It’s time to step back from the ledge, Duke fans.
Yes, Duke has lost 3 games in a row. Yes, there is a good possibility Duke falls out of the Top 25 rankings for the first time since 2007. And yes, without Amile Jefferson, Duke is easily getting exposed.
As I check my Twitter feed, Facebook and Duke message boards, I see a lot of “armchair quarterback” coaches who think they have all the answers.
There are the fans who blame Matt Jones for jacking up a three at the end of the Notre Dame loss. There are the fans blasting Luke Kennard for having a cold shooting night against Syracuse. There are the fans who think the bench will solve all Duke’s problems.
Look, I’m all for fans voicing their opinions on the game. But, when you do voice your opinion, at least be classy about it.
We, as a Duke fan base, have become accustomed to winning. We are used to being on top of the mountain. We have become a spoiled fan base with the success of the Duke basketball program under Coach K.
But this “what have you done for me lately?” and “entitlement” has to stop. Duke will not win every game. Duke will also have rebuilding seasons.
As Duke fans, we have a lot to be thankful for.
What has Duke done for you lately? Well, the Blue Devils are the reigning national champions.
What has Duke done for you in the past 6 years? Won two national championships with two very different type of teams.
The 2010 squad was a team starting juniors and seniors. The 2015 team had three freshmen as starters.
What has Duke done for you in the past 15 years? Won three national championships.
Only Connecticut matches Duke with three championships in that span. Next would be Florida and North Carolina at two.
Fans complain that Duke has lost three games in a row. Who has the best winning percentage over the last 15 years? Well, Duke also leads that statistic at .828. Kansas would be next at .823.
What has Duke done for you over the last 30 years? Won 5 national championships.
Connecticut would be next at 4 and rival North Carolina, as well as Kentucky, have won three in that span of time.
My point is that Duke is arguably the most dominant college basketball team of the last four decades.
I ask Duke fans to step back from the ledge and look at this season from a broader point of view.
When I was in my 20s, I had that mentality that Duke should win it all every year. Now that I’m in my 30s, I have “grown up” and realized just how damn hard it is for any college team to win a national championship.
I have lived long enough to see Duke win five national championships. Most college fan bases would kill to see their team win just one championship.
(Editor’s Note: This University of Georgia graduate nods his head in agreement.)
This season looks to be a rebuilding season with ups and downs so enjoy it for what it is. The ACC is wide open this year. Duke could possibly end up with double digit losses this season or it may not.
The Blue Devils might lose early in the NCAA Tournament or they might pull it together and make another run to the Final Four. Whatever happens, I will support this team to their last game, whether that comes in March or April.
Duke lost its third game in a row on Martin Luther King Day. As the great Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
This current young Duke team is being challenged now and faces a tough, three-game road stretch. I challenge the Duke fan base to rise up and support the Blue Devils no matter what the outcome of the games are. Go Duke!