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Highlander
12-12-2017, 01:42 PM
So the DBR Podcast guys were asking for some stories about your earliest Duke memory, and I thought I'd kick it off.

I grew up a Duke fan because my father graduated from Div school in the early 70's. My parents put me in blazers with a Duke patch sewn on the breast and little horned beanies, and encouraged my fandom. I don't remember watching sports all that much until around 1985, when I was 9 years old. My dad and I had started watching Duke basketball games together that year. I grew up in rural NC and spent most of my time around UNC and NC State fans. UNC had won the title in '82 and State in '83, so most of my friends had one of those commemorative "true blue/true red" soda cans. Well, my team was pretty good in 1986, Michael Jordan was replaced by Johnny Dawkins, and I had my heart set on one of those cans in royal blue. I absolutely idolized Johnny Dawkins, and remember always wanting him to hit 24 points since that was his number. I remember also hoping Jay Bilas would be able to make it to the end of the game without fouling out (apologies to Jay if he's reading this; I was 9). When we made the Final Four I just KNEW we were going to win the national title that year simply because it was just our turn. I watched most of the games that year that I was allowed to stay up and see, but I only remember one of them in any detail, and it was the biggest one of the year. I remember watching the final on TV. When Duke missed their last shot down one, they were forced to foul with only seconds left. The UL player hit the first shot to make it a two point game and as the shooter readied for his second shot, the announcer said "This one's for the national championship." I realized he was right, as there was no three point shot in '86, and no way to stop the clock. His free throw swished cleanly through, Duke missed a desperation heave, and this nine year old boy literally cried himself to sleep.

To add insult to injury, the following season (1987) saw the introduction of a three point shot; a shot a guard laden Duke team could have sorely used the previous season, especially on that night in April.

I finally got one of my True Blue sodas back in 1991, and now have several others. Each season is a fun experience, but I have never been as emotionally invested or as devastated as I was after the 1986 final.

kAzE
12-12-2017, 02:05 PM
Easy one for me. It was The Shot. I was at a Duke faculty party with my parents as a little kid. It was probably the first Duke game I had watched from start to finish. Everyone went nuts when Laettner hit the shot to beat UK, and I've been a Duke fan ever since.

flyingdutchdevil
12-12-2017, 02:12 PM
Wasn't the earliest, but was the most significant in my first season as a true Duke fan.

(And no - no one cares about college basketball outside the US. So no - I didn't understand what the hell college ball was)

uh_no
12-12-2017, 02:19 PM
y'all aren't going to like this.....

but my 9 year old self going nuts after the 1999 title game.

ipatent
12-12-2017, 02:21 PM
Watching Banks, Gminski and Spanarkel on a fuzzy B&W TV with rabbit ears on Channel 48 in Philadelphia the year they went to the final.

BeachBlueDevil
12-12-2017, 02:24 PM
Capel hitting the buzzer beater in '95 to send the game to overtime against UNC. I was about 9 at the time and I remember watching Duke before that (big Cherokee Parks fan as kid) but I wasn't a fan until that moment. I think part of what drew me in was it was the local connection (sort of) with Jeff Capel II coaching down the road from me at Old Dominion.

PackMan97
12-12-2017, 02:39 PM
My first is also my best, and it directly relates to why I'm a college basketball fan and then became a State fan.

The time was March Madness in 1992 and I was a senior in high school in Jacksonville, NC. I didn't give a flip about college sports or Duke at that point. I liked Clemson simply because I grew up in South Carolina and all my cool science and math teachers were Clemson grads and all my stupid English and History teachers were Carolina grads. I had moved to North Carolina the year before and had become a State fan because in picking Carolina or State, I already knew I hated the Gamecoks, so State it was. When I later found out that Carolina (North) fans were like Carolina (South) fans, only they thought they were better than everyone else, it only affirmed that I made the right decision. During that year, my best friend spent quite some time at Duke Hospitals with SERIOUS kidney problems, not to mention my dad had his first heart attack and was taken to Duke for an angioplasty. Both are still alive today, so well done Duke! I had been accepted to the Aerospace Engineering program at State and GT, choosing to accept the one to NC State.

