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December 17, 2003 Columns No Comments


A New Year – A New 16

by Michael Ermitage

I know Bracey Wright’s cell phone number. No, I really do. I also know Omari Faulkner’s mother’s email address (Faulkner is a forward for Georgetown). I also have the entire transcript of emails sent between former Duke player Elton Brand and a disgruntled Duke student. Let’s see… what else is here. Oh, I also know about ten jokes about IU coach Mike Davis, none of which are suitable to print in this space.

You have to love the Internet – it is the ultimate complement to free speech. Whatever it is you are looking for, the Internet is there ready to provide, including just about anything you want to know about college basketball. All you have to do is “Google” it. This site, Hoopville, is more of what you are used to browsing (although, I have to say, we’re a little edgier than your ESPNs of the world). But, of course, in addition to the professionally run web sites that you encounter every day, there are a few hidden gems run by the private sector (otherwise known as people with too much time on their hands, people with a vendetta against a university/individual, or people that are just plain obsessed). Let’s take a quick look at a few of my favorites.

www.truthaboutduke.com – It is so easy to hate Duke, isn’t it? The Yankees of college basketball certainly have their haters. But this site does a nice job of ripping the perennially successful Dukies without a hateful vibe. You can find just about anything here, as there are collections of photos, news items, historical bits, cheer sheets for the Cameron “Crazies,” and other information. The best part of the site is the Photoshop section, where Coach K is seen marrying Shane Battier and Dick Vitale is dressed up as a Duke cheerleader. The site is run by a Maryland fan that acknowledges that Duke is both a successful program and therefore an easy target.

www.firemikedavis.com – Unlike truthaboutduke.com, this site is downright nasty. Ever since Bob Knight was fired by Indiana University, there has been a large contingent of fans that have been vocally disappointed. Now, it seems that the most vocal and the most vociferous of these fans have decided to post an online message board to air their grievances. And it is one ugly scene. From racist comments to Bob Knight adoration, this place is not for women and children. Perhaps the site would be more interesting if it offered some analysis as to why Mike Davis is a poor coach. Instead, it reads like a junior high restroom wall.

www.nd.edu/~btracy/jeer/ – Staying in the state of Indiana, let’s move on to this site. In the tradition of the Cameron Crazies, Notre Dame is trying to build its own raucous student section. And part of becoming an undesirable place to play is finding new and creative ways to irritate the opposition. This site has links to all of the “jeer” sheets that were made available to the Notre Dame student section. For the most part, the sheets are harmless, and it is this kind of stuff that makes college basketball games fun. There is some significant research, for example, apparently Seton Hall’s John Allen’s mom calls him “Tootie.” I do find it interesting that this site is run off of the Notre Dame system, which leads me to believe that the Notre Dame administration is being fooled on this one. Score one for the college kids.

Of course, there are hundreds more, but I have been unable to unearth them all. I would absolutely love to receive a few emails directing me to some other choice college basketball web sites. If I get enough responses, or if I am a little luckier in my research, I’ll write another column highlighting these underground tributes to college hoops. Now, back to Google.

     

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