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Let's Go Duke!

Duke fans are chortling as they prepare for today's trip over to Chapel Hill,
but maybe they'd better wait until the game is over. Though most people would
argue that Duke has the advantage on the field, with the Torbush firing a fait
accompli, after only two seasons, UNC will have a decided emotional edge. 
The players really seem to admire and respect Torbush a great deal, and this
will likely play into things a great deal.

Here's the situation: an assistant coach is promoted when the immensely
popular, glib, and slick head coach departs for greener pastures. He struggles
significantly, and the program appears to be deteriorating. The fans have turned
on the coach and the team is a laughing stock throughout the ACC.  Just
when things are looking particularly grim, the team pulls up and sees that the
fans, so-called, have hung the coach in effigy. Billy Cunningham then storms off
the bus, tears down the Dean Smith doll, and UNC goes on to beat Duke (at Duke)
the next game.

Ok, that was sneaky. But UNC gave Smith a chance to grow into the job, under
much more difficult circumstances.  Clearly Torbush will not get that
luxury.  His players feel that he should, and their indignation will
probably register at game time.  Don't count the victory yet. Besides, this
is a Duke-UNC game, and everyone knows what that means: Walter Davis,
Gene Banks, the shoestring play, Jeff Capel....because anything can happen,
chances are it will.

Not that he's asked, or would, but Carl Torbush has our sympathies. He's a
good man doing the best he can and he's being run out of town without really a
fair shake.  We hope wherever he ends up he finds some redemption. 
He's shown a lot of dignity and heart in difficult circumstances, and all he'll
get for it is contempt for not winning enough games.  But for better or
worse, Art Chansky nailed the financial realities of Carolina athletics today:
they can't afford to lose money, period.

We would be remiss also if we didn't thank our football team for a season
filled with heart and grit.  They were in every game except for FSU and
Clemson, and they won enormous respect.  Win or lose today, Duke fans have
a lot to be proud of and a lot to look forward to. And our fondest hope is that
our team repeats their feat of having the highest graduation rate in the
nation.  We'd love to win more games, but having won that award 11 times is
worth every Heisman, every national championship, every Outland trophy
combined.  It's a spectacular accomplishment and one achieved under a
number of coaches.  Let's make it 12!