So, this sets the stage for my first college basketball memory. My friend (the one who spent time at Duke) and I decided to go bowling on Camp Lejune on the 28th day of March, 1992. I really didn't care about college sports much. Turns out the Saturday's are a busy day at the bowling alley and we had to wait for a game. Well, turns out there was a game on the TV that happened to be Duke vs Kentucky for a chance to go to the final four. There was a fairly strong contingent of Duke fans there cheering every shot and what sounded like an equally vocal group of Kentucky fans (which were upon reflection, likely Carolina fans). Needless to say, it was a blast to join in the crowd and cheer for every Duke basket and jeer at every Kentucky miss and turnover. Finally there was "The Shot" and the crowd errupted. It was the first time I saw a college basketball game in a lively crowd and I was hooked! Later that year I went to my first game in Reynolds to see NC State play and fell in love with Wolfpack basketball (Lord knows why, because we lost to UNC-Wilmington in that game, set the record for school losses and generally sucked for the next 20 seasons).

So, there you have it. My earliest Duke memory.

BLPOG
12-12-2017, 02:57 PM
I remember throwing a thoroughly-justified temper tantrum in (I think) early '92 in the parking lot between Towerview and Cameron. I would have been about 2 and a half years old. My parents forced me to wear an itchy sweater due to the cold weather. I hated that sweater almost as much as that team out of Chapaheeya.

Since that's just a memory at Duke and not really about Duke or athletics, I remember some non-specific basketball from an early age, but probably the most clearly-remembered, significant basketball moment from that time would be Capel's shot. I also remember going to the Hall of Fame Bowl, which predates that shot by about a month.

sagegrouse
12-12-2017, 03:00 PM
I had an early childhood knowledge of the Duke Blue Devils. Perhaps it was the football rivalry games with Georgia Tech, which were the BIG inter-sectional games in the South for many years. Also, it was a preferred college destination for kids in my part of South Carolina, fed, as I later realized, by Duke's relentless recruiting of the best high school students in the Carolinas.

The real moment I became a Duke fan was during Angier Duke weekend in 1960. It had been delayed for a snowstorm, only to suffer another snowstorm that week. While I wasn't committed to Duke at the time, I got to watch the regional semifinal basketball game between Duke and St. Joseph's. Duke had never been to the Elite Eight, and it was a thrilling victory with Navy vet Jack Mullen dribbling out the final seconds.

I was already a basketball fan, and, man, was I eager to get out of South Carolina! So the Duke scholarship became my ticket out of state. There was also the possibility of going to the Ivies, but deciding to come to Duke was a very comfortable decision -- and sports was a factor.

wobatus
12-12-2017, 03:06 PM
Watching Banks, Gminski and Spanarkel on a fuzzy B&W TV with rabbit ears on Channel 48 in Philadelphia the year they went to the final.

I'm actually a fan of, um, another team, but I never hated you guys, certainly not before you became a year-in and out great team. So I remember that team well and rooted for y'all against Kentucky. I remember Spanarkel was year ahead of O'Koren at Hudson Catholic (my folks are Carolinians but I grew up in NJ). Banks was of course from Philly.

When I was very young to me it was all the same, all carolina teams, so I like South Carolina and John Roche, and loved David Thompson. Rivalries came later.

My first Duke memory is the Big 4, 1975-76 season. UNC is high-ranked and loses in an upset to Wake. This will be Wake's first above .500 team in a few years, with Skip Brown, Rod Griffin, Larry Harrison, and a guy who killed the Heels, Jerry Schellenberg. The next year Wake goes to the Elite 8.

Next game is another Big 4 game. Duke isn't very good that year, although they had some ok OOC wins. Foster's 2nd. Early in the rebuild. Spanarkel is a freshman and pretty good. Gminski comes the next year. Banks and Dennard and the finals 2 years later. Tate Armstrong is awesome though, averaging 24 ppg before the 3 point shot. Duke almost upsets UNC, losing 77-74. I was visiting my grandmother in Winston-Salem and caught the game.

A couple of weeks later Duke loses again in a nail-biter to the Heels at Cameron, 89-87. I was hoping Duke would get good, just not at the Heels' expense. Spanarkel was the first building block on the road back to the Final 4 for the first time in over a decade.

I remember you guys became the Big Kahuna by the end of the '70s. I remember the 47-40, 7-0 halftime game very well. But I'm too young to recall your good early to mid-60s team (although I met Art Heyman at his bar, Tracey J's in NYC once and he was very nice to talk to), or even the team that beat NC State 12-10 in the '68 ACC Tournament, when I was only 3. That was the first of the stall games, but not as well known as the 1979 game. Or the first one really was the 21-20 win over UNC in the 1966 ACC Tournament. Maybe one of you (Al) can enlighten on those games.

Stray Gator
12-12-2017, 03:08 PM
My earliest Duke memory dates back to January 1, 1958, when I attended the Orange Bowl game in which Oklahoma defeated Duke by a score of 48-21. To be honest, I was mostly excited by the Boomer Schooner horse-drawn wagon that raced across the field. But all the scoring and cheering was enough to get me hooked forever on the magic of college football, which has kept me spellbound now for 60 years.

75Crazie
12-12-2017, 03:09 PM
My first Duke memory is also my earliest State memory and immediately biased me against State. It was the 12-10 game in the ACC Tournament in, I believe, '68. I very vaguely remember thinking that what I was watching was not basketball. Next year I became a big fan of Denton and DeVenzio. I was a big State hater until I got to Duke in '71 and realized that it was the light blue horde that were the true objects of hatred (one of the very first things I learned at Duke: "There are more Carolina fans in Durham than there are Duke fans in North Carolina").

camion
12-12-2017, 03:17 PM
This. (http://www.goduke.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=3666904)

My first vivid Duke memory is THE FIGHT!!

I remember Heyman, Brown, Walsh and everyone and all the mayhem. It was spectacular.


Oddly I wasn't in attendance and didn't see the game on television. But still I remember it. Thank you A.F.

wobatus
12-12-2017, 03:25 PM
My first Duke memory is also my earliest State memory and immediately biased me against State. It was the 12-10 game in the ACC Tournament in, I believe, '68. I very vaguely remember thinking that what I was watching was not basketball. Next year I became a big fan of Denton and DeVenzio. I was a big State hater until I got to Duke in '71 and realized that it was the light blue horde that were the true objects of hatred (one of the very first things I learned at Duke: "There are more Carolina fans in Durham than there are Duke fans in North Carolina").

Just looking at the rosters and records I vaguely get the 1968 NC State strategy. They only lost by 2. But had only lost by 6 and 10 in the regular season. Duke was pretty good. But State wasn't bad, 16-10 and 9-5 that year.

UNC in 1966 made a little more sense. And only a 1 point loss after two losses of 11 and 14 during the year. And Duke was a powerful team that year. UNC was ok at 16-11 and 8-6, but had the beginnings of their Final 4 run in Miller and Lewis.

What made no sense to me was the 1979 game. Someone posted a link to an article about Chick Yonaker's airball and that explained some of Dean's thinking but it still seemed ridiculous at the time. Those were fairly evenly matched teams although you guys came into the year ranked #1.

Truth&Justise
12-12-2017, 03:30 PM
Around 1997, I was ten years-old and at a friend's house. On the wall in the basement was a full-page newspaper photo showing Laettner's shot against Kentucky (this photo (https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1200/1*rhQ8JcU7vP1jSWd_Cuf81A.jpeg)). My friend's Dad had left a post-it note with a message akin to: "Look at the perfect form on his follow-through!"

Figured I could learn the right way to play by watching Duke. I was right. But it did lead to me feeling pretty devastated when they lost in the '99 championship.

rasputin
12-12-2017, 04:09 PM
Late April or early May, 1969. My family had moved to Greensboro in the Fall of '68. I sensed immediately that I couldn't join the pack of lemming middle-school kids who rooted for the team now known in our house as the Pus Buckets, but I didn't start to have a rooting interest of my own until my class took a field trip to Wilmington. We stopped along the way, and toured the gardens at Duke, in all of their spring splendor. I was hooked then. Going to college at Duke wasn't in the cards for me, but I did go to law school at Duke (class of '81).

chrishoke
12-12-2017, 04:23 PM
Art Heyman's senior day.


7910

uh_no
12-12-2017, 04:28 PM
Art Heyman's senior day.


7910

that picture is outside aisle 13 in cameron. quintuple teamed. you know he wasn't passing that ball. and you know he scored anyway.

chrishoke
12-12-2017, 05:08 PM
that picture is outside aisle 13 in cameron. quintuple teamed. you know he wasn't passing that ball. and you know he scored anyway.

It's also in a scrapbook I did for cub scouts and still have. Click on the picture to read the caption and to see that one of the original cheating heels Larry Brown is one of the five that had 40 poured on him that day by Art.

TruBlu
12-12-2017, 05:18 PM
Not sure about the exact moment or even the year, but it was probably in the mid 50ís. I just remember my dear Dad listening on the radio and celebrating a win by some football team named Duke, or getting in a grumpy mood (which lasted for days/weeks) after the same football team lost.

Naturally, I much preferred the celebrations and good moods, so I began listening with him, and cheering for some team named Duke. As a teenager, I was able to get tickets in the Charlotte Coliseum for the second of the back-to-back victories over UCLA in the mid 60ís. Took Dad for his first ever in person game. The seats were about 5 rows behind one of the goals. It was the most excited that I have ever seen him. Fortunately, after I was able to get season basketball and football tickets for some team named Duke, we were able to attend many more games together.

Now, I have passed the fandom that I inherited from Dad to my offspring. Probably because they, too, do not like being around a grumpy dad after a loss.

Hingeknocker
12-12-2017, 05:28 PM
As a 7 year old, my parents took us to the 1992 Maui Invitational. While at one of the games, my dad took my younger brother and I to the bathroom. I can remember walking back to our seats in that tiny gym, and my brother and I were wearing matching Duke shirts. All of a sudden, we bumped into Magic Johnson! He said hello, mentioning something about the "two Blue Devils" before he noticed my brother on Dad's shoulders. "Three Blue Devils!" he shouted. He patted me on the head, and we left. A very fond memory in what is now a long line of fond Duke memories.

(As a postscript, because of that pat on my head from Magic Johnson, I came to believe that I had "attained" AIDS from Magic. I'm not sure how my parents were able to tell their 7 year old in 1992 that, no, I did not get AIDS from him touching my head.)

Tripping William
12-12-2017, 05:28 PM
Sad, but true: The April 3, 1978 cover of Sports Illustrated.

Bob Green
12-12-2017, 05:28 PM
My first trip to Duke Stadium was in October 1966 to see Duke beat Virginia in the rain. I was seven. The following year (9/30/1967) I was in the stands the day Duke Stadium became Wallace Wade Stadium. Duke lost to South Carolina 21-17 in a game where we fumbled the opening kick off and South Carolina fell on the ball in the end zone for a 7-0 lead with just seconds off the clock. My dad didn't realize the fanatic he was creating when he took me to those games.

This season, I had the privilege of taking my dad, 86 years young now, to two games (Northwestern and Pittsburgh). He told me this past weekend he wants to go to the season opening Army game next year.

On the basketball front, I remember watching Bob Verga and Mike Lewis.

bullcityproud
12-12-2017, 05:34 PM
My wife, who did her undergrad and masters at Duke, thinks my reason for applying to Duke is incredulous. I think otherwise, of course.

