Linking Duke to Kelly Tilghman's "lynch" Tiger Woods' comments grossly unfair
I enjoy a good natured rip of the self-righteous bluebloods at Duke as much as the next guy. Mostly because the most famous Dukie is Sports Ultimate Faker himself - Mike Krzyzewski, the coach who preaches family and fair play and spends his time screaming at his college-kid players, berating refs in old Chicago style bully fashion even though most nights his Blue Devils get the most lopsided favorable whistle in America, trying to intimidate every beat writer his team’s ever had and playing himself off as a saint again in big money American Express commercials all about bolstering his own image. And not saying a word when another coach of a minor sport he called a friend found himself caught in a national maelstrom involving race and alleged rape.
Still, with all that said, there’s no way you can make Golf Channel announcer Kelly Tilghman’s still bizarre and pretty indefensible introduction of lynching into a golf telecast about Duke. Yes, Tilghman went to Duke. No, this isn’t relevant.
Yet, there are bloggers - including serious sports journalists and national news voices - trying to make Duke part of the equation.
Roy S. Johnson - the editor in chief of Men’s Fitness Magazine and a devoted sports blogger - actually opens up his first piece on the Tilghman manner by throwing Duke into the equation.
“What is it about Duke? Okay, maybe that’s not fair,” Johnson wrote. “But it did make me scratch my head and wonder when I read what Kelly Tilghman, a former Blue Devil golfer, said on the Golf Channel last Friday …”
If it isn’t fair, why bring it up? Johnson is hardly the one who’s tried to create some type of Duke culture link - and I’m not trying to argue that race relations are good at Duke or around campus (I wouldn’t know for sure either way) - but someone might want to remind him how that case against the lacrosse players turned out. It’s unfair to the Duke lacrosse kids who were exonerated to be thrown back under the bus because some other Dukie made a undebatably offensive remark on TV.
Let’s save the anti-Duke rhetoric for the people who’ve earned it: Coach Two Face and his fawning, enabling followers. Who knows for sure how Kelly Tilghman’s situation is going to turn out in the end?
But you can be certain that Coach K. won’t be brave enough to weigh in one way or the other. That’s on Duke. Not a golf announcer somehow thinking even for a moment that she should use lynching as joke material.
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What I do take issue with is your calumny toward Coach K. You may not like him, but it is unclear why. You cite no persuasive evidence. You think he's a hypocrite because he preached family and is hard on his players? Have you ever asked a player how he feels about Coach K's coaching? Try a former player -- say Grant Hill. You think he curses at refs? Not clear. I've watched anumber of games over the years and it is very rare that the refs pay him any attention. Certainly no more than any other coach. The myth that Duke gets all the calls is just that, a myth.
And point out a beat writer that he has ever tried to intimidate. Can't do it, can you. Why don't you ask someone like Al Featherston who actually knows. And the commercial? Do you know what he did with the money? Before you turn that into a negative, you might want to check.
Finally, as far as supporting the lacrosse coach, there are a number of reasons why he would/could not do it. First, he was in no better position to know the underlying facts as anyone else; second, how do you know he didn't. Conversations with the university president or the AD (a close friend of K) are not likely to make it into the public forums.
You're certainly entitled to your opinion. But please be certain you aren't being motivated by envy of K's success or colored by some other bias.
Sticking to golf might be a good thing. You seem to know something about it. Can't say the same about your knowledge of what makes Hall of Fame/Olympic basketball coaches tick.
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