Traveling Violations: Still crazy after all these years
by Dan Wetzel, Yahoo Sports
November 11, 2004
DURHAM, N.C. – The opponent was North Carolina Central, not North Carolina. It was a warm November night for an exhibition game, not an ACC battle with a February chill in the air.
But Cameron Indoor Stadium still is Cameron Indoor Stadium. It always is a great place to watch a game. Any game.
Our favorite college venue remains Oklahoma State's Gallagher Iba Arena due to its sense of history and the fact that the adult fans there are about as crazy as the students (Okies may grow up, but they don't mellow). But Cameron is special, too.
With just 9,314 seats, the intimacy of the place is assured. Atmosphere is supplied by the famed Cameron Crazies, who surround the court. NCCU may be a local small-college program, but that didn't stop the students from heckling the Eagles during warm-ups, pregame introductions and, of course, the game.
The building was supposedly first drawn up in 1935 on the cover of a book of matches by Eddie Cameron and Wallace Wade. It was opened in 1940 at a cost of $400,000, renovated for $2 million in 1980 and tinkered with a few times since.
The result is a stately, classy but fully functional building housing a number of Duke athletic offices (the main Duke basketball office is located next door).
Cameron, in terms of home courts, is the most powerful recruiting tool in the country.
But please remember, we started this trip the morning after Election Day and promised to promote healing and unity. So whether you like your sauce ketchup-based or vinegar-base, can't we all just get along and slow-cook some pork?
In that spirit we hit a joint in the Eastern part of the state Thursday that cooks its meat in a Texas style. And I don't care where you are from, it was good.
With the Duke sports information department – Jon Jackson, Art Chase and Matt Plizga – leading the way, we lunched at the Durham establishment The Q Shack. Its motto: "BBQ, tender as a mother's love."
All I know is, the chili-rubbed beef brisket sandwich (on Texas toast), side of mac and cheese and the obligatory hush puppies were enough to make a grown man, his momma and his cardiologist weep. And the hoops talk was as good as the food.
After nine cities in nine days it was a nice reminder that talking hoops and eating BBQ never gets old.
Thursday there was a couple taking pictures outside of the park, though it is not the one used in the movie.
Valued Reader Email
Dan – Your mention of Winston-Salem State is appropriate. You should probably mention that a certain player with the nickname of "The Pearl" was at WSSU during those dark, segregated times when Packer and Chappell were at Wake.
John H. Davidson
Good point, Earl "The Pearl" Monroe (WSSU '67) is more than worthy of a mention.
Dan – I have enjoyed the college b-ball preview the last few days. Thanks for the plug about my BBQ. I just want to clarify that the delicious dessert your friend enjoyed was not banana cream pie but good ole nanner pudding.
He cooks that well and has time to read? I love this guy.
An intramural team from the Duke medical school played the varsity from NCCU in a non-sanctioned game. It doesn't sound like much now, but in the 1940s in the South, it was a big deal.
"It just showed how basketball has been a vehicle to bring change," Krzyzewski said. "I would hope that this game not only made us better but also brought to everyone's attention that this is a good thing and what a great community we have."
By that reasoning no ACC team could be a 1 or 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. "But if you can survive the gauntlet in the ACC, I think your mettle will certainly have been tested when March comes around," Prosser said.
There were only a couple of things to know for the NCCU game, according to the sheet handed out on Thursday night.
"Above all else, be classy, creative and funny."
But then again. …
"Screaming 'Go to Hell, Carolina, Go to Hell,' is always appropriate."
Dan Wetzel is Yahoo! Sports' national columnist. He is the co-author of the book "Death to the BCS: The Definitive Case Against the Bowl Championship Series," which following five printings of the first edition was re-released in a second, updated edition in October. Follow him on Twitter. Send Dan a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.
Updated on Friday, Nov 12, 2004 1:52 am, EST