Since I’ve now started chronicling my sports and Duke obsessed life on the internet it’s probably difficult to believe that in person I am extremely shy with people I don’t know (once I get to know you, or you start the conversation, it’s a whole new ballgame). I had every intention of changing that while in the Bahamas, meeting Duke friends and family, and of course the team. Yet when the time came at a special meet and greet we went to, I could barely muster the courage to ask for a picture or get the players to sign a basketball for my sister’s fiance who couldn’t make the trip. I failed at both the meet and greet aspects of the evening. I soon realized that I knew I could redeem myself.
Fast forward to the next three days, in the Imperial Ballroom, and my inner Cameron Crazy was unstoppable – yelling my heart out at coaches, fans, and players – with no mercy, no fear, and not many other people yelling with me. I’m not sure why anyone in my family is still speaking to me. Heck, I don’t know why they walked out of the arena next to me.
The “stadium” was smaller than Cameron Indoor and full of fans from eight schools. LOUD fans from these schools. If I never hear the monotone C-A-R-D-S CARDS chant again in my life I’ll feel lucky. (I wrote this yesterday, and as of this morning Louisville is in the ACC. Guess I’m going to eat my words and hear it many more times – but I still hate that chant). The Duke fans were disappointingly quiet in the first two games (major props to VCU for being totally out of control) and apparently I decided to make up for that by myself. During the championship game, I had a family of fake Louisville fans in front of me (I know because they only cheered so their son could get free prizes, not for the team), who apparently found me very loud and annoying based on the looks I kept getting. As any good Cameron Crazy knows, this is just fuel for the fire and made my cheering even louder and even more annoying.
Though I wasn’t in Cameron anymore, I acted like I was, and that’s why I had an incredible time. I went to see my team win, and that’s what I was going to do. When the championship game got close, Duke fans woke up. When we lost the lead, instead of getting down we took over the arena, silencing Cardinals fans and helping close out the game. We were hungry, and it was electric.