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Duke University: It Takes More Than NCAA Basketball Championships To Be Champions

Does ridiculing the opposing team show school spirit? I doubt it.



When I moved to the Triangle area years ago, I was eager to partake of the best that both the University of North Carolina (UNC) and Duke University had to offer. I lived near route 15-501 on the Durham-Chapel Hill border and was equidistant to both campuses, although my mailing address was in Chapel Hill.

Both schools had wonderful campuses, and I enjoyed visiting Duke’s magnificent Bell Tower, its Sarah Duke Gardens, hospital complex, East Campus, and nearby Ninth Street. I equally enjoyed visiting UNC’s Dean Smith Center, Bell Tower, Kenan Stadium, student union, and many libraries.

Eager  to Attend

Duke University had just won the NCAA Basketball Championship when I moved here. I had been a long-time college basketball fan, and I was eager to visit Cameron Indoor Stadium.

As I began to attend games, I noticed distinct differences in the way crowds at the two universities treated the visiting sports teams. Fans at the University of North Carolina, with it’s spacious Dean Smith Center, showed respect for opposing players. When the teams were announced, UNC fans either applauded or were respectfully silent. During the games, there were few times when I heard abusive language from anyone in the stands. The exception was when someone on an opposing team acted overly aggressive towards a UNC player or committed some similar faux pas.

When Dean Smith was coaching at UNC, if he even mildly detected abusive fan behavior toward opposing players, he would stare at the student section and, in a matter of moments, the abuse would stop.

By contrast, I had a hard time in my own mind justifying the behavior of the people who attended Duke games at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Cameron Crazies, as they are called, do not act with respect for anyone other than those in a Blue Devil uniform, and I question whether they even respect their own team.

Over the years, these students have thrown tubes of Clearasil on the floor taunting players from other teams who had acne conditions. They have made specific, purposely hurtful references to players’ relatives, grades, and even campus incidents such as a shooting at NC State University.

Condoned at the Top

I began to see in the broader sense that “Cameron Crazies” have endured because at some higher level, be the basketball coaches, the university administration, provost, university president, or board of trustees, indirectly condoned their behavior.

At the start of Atlantic Coast Conference games, when the announcement comes asking fans to respect the players, coaches, and game officials, Duke fans aren’t listening. Neither Dick Vitale nor other announcers have the gumption to speak out on this matter and instead they offer platitudes about about fan “spirit” at Cameron.

Does ridiculing the other team show spirit? I doubt it.

For a while, I attended a couple of Duke games each season, usually during the holidays when most students were gone and the tickets were easier to come by. Enough students were on hand to continue the antics. Trying my best to be objective, I began observing them with something akin to curious detachment. I reasoned that, of course, every home team crowd loves to win and loves to celebrate the victory as their team pulls ahead.

With Duke, however, there’s a taunting, a “hazing” ritual, that goes beyond anything I’ve seen elsewhere, and I’ve had the opportunity to watch more than twenty-five college basketball teams in ten to twelve different states.

Viewing Others With Contempt

As we head into the final week of regular season play, before the 2023 conference tournaments, I know this: Duke “crazies” view opposing team players, especially those from North Carolina and NC State, with outright contempt. The antics of the Cameron Crazies, as opposed to being clever, are obnoxious. They smack of the elitism that is part and parcel of the Duke campus mentality.

Duke prides itself on being a high-class institution and, in many quarters, it relishes the moniker the “Harvard of the South.” Yet, visit Harvard, view its institutions and sports and the way their students and fans interact with others, and you’ll see they bear no similarity to Duke.

