Home > Sports > Into the belly of the beast: My night with the Dookies

Into the belly of the beast: My night with the Dookies

On Monday, a couple of guys from my Boston-based PR agency came down to North Carolina for a strategy session. When we made the plans, they took a look at the local teams to see if the college teams in the Triangle had a game that night. Of course, Duke was the only one, as they were hosting the Great Danes of UAlbany. Just another non-conference beauty that you often get in December.

I’ve been meaning to write up my thoughts ever since Monday, but let’s face it… we’re on the precipice of the holiday season, and things have been nuts around the office. Since this was my first visit to Cameron in a non-working capacity (I went over there as a sports info intern in my UNC days), I enjoyed dissecting the experience. So, four of us set off. Ed and Brian from the PR agency, and my co-worker Gail, aka The Roosta. It promised to be a good time.

Here are my memories, in no particular order:

  • Dook’s starting center, Brian Zoubek, is destined to be cannon fodder against the better big men in the ACC. It’s amazing how much slower he seems when you see him in person.
    • So, OK, he’s not the next Bill Russell… or even the next Cherokee Parks, for that matter. But, the way the Dookies support “Zooooo” is nothing short of mesmerizing. They cheer this 7-1 land mass like he’s the 12th man off the bench. Which is kinda heartwarming, until you realize HE’S YOUR STARTING CENTER!!!
    • Maybe if he didn’t finish any normal play by making the ridiculous “crazy white man face” that all Dook big men perfect, the crowd wouldn’t get all riled up.
    • Gail and I agreed that Tyler Hansbrough should hand him a card before the first game that says, “Hello, my name it Tyler. You’ll be my bitch tonight. Prepare to die.”
    • All of this led to me somehow comparing Zoubek to an inert gas. For the life of me, I’m not sure how this came up, but it was hilarious at the time.
  • The four of us attending the game were all thinking that most of the Dookies had already departed for the holiday break. There were a lot of kids there, though, so after a while, we started playing a game with me. The game was: Find the Attractive Girl/Guy in the Student Section. We’ve all heard the stereotypes about Dook girls, but we widened it to the entire student body.
    • OK, I’ll admit that I’m a very biased person as a UNC grad, but Gail and Ed didn’t have a dog in the hunt. That helped even out the judging a tad.
    • We looked for the better part of the first half. We came up with one “possible” for both the boys and girl. Just one.
    • It looked like the original casting call from Head of the Class.
    • Those kids are so pale, they’re practically translucent.
  • Another good game was to play “Guess the Starting Lineup” from the UAlbany squad during warmups. This is a fun game for those lesser non-conference opponents. Brian did a spectacular job, picking four of the five based solely on their skills during warmups.
  • While scanning the crowd, we did see a guy who was wearing a Dallas Maverick jersey. The Michael Finley #4 Mavericks jersey. We reasoned that the guy wanted to wear a royal blue jersey, and hey, the Mavs shirt was clean. My boy Ed correctly pointed out that the misguided youth looked like a shorter, swarthier Vlade Divacs. One of the highlights of the night.
  • Since the kiddies were all home, we got the alumni pep band. Now, close your eyes and try to imagine a bunch of 40-somethings rocking out to 80s-era tunes. You got that image? Well, welcome to the UAlbany-Duke experience.
  • There was this group of guys seated behind the baseline that all wore chefs hats. Not sure what the hell that was about.
  • I should probably say something positive about the Cameron experience. My Chick-Fil-A sam’mich didn’t have that damn pickle on it like you normally get in their restaurants. That was freakin’ sweet.

Well, I’m pleased to see that Pitt took out Dook tonight in New York. Guess we now see how Zoubek will be used this year. His line from the game? 3 rebounds. 1 foul. 0 points. You’re my boy, blue!!

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Categories: Sports
  1. Rooster
    January 3, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    One of the other highlights for that evening was the long haul from the car parked at the Alumni Center. When we left the car behind, we were not sure it would be there when we returned. We exited the parking lot, through some woods, down a hill (in heels, for me) and entered on what appeared to be the back side of one of the campuses. It was amusing how the four of us, the shortest being me at 5’10” and the tallest at 6’5″, were lurking about campus noting the landmarks to follow on our return back to the car: dumpster row, fraternity bench, dorms resembling 17th century castles. Then we came upon a lone Dookie and asked for directions. We followed him, after he of course ended his phone call abruptly. As he was chatting with us, the funniest part for me was when he asked if we were rooting for Duke. We all kinda looked at each other knowing that we probably should say yes since he was leading us to our final destination. But none of us did. The PR guys were from New England and I grew up near Albany. Of course, we all know how Daniel stands on Duke. Good experience though all around. First time i got to see Krzyzewskiville.

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