From The Mailbag -Â More Kentucky Stupidity
Hello, DBR! I have been an avid reader of your site ever since my freshman year at Duke and want to let you know that I love the site and still check it on a daily basis for all things Duke basketball. I especially love the pre-game and post-game analyses, so keep up the good work!
On a bit more serious note, I wanted to email you about an incident that you may or may not want to share with your readers. Over the years, I've noticed that DBR regards Kentucky fans in a less-than-positive light. As I was only 10 years old when the Laettner shot happened, I guess I never fully understood DBR's distaste for Kentucky. All of that changed last night.
I was fortunate enough to attend Coach K's historic 903rd win against Michigan State in Madison Square Garden. At the end of the game, we were all party to a great Duke basketball moment-the jumbotron zoomed in on Coach K emotionally hugging Bobby Knight and wiping tears from his eyes. As many Duke fans cheered loudly and took pictures, Kentucky fans throughout the arena stood up and booed Coach K and called him every name in the book, most not repeatable in this space. (From what I could tell, only Kentucky fans were doing this-Kansas and Michigan State fans in my section were applauding.) Not wanting K's special moment to be tainted by a classless reaction from Kentucky fans, I and many other Duke fans in my section began to cheer even louder for our team and our coach. As I waved and clapped, I heard a Kentucky fan one row behind me say "Sit down and go back to Arabia, son" as others laughed and cheered him on.
As an Indian-American who grew up in the deep south, I've been around my fair share of race-based judgments, glares, biases, you name it. It's something I learned to deal with as a child by turning the other cheek, as my parents always taught me. However, never in my life have I been singled out in such a manner, publicly humiliated for the sake of a cheap laugh. My friends and I were mortified and many of those around us who heard the comment were left shaking their heads. That a fan would resort to such blatant offense simply to gain the upper hand in a cheering war at a sports game is pathetic. As far as I'm concerned, such behavior pretty well sums up Kentucky fans. That, and a sore need for some geography lessons.
Thanks, and Let's Go DUKE!
Arie R, Class of 2004