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After The Game, A Long Drive Home

After the Duke-Virginia Tech game, Coleman Collins got dressed, walked out
with his brother, and drove to Atlanta, where his father, who has lung cancer,
is not expected to live through the weekend.

No one can speak for anyone who is losing a loved one. But we think
Coleman has dealt with great sorrow admirably, and his father, surely, is deeply
proud of a son who is worthy not just of his father's love but of respect from
ACC fans around the conference. The guy is a brilliant student, a highly
promising basketball player and from all accounts, a remarkable young man.

While we were sleeping, Coleman and his brother drove through the night, and
while their destination is inevitably sorrow, we hope that the drive itself, two
brothers alone in a dark car for hours going home to say goodbye to their father
and then to bury him - that drive, while very sad, is probably going to be one
of the strongest memories of their lives. We hope they have every family
conversation they ever thought about, ask every question they can think to ask,
and cry and laugh as long as they can.

Years from now, when they look back on it, they'll realize how much strength
they drew from each other.

There's very little anyone can do, but we do think it would be a great
kindness if Duke fans, and ACC fans in general, took a minute to send
an e-mail to Coleman
, via the Virginia Tech athletic department, and just
let him know that the flip side of a very public loss is that the public which
watches him also recognizes that he is more than a performer on a basketball
court, and that we're sorry he's had to lose so much at such a young age.