Home > Sports > My condolences to Dook fans everywhere

My condolences to Dook fans everywhere

Tough luck, y’all. I really got misty watching J.J. Redick cry at the end of the game. Really. It got me right here [absently pointing to my upper torso].

OK, not really.

Like Tar Heel fans everywhere, I giggled at the end of the game. Sorry, but it’s true. And don’t tell me that Dook fans weren’t celebrating when UNC fans lost to George Mason on Sunday. When your biggest rival loses, it feels good. I’m not ashamed of this. Nor should I be. So, get off my back! Not that anybody was on my back, of course. I’m just covering my bases.

What made this even better is not only did Dook lose, but I called this scenario in EVERY one of my brackets. Granted, I didn’t expect them to shoot 28%… or see J.J. come away with only 11 points… or to have someone nicknamed “Big Baby” get a rebound on his missed free throw over four hapless Dookies. Luck be a lady tonight… and she wasn’t a devil in a blue dress.

In all seriousness, I’m here to help my Dookie friends… hell, any sports fan who loses a big game. We’re going to walk you through the five stages of grief, which are eerily similar to the Kubler-Ross stages of grief. Why? Because I plagiarized… er, ripped … er, borrowed loosely from them. Let’s dive in.

Denial
(this isn’t happening to me!) is first. I’m guessing that this happened somewhere during the second half, when Dook was connecting less than Stevie Wonder at a firing range. Buh-dum-dum! Thank you! I’ll be here all week! Enjoy the veal!

Stage two brings us to Anger (why is this happening to me?). For Dookies, I’m guessing you’re in this phase right now. “How can we have gotten outrebounded by 45-35?” Well, it happened the entire year. “How did we shoot seven fewer free throws?” Life sucks. Well, apparently I’m not the guy you want around when you hit the Anger phase. I might send you into a deeper second stage. Absolute Rage, I’m guessing. ’nuff said.

Stage three is Bargaining (I promise I’ll be a better person if…). I’m not sure how this applies to sports. I guess you could make a deal with the devil (no pun intended). The last athlete that did that was Kurt Warner, probably when he was stocking groceries and struggling to make the Arena League. Was it worth it? Look what it did to his wife. OK, I’m officially rambling right now

Next we’re on to the fourth stage Depression (I don’t care anymore). I’m thinking this phase will hit pretty forcefully in the morning, when Devil fans take their brackets, crumple them up and throw them in the trash can. Of course, you won’t catch too much abuse from Carolina fans, since we don’t have a dog in this hunt, either. NC State fans are too busy checking coaching rumor websites to see if someone… anyone… is interested in taking Herb Sendek. Plus, does anyone really work with a rabid LSU basketball fan? Just close the door or keep your head down. It’s always better to be depressed in peace. So you got that going for you. Which is nice.

Finally, you’ll hit Acceptance (I’m ready for whatever comes). In a day or so, you’ll be reading about Gerald Henderson and the rest of the incoming Dook freshman class. You can watch the woman’s team shoot for their first-ever NCAA title. And you’ll be secure in the knowledge that some writers (particularly Andy Katz and his crack pipe) think that Dook’s nine-year streak of reaching the Sweet Sixteen compares favorably to John Wooden’s streak at UCLA of seven-straight championships. Read it for yourself here. But abandon all reason and rational thought all who enter here.

(By the way, Mr. Katz, UNC reached 13 consecutive Sweet 16s between 1981 and 1993. For some reason, that streak became an albatross for Coach Smith, even though he essentially bookended the streak with national championships. “Can’t win the big one.” “His players freeze under the pressure.” Blah blah blah. Coach K gets to the Sweet 16, flames out five of those nine years, and it’s worthy of praise and admiration. Thanks for the column, Andy. I guess every other angle in the tournament had been covered, and you were trying for something different. Try harder, dumb ass. Sorry, this article struck a nerve. Is that coming across?)

But I digress. Welcome to the club, Duke fans. Wolfpack backers, let’s make room on the bench. We’ll see you again in the fall.

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Categories: Sports

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