I wasn't always a college basketball fan. I mostly watched the NBA; college hoops was a once in a blue moon type of thing for me. I even have a Carolina jersey from my childhood that is stashed somewhere in my parents house because I like MJ haha. I casually watched the 2010 championship and was absolutely hooked by the end of the game. Coincidentally, I was looking at grad programs at that time and looked into Duke. I applied the next year for my masters (didn't reference any basketball fandom), got accepted, and met my beautiful wife there. She's tented for the UNC game and whatnot, but she thinks its crazy that the championship game was the catalyst for me applying to Duke. Obviously the program fit my professional goals, but that game was definitely what made me look at Duke for graduate studies in the first place.

Bob Green
12-12-2017, 05:35 PM
Now, I have passed the fandom that I inherited from Dad to my offspring. Probably because they, too, do not like being around a grumpy dad after a loss.

Great story! I tried to give you some reputation points, unfortunately:


You must spread some Comments around before commenting on TruBlu again.

godins
12-12-2017, 05:38 PM
I was 24 hours old when Duke beat Purdue 69-60 in the 1994 Southeast Regional Final. I was sound asleep on my dad's shoulder as he paced nervously in the hospital room. I don't think that counts.

I don't really remember 1999 (thank God).

In 2001, however, I distinctly remember the Miracle Minute against Maryland. I took my dad's cues, screaming loudly enough at the TV that our dog opted to take refuge elsewhere in the house. I took two things from that game: First, Maryland fans are the worst -- that was the game they threw a bottle at Boozer's mom and second, that Duke would win their third (and my first) national championship.

Devil in the Blue Dress
12-12-2017, 06:43 PM
My dad was a freshman in 1929 when the football stadium was completed. He lived on East Campus (as did everyone else), but as an upperclassman he rented a room from a professor's widow who lived on Markham Ave. behind East. I grew up hearing his stories about observing the construction of the Chapel, most particularly the Italian stone masons who worked on the the hill behind the Chapel.

I remember listening to Ad Penfield on the radio telling us what was happening in the games. When I was about 4 or so, my grandfather would take me up the hill from his house to a little store owned by one of his cronies. The men would gather around the stove and listen to the radio for college football games on Saturdays. One crony was a Carolina fan and the other was a State fan. Pop had practiced with me before we went so that when his buddies asked, "Who's going to win today?" I knew to answer DUKE!

Later I remember attending the 1959 Homecoming game when the cadets of West Point marched in the rain from the train station in downtown Durham to the stadium for the game. This was the team featuring the lonesome end, the guy who never came to the huddle, but knew which play would be called. The loss to an Army team making good use of passing helped influence Coach Murray to pass after decades dedicated to running and punting on third down.

lmb
12-12-2017, 06:58 PM
Watching the '85-'86 team. I loved Billy King's defense but Alarie was my favorite player.

Olympic Fan
12-12-2017, 07:39 PM
I have vague memories of attending the 1958 Duke-Baylor football game.

Duke won 12-7 as Wray Carlton had a big day.

But my real awakening of a fan was the 1960 ACC Basketball Tournament -- the year of the big snow.

I remember every detain of those two nights (we missed the first round because of the snow) as Duke upset North Carolina and Wake Forest on back-to-back nights to win the school's first ACC title in Vic Bubas' first year. Howard Hurt became my favorite player, but Doug Kistler, who was the tourney MVP, later became my high school coach (winning a state title with Durham Jordan in 1968 -- led by future Blue Devil Stu Yarbrough, who married one of Vic's daughters).

A few months later, I remember attending the Duke-Navy football game when Duke students stole the Navy goat and the football team upset No. 4 ranked Navy, shutting down Heisman Trophy winner Joe Bellino.

YmoBeThere
12-12-2017, 08:48 PM
Losing the title game to the 'ville...

sagegrouse
12-12-2017, 09:54 PM
A few months later, I remember attending the Duke-Navy football game when Duke students stole the Navy goat and the football team upset No. 4 ranked Navy, shutting down Heisman Trophy winner Joe Bellino.

I know something about the Navy goat theft. If my Mom hadn't thrown away the goat hair, I would still have a valuable item of memorabilia.

bcspeed24
12-12-2017, 10:21 PM
My first Duke memories started in the 70's with the annual Big4 tourney. My Dad (State grad) was one of 4 persons that traveled to Greensboro every year to do official stats for all 4 games.
While I never got to attend with him, I listened on the radio pulling for both Duke and State (and/or Wake) to send UNC home 0-2 before official ACC season games began. Unfortunately, Jan 3&4 1975 was the only year out of ~10 that the Heels went 0-2, in part thanks to a Duke 99 - 96 OT win the first night!

--Paul

Tappan Zee Devil
12-12-2017, 10:34 PM
I know something about the Navy goat theft. If my Mom hadn't thrown away the goat hair, I would still have a valuable item of memorabilia.

Wasn't there also a year when we stole the carolina ram. I think it must have been '68 or '69.

cspan37421
12-12-2017, 11:11 PM
spring 1985 ... some fancy-looking southern school I applied to (and got in!) apparently had a basketball team that was good enough to make the NCAAT. But I saw them lose to BC, unfortunately.

too soon?

But hey, I arrived on campus in the fall, and the next year was all caught up in the reflected/shared glory of a 37-3 season.

Duke76
12-12-2017, 11:28 PM
while I can't claim to remember that day I have the birth certificate to prove it. My father was an OBGYN resident at Duke by that time having met my mother when he was in Med School at Duke and she was in Nursing School at Duke. (As an aside she lived in Baker House and was known as a Baker House bunny, which was the precursor term to being a Hanes House honey) My father grew up in Thomasville NC, went to Duke undergrad for 2 years and then off to WWII in Europe on the tail end so never saw the front lines but returned from the WWII skipping his junior and senior year at Duke and went straight into med. school at Duke and in 1954 was doing his Residency year at Duke. We lived in Durham for my first 4 years. We lived off of Swift Road in the Alastair Court apartments. I got my first haircut at the Duke barbershop in the basement of the West student union by the old Dope Shop.

We moved to Salisbury when I was 4 and I would ride the train to Thomasville on weekends when I was in my pre teen years and my grandfather would take me to Duke football games at Wallace Wade. it was the coolest thing, my grandfather and I sitting in the end zone with my shirt off watching Duke play football with 100 or so other fans, (some things never change). I will always remember the Blue Devil standing on the goal posts in the end zone. I knew I was gonna go to Duke and I wanted to be that Blue Devil.

I made a scrapbook of Duke sports when i was a kid and have all these articles of the games when Jack Marin and Jeff Mullins were there. An article on the football team when we beat Carolina 16-14 and Jay Wilkinson was the star halfback, and Bill Murray was the famous coach. At the back of the scrapbook though is a picture of number 25, Art Heyman. So many articles of the Vic Bubas years. This scrapbook and articles are all falling apart but I still got them. Think I could stay up all night reading them. My wife thinks I'm nuts.

Anyway I ended up going to Duke, saw the glory years of Bucky Waters, saw Dave O'Connell play briefly, his son has his jumping genes one can tell. One of my sons graduated not too long ago from here. I come by all of this honestly as my great grandfather was like one of 20 guys who graduated from Trinity College in 1895. He become a Methodist minister living in Thomasville. I have his very large diploma upstairs, its all in Latin, now that's pretty cool.

We all have great early memories of Duke, those are just a few of mine. i joke...kinda...I want my ashes spread in the Duke Gardens.

BigWayne
12-13-2017, 03:19 AM
Grew up in Connecticut and moved to NC in the early 70s. First memory of Duke was when my dad had a game on and this really big guy was introduced at the beginning of the game, making his appearance by performing a big 180 degree jump from the bench to the huddle of 4 guys already on the court. I remember my dad telling me he was a smart guy from Connecticut that graduated early from HS and was the big hope to make Duke a better team after some years of poor results. Dad was right.

AtlBluRew
12-13-2017, 01:51 PM
I grew up in Baltimore and was a Maryland fan. During my junior year in high school (Class of 1979), I was watching a Duke/Maryland basketball game and the announcers made a comment to the effect that Duke was a very good school and specifically mentioned political science, which was my intended major. On that basis alone, I requested an admissions packet.

