John Page asked us to pass this on and we're happy to do so.
I am a long sufferingÂ Duke graduate and a football fan who has had seasons tickets almost since I graduated. I attended the Duke- Alabama game Saturday. I was extremely embarrassed at the game but not by the football team, which was giving it all they had, but by the student body. You basically abandoned your team when they needed you the most. After half time the student section was one third empty and by the beginning of the fourth quarter it was 90% empty. This was painfully obvious since the only place where a concentration of people leaving was the Duke section and there was a âholeâ in the stands left by your departure.This was not lost on our visitors from Alabama or Iâm sure on recruiting prospects either at the game or watching on TV. It was even commented on in the Raleigh Sunday News and Observer. People like to say there are three elements to football: offense, defense and special teams. Actually there are four, the other one being fan support. Football is a game of emotion and to your disgrace you abandoned the team at their time of greatest need. Duke students have an undeserved reputation of being a selfish bunch of elitist, spoiled, rich kids. In front of a regional TV audience you did nothing to dispel that opinion, in fact you actually helped validate it.Â While I donât believe the reputation is deserved in this case your behavior Sat. makes it harder to refute.
When the basketball team gets behind you get louder and louder.
It has been said that you are the greatest 6th man in basketball. There have been manyÂ occasions where the student body has literally refused to let Duke lose. Yet as Coach Cut tries to build a football program you have let him and the team down. We werenât going to win that game but what would the effect have been if you had stayed and cheered just as hard at the end as the beginning? Maybe there would have been a stop or two more and maybe even another score. That could have raised the teams confidence as they go into the next nine games, games by the way I believe they have a chance of winning with your support. If nothing else it would have given the team a real lift to see you stay and made them work even harder in the coming weeks so that they would not disappoint you. It could also have influenced some recruits considering Duke.
If Duke is going to return to a winning tradition it needs its 12th man. It cannot be done without you!Â Â Â Â Â Â John Page EEâ61
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