Yahoo! – Midway through the second half, freshman guard Tyler Lewis stepped to the free-throw line, and as they always do, the Cameron Crazies forced their way into the narrative.
The crowd began chanting … something at Lewis. One theory: “Past your bedtime,” a reference to Lewis’ young age and appearance. (He was also taunted with “Bilbo Baggins” chants earlier in the game.) But Lewis’ grandmother had passed away last Friday, and according to some at the stadium, the chant became, “How’s your grandma?”
Damn, for a school whose players are predominantly white their cheering section is pretty rough and rugged. Nothing quite says “I want you to miss that free throw” like cheering about the guy’s dead grandma. I can remember being in high school we had a similar section of student fans. They were constantly getting in trouble. They cheered about anything. If we found out info on a player before the game, it was over for them. I can remember one game they were all cheering towards this one kid whose mom allegedly slept with a student. Game over. Then another got harassed about his kid. They brought out a stroller and all. They had opponent parents complaining, and even storming the court after games to verbally attack the section. Needless to say thats all it took for the school to disband the section. Now, it no longer exists. Which is a crying shame.
Yeah, the Cameron Crazies might have gone overboard, depending on who you are. I’m not one to backup the insult of a dead relative. I’m fucked up but not that fucked up. However short of that, I think fans should be allowed to basically say as they please. Sports aren’t all about skill. A lot of it has to do with mental toughness. Think about any great athlete from Jordan, Kobe, Gretzky, Montana, Magic, Bird, Tiger, and Jack Nicklaus. They all had one thing in common, mental toughness. You weren’t getting inside their head, they were getting inside yours. If anything the Cameron Crazies are toughening up their opponent. Bring your ‘A’ game or stay on the bus. I hate Duke, but I love the Cameron Crazies. Players are always saying how big of an influence their fans are. The Seattle Seahawks call their fans the ’12th Guy’, the Brooklyn Nets say how much easier and better it is playing in a filled Barclay’s Center now, than it was in an empty Prudential Center in New Jersey. Fans are what makes home-field advantage an advantage. It has nothing to do with the field or the court or the ice. It has everything to do with the fans heckling the opponents and cheering on their own players.
Go ahead and join America’s decline in free speech and hate Duke’s Cameron Crazies for being rude and disrespectful. Hate them because they’re not ‘nice.’ Coach Krzyzewski loves them though. The players love them. Duke fans love them. And Duke loves them. That’s all that matters.
Just look at the Cameron Crazies bringing the fire. Can you really hate this? I think not.