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Duke Falls To Vandy, 26-7

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Greensboro | W-S
| Nashville
| Box
| Totalcast

Well the trip to Nashville didn't turn out as Duke fans had hoped, with Duke
losing 26-7 and being pretty much dominated by the Commodores. Quick note on
Cornelius Vanderbilt, the founder of this weekend's opponents - he couldn't
read.  He had assistants read contracts and railroad and shipping tables to
him and he memorized them.  Now that's amazing.

The football team was less amazing. Carl Franks insists their is potential
here, and he saw some things he liked a lot, but clearly, with only 22 points in
the first four games, the young team is struggling.  And the next stretch
of the schedule is tough, too. 

As fans, as we have said before, it's sometimes hard to get fired up over a
team which is struggling. And QB Spencer Romine is struggling and subject to
some criticism. But know what? 15 years from now, when Dr. Romine is performing
surgery, after an injury-plagued football career when he won few games, his
courage and dedication will be more evident.  And that's true of the whole
team. Yes they are struggling. But they will go out on the field next week and
continue to try to improve, and Duke fans, and most of all Duke students, should
back them to the hilt.

It's a young team, and Franks said that he knew when he interviewed that this
would be a transition season, and Joe Alleva has recognized the importance of continuity,
agreeing to give substantial raises to coaches who had offers elsewhere and new
facilities are on the way.  So in the long view, things have changed,
though the results are not yet showing up on the field.  

Recently we wrote about the condition of the field, and said that if Duke
wanted to pursue excellence in football, then they'd have to pursue it at very
basic levels like grass.  We may never be in FSU's class as a football
team, but there's absolutely no reason why we can't kickt heir grass even if we
can't kick their ass.

This apparently hit a nerve with some people.  We got several letters
talking about similar issues.  For a brief rundown:

  • Bathrooms are in poor condition
  • Students must enter on the West side, though their seats are on the East
  • Misspelled sign near the East gate, with vistor for visitor, complinantary
    for complimentary, and reqiured instead of required.

The soon-to-arrive football facility will certainly help.  But we have
to think that a well-maintained field, decent bathrooms, logical entry points,
and certainly proper spelling would buttress the new building.  With the
exception of the field, which would be difficult to fix in the middle of the
season, the rest can be done relatively quckly and cheaply.

Generally speaking, Duke has done a great job with sports promotions, but
football may need a little extra attention.  The Durham Bulls have done a
tremendous job of making the DBAP famly friendly.  That's an approach Duke
might take with football in the short term. Long term, the commitment is now
there, and things will reach stasis eventually, whatever stasis winds up to be
for Duke.  Right now, things are not good. But that's not to say they can't
be. And paying attention to details like these will only help.  Excellence
in grass and toilets doesn't sound like a big deal, but if you want people to
come to your house, you have to make it nice.