If you want to see a Duke basketball game – and I know you really, really do – then you have to promise to go to some Blue Devils football games. That’s part of the school’s football ticket sales plan. Yeah, it’s a bummer, right? Duke hasn’t made a bowl game or had a winning season since 1994.What makes it even worse is that when I was a student there, we continuously ranked among the 25 winningest programs over the preceding 25 year period. The last time the Devils truly were successful on the gridiron came in the 1980s under coach Steve Spurrier, now at the University of South Carolina. That was a long time ago. To outsiders, our Wallace Wade Stadium is just as bad then as it is now. It holds just 33,941 people, and rarely even fills those seats. It still has a track around the field which more "sophisticated" fans and writers make fun of but I ran around that track many, MANY times and officiated at US vs. USSR track meets as well as an NCAA Championship meet held on that track and in that stadium, so I am one of thousands who would hate to see that stadium and its (actually) very modern track disappear. The worst part about Wallace Wade Stadium is that for many years now, when the stadium is filled to the brim, it’s mostly with opposing fans.
I have never been president of any Optimist Club, but being the eternal optimist when it comes to Duke athletics, I am one of many who is very optimistic about the football program under new football coach David Cutcliffe. In the three years that he has been at Duke, the football team has won more games than during any other three year period since the Spurrier era and, though we realize how tough it is to revive a virtually dead program, we remain optimistic.
One final interesting tidbit. Wallace Wade Stadium, known at the time as Duke Stadium, is the only stadium, other than Rose Bowl Stadium Stadium in Pasadena, California, to host the annual Rose Bowl football game.
Although I very dearly love Duke University and love to sing her praises to anyone who will listen to, or read, it, I am becoming very discouraged by working on tips or pages up to an hour only to have my ISPs (and I have used several) or the VT server delete or refuse my input. If anyone else has that problem, please let me know. I worked over an hour on this one.
In the spring of 1975, not too long after my graduation from Duke, I was privileged to attend the initial induction dinner for the Duke Sports Hall of Fame. After that ceremony, the Hall of Fame consisted of six photographs and a painted Hall of Fame Banner. With subsequent inductions and expansion, the Hall now has about 120 members and is housed in a 10,000 sq ft facility within the Schwartz-Butters Complex which is immediately adjacent to the Cameron Indoor Stadium. This relatively new facility contains a theater, audio and video clips, and other exhibits showcasing the people and events who have brought athletic fame to the University in addition to photos of each of the inductees.
Open Monday-Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM.
New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Durham. Where can we go to see top quality athletic events, Alex? Durham is not world renowned for its athletic teams but perhaps it should be. Duke and North Carolina Central Universities have won a total of six national collegiate basketball and football championships in the past 20 years, four in basketball and two in football. Of the Duke men's and women's lacrosse teams and women's field hockey team, at least one of them has played in the Final Four each of the past five seasons. The women's golf team and men's soccer teams have also won national championships and the women are perennial conference champions. North Carolina Central has a legendary track and field program and Dr. Leroy Walker, their track coach for about 40 years, was one of the most respected in the world.
Home of the Durham Bulls baseball park and team. A fun experience growing up, I have fond memories of the old and new parks. I'm not even really a baseball or sports fan per se, but still there's nothing like the smell of grass in the summer time, someone in the crowd singin' "heeeeeey, batta batta batta swiiiiiiing", and of course the large bull whose eyes flash red and who spurts smoke out of his nose whenever the home team scores a home run.
Remember the movie Bull Durham? Yep, that team that Kevin Costner was playing for was the Durham Bulls of little old Durham, North Carolina. Check out a minor league game for a great family outing.