By Daniel Kline
Duke Sports Blog Contributor
Tuesday night was a night that Mike Krzyzewski had earned, and whether you like him or hate him, he should be respected for his accomplishment.
To say being a Duke fan in a city that loves its professional sports is different enough, but being in Madison Square Garden with Kentucky, Kansas, and Michigan St. fans is by far an awkward experience.
I knew from the moment I got on the subway with wife, and the closer we got to our stop, the more blue that was coming onboard. But seeing as three of the four teams playing have blue in their uniforms, you had to look at the shirt to determine which team they were supporting.
It would be a TV record breaking Final Four if these were the teams. Maybe it is too early in the season for some college basketball fans to get hyped up for a big game. But most top tier teams do not play elite competition until late November or early December at the earliest, not game number two or three.
Kudos to Michigan State for being the ones that always seems to play a top squad early every season. They struggle, but get better throughout almost every season, and are always competitive come tournament time. Michigan State seemed to have the lowest fan turnout, and the sea of blue throughout MSG whether it be Kansas, Kentucky, and Duke may have drowned them out.
Despite all the blue, most of it was pulling for Michigan St. Most Duke games at MSG are almost like a home game, even when playing St John’s, where the Garden is the Red Storm’s home away from home. This one was a little different.
When Krzyzewski was announced after the starting lineups, the crowd had a tremendous roar, but mixed in and enough to make out, were the boo’s of the crowd.
I get it, everyone hates Duke, I just don’t care. I’m a fan and the less that like Duke, the better. Most of my closest friends have strangely been UNC fans. Even Duke fans can clash on differing views on recruiting, one and dones, and like last night a fellow Duke fan seemed to get upset when he asked how old Krzyzewski is, and when I replied 64, and he disagreed and said 62.
Why ask, if you think you know? And for the record he is 64 years old.
When Dean Smith broke Adolph Rupp’s record during his last year of coaching, I respected the accomplishment; though I thoroughly disliked him, but also thought Krzyzewski could break the record one day.
Last season he passed Smith’s record playing in Greensboro in December. I was lucky enough to be there to witness that milestone, but it wasn’t the all time record, it was a mere stepping stone toward Bob Knight’s 902.
3…2…1…0. Duke fans cheer for Coach K’s 903 victory, KU and UK fans around me say “now its time for some real basketball”.
Just a typical remark from a fan who can’t realize that history was just made. They were already complaining that the first game took too long.
Not every fan was disrespectful. I was probably paying more attention to the negative comments. But just because it’s seems like it is popular and okay to hate and blast Duke, at least come to your senses and give him an applause for one minute, for a true legend, like him or not.