I have been a Duke fan since 9 months before I was born. My dad is a graduate of Duke and I have several other family ties there as well. So needless to say I bleed Duke Blue. One thing I have noticed over the years is the intensity and the harassment from the crazies has somewhat been on a downward trend. Dont get me wrong, I still think that Duke has the greatest student section in any college sport period and the crazies definitely still have an intimidating presence. However, they just dont seem to be the crazies of old. For instance, last year i attended a few home games and at several points during hte game one half of the student section was doing one cheer, while the other half was doing another and they never got into any kind of synchronization. Also, a player from an ACC opponent fouled out and refused to sit down b/c he knew the drill and knew to try and wait it out. The crazies stayed on him for a few minutes but gave up their taunting fairly easily i thought. He finally sat down and no one paid him any attention. We are the Cameron Crazies...we should not let anyone recieve any kind of special treatment. We need to look back to the days of the early 90s when everyone and their mother got harassed untill they had no more breath. We need to show these guys that this student section isn't becoming complacent and disinterested. We need to show all of these other colleges that try to mimick the crazies that there is a one and only Cameron Crazie student section. With the invention of facebook and myspace, it should be easy for students to access player information and rumors from other schools. I am not advising that we personally attack other players, but they should not feel comfortable in our gym. They should think before everything that they do in public..."I hope the crazies dont find out about this and harass me for it everytime i touch the ball".
I would be more than happy to leave my job and become the full time cameron crazies manager if Duke would like to offer such a position. "Relentless" "Intimidating" "Unique" these are words that comes to mind when I think of the Cameron Crazies and thats what our reputation should live up to.
In fact, I suspect Duke fans of every era think the fans were best in their day. Maybe they're right and maybe they're wrong. Memory's a funny thing.
It's really disappointing to hear disgruntled alums going after the students. As I mentioned in another thread, we come to the games to see good baskebtall, not to entertain the people upstairs or watching on TV. If our cheers aren't up to your standards, I sincerely apologize. I more than welcome any of you up top to start cheers of your own if you think we're not cutting it. Until that happens, though, the students would appreciate it if the when-I-was-in-school-the-Crazies-were-so-much-better alums would quiet down a bit.
They did kind of destroy Ishmael Smith pretty recently.
As I mentioned on another thread, nobody needs you to entertain anyone. But nobody needs to hear you say you'll be good in the big games but ignore the others, either.
For shorthand, you can simply cite the DBR's Handy Pocket Reference, paragraph 11(e).
If the beef is with alums critiquiing the crazies, then let me shed a little light on things from a unique perspective.
I am both an alum, AND a crazy (I get into the games as grad student spouse).
This is NOT just a case of "the good ole days" syndrome. The crazies attendance has been HORRIBLE this year, both grad students and undergrads. I got in line 2.5 hours before game time for the blue and white game. I WAS the line (yeah, nobody in line, at all). That was most definitely NOT the case when I was a student(1999-2003), I know that to be fact.
Last night, there were VERY obvious empty sections. Coach K in his post game interview even mentioned it in saying:
"We played well, but there was something a little bit missing," Krzyzewski said. "The same thing with the crowd. We should remind all our Duke fans that we start our season on Monday and every game counts, and if you're not going to come, let us know and we'll sell the seats."
One of the problems I see with the Crazies' section, is that it is not all crazies any more. The section that is behind the Duke bench, for the majority, sits down the entire game. I noticed this last year, that even in an ACC game (Va) that whole side was quiet. (and there was a gaping hole to their right to accomodate a cameraman). On TV, you never notice it, because they show the other side, but it is disturbing to me to know that someone is lucky enough to be that close to the action, and not have any enthusiasm for the game. I think they outta give the whole lower section back to the students.
But it appears that the discussion is about the quality AND quantity of the Crazies (ie. See above post re: "See ya" cheer). I haven't been to an ultra high intensity game in a long time, but I remember many posters here from current and past decades saying CIS was so loud it was deafening or sounded like being next to a jet at take-off or whatever comparison they wished to use to demonstrate the decibel level and intensity of the game. It takes the participation of an absolutely over-packed student section AND several thousand of the folks upstairs to create that.
