OK, here is a question for you. Obviously we are all thrilled about the football team so far. Cutcliffe and the players have done wonders, and once again, games are a lot of fun on Saturday.
A lot of posters have now surmised however, and rightfully so, that the toughest part of the schedule is coming up. Pre-Season, several said a 3 win season would be satisfying. I don't think that's the case anymore given how we are playing, and even more said and still say 4 or 5 would be awesome.
Wellll...what happens if we have won our limit? I'm only playing Blue Devil's advocate here, I think we have more wins in us. But what if we don't? Honestly, as long as all the games are hard fought, it's hard to complain. But given what we have seen, I worry about how our guys will do faced with going under .500 again. Just curious for some input here, are we hyping to much, or are we now looking at a team that has overperformed, OR are we looking at a team that is playing exactly to the caliber that they are capable of and everyone better watch the hell out? How will they handle a few losses?
Sorry for the hijack, but given the thread title of team morale I thought this might be a place to throw in my opinion that the team walk from the chapel on game day is a fantastic idea. I mean, if you've got an inspiring campus, use it. Is this Cut's innovation, a long-standing tradition, a recently revived one?
As a Christian/reincarnationist/Hindu/Buddist/Ba'hai honoree, I can't think of any offense or denigration to non-Christian athletes. And...I do consider this a hijack of the original thread. Let's move these thoughts and this input on the off-topic.
If the athletes and fans walk from the chapel to the stadium incontemplation, focusing on their job at hand, getting ready to beat the **** out of their next opponent, well, who can argue with that??
I hope for our seniors that there are many more victories to come this season, and personally, I see several (if not more) on the horizon.
And, if not, so be it. You can't climb Bandini mountain all at once. But to have the football on the right track and with some amazing recruits committing to the Duke education and a chance to turn this around. Well, YAHOO and KUDOS to all.
(Another thread, perhaps). I've seen the student section referred to as "Cut's Crazies." I'd like to see them have their own moniker. "Wallace Wade Wackos?" "Duke Football Phenmons?" (sic?) whatever.... So students, let's start a new thread for a nickname that stands alone.
P.S. I am SOOO excited that I will be in D.C. this week-end so I can watch the Duke/GATech game on espnU at a great sports bar. Can't wait.
Couple of thoughts...  if they keep their penalties to a MERE 2 or 3 per game, that's something to hang on to...  if they are in every game, even with in-game leads and then a loss, if they are in the game with a possibility of winning at the end (see Northwestern)... this team has "turned the corner". I think, and hope, that if they have a chance to win at the end of every game, that they will indeed pull 1 or 2 out of the bag, given Coach Cut and his staff. Also, I think that the direction that this team has pointed Duke Football towards is a great reward in itself. BC (Before Cut), I don't think this was even imaginable. At least, that's how I would feel And, with the recruits coming in (and hopefully continue to come in), I think Duke Football will be in good shape for the future.
Given that many players on the opposing side invoke the same God for an opposite purpose, the whole thing strikes me as absurd. How about a little humility, a la Matthew 6:5?
This is not to say that the Chapel isn't historic, beautiful, and an integral part of Duke. But AFAIK we don't recite the "Aims of Duke University" before each football game, hoping for Divine favor. It's merely a football game and I do not subscribe to a theology that supports the notion that the Divine favors one team over another.
Gosh, all these theological objections never even occurred to me. I was just thinking along the line Allen and Jim stated. From a theological standpoint, the Duke chapel has long represented a liberalized, very inclusive and ecumenical Protestantism, a place where you could expect to find some pretty sophisticated thoughts on religion and sports, and their relationship.
You can always remind those Tarheels that just south of the border they opine that God must love SOUTH Carolina because He made so many Cocks. The equivalence tends to deflate pomposity--a nice reversal of the historical SC/NC relationship.
The Duke Chapel is a very beautiful building, but that is what it is a building. A true church is it's members not a building. So it should not bother non-Christian athletes. Go Duke!
I was a non-Christian athlete at Duke. I think the chapel is the coolest thing about Duke, and maybe about North Carolina. Maybe the Southeastern United States.
The walk is an innovation of Coach Cut. I think the inspiration is Notre Dame, where the players assemble in the chapel before the game, then walk to the stadium. While Notre Dame's tradition is theological, I don't think Coach Cut's aim was theology as much as geography. To the outside world, the Chapel IS Duke. Starting the walk at the Chapel and then proceeding through the dormitory portion of campus symbolizes the commitment of the student body with the football team. When I was a student on the last day of classes (before there was a LDOC) the chapel steps were used to initiate new members of the Order of the Chair. I can assure you that was NOT a religious celebration (except for those who worshipped Bacchus too strongly).
As for morale, I think this team has learned that it can play four quarters, that it can come back from a deficit, and that it really is fun to win. Now, if they lose the next 8 games will that have an effect. Yes. But I would still expect them to perform. Each successful experience makes the next successful experience more likely. No one expects Duke to play in a BCS bowl, but it is not out of the question (although unlikely) that the team could become bowl eligible. These guys just had a singular experience--they won an ACC game. The very first one for almost all of them. Their experiences this year are of success. That will carry over.
As for the fans, speaking only for myself, this is the most fun I have had watching Duke football since the ol' ball coach departed. I really don't expect another 42-0 halftime score like the one that finished Carl Franks. I believe in the ability of this coaching staff to get everything they can out of the players, even though I realize that may not be enough at present. GTHC.
During his preseason tour, Coach Cutcliffe talked about the three things he teaches his teams to value: faith, family, and football. When it came to faith, he said he does not force Christianity on any of his players, but does encourage them to embrace their own religion for its moral and ethical guidance. Given the many potential distractions and temptations for young athletes today, I, personally have no problem with this philosophy.
The team holds a moment of silence in front of the Chapel for the players to collect their thoughts, block out any distractions, and focus on that day's game. They hold this on the lawn in front of the chapel - when I witnessed it before the Navy game, it was closer to the bus stop than the actual Chapel, so I really think that people are probably reading too much into this. The pregame walk is a motivating technique for the team, which many top football programs utilize.
For the first game, it started at the chapel quad, but not in the Chapel. The players got off the buses at the bus stop and started walking down Main Quad. Now, they may have moved it to the Chapel since then, but many non-religious events take place in the Chapel. This is one of them, IMO.
Duke | Mirecourt | Detroit| The U | USA
Just came from Tenneesee where they say the walk is alive and well there, called the Vol Walk. So I guess Cut brought it with him, just adapting it to his new campus. The let's put an end to the faithfuls misery and retire the current HC has started big time. Names like Steve Spurrior (former Johnson City resident) and Cut have been more that briefly mentioned by some of the old Alum. They say Fulmer has a $5 Mill. buyout that all of a sudden doesn't seem as expensive as it once did to their loyallist. Let's fix Wade now as Cut wants. Cut's the perfect Duke coach and I would love to see him stay a long while.
This is the worst thread hijack in history, grrr. I asked a queston about how the team will deal with losses, and it turned into a theology lecture, and it only took one post to do it.
A loss is never easy. The current focus on mental and physical toughness is not only creating better production on the field, it's creating a toughness to handle whatever happens. I think this team will not be brought down totally by a loss.
I guess I'd rather invest my energy in being optimistic and enjoying the fun we've had so far.... good karma!