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A day in the life of K-Ville

Special to Page 2

Editor's Note: Ray Holloman is one of the 1,200 Duke students who camped out in Krzyzewskiville this week, awaiting admission to Thursday night's ACC showdown with North Carolina. He kept a diary of his life in K-Ville for Page 2.

Fan of the Duke Blue Devils
The craziness at Cameron often pours over onto the court during the postgame celebration.
Wednesday, 5:40 p.m.: Ah, Krzyzewskiville, what the Oklahoma Land Grab would have been if it were sponsored by Abercrombie and Fitch. I just plugged in my laptop to try to get some work done ... ain't happening. Yeah, when I get work done in Krzyzewskiville, I'll do it underneath my Allen Iverson humanitarian of the year award. Ain't gonna happen, folks, because this is the biggest party night at Duke University.

Let's not ask for miracles here. Or if we do, let the miracle be beer from heaven, not work getting done. We are Tents 41 and 42, collectively known as Mount Olympus, the tallest free-standing structure in the history of K-ville. Twelve people are allotted per tent, so we've got 24 people out here trying to be checked in for the Carolina game Thursday night.

After three weeks out in K-ville -- a plot of land adjacent to Cameron roughly 500 feet by 100 feet -- we're down to personal checks. The last 48 hours before the game, each of the 1,200 tenters has to make three out of five randomly called checks by head line monitor Norm Bradley (yes, he does, in fact, have more power than anyone ever named Norm) to get admission to the UNC game. Most of Mount Olympus got one check in Tuesday, so we're not expecting too long a night. I'm still in regular classwear (which is shorts on a warm January day). It covers about as much as Gene Keady's comb-over though, so I'm gonna have to change.

6:14 p.m., dinner time: The most popular way to dine in K-Ville is ordering pizza. The local Domino's, Papa John's and a handful of other restaurants deliver right to your tent, ensuring that while you're getting sick, you can eat poorly, too. Of course, that's most people. Mount Olympus has style -- we grill. On the nearby sidewalk that runs around K-ville, my girlfriend Michelle is shaping beef into patties for the hamburgers. Mmmm ... domesticity. I get a feeling I'm about to get dragged into this. Ah, what we do for love ... and tasty, tasty burgers.

6:48 p.m.: The media loves K-Ville. Every year reporters float around from tent to tent. This year, we've got Ross from the local Durham Herald-Sun doing a multimedia project on Mount Olympus.

7:10 p.m.: Burger interrupted. Dammit. Tent check. One half-eaten tasty burger put on hold. Oh, well. Last night, Norm wouldn't have known what a tent check was if Sir Edmund Hillary explained tent and Garry Kasparov explained check. It was 6:10 a.m. when we finally got a tent check. This is the second check for me and most of my tentmates, so it's pretty close to game time.

Tent 63 has spray-painted shirts that say, are you ready, 'Tent 63.' Great guys. Not that Tent 63 sucks, but being proud of being Tent 63 is like being proud of being from Canada.
Ray, 8:32 p.m.

7:20 p.m.: By the grace of Norm, tent checks are followed by a one-hour period when we can go back to our dorm rooms, warm up, write columns for Page 2 or whatever. But the most popular destination for tenters is the Armadillo Grill, an on-campus restaurant/bar in our student center and a five-minute walk from K-ville. The big upside? Beer on the meal plan. Kids, if you learn one thing from this, learn this: When you visit a college, always ask if you can get beer on your meal plans. Back in an hour.

8:20 p.m.: The crew returns to find one of the yearly highlights of K-Ville: free stuff. And basketball players. But mainly, the free stuff. Campus Crusade for Christ is handing out hot chocolate in "K-Ville 2001" mugs. Mmmmm ... "sacrilicious." Meanwhile, the players wander about K-Ville talking to the students, taking pictures. Say what you want about the program, but nobody has a major basketball team that's closer to the rest of the students than Duke.

8:22 p.m.: Bumped my head on the steel post holding up our tarp ceiling.

8:23 p.m.: Oooowwww.

8:32 p.m.: T-shirt hawkers swing by. Can't miss the ever popular "I said no to Dean" shirt, sold by Duke's Internet fan site after Carolina was turned down by Kansas coach Roy Williams, South Carolina coach Eddie Fogler, Apu from the Kwiki-Mart, the choco taco guy from Durham Taco Bell No. 91481 and, reportedly, the one-armed man. Tent 63 has spray-painted shirts that say, are you ready, "Tent 63." Great guys. Not that Tent 63 sucks, but being proud of being Tent 63 is like being proud of being from Canada.

9:14 p.m.: In 1920, the King of Belgium (anybody know if an English major with a 3.6 GPA can apply for that gig?) asked a group of American athletes for a typical college cheer. They chanted KU's "Rock Chalk Jayhawk." One can only imagine "Beer me" wasn't too far behind. It's 9 p.m., we've got two checks down, here's where the real drinking begins. Beer beer beer diddily beer beer ...

