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Duke's Kicker Speaks Out

Brent Garber, the placekicker on the football team, has
written the Chronicle to reverse-rip Ray Holloman
, who has written a
series of harsh articles about the football team. We commented on it
once and let it go after that, but it's worth linking Brent's angry letter,
and we completely understand why he's angry.

We know the football team is struggling. We know they've hit rock
bottom this season, though we believe Carl Franks is doing everything possible
to turn it around. We have been baffled, frankly, at the nearly cruel
articles Ray has been writing. He's obviously a bright guy and
periodically turns a phrase, but he's just been, basically, very

Here's what we'd like to say about the football team: despite being
outgunned every week, these guys go out every day and practice and try to
improve, and they go play teams like FSU and Clemson and UVa and play hard and
do their best. Their best just isn't that good right now. Then they come back,
go to class, and study and do everything that a Duke fan would want from a
Duke athlete. The sole exception is they aren't winning games.

Frankly, we are much more proud of the graduation rate than anything
else. It shows character, heart, and the right priorities.

We don't understand the urge to rip these kids. We know losing brings jokes
and jibes and all that, but losing games doesn't make you a loser. How you
deal with the world, and adversity, determines that. Our football team
has shown a lot of character in a very tough season. We wish Ray would
recognize that instead of ridiculing them, but that's life. Our
suggestion to him is to clip these articles and read them in 15 or 20 years
when life has forced some humility in his direction. They may not seem
as clever then.