It was early Sunday morning. We’re on hallowed ground, Shazheirsville outside Cameron Indoor Stadium at Duke. Picture the most regal and upper-crust college campus in the world.
Students have been living in tents to get tickets to the game tonight pitting the dominant and dynastic Dukies against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons that no Dukes pay attention to because they’re not Carolina, Stanford, The Peace Corps, Harvard, the World Economic Forum, or the Nobel Peace Prize.
Students are sitting cross-legged in a circle in a tent with their laptops talking about geopolitics, global warming, and how smart they are.
“I was the valedictorian of my high school class of 7,998 students,” says one.
“I was the valedictorian of my high school class of 9,998 students,” says another. “And in my graduation speech, I wasn’t serious at all because I wanted to come across as cool and unfazed by my intellectual superiority.”
“I started in the McDonald’s Capital Classic and dropped 24 on DeMatha,” says Sammy Sportface. “And I got a D in Military Science in high school, a D in a Wake film class based on a movie titled “Cucumbers and Tomatoes” which wasn’t deserved, beat DeMatha twice, and finished a touch out of the top 10 percent in my high school class. And Coach K should have given me a scholarship to play hoops here because I was better than all his walk-ons. I played against Johnny Dawkins, Coach K’s hero. Held him to 35 and then 36.”
The student Dukies look up from their laptops.
“Who are you?”
“Sammy Sportface, quarterback of the Baby Boomer Brotherhood. Went to woebegone Wake Forest.”
Bare-chested with the words “Deac Freak” painted in gold and black, he’s difficult to look at.
“Never heard of Sammy Sportface.”
“Why are you here?”
“I’m writing a passive-aggressive blog about you guys sleeping in tents to pretend to be wild, being elitists and valedictorians, and being dismissive about Wake Forest.”
“People who go to Wake are the ones Duke rejected.”
“I didn’t apply,” said Sportface. “Wasn’t number one in my class like all of you. My friend Arnold was and his class had 17,987. Went to Wake. Hates Duke. But I was the number one hooper in my senior class.”
The mood becomes more disquieting.
“Yo, Cameron Crazies, you all going to grad school?”
“Grad school is for rejects. We’ll get six-figure jobs right out of Duke so we won’t need to go grad school? Plus the only people who go to grad school are those who aren’t successful in their jobs and need something to make themselves feel better. But it’s a big waste of time because when you’re not smart enough to get into Duke you’re destined to be second-class.”
“Shrew insights,” said Sportface. “I was unsuccessful and making about six figures less than six figures so I went back to grad school three times, earned two master’s degrees, and ended up taking 38 graduate school classes. Know why I did it?”
“No, why did you do it?”
“So I could write blogs about Duke students laying around in tents all full of themselves and their Duke basketball team. So I could share what I observed with my 117 followers. So I could get educated enough to feel at least one-tenth as intellectual as you Duke darlings of domination, so I could at least hold a conversation like this without you immediately telling me I wasn’t worthy of your time.”
“Sounds like you’ve got issues.”
“Sure do. Sammy Sportface gushes with issues. But I sense you Dukies have issues, too. One issue is tomorrow night in Cameron Indoor. Wake’s coming in riding a beating of NC State. They’re a little better than you think. They’re not great as Duke always is, as all of you always are, as intelligent and above everyone else in the world is, but not bad – for Wake Forest – not that you could care less.”
“Are you saying Wake has a chance to beat us?”
“No way. Not Duke. Duke’s just better. Better in basketball, better intellectually, better citizens, better DNA, better people across the board.”
A pause. Interpersonal acrimony builds.
“You’re kind of unpleasant to be around, Sportface. Why don’t you leave us alone and go write your silly blog nobody reads? We’re Cameron Crazies. We’re so smart we can call ourselves crazy even though everyone knows it’s phony. Our Duke degrees will get the whole world following us. You’re just crazy, which is not nearly as cool. The message on your belly is correct: “Deacs are Freaks.”
“Pizza, anyone?” said Sportface. “I’m treating.”
Sportface made sure the pizzas were packed with rotten mushrooms. Crazies gobble them down.
“Great pizza, Sportface, but too many shrooms. Now get out of here. We don’t care about you or your Wake Forest team or your intellectual insecurities or misgivings about Coach K not offering you a scholarship or your 24 points against DeMatha or your 38 graduate school classes or your Baby Boomer Brotherhood.”
“You’re absolutely right,” said Sportface. “Dukies are always right. They’re the smartest. I have to humble myself. I’ll never lie down the fact that I would love to be able to call myself a Cameron Crazy. It’s all I’ve ever wanted but I have to accept that I’m just not as smart and upper crust as all of you, that power, prestige, influence, and money are only for elites who go to Duke.”
Sportface leaves the tent, goes to the Duke library, and types this blog as he reassures himself: Coach K should have signed me.
Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here:
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