Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 49
  1. #1

    Earliest Duke Memory?

    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.
    "There can BE only one."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Boston, MA

    Duhon's under the basket lay-up to beat UNC

    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)
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Durham
    y'all aren't going to like this....

    but my 9 year old self going nuts after the 1999 title game.
    While it would be more appropriate for our friends in raleigh, it's not unfitting that the UNC fight song is the same tune as "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay"

  5. #5
    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    The Beach
    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.

  7. #7
    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.

  8. #8
    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.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Steamboat Springs, CO

    Regional Semis in 1960

    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.
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by ipatent View Post
    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.

  11. #11
    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.

  12. #12
    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").

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    This.

    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.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by 75Crazie View Post
    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.

  15. #15

    Late 90s

    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). 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.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    St. Louis
    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).

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    "This is the best of all possible worlds."
    Dr. Pangloss - Candide

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by chrishoke View Post
    that picture is outside aisle 13 in cameron. quintuple teamed. you know he wasn't passing that ball. and you know he scored anyway.
    While it would be more appropriate for our friends in raleigh, it's not unfitting that the UNC fight song is the same tune as "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay"

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by uh_no View Post
    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.
    "This is the best of all possible worlds."
    Dr. Pangloss - Candide

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Atlanta 'burbs
    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.

Similar Threads

  1. What is your earliest memory?
    By Reilly in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 08-10-2015, 10:22 AM
  2. Selective memory
    By rsvman in forum Elizabeth King Forum
    Replies: 60
    Last Post: 04-01-2014, 09:26 AM
  3. Duke-GT, 1987 version-trip down memory lane
    By jimsumner in forum Elizabeth King Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-15-2012, 01:03 PM
  4. Duke Grads: Memory Lane Music
    By BlueintheFace in forum Elizabeth King Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-24-2009, 10:01 AM
  5. Problems With Memory
    By colchar in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 05-24-2008, 12:11 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •