April 5, 2010
It was like nothing I've seen in a while, to be honest. We spent all day at the steeplechase, grilling, sipping, talking, laughing, and just generally having a big time. The last race is over, and it's time to go, so we head for our second car in the general parking area. It's sitting next two a couple of other big pick-ups, the lot mostly empty now. As a group walks by for the car next to us, one of them turns about and starts shouting at a car 30 yards away. Something about "we're playing and you're not" comes out of it. Then the guy in the other truck shouts back, "Yeah, but you haven't played anything but high school teams so far." Then, a rejoinder, "Well, you guys lost to Dayton in the NIT, so SHUT THE HELL UP!" But no, not these Carolina fans, nor these Duke fans. The thing escalated to the point that I honestly thought there was going to be a melee with about six on each side, including women. If I were a sociologist, the interplay between the alpha males was fascinating, and the roles played by the smaller guys equally so. Each large male in both groups took turns out front, leading the shouts and insults hurled at the other group. It wasn't that different from a group of large apes, really. One of them said, "I'm a Marine! You want some of this? I'm a .... Marine, and you know what I do." We were in the middle of the two groups, standing there agape at the behavior. Finally they drove off with the intent of stopping somewhere close and having it out. But the highway patrol had caught wind by then and headed them off. Really folks, that's why they play the games. The worst fans a university often has are the rabid redneck fans who didn't actually go to school there and learn anything about how to behave. They are the ones who think they can scream insults at you in the parking lot of a football game and somehow their team will play better.