I got my acceptances to Duke, Maryland and Cornell and, with early admission rules, had about a week to decide. I needed to know my financial aid package with Duke, so my father and I drove down so I could meet with counselors. As we drove up to the financial aid building, Jim Spanarkel jogged by. I was sold.

Natty_B
12-13-2017, 01:57 PM
Each season is a fun experience, but I have never been as emotionally invested or as devastated as I was after the 1986 final.

Our memories, and maybe ages, track exactly. That was the first season I followed, as my dad - class of '70, got me hooked. I went to see Duke play at Cole Field House. I think Len Bias opened the game with a dunk. Later found out that Lefty had turned up the heat in the gym to try to tire Duke out. Also went to the Meadowlands for the Elite 8 where Duke beat David Robinson and Navy - Johnny Dawkins threw down on of the best dunks in Duke history that day. To me Pervis Ellison is key member of the "Dudes who had their best game ever against Duke in the tournament" club.

dyemeduke
12-13-2017, 02:28 PM
I was mesmerized by Larry Johnson. As a poor minority, UNLV was a fun team to follow. I liked the underdogs though, so when they were pounding Duke in '90, I was going for the team that was clearly overmatched. The next year though, as you all know, was redemption for that Duke squad. My earliest memory is UNLV dunking all over Duke in '90, but the '91 FF game is what made me a fan. Brian Davis hitting two free throws is burned into my memory...can't recall too much more from that game, but I remember the general emotion.

arnie
12-13-2017, 02:38 PM
Our memories, and maybe ages, track exactly. That was the first season I followed, as my dad - class of '70, got me hooked. I went to see Duke play at Cole Field House. I think Len Bias opened the game with a dunk. Later found out that Lefty had turned up the heat in the gym to try to tire Duke out. Also went to the Meadowlands for the Elite 8 where Duke beat David Robinson and Navy - Johnny Dawkins threw down on of the best dunks in Duke history that day. To me Pervis Ellison is key member of the "Dudes who had their best game ever against Duke in the tournament" club.

Along with Goose Givens.

kako
12-13-2017, 03:56 PM
Honestly it was watching NC State with David Thompson and company whomp over Duke in Reynolds during the 73-74 season on their way to their championship. I was 11, living in Raleigh. My dad had taught at State so I got to go to State games. The Devils were beaten handily. But from that point I started watching Duke - hey, they hated Carolina as much as State! I guess I was born with 9F in my blood... Better memories (though not many more victories) came watching Tate Armstrong light it up. His senior year Duke starts out strong, but he gets injured and Duke's season tanks. But then next year it's the 77-78 team, Spanarkel, Gminski, Banks, Dennard, etc. And I was hooked... and started hating Kentucky, too!

luvdahops
12-13-2017, 04:14 PM
Honestly it was watching NC State with David Thompson and company whomp over Duke in Reynolds during the 73-74 season on their way to their championship. I was 11, living in Raleigh. My dad had taught at State so I got to go to State games. The Devils were beaten handily. But from that point I started watching Duke - hey, they hated Carolina as much as State! I guess I was born with 9F in my blood... Better memories (though not many more victories) came watching Tate Armstrong light it up. His senior year Duke starts out strong, but he gets injured and Duke's season tanks. But then next year it's the 77-78 team, Spanarkel, Gminski, Banks, Dennard, etc. And I was hooked... and started hating Kentucky, too!

1978 ACC Tournament Final win versus Wake, which came just after my older sister had been accepted, and was of course followed by the Final Four run. Despite growing up in Ohio, I was already an ACC fan thanks to CD Chesley, and watching David Thompson at State was what hooked me on college hoops for life. But Duke was kind of an afterthought for me until Forever's Team broke through.

