Scene of a Lifetime
Two nights ago I had the experience of a lifetime–watching a Duke Basketball game in Cameron Indoor stadium. Cameron Indoor is by far the coolest stadium I have ever seen in my life, but the thing that makes Cameron truly unique are the fans. Of course you have the student section (Cameron Crazies) but the best are the people in their seventies who have had tickets for 40 plus years. Their joy rises and falls on the success of the Duke season. All season ticket holders wave to each other and when I asked “Are you friends outside of these games” they would would reply “We’ve both had these seats for 35 years and we’ve shared a lot as fans to make us great friends.” That was the moment I realized that the fans don’t just share a liking for a school, a basketball team or a stadium, they all share a passion for Duke basketball. Even though they don’t have faces covered in blue, wear blue devil ears or sport a Cameron Crazies t-shirt, they are the most dedicated fans I have ever seen at any level, in any sport. They all yell and cheer at the players by their first names like you would think they are their own children. The woman sitting next to us said she has had these seats for 30 years and comes to almost every game, yet she lives two hours away. Her family has been through four generations of Duke with multiple people from each generation. And, I am almost positive she is not the only fan in Cameron that night with a story like that. So we have all read the endless stories about the magic of Cameron, the chants the students have created, the legendary players Coach K has developed…but I saw another piece of the of the equation that makes experiencing a game at Duke something that should be on every basketball fans’ bucket list. You can’t not feel the magic.