Over at The Washington Post, Maryland alum Rudy Gersten has a whine up about why Duke wouldn’t play Maryland in Mike Krzyzewski’s final ACC/Big Ten Challenge game to, you know, make Maryland fans feel good and give them a sense of closure.
In fairness, it’s not a bad article and even says some nice things about Coach K. He seems like a decent sort and this is not aimed at him personally.
But really: where do they get off?
When Maryland left the ACC for Big Ten money, they left their ACC rivalries behind.
Coach K himself underscored this, saying “That’s not gonna happen again, because we’re not gonna schedule them … And I’m sorry that Maryland’s not in the ACC. … I wish they were still with us.”
So too bad. You have to have some skin in the game.
Honestly, we miss Maryland being in the ACC too. It’s where they should be. But that ship has sailed.
And while the days of Gary vs. K were full of great basketball, it was also fully of disgusting, rude and dangerous behavior by Maryland fans. Perhaps the most psychotic fan base in all of college basketball, they attacked players, their parents and local businesses, the latter on a regular basis. And Williams tacitly (though not explicitly) seemed to endorse the bad behavior, saluting the fans even as the administration tried to rein them in.
That we don't miss.
And that whole “not our rivals” thing? It was a taunt, obviously, but also there was a lot of truth to it.
UNC has always been Duke’s main rival. It’s not necessarily fun to go over there, but most of the bad behavior has been pretty minor: Mrs. K was apparently shoved after one game, a car here and there has been attacked.
No one has, as far as we can remember, tried to assault anyone in the Dean Dome. No one has had to hide under their seats (this has happened at Maryland). UNC security, to the best of our knowledge, has never had to protect a Duke fan.
It’s an intense rivalry, but sane.
All that aside though, here’s the clearest evidence that Duke fans never really gave Maryland a whole lot of thought.
We don’t remember which year but during the Williams era, when Maryland was highly ranked, we somehow had an extra ticket. So we did the logical thing and tried to sell it outside of Cameron.
No scalping, just shooting for face value.
No one was interested.
Eventually one guy inquired and since it was close to game time, we just offered it to him.
He looked at the ticket for a minute then handed it back and said, “I think I can do better.”
That pretty much summed up the Durham end of the series. Maryland was a rude annoyance, not worthy of much attention. They’re still not. But we hear Lincoln is lovely in February and tickets are currently a steal.