Saturday, March 24, 2007


I might have to add this to my list of books to buy. The full title is quite a mouthful: "To Hate Like This Is to Be Happy Forever: A Thoroughly Obsessive, Intermittently Uplifting, and Occasionally Unbiased Account of the Duke-North Carolina Basketball Rivalry." Read a couple excerpts from the book here and here. The following was taken from an introduction found before the first linked excerpt, and was written this month:
It hadn't been my ambition to be known as a man who hates Duke. But a hunger in the culture coincided with an obsession of mine, and voila: a sweet waitress placed before me a Duke loss like a plate of pancakes. Just as America had once attempted to make the world safe for democracy (this was many years ago), I had been doing my small part to establish a world hospitable to Duke hatred.

And yet, now at the moment of triumph, with North Carolina alive and Duke dead and the country exulting (waitresses singing, bloggers rhapsodizing), why did I feel so melancholy? I might as well have been a spy at the end of the Cold War, submarined in the gloom that comes with the cessation of hostilities. Who was there to fight now? What was I going to do with rest of my life, not to mention the NCAA Tournament?

Then I remembered that there were holdouts -- Dick Vitale, for instance, already exonerating Coach K, saying this season may have been one of his greatest coaching jobs, and that just wait until next year, you Duke haters, when Kyle Singler, the best Caucasian player since Larry Bird in the words of recruiting analyst Brick Ottinger, arrives in Durham.

And then there was my former girlfriend. I can’t say that her lascivious affection for Coach K directly led to the end of our turbulent love affair.

But it might have been, well, an omen.

And a short portion of the first excerpt to help explain the above picture:
The camera lit on Krzyzewski stalking the sideline. "Umm umm umm," my girlfriend said, a low moan in her throat. And so it began. If I was going to insinuate uncertainty into her world, she was going to strike back in time-honored fashion. We had debated the issue of K's attractiveness in the past. I could certainly see his resemblance to a rat. Hence his nickname, "The Rat." And even though I like animals and often find them handsome in their animalness, it was hard -- downright incomprehensible -- to see how a man that so easily summoned up the image of a rat could be considered attractive. To share a sofa with someone whose worldview was so different from my own was troubling.

No comments: