Some UNC fans (ok, probably most) have a dark view of what Tom Wolfe
calls the Colonial Animal, aka the Cameron Crazies. Here's the latest attack, a
suggestion that you guys are going to taunt Phil Ford for being an
Our suggestion is to invoke what we call the Woods Rule, after Loren Woods,
late of Wake Forest, who was having some psychological problems, returned to the
court at Cameron (not that anyone cares what we think). He was greeted
warmly and with genuine support.
It might be asking a lot for Duke fans to be warm towards anyone from UNC,
but attacking someone with a debilitating
addiction is basically attacking a cripple, and even those dark, evil, nasty
people in Cameron don't pick on sick people and kick puppies and throw sacks of
kittens in rivers. Phil Ford has a life-threatening problem, and that's not
really a lot of fun no matter how you look at it or how partisan you might
Anyway, here's Jeff Davidson's latest
objection to Cameron, which
was printed in the N&O. on 10/10/99 (it's followed by a letter from DBR
reader Marc Starne, by the way).
At all UNC home soccer games, the P.A. announcer always reads a statement that asks players and coaches to show good sportsmanship and the fans to support the athletes in a positive manner.
My experience as a fan ... is that with the exception of Duke, these words are taken to heart.
As another basketball season approaches, the Cameron Crazies undoubtedly are preparing new ways to dishonor opposing players and coaches, new ways to do what they regard as their "God-given" right in supporting the Blue Devils: Let's see, what mirth can we make of Phil Ford's substance abuse problem? Have their been any more shootings at N.C. State? Which Virginia player has bad acne?
These supposed future leaders sharpen their teeth in what they regard as good, semi-clean fun. ... The Cameron Crazies think they are admired for their school spirit. Alas, they know not.
But it has had other effects. By attempting to create a miserable environment for opposing teams, Duke fans often imperil the team in postseason play -- this season's Final Four, which was supposed to be Duke's coronation, was a good example. At neutral courts, you see, obnoxious behavior has a negligible effect in a 50,000-plus seat arena, when the rabble-rousers number around 3,000 at
best (note - the effect might have been sharper if the
students - and most passionate fans - weren't seated in the rafters
With that realization, could this be a breakthrough season for the Crazies and the Duke community at large? Could this be the year they show deserved respect for other teams, and thus for themselves?