The now retired Coach K often lamented that Duke was not a favorite among fans (outside of Duke University). Could it be that word of Duke’s utter disdain for all that is non-Duke is spreading? I was excited when I moved to the Triangle area, equidistant between Duke and UNC. I wanted to embrace both universities and partake of all they had to offer. Now, after all these years in the area, I want nothing to do with Duke University.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®


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21 Ways That People with Work-life Balance Are Different from Others (Part 3)

Even in our fast-paced society, slowing down is continually attainable



Here is the final set of seven ways the people who have attained work-life balance set themselves apart from the rest:

15) The typical person is easily distracted by daily noise and interruptions. Those with work-life balance monitor and manage their personal space to minimize distractions.
* carry ear plugs
* sound proof your workspace
* find alternative work locations and spaces, such as a picnic table or park bench * visit www.yogasleep.com

16) The typical person focuses on finishing the workday in order to drop back and relax. Those with work-life balance are productive at work and have a life for the rest of the day after work.
* leave work at a reasonable hour
* reduce TV watching and web surfing
* employ your den as a mini-gym
* engage in invigorating leisure

17) The typical person engages in inactive leisure, i.e. watching TV, web surfing. Those with work-life balance employ leisure for novel experiences, learning, and physical activity.
* live closer, not farther from work
* rediscover hobbies
* join group activities
* peruse local event notices and attend

18) The typical person intermittently invests in his or her own well-being. Those with work-life balance strategically purchase goods and services that support their well-being.
* buy in multiples when all supplies will eventually be used up
* make strategic purchases…
* if it saves one hour a week
* if it takes up little space, is portable, expandable, flexible, can be traded in

19) The typical person longs for the good old days when the pace of life was slower. Those with work-life balance recognize that even in our fast-paced society, slowing down is continually attainable.
* acknowledge and accept the world as it is
* seek to change aspects of your personal environment over which you have control
* consider the 80-20 rule and ignore low-payoff tasks and activities
* emulate the role models in your industry, organization, or profession

20) The typical person over-collects work-life balance tips hoping that such information will rub off on them. Those who have work-life balance ingest the insights of others, and ultimately follow the beat of their own drum.
* put what you learn into motion
* adopt new behaviors until they become habits
* establish new personal systems
* develop rewarding rituals

21) The typical parent passes their hectic lifestyle on to their children. Those who have it teach their children what is needed to continually experience work-life balance
* remember: children learn most from observation
* exhibit behaviors that you want them to emulate
* include them in activities, ask for their opinion
* act accordingly: actions speak louder than words

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21 Ways That People with Work-life Balance Are Different from Others (Part 2)

Those with work-life balance regard periodic breaks as vital to their high productivity



Here are the middle seven tip as to how people with Work-life Balance are different from others:

8) The typical person is resigned to a state of “too much to do, not enough time to do it.” Those with work-life balance establish clear priorities, support them, and assemble resources to accomplish their objectives.
* establish life priorities and pursue them daily
* devise goals – quantified, reachable, and written down – that support your priorities
* tap unused staff skills by re-reading resumes and job applications
* retain extra help for domestic and professional tasks via Craigslist, neighborhood flyers

9) The typical person multitasks, thinking that this is essential to get more done in less time. Those with work-life balance focus on the task at hand and accomplish more in less time.
* avoid articles that imply multitasking is okay and even preferable
* secure the quiet space needed to do your best work
* master the art of doing one thing at a time
* concentrate on the current task and take appropriate breaks at timed intervals

10) The typical person thinks achieving work-life balance requires complex tools and sophisticated techniques. Those with work-life balance find that simple approaches work best.
* employ a few, selected apps that are useful for you
* place post-it pads, and reminders in key locations
* benefit in many ways from using clock timers
* hang wall charts

11) The typical person believes that greater responsibilities diminish the chances of achieving work-life balance. Those who have it do not allow such thoughts to impede their progress.
* recognize that greater responsibility merits greater leisure investment
* re-invest some of your new found earnings
* anticipate the challenges, and
* strategize accordingly

12) The typical person worries that taking periodic breaks might be seen as shirking their work. Those with work-life balance regard periodic breaks as vital to their high productivity.
* rise from your seat at least every 20 minutes, which is required for good health * stand, walk, or stretch whenever you feel the need
* refocus your vision with the 20-20-20 technique
* drink water and head-off hydration problems

13) The typical person, when falling behind, wants to catch up all at once. Those with work-life balance seldom fall behind and, if they do, they avoid crash catch-up efforts.
* practice checkbook management
* watch your weight
* sleep, shower, and renew
* get help with yard work or whatever you prefer to not do

14) The typical person feels driven by external forces to race through the day. Those with work-life balance acknowledge that their own habits are the primary force in achieving WLB.

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