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A Few Thoughts On The Duke Student Section “How’s Your Grandma?” (Alleged) Chant Controversy


Duke beat N.C. State last night 98-85, avenging an earlier loss. Duke’s student section was spirited, as it normally is. In a less normal development, however, some accusations were levied at the student section during and after the game – accusations that, if true, would brand the student section less as “spirited” and more as “terrible.” Specifically:

Obviously, that would be bad, low-class, etc., if they’d done that, and some were all too eager to jump at the chance to hate Duke even more than they already did. But Did fans actually chant that? There’s some video of Lewis-heckling from last night, from when he was at the line during the second half:

To me, that chant sounds like “Past your bedtime,” and I’m not alone there. And OK, for a baby-faced guy like Lewis, that chant’s kind of amusing. So does that settle it? Are Duke students the greatest superfans on earth, relentless but always knowing when to stop and generally capable of doing no wrong? Well, maybe not exactly. Via BSO:

Well, that settles it then: Duke fans are the worst and if you didn’t hate Duke before, you’d better hate ‘em now. Right?

Well, no again, in fact. The guy cited in the above tweet described the offenders as a “handful of dumb college kids.” And I know a thing or two about a handful of dumb college kids ruining it for everyone else – because that exact scenario played out at Rutgers in 2007, back when I was a student and the (relatively few) “F— you Navy” chanters caused a ruckus. That chant is bad for many reasons: it sounds like it’s directed at the entire branch of the armed forces and not just a football team, and it’s also almost criminally unfunny, and not clever in the least. Those who did it, just like the few who supposedly chanted about Tyler Lewis’s dead grandma, deserve(d) scorn.

But not many people did it. By all means, hate Duke. There are so many reasons – all the winning, the insufferable snooty private school air around the program, the idea that Duke operates with an integrity other places don’t, Mike Krzyzewski’s many bouts of total dickishness, crushing what would have been an amazing story of Butler winning the title three years ago. You don’t need to manufacture a reason to loathe Duke, and acting like a bunch of people chanted something terrible just because you hope they did is a made-up reason to hate something if I’ve ever heard it.

Getty photo, by Streeter Lecka



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