What did they say? Crazies' chant triggers Twitter backlash
Posted February 8, 2013
Durham, N.C. — The Cameron Crazies, known for taunting Duke University opponents, stepped over the line Thursday night, according to Twitter critics.
In a widely circulated clip of video, taken from the ESPN game broadcast, "Past your bedtime" can be heard as State's Tyler Lewis shoots two foul shots. Whether the Crazies or a stray few are saying anything else is in the ears of the beholder.
While social media buzzed Friday with reports that the Crazies chanted, "How's your grandma?" Duke students, media along press row and official university spokespeople denied that.
"Cameron Crazies can get pretty rowdy, but we're not cruel and insensitive like that," said Duke freshman Hannah McCracken. "And it hurts my feelings that people would think we'd stoop to a level like that."
The WRALSportsFan media contingent at the game all reported hearing chants of "Past your bedtime" targeted at Lewis, a young-looking freshman point guard who saw significant minutes in the absence of the injured Lorenzo Brown.
Any chant about his grandmother, who passed away last week, would have been off script, Duke representatives said.
The Cameron Crazies are known for doing their homework on opposing teams and targeting the taunts to sting. For Thursday's match up with the Wolfpack, they had notes on Lewis's youthful appearance and on the role played by CJ Leslie when fans stormed the court after a 84-76 victory over then-No. 1 Duke on Jan. 12.
"Now a folk hero for bravely and heroically saving NCSU student Will Privette, who stormed the court in a wheelchair and was promptly abandoned by the NCSU student body president, who was pushing him at the time," the notes read. In another entry, Leslie is described as a high school teammate of John Wall, "a player who CJ will never come close to being as good as."
Even those who claimed to have heard the cheer said it was limited to just a few.
Nolan Evans, a reporter for the NC State student newspaper The Technician, said he was unaware Lewis's grandmother had died, but heard the word "grandma" from his spot on press row. Later, when he saw comments on Twitter, he put the two together.
After the game, he defended the Crazies. "Not like it was the entire student section. Just a few knuckleheads off to my right," he wrote. "I still have an overwhelming amount of respect for Duke and its fans. College students are dumb and say dumb things sometimes. All this is."
After the game, NC State players reacted to the Twitter-sphere, but none of them claimed specifically to have heard the chant during the game. Richard Howell wrote, "He lost his grandma and y'all chant that? Cowards."
A spokesman for the North Carolina State athletic department said he didn't hear it, and it was not a subject of team discussion after the game had ended.