I'm sitting here in my too quiet house, the wife and wee one having departed for a week at the grandparents leaving me with my loneliness and the dogs (and cat), and I've decided that it might be worth my time to actually turn on a college basketball game in an effort to see what all the fuss is about. Normally, I don't pay any attention to basketball until March or so and even then it's minimal, but now that I'm living on Tobacco Road, well, when in Rome I suppose. Anyway, tonight is the much ballyhooed rivalry game between Duke and Carolina (North, that is) and with nothing better to do I'm giving it a spin. And it's nice. Lots of blue.
But really, a person who doesn't know much about the rivalry probably has no business trying to explain the intensity. In fact, I wondered earlier this evening what Tar Heel fanatic Will Blythe was thinking and if he had anything resembling a fingernail left. Well, Mr. Blythe is nervous. He said so over at Deadspin:
I've got a bad feeling about this one. So does my mother, but then, as the Oswald Spengler of North Carolina basketball, she always has a bad feeling. We could be playing Iona, and my mother would have a bad feeling. If only Donald Rumsfeld shared her capacity for divining disaster
Me, I'm different. I don't usually have a bad feeling and when I do, it's usually a ruse to mislead the gods, to go humbly into the victory store and like a neatly-dressed shoplifter, sneak out with a win stuffed under my parka. Why the gods care that much about placating my bad feeling, I don't know. But sometimes they do. At other times my bad feeling functions as a prophylactic -- an attempt to protect my fragile psyche from suffering the worst (Carolina loss to Duke) by rehearsing that defeat for hours ahead of time. But not this time. This time I've got a real bad feeling.