Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Duke out of place on the gridiron


Believe it or not, Duke used to get national recognition for its football program. But as the reigning national champions in basketball, clearly the school’s focus has shifted.

This much was reflected this past weekend in Durham, N.C., where the football stadium, holding only 37,845, was debatably more red than blue. The Crimson Tide always travels well, and this past weekend was no exception. Not only did the usual Tide faithful go along, but fans from states closer to North Carolina finally had a close game with easy travel time.

The first word that came to my mind when I saw Wallace Wade Stadium? Quaint. I thought the stadium looked cute. Cute? A football stadium? And then I walked into Cameron Indoor Stadium, and my eyes finally opened in amazement. That stadium was beautiful, full of history. It had wood paneling and seats squished in every single spare corner. That was Duke’s clear home.

Cameron is right next to Wallace Wade, making it a very popular section of campus. But the streets are named after the ever-famous Duke basketball names, such as coach Mike Krzyzewski. There’s even a sign claiming the area to be “Krzyzewskiville.” So what happened to football?

Duke fans wear basketball shirts to football games. Students wear Halloween costumes to the games, almost as if to indicate the football games are just a big joke.

What is this place? What happened to its national football recognition?

After coach Wallace Wade won three national championships as Alabama’s head football coach, he headed over to Duke. It’s hard to imagine that an Alabama legend left to come to a place that makes basketball its priority.

Wade brought Duke into national prominence in the 1930s and 40s, getting the team ranked as high as No. 2 and 3. The Blue Devils didn’t win a national championship under Wade, but the team did win the Southern Conference six times under his reign.

Wade brought up Duke’s football program, but it just didn’t stay prominent. Everyone knows Duke for basketball and Coach K. It’s a basketball school and a world away from Alabama’s mentality.

While in Tuscaloosa during basketball season, people still sport their hounds tooth, clearly a football reference, so this allegiance works both ways. Still, I would like to think we, as students and as a fan base, at least respect our basketball team and their own skills.

If Duke came into our house for Coleman Coliseum, perhaps they would think it was quaint. And perhaps they’d laugh at our inferiority on the court, much like they can’t match our No. 1 football team.

The Blue Devils used Friday’s edition of the campus newspaper, The Chronicle, to talk about football, sure, but of course there’s also an article about Coach K. At least football made the front page.

Duke is No. 1 in its sport, and we’re No. 1 in ours. I can respect that. I most definitely respect Coach K and how, when he walked on the field during halftime of Saturday’s game, even the Alabama fans stood up to cheer for him. I can respect the differences of the mentalities.

I can also respect that Duke would beat us in basketball should they come to Tuscaloosa in the near future, but I do hope by not as much as we beat them in football. And I also hope when or if Duke comes to T-town, we don’t make the game seem like a joke or a Halloween costume party.

But for now, I’ll enjoy the win this past weekend. And though I won’t forget how cool it was to be at “the” basketball school, I’m looking forward to some more SEC, football-oriented atmospheres.

More to Discover