WV_Iron_Duke
12-13-2017, 05:13 PM
My first memory of Duke sports was going to the 1955 Orange Bowl with my parents (father Duke grad and Iron Duke hence my name). I was only 7 years old but I knew football well enough to recite the game to my class a few days later. In those days Oklahoma could only go every other year so we played Nebraska. Of course Duke won 34-7:) The halftime show was memorable with all the balloons. Still have the Orange Bowl pennants:)The weather was very warm and the trip to Florida included the Fort at ST. Augustine, Ripley's Believe it or Not, a gator farm and getting stung by a man-of-war:(.
Fortunately, the Eastern Panhandle of WV got all of the DC Metro Area media like the ACC game of the week on Saturdays and we could get Duke football games on the radio. My first basketball memory is going to see Duke play Maryland at Cole. Don't remember any of the Duke players but remember seeing Gary Williams play.

Billy Dat
12-14-2017, 11:31 AM
As a young Northeastern-US teen whose interest in college basketball was driven by the emerging Big East, I tuned in to the 1985 preseason NIT to watch a tough local St. Johns squad lose to Duke, and then watched Duke beat Kansas the next day for the title. Checking my bible - The SI College Basketball preview with Mark Price/Bruce D and Cheryl Miller on the cover - I saw that these Duke Blue Devils were a preseason top 10 pick. Hmm. The season went on and I noted their tussles with UNC, who I knew from Mr. Jordan and their epic final against my bandwagon-aligned Pat Ewing Hoyas. Later that season, the "Duke's the Team to Beat" cover of SI pulled me in further (amazing to think about how pre-internet was ruled by print). Sad to admit, I was pulling hard for Louisville in that final, I had taken a liking to the program because the McCray brothers were local products and I think I also just liked the name. To now realize I was on the wrong side of what many of you have described as your most devastating Duke loss is troubling.

53n206
12-14-2017, 11:37 AM
Sports Illustrated cover photo of Worth Lutz at goal line vs Army in 1952. (We lost.)

budwom
12-14-2017, 12:48 PM
1961 Cotton Bowl vs Arkansas, weirdest helmets I'd ever seen. Then 1964, had the shame of being a UConn hoop fan, they met Duke in the finals of the Eastern Regional, Duke led
72-27 at the half.

-jk
12-14-2017, 03:24 PM
OK, I'm one of the folks who were born in Mr. Duke's hospital and grew up in Durm. Duke was a part of my life before I was even born - I made it to our first final four as a twinkle in an eye (the roar of the crowd is so comforting).

Duke has always been just "there", so I have no specific "earliest" Duke memory as such.

My earliest memory of basketball is from when I was a preschooler - it was the Bubas era, where he told the guys they could do two out of three of: play ball, get good grades, or have a girlfriend - and told them to tell their girlfriends they'd see them in the spring. (That's hearsay from my mom; I imagine it wasn't followed too closely.)

At the end of each season, my parents threw a party a lot of players attended (it was a very different era), and I remember finding a lot of those players asleep around the house the next morning (my parents were ahead of their day and wouldn't let them drive back to campus after the party).

Fun times...

-jk

Highlander
12-19-2017, 01:27 PM
Our memories, and maybe ages, track exactly. That was the first season I followed, as my dad - class of '70, got me hooked. I went to see Duke play at Cole Field House. I think Len Bias opened the game with a dunk. Later found out that Lefty had turned up the heat in the gym to try to tire Duke out. Also went to the Meadowlands for the Elite 8 where Duke beat David Robinson and Navy - Johnny Dawkins threw down on of the best dunks in Duke history that day. To me Pervis Ellison is key member of the "Dudes who had their best game ever against Duke in the tournament" club.

My dad was Duke Divinity class of '70 also, so that's another thing we have in common. I don't remember Bias as a player; I was too invested in that '86 Duke team to notice anyone else. But I do remember when Len Bias died a few months later. Such a preventable loss.

4Gen
12-19-2017, 06:09 PM
March 1968. I was 16 years old. Virtual unknown Freddy Lind goes off and Duke beats UNC in triple overtime. I ran out of the house screaming and looking for my friend John Wilson, the only other Duke fan on the block.

(Not my first Duke memory, since I was raised a Dukie from birth, but a darn good memory)