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The State Of Cameron

For a few years now, there's been a back-and-forth about the level of Craziness in Cameron.  As life-long fans, we have to say, it was at one time a much different place and the older observers have a fair point:  it's not as intimidating as it once was.  

Part of this is by design: Duke made a conscious effort, after the Herman Veal incident a couple of decades ago, to sand the rough edges off.  Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, a lot of the spontaneity left as well. The idea of cheer sheets really annoys some older former Crazies, who made it up on the spot.  Then there was the sort-of frat, BOG, which was put out of business.

In the past, there were some pretty amazing things: the guy who dressed like Bozo the Clown and got into Maryland's lineup behind a red-headed guard with a receding hairline, and yes, there was a resemblance.  Sort of, anyway.  Then there was the Twinkie incident with Dennis Scott: someone bet him he couldn't hit a shot from where the Twinkie was placed. He could, he did, and he ate it on the court.

After Olden Polynice got in some trouble at UVa, he was so worried that he didn't even make the trip to Cameron.

There is a level of spontaneity gone, and a level of cruelty, as well, that was at times inspired.  For the most part, that's best left behind.  People at the Post still like to bring up Veal, even though that was a lifetime ago.  The move to embrace, rather than harass Loren Wood was the right thing to do.  But we do miss the occasional hard edge Cameron used to have.

The only things in recent years that hit that level were the Speedo Guy (pretty brilliant), and the Sean May fishing routine. We heard later that even the UNC players thought that was pretty funny.

But frankly, the scripted stuff is not nearly as much fun as the spontaneous stuff of yore.

But whatever. We know the current Crazies get tired of hearing it. We don't mean to be like the South Africans who call  the white former Rhodesians who moved there after the change in government in Zimbabwe "when-we's," as in "When we were there..."  No one needs that.

But we can tell you as life-long observers is that it's not as intense as it once was. It's still great, don't get us wrong.  But success makes it really hard to keep an edge.  It's going to be very tough to match the hunger Cameron had when Terry Chili stepped up to the foul line to beat Maryland, back when Duke was a miserable program.  The Crazies were everywhere - on the rims, even. It was total exhilaration.

We hope that for the Florida State game, the Crazies really try to blow the roof off.

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