock star status in Jimmy Sexton’s stable ….. Fred was way-laided by a she-kicker …. McGee became an AD with his own firemikemcgee.com website …. All the others are still in rehab.
OK, OK, OK …. In response to 100s of requests to “please explain PSLs and LTRs” I will do so. When Kenan Goes Kondo will be posted next week. I’ll give you the straight scoop …. as I tend to do.