I guess I first became a Duke fan at the age of 5 when Duke played Kentucky in the 1978 championship game. We lived in Texas at the time and soon moved to North Dakota. I can still remember an advertisement for Duke University that played during the game. They talked about how their athletes were more than athletes, they were some of the brightest students in the nation. At least that’s the way I remember it. That really sunk in even though I was so young. I thought, “Wow, these guys are smart AND good at basketball.”
Then, we moved to Goldsboro, NC in the summer of 1984. I was so excited to learn that we were only an hour and half way from Duke. Because I had lived so far away from North Carolina, I didn’t understand the rivalry between UNC and Duke at first. This will be shocking to those who know me well, but I actually wore some UNC T-shirts when we first moved to North Carolina. However, I soon learned that I had to choose sides and choosing Duke was an easy decision for me.
Being a Duke fan is not always easy. Duke football has been frustrating and the lacrosse case was pretty upsetting. However, I have remained a loyal Duke fan for some 30 plus years. Watching Coach K set the NCAA record for all time wins was fun and has made me recall all the other times being a Duke fan has been great. Beating UNLV in 1991 and then winning the first national championship will always be my favorite memory. However, beating Kentucky in the best game ever in 1992 and then going on to win Back to Back championships was pretty special too.
If you are a Duke fan, or even if you are not, I hope you enjoy watching Duke’s tribute video, “America’s Best Coach.” I LOVED IT!