I have not found many places that embody such vitality as Cameron Indoor Stadium at Duke University. The home court for the multi-national championship Blue Devils is small in comparison to the number of fans and awards the team has garnered, but what it lacks for size, it makes up for in spirit. Behind every great team is a strong fan base, and I have never seen a more fervent group of fans than the Cameron Crazies. This crew is made up of Duke students, current and past, and when you see them join together at games it’s almost as if you’re witnessing witchcraft. The chants, synchonized motions, and curses they propel towards opponents do not seem logical, but instead invoke a mystical power that lifts up their home team while simultaneously taunting the challengers. These are not fair-weather fans; regardless of how the team fares each season, the Crazies pack the stadium for each home game and bring Cameron Indoor to a deafening roar.
You can tell that the students definitely deserve the title of “Crazie” based on this picture:
Before certain games each season, students camp out to raise their chances of a better spot in the student ticket line on game day. News stations have covered the camp out in Krzyzewskiville (pronounced Shi-shef-ski-ville, after Coach Krzyzewski) for the past two weeks. During that time the weather has transitioned from freezing cold to sunny 60 degree days, back to freezing, and then to downpours. And yet hundreds, possibly thousands, of students stayed, even though there’s no guarantee of tickets for those that camp.
The current camp out is the largest and most important of the season because tomorrow night the Blue Devils match against their ultimate enemy: the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. Two of the top schools in the nation, both academically and athletically, sit only 9 miles away from each other and it makes for a rivalry that humbles most other college rivalries.
I wish I could say that I will be on the floor of Cameron Indoor along with the other Crazies, but unless a ticket magically appears at my doorstep (do the Crazies make special deliveries?) I will most likely watch at home. Even so, I’ll wear my Duke t-shirt, chant and cast spells along with the students, and hope to win bragging rights for the next few days that I can tease my UNC-fan employees about at work. If you want to witness a little magic tomorrow night, just watch the game. And get a little Crazie.