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Barry Jacobs Looks Back At When Duke Football Was Beyond Bad

A oddly affectionate look at Duke football when it really, really sucked

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NCAA Football: North Carolina Central at Duke
Sep 2, 2017; Durham, NC, USA; The Duke Blue Devils cheerleaders celebrate after Duke scored a touchdown against the North Carolina Central Eagles in the first half of their game at Wallace Wade Stadium. 
Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

Duke football has been fun for about the last 10 years but for a long time it was anything but fun.

Duke was absolutely terrible. At one point, Duke canceled a game at Louisville (before the Cardinals joined the ACC) and actually argued that Duke wasn’t good enough to be considered a D-1 program so Louisville wasn’t losing much. And judge Phillip J. Shepherd - a Kentucky judge agreed!

"At oral argument, Duke [with a candor perhaps more attributable to good legal strategy than to institutional modesty] persuasively asserted that this is a threshold that could not be any lower. Duke's argument on this point cannot be reasonably disputed by Louisville."

When you go into court and the judge agrees that the ”threshold that could not be any lower” - that’s kind of the pinnacle of sucking.

Not to mention humiliating.

Anyway, Barry Jacobs, who came to Duke in the ‘60s, watched a good bit of the sucky decades and has this look back at the epic of suck that, for many years, defined Duke football.

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