I was a Duke student before Coach K came on board. Duke basketball was a big deal on campus then, but its aura was very different. We weren’t remotely a juggernaut or a national name. In fact, within just a 25-mile radius, we were well behind both UNC and NC State in terms of basketball history and regard. But we were very good fans, filling the seats and supporting our team. We were aggressive too. Our shtick was not just to be loud and intimidating but also to try to be funny and snide so as to unnerve our opponents. Sometimes we were even offensive. Imagine that.
We invented the “Airball!” chant in 1979 for an opponent’s shot that misses everything. Thank you, Rich Yonaker. After I graduated it was chanted in German at future NBA star Detlef Schrempf who was, of course, German. We greeted the visiting USC Trojans by throwing condoms on the court in 1978. We always urged NC State’s then coach to “Have a drink, Norm Sloan, have a drink” because he had commented in the press about the alleged insobriety of Duke students in the stands. We jangled car keys during his free throws in an otherwise silent Cameron Indoor Stadium at State guard Clyde Austin, later imprisoned for a Ponzi scheme, who was being investigated for having no job but two luxury cars, supposedly given to him by his bank teller girlfriend. Pizzas were delivered to a State huddle because a Wolfpack player was in trouble for hassling a pizza guy. When Maryland coach Lefty Dreisell (Duke, 1954) and his Terps visited, Lefty was greeted with a big sign and these words: “Richard Nixon [Duke Law, 1937]: Duke’s second biggest mistake. Welcome Lefty!”
A regular chant in our rotation was reserved for when a very highly regarded team or player visited Cameron and didn’t perform up to reputation. “OV-ER-RAT-ED!” Sadly, and by any reasonable measure, it is impossible to conclude that the financial services industry is anything other than wildly overrated. Chant away.