I was able to attend 2016 Countdown to Craziness this past weekend. As always, it was a great time.
I have attended every Countdown to Craziness since the Duke basketball program started this annual event in 2009. Prior to 2009, it was a Blue-White scrimmage without all the theatrics.
I can sum up my Countdown to Craziness experiences over the years in three words – fun, friends and family.
Countdown to Craziness is a night full of fun.
Past years have featured a DJ and inflatable games in Krzyzewskiville before the doors opened for festivities in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
There were also numerous contests that took place before the team introduction, including pizza box tossing to center court and the always popular musical chairs.
There were also performances by groups such as the Duke dance team and cheerleaders.
The Yoyo guy has also become a fan favorite with his collection of crazy tricks that get the fans cheering.
Over the years, Duke basketball has had some impressive team introductions and this year didn’t disappoint.
Staff passed out glow sticks to the fans as they entered Cameron Indoor Stadium and students near the court had white colored beach balls. When the lights went off and the music began, Cameron Indoor Stadium turned into a spectacular light show with beach balls that glowed in the dark being tossed around, glow sticks being waved and many fans wearing glow in the dark devil horns.
The court graphics included the team poster as well as pictures of players during their introductions. The atmosphere was electric for those in attendance.
Countdown to Craziness is also about friends. Over the years of attending CTC, I’ve had the opportunity to meet Duke fans from all across the country. Some travel just a few miles from their house to get to Cameron Indoor Stadium, while others like me drive two hours from another state. And then you have others who will drive 10+ hours or even fly in just to be at the event.
When I arrived at Duke, I went to grab food at one of the newer restaurants on campus – The Skillet. I met up with a group of fans from a Duke basketball message board who I’ve been friends with for over a decade. As we ate our food, we discussed topics ranging from how good the food was, to our jobs, to our excitement about the basketball team this year.
After eating, I headed over to K-Ville where I ran into another group of friends from a Duke basketball Facebook group, which led to more conversation about our excitement about the basketball team. It was around this time that the Duke basketball team had their walk through.
Countdown to Craziness is an event where friends from all across the country meet together to share their passion for Duke basketball.
Countdown to Craziness is also an event that’s about family. The players and coaches do a great job of acknowledging the fans who come from around the country.
The Duke family includes the fanbase, coaches, and players, and this family atmosphere could be seen throughout the events at CTC.
As the players did their walk through to Cameron Indoor Stadium, you could see them talking with and high fiving the fans.
The Blue White scrimmage is yet another example of this Duke team coming together as a family.
The scrimmage was an intense battle where Jayson Tatum scored 18 points in helping lead the White team to a victory over the Blue team, which was led in scoring by Frank Jackson with 12 points and Grayson Allen with 10 points.
At one point in the game, Grayson Allen collided with Amile Jefferson near center court and Cameron Indoor Stadium got quiet real quick. The team checked on Amile and helped him back up to his feet. While this group is very competitive, they are always looking out for their teammates.
At the end of CTC, Coach K came on the court and talked to the fans.
The family experience was on display throughout the entire evening at CTC.
I left Countdown to Craziness that night realizing once again Duke basketball is all about Fun, Friends, and Family.
You can follow Freddie on Twitter at @Skeelow22.