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Last Game in Cameron

I’ve never posted about my time as a Cameron Crazie. I’ve been about as die-hard a fan as you can be over the past four years. I’ve never missed a home game while I’ve been on campus. I’ve been a top-10 tent for the Duke-UNC game every year. I’ve been front row, painted and cheering maniacally for almost every ACC game. Duke basketball has been one of the main focal points of my time here and tonight is my final game as a Cameron Crazie. Of course, I will always be one at heart, but my time in the student section is up. Time to pass the baton.

Maybe at some point I’ll reflect on my experience in the Cameron student section. It’s a lot more than cheers, jeers and a sea of blue and white. It’s an intricate process, complete with long schedule-making, rushed pregame painting and cold nights on the sidewalk. Of course, it is well worth it. There’s no better view in college basketball than the one I’ve had the past four years. Every second was worth it. Here’s a picture from right before the Duke-UNC game my freshman year. We spelled out “Kick Us Out Roy” after UNC coach Roy Williams had security remove a fan from a UNC home game after he yelled during a UNC free throw, something that happens everywhere all the time.

Kick Us Out Roy

I’m the awkward “I” in blue hair, second from the left.

It’s also fitting that my penultimate game was possibly the best one I’ve been to. Duke-UNC games have been incredible over the years, but this past weekend’s Duke-Miami showdown was as good as those. It was as loud a crowd as we’ve had in a long time and few players have had as special a night as Ryan Kelly. Add in beating a top-5 team and a close, well-played game and it made it an unbelievable night. I’m glad it was the penultimate. Tonight we play Virginia Tech (the last-placed team in the ACC) and hopefully will win easily. Hopefully Coach K can give big minutes to walk-on senior Todd Zafirovski and take senior stars Seth Curry, Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee off to a long standing ovations. They deserve it. If tonight’s game was against Miami or an equally tough opponent, we would be too caught up in the game to thank the seniors. Playing against Virginia Tech provides us that opportunity.

So tune in to ESPNU at 7 tonight and watch the seniors’ final game. I’ll be in the front row painted (weather-permitting, right now not looking good).

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Life Rant: The Importance of Competition

February 22, 2013 3 comments

It’s been a busy few weeks with the Duke-UNC game, midterms and my job search, but I’m back and will be posting more over the next few weeks. First up: a rant I’ve been meaning to deliver.

I don’t’ think anyone really doubts the benefits of competition in markets these days, but sometimes life gives you very clear reminders of how important competition is. I’ve had two in just the past few days (these borderline on major whines so feel free to skim/not read):

1. I’m currently at school at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina and live in an apartment off-campus. The only option for internet and cable TV is Time Warner Cable. For those of you have used Time Warner, you probably know how incredibly frustrating every part of the company is. Now, the area around my apartment is under construction and it has disrupted various services while my roommates and I have lived there. For months now, the cable will go out numerous times a day. The TV screen will suddenly go blue and we will have to unplug various cords, jiggle the box or just wait it out. There isn’t any obvious cause for its failures and when we called Time Warner to come check it out, the tech didn’t even both coming and instead just informed us it was due to the construction and we could get a significant break on our payments. In addition, our internet has gone out at various times for hours at a time. It even went out in the middle of finals week for a full day. Now, you can call us just whiny college students, but we’re paying a decent amount of money for a service that fails a huge amount of the time. Is it that absurd to expect our internet and TV consistently?

frustrationSo, we called Time Warner to discuss that option. Let’s just say that Time Warner’s customer service was less than satisfactory. They sent us back and forth between different departments for an hour and finally offered us a $20 rebate, when we were looking for much, much more. Finally, we reached someone who offered us a month of free service, which was closer to what we were looking for. The manager politely told us that for a greater rebate, they’d have to send a service technician out to examine our setup again (they didn’t have much of a record of their tech’s first “visit”). We agreed and scheduled a meeting for the following day. Shockingly, no one arrived and we never heard from Time Warner. They’ll be getting another call this week.

If we could, we would dump Time Warner in a heartbeat and pick up a competitor. Unfortunately, no such competitor exists. I’d love to write a guest column in the Duke student newspaper recommending that anyone living off-campus bypass Time Warner and choose some other provider. I’d love to at least use that as a threat against Time Warner. Unfortunately, we can’t do that. Is there any clearer example of why competition matters? Time Warner can offer us sub-par internet, cable TV, maintenance and customer service, because we have no choice in the matter.* Read more…

Add Georgetown to the ACC

December 11, 2012 Leave a comment
Why not add Georgetown to the ACC?

Why not add Georgetown to the ACC?

One of the bigger stories in the sports world today is the possibility that the non-football Big East teams will leave the conference and join the Atlantic 10. From ESPN:

“The 21-team model would occur if the A-10 were to add the seven Big East Catholic schools (Marquette, DePaul, Georgetown, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s and Villanova) that met Sunday in New York with Big East commissioner Mike Aresco to go over their options.”

Emphasis mine. I’ve mentioned this before on twitter, but why not add Georgetown to the ACC?!

After Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Louisville and Syracuse enter the conference and Maryland leaves, the ACC will have 14 football schools (Notre Dame still independent in football) and 15 schools in all other sports (or whatever number participate in the given sport). Since Georgetown is a non-football school, why not add them as a 16th team? It’ll keep football at 14 teams to keep a two division format and will make the ACC that much better in all other sports, especially basketball.

In addition, it gets the ACC back into the D.C. market after the loss of Maryland and adds an excellent academic institution.

I’ve mentioned this to friends and everyone seems to agree it makes sense, but I’m not particularly knowledgeable about conference realignment and the politics within it. Am I missing something? Doesn’t this seem like a no-brainer? (Image via)