If 11(e) is not sufficiently broad to cover the complaints about "quantity" as well as "quality," then I beg your pardon for the failed attempt at humor. I've been attending Duke basketball games since 1966, so I've had the opportunity to observe the crowds in Cameron since before it was named "Cameron." I'm a season-ticket holder who flies up from Florida for home games when I can make time around a busy law practice. (Fortunately, my son lives in Durham and takes a friend when I can't attend.) In fact, I'll be coming up this weekend for the N.C. State football game and staying over for the games Monday and Tuesday night (bringing work with me, of course). By all rights, I could scoff at the students who complain about the effort required to drag themselves all the way over from East Campus, and the onerous demands of adjusting their study schedules to account for the few hours it takes to show up and support the team.
But instead, I shake my head at those who raise this annual refrain of "the Crazies were so much better in my day," etc. In my judgment, the students today are just as enthusiastic in their support, and just as creative, and just as dedicated as those who were there 5 or 10 or 20 or 30 years ago. The problem IMO is that some alums selectively remember a few "highlights of Crazy creativity" from their era as if those incidents occurred regularly at every home game. In fact, attendance and crowd support at non-Division I exhibition games has been relatively underwhelming for as long as I can recall.
As for the "upstairs fans," things have changed more perceptibly. And there's a simple explanation: As the Iron Dukes keep raising the required contribution levels, the "regular Duke fans" who can no longer afford the increased fare are replaced by corporate purchasers, who are only interested in attending the marquee games. For other games, their seats are either sold on StubHub, or offered to clients and employees, or left in the desk drawer. As a result, many of those seats are empty or are filled with an ever-changing cast of people who are not hard-core Duke fans (and all too often, I'm sad to say, are fans of the opposing team). I don't blame Coach K for being distressed about the empty seats. But in fairness, he needs to direct more of his disapproval and dissatisfaction at the athletic department, or at the administration, or at whoever makes the decision to increase required contribution levels for Iron Dukes.
I'm not trying to criticize this years attendance in anyway because I understand that preseason exhibitions are going to be second hand games for people. I was just a little bit shocked at the lack of preparation and intensity that I saw in the games I went to last year, especially the ACC games. I can never remember having half the crazies doing one cheer while the other half does another (on the same side of the court). I know that the students are not at the games for the entertainment of the upper deck, we are here for the basketball game. We are here to support our Devils. But why do you think Cameron has built such a reputation of the "6th" man? Players should have chill bumps when they come into Cameron because they know they have never and will never play in another atmosphere that is Duke Basketball. Duke is an outstanding program and I just want to see it continue to be that way. I just became a member of DBR thats why this topic was started at this time of year, and I would just like to say that this has nothing to do with this years attendance.
To Stray Gator and DevilDeac:
I understand others are speaking about content and craziness, I only mean to say that the numbers in section 17 seemed very low last night. That coupled with Coach K's comments is concerning.
I will comment on the quality factor, though. It takes special circumstances to have the decibel bending loudness that comes around to Cameron every few years. I do not expect an exhibition game to be of that quality. I thought that the Crazies in attendence last evening were excellent and represented our collective 6th man legacy well. I know that the attendence was higher during exhibition games and early season match-ups during my time at Duke. I do not expect the Fire Marshall to be called up for the Lenoire-Rhyne game, but I think a student section that is 3/4 full is much better than a student section that is 1/2 full.
I also understand Coach K's comments. He sees the enormous amount of time and effort sacrificed by the players, and justifiably feels that the students and fans--who pride themselves on being the "Sixth Man"--need to do their part by showing up and supporting the team. When the seats are not filled, there is probably some sense among the coaches and players that their efforts are not being properly appreciated. I don't fault them for feeling that way, either. Coach K is right to remind the students and fans that their attendance and support are important; and I trust people will get the message. I, for one, plan to be in my seat upstairs Monday night, ready to make some noise. And I hope that, by taking last night off to attend to other responsibilities, many more students will turn out as well, so that Cameron will be "in character" once again. All I'm trying to suggest here is that students and fans should be motivated to give their time and support to the team through positive encouragement, rather than through criticism and chastisement.