9:15 p.m.: On an unrelated note, it's the first bathroom break of the night. The Wilson Recreation Center, the student rec center sitting adjacent to Cameron, stays open until midnight for those tenters who are into fancy things like "indoor plumbing." Some people actually stay inside the building pretty much the whole time. You can "tent" there if you want; scan your DukeCard in the door, leave all your self-respect outside ... no big deal.

9:21 p.m.: More beer. It's about this time that the weather starts getting chilly. As long as the temperature is higher than your blood-alcohol level, you're OK. It's about 40-45 degrees out, a warm night.

9:30 p.m.: Migration time. As has become a yearly ritual, Coach K is going to speak to the crowd, so everybody moves over to the plaza directly in front of the student entrance to Cameron. Last year, he dedicated Krzyzewskiville during his speech and had former Duke star and current Sixers GM Billy King in tow. Proud moment for the tent -- we carry the beer cooler over with us. It has become one of us. Beer beer beer diddily beer ...

9:31 p.m.: On another unrelated note, second bathroom break of the night.

Tent Check. Norm, you beautiful, beautiful man. That's three for me and the majority of folks in K-ville, which is good because most people are stumbling around like Tiger Woods on the 18th green ... or John Daly on any green.
Ray, 11:50 p.m.

9:45 p.m.: We've secured seats made of a lovely new material -- stone. Ouch! The head line monitor comes out to talk about something or another before K starts at 10. Crowd meets him with all the enthusiasm of a Dennis Rodman movie marathon. No news as to what K will speak on. I'm hoping he'll announce the team trading their Nike contract for a Roos deal. They could put their milk money in the zip compartment.

10:02 p.m.: Duke freshman Chris Duhon grabs the microphone and proudly announces that Duke's got a great team, led by the best guard in the country, Jason Williams, who's just slightly better than the second best guard in the country ... Chris Duhon. Humble.

10:05 p.m.: The main attraction. Coach K comes out with his wife and daughter, a freshman at Duke. Coach K has always done a great job of relating to the student body, and nobody misses his pregame pep talks, even those who aren't tenting. He always speaks with an incredible amount of candor, whether he's talking about Elton Brand's departure two years ago or what he thinks about Coach D'oh and it's something we respect. Ross and I, meanwhile, break the "no-media rule," I suppose, though both of us are afraid of the Polish mafia coming after us if we report what he says. You wanna die from wounds inflicted by a sausage? Didn't think so. Neither do we. Coach K talks for about 20 minutes, fields questions for another 30.

11:07 p.m.: When it's all said and done, Krzyzewskiville isn't about a game or devotion to a team, it's about the moments you get to spend together with friends, all sacrificing for the same goal. It's the only time after I finished team sports in high school that I get that sort of camradarie. It's our social group coming together with 100 other social groups to be the most intimidating homecourt advantage in the history of sports.

11:38 p.m.: Drunk people should not be allowed to play scrabble. I fear for the world when the following question is asked, "Isn't crapchek a word?" How about, no. Not even in crapchekese.

11:50 p.m.: Tent Check. Norm, you beautiful, beautiful man. That's three for me and the majority of folks in K-ville, which is good because most people are stumbling around like Tiger Woods on the 18th green ... or John Daly on any green. Pick up a wristband (which serves as our ticket in the first-come, first-serve student section) in the morning and we're set. Wristband pickup is at 7:30, so I elect to go out for one more grace period trip to the Dillo and crash in the tent.

Thursday, 1 a.m.: Early bedtime for K-ville, but most of us were up until 6 a.m. the night/morning before. It's nap time.

1:40 a.m.: We'd like silence, but I'm informed Magic Johnson patented and copyrighted "absolute dead silence" with his "Magic Hour" monologues. Shame. People are honestly arguing about Balzac outside. I suppose I should be proud for my school, but why don't they at least talk about something useful, like who owns the Warrior Belt in Battle Cage?

7:10 a.m.: Wristbands. Yay! Yawn. Yay! Tomorrow will be a holiday for tow-truck drivers in Durham, since they're towing every vehicle parked anywhere near K-Ville. Free breakfast provided by the local McD's after wristbands. I can't quite open my eyes yet, so I'm gonna head back to my actual bed.

Grace today until the game. Party starts back around four. Until then, lemme be the first today to say, "GO TO HELL, CAROLINA, GO TO HELL!"

The Cameron Crazies' Greatest Hits

Confessions of ... a Cameron Crazy

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Full Court Press: North Carolina at Duke

Duke vs. UNC: Ten great games

Vitale: There are rivalries, and there's Duke-UNC

AthletesDirect: Mike Krzyzewski's official Web site

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