This Wednesday, February 18th, Duke University and the University of North Carolina men’s basketball teams will meet for the 239th time. I can’t wait! This upcoming game will be a Duke home game at Cameron Indoor Stadium. I attended Duke and lived in Durham, NC for five years. During my time at Duke, my wife and I went to more than seventy basketball games. She became a raving mad Cameron Crazy.
I had the opportunity to go to two Duke-UNC games at Cameron Indoor Stadium during my time as a student. This was a dream of mine. I was born in North Carolina to parents who who were both Duke fans. Then, I became conscious of NCAA basketball when Duke was repeating as back-to-back champs in 90-91 and 91-92. In fact, when I told my mom I would be attending graduate school at Duke University she replied, “You’re not going just for basketball, are you?”
Cameron Indoor is the greatest basketball gym on the planet. Here’s why! First, it is tiny. I mean really tiny–especially when compared to other NCAA gyms. Cameron has a maximum capacity of slightly over 9,000 people; trust me, that leaves little space for movement when it’s that full. Because of its size, everyone is packed in and extremely close to the court. As you can see from the above picture, this helps out when you want to heckle opposing players. Second, it’s really loud. Duke fans are a singular, minded group. They are great at coming up with cheers to support the Duke players and jeers to get in the minds of the opposing ones. In fact, Cameron was the site that the chant “Aiirrr Baaalll, Aiiirr Ball” was invented. Imagine thousands of people all screaming out the same cheers and chants during the whole game. Many times, after the game, I couldn’t even hear my wife ask me where I wanted to go have a post-game meal. Finally, Cameron Indoor Stadium blends the historic with the downright fun. Cameron has been around a long time. Duke has had four National Championship teams play on its courts. Mike Krzyzewski, head coach of the team, holds the record for most wins by a coach (over 1,000 and counting). And, countless stars in the NCAA and NBA have played on its floor. It is historic. But, it’s also a spectacle. Going to Cameron is like going to a music festival. People, ordinary and boring people, go crazy at Duke games…check out this guy
In the end, there’s no place in the world like Cameron. It’s great. Not just for fans of Duke, but for basketball enthusiasts everywhere. So, if you want to join in the fun, tune in and watch this year’s version of the Duke Blue Devils throttle UNC. And, raise your voice with the other Cameron Crazies and chant…”Go to Hell, Carolina, Go to Hell!”