April 28, 2010
Based on a scene from Tuesday night's episode of the Fox series "Glee," it's probably safe to assume one of the writers is a Tar Heels fan.
When Mike O'Malley's character Burt Hummel begins dating the mother of the school jock Finn, the boy flips out at the idea of someone trying to take the place of his deceased father. Burt eventually gets Finn to warm up to him, sitting down to watch a basketball game with him and punctuating the bonding experience with the line "I hate Duke like I hate the Nazis."
As ESPN college football analyst Lou Holtz can attest, it's seldom in good taste to compare something as trivial as sports to Hitler's regime. Still, the intent here was to amuse, not to offend, and surely the Duke-hating segment of our population got a pretty good chuckle out of that scene.
Reaction to the scene on the Web on Wednesday predictably has been split largely by school affiliation thus far.
An angry Duke fan commented on Fox's Web site that the Nazi reference was "not funny" and "over the line," adding that the writers could have made the same point while using a less offensive comparison. Meanwhile, when a Maryland fan posted the quote on a message board, fellow Terps supporters took more offense that one of their peers was watching a TV musical comedy than they did the Nazi reference.