Ovies: Rivalry interrupted
Posted February 13
The moment it was announced that North Carolina and Duke would not play as scheduled due to the major snow event hitting the Triangle on Wednesday, upset fans produced enough salt for the Department of Transportation to cover the entire state.
The reaction isn't surprising. We're talking about the the rivalry between the Tar Heels and Blue Devils. It requires little to no explanation as to why folks wanted to see this game played despite widespread gridlock, abandoned vehicles cluttering the roads and the peak of the winter storm expected to occur during game time.
It's also a shame the rivalry was denied a legendary scene inside the Smith Center, as North Carolina officials encouraged ticket holders to stay home and planned a student free-for-all to fill empty seats similar to a memorable game against Maryland in 2000.
I'm just still thinking about the whole lower half being filled with students. Woulda been the coolest thing ever— Marcus Paige (@marcuspaige5) February 12, 2014
According to ACC policy, games can be played as long as both teams and officials can make it to the arena. The Tar Heels already went through this process in Atlanta last month when they had to reenact "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" in order to play Georgia Tech.
However, Duke's bus had not showed up in Durham as of 5:00 p.m. Not exactly a surprise considering every traffic map, from WRAL to Google, was bleeding red with snow-related congestion. Rational thought prevailed and the teams will now play on Thursday, Feb. 20.
But fans of the rivalry are not known for rationality.
Memes of Mike Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils being scared of a raucous environment in Chapel Hill accumulated quicker than snow on the roads. Folks were flabbergasted by Duke's inability to travel the short distance between campuses and no apparent contingency plan to leave earlier Wednesday afternoon.
Of course, not a single thought was given as to how everyone was going to get home from an area resembling the ice planet Hoth.
All of this will add to rivalry lore, but the bottom line is that North Carolina and Duke will play in Chapel Hill.
Which is the point, right?
ESPN and the ACC Network will have their broadcast. Fans who originally dropped a ton of coin to be in the Smith Center on Wednesday will have an opportunity to do so with better weather conditions next Thursday.
The conference will have a week of crucial games bunched together, but won't have any asterisks in the standings.
Now, with the entire mess sorted out, somebody go save Dick Vitale.