Monday , Jan , 16 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Duke and Carolina fans aren’t always at each other’s throats

You think trying to guard J.J. Redick seems tough? Or how about posting up Shaq?

Well, you haven’t seen anything yet. Try playing basketball for 58 hours straight. Duke and UNC students have being going at it again, and this time it’s not from the stands. The two schools have teamed up to raise money for an organization that helps kids with life-threatening illnesses develop skills in basketball.

Since this past Friday, UNC’s Fetzer Gym has been a bustling arena, filled with students, who normally hate each other, working together to helped kids in their local community. 
 
See, just because the Cameron Crazies are known for doing things like dressing up as characters from the Wizard of Oz to tell Roy Williams he’s not in Kansas anymore … and the Carolina fans wear shirts that say F*** Dook without the asterisks … they have enough dignity to come together for a good cause.
 
I’m making a point of this seemingly trivial sports event for a couple of reasons. First of all, I’m trying to avoid mentioning the Wake Forest game because I’ve overdone the topic of them going down hill … at a rapid rate.
 
Second of all, there aren’t any games that really spark my interest (or I find worth talking about) today.
 
Third, I lead a boring life and enjoy writing about useless things at 8 in the morning.
 
And finally, (as sappy as this sounds) I think it’s neat to see fans, of arguably the biggest rivalry in college hoops, to put their feelings of hatred aside for a good cause.   It shows how college basketball has a distinct advantage over the pros: it’s still a sport. The fans can be obnoxious, but they are loyal and they usually have enough dignity to put their loyalties aside when it counts. 
 
In the pros, it’s strictly a business. Everything is done for money. When teams lose, the players hardly care, it seems. I can’t say this for every pro player, but as a spectator, it seems that the majority of the players have little heart. 
 
At the Duke-Carolina basketball marathon, money wasn’t an issue. Heck, sleep wasn’t even an issue. When J.J. Redick and David Noel face each other on the court, I doubt they’re thinking of money.