Monday, March 05, 2007

The other outrage from yesterday's Duke-UNC game

In the wake of yesterday's Duke-UNC game, everyone's talking about the Gerald Henderson elbow--and with good reason (at first I thought it was accidental, but after 46 viewings of that replay, I now think it may have been intentional.). But no one is talking about an even bigger outrage--according to more than one newspaper account of the game, the Tar Heel team actually cut down the nets at the Dean Dome after the game. (There is some dispute about whether they only cut down one net, as the News and Observer reports, or two, as the Associated Press reports, but there is no dispute that there was some cutting.)

There's been a lot of talk the last few weeks in the sports world about how fans are too eager to rush the court after wins, and there's some truth to that. This year's Duke-Maryland game in College Park was a milestone--it was the first road game Duke had lost in at least two seasons in which the opposing fans didn't rush the court to celebrate. (And Duke fans have contributed to this trend--considering they rushed the floor last season after beating Va. Tech, because Sean Dockery hit a half-court shot to win the game.) But rushing the court is still a generally spontaneous act done by students who may not always be aware of the history of their team's past accomplishments.

Cutting the nets down--that's a premeditated act. And UNC decided to take out the scissors because they ...what? I'm not really sure. They finished tied for first place in the regular season standings and won the tiebreaker with UVA, but the ACC has always declared its tournament champion the "ACC champion." There is no title or banner (unless they've changed it in the last couple years) for winning the ACC regular season. And not only did Carolina win the ACC regular season title two years ago--so it's not like this was any new accomplishment--they, um, won THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP two years ago too. And they're excited for tying for first place in the ACC this year? I wish I could come up with something more creative to say, but I think saying that cutting down the nets was incredibly lame sums it up. Of course, since UNC hasn't actually won an ACC tournament and been the actual ACC champion since 1998, maybe they're just desperate to celebrate anything even remotely close.



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