Saturday, April 03, 2010

Far More People Love Duke!

I wasn’t surprised when a reporter, editor or columnist decided to superimpose his or her disfavor of Duke basketball as a generalized opinion.  I just continue to be surprised or maybe dismayed is a better word at how many others in journalism fall for it and jump on the bandwagon before they have facts.  Maybe it is deliberate, maybe not, maybe it is to milk a storyline, maybe not, maybe it is laziness, maybe not, maybe it is because news is anecdotal by nature and rarely focuses on what is generalizable, maybe not.  But to me and I’ll bet many others, is annoying and plays with people’s minds and not good journalism.

One thing is for sure, win or lose today in the Final Four, scientific, generalizable research shows the Duke men’s basketball program is the most popular in Durham, in the home areas of some of its closest rivals and tied as the most popular nationwide with a school in nearby Chapel Hill.Duke

Because the anti-Duke sentiment often tries to outshout and superimpose itself even here in Durham and in nearby communities with news media that attempt to cover Durham news,  DCVB and Dr. Mitch Javidi, twice this decade conducted scientifically public opinion polls, once when Duke won the national championship and again when UNC-Chapel Hill did (click to enlarge the chart) and each time Duke surveyed as the most popular in Durham and in surrounding counties, even in a year when a rival was winning it all.

For a naysayer, I even had to dig out the percentage of population who are UNC-Chapel Hill alumni to illustrate that even if they were all UNC fans, it would still be generalizable that Duke is a favorite.  People forget that to a lot of North Carolinians, Durham is as native to the state as state schools and in Durham and many other areas, much of the population is not native anyway.

The nationwide Harris poll, conducted early last month as March madness began in college basketball confirmed that nationwide Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill are indeed tied as most favorite.

Whatever the motive and/or maybe ignorance of the person or persons who started the “EVERYBODY HATES DUKE” diatribe of the last several weeks, it is clear even those who control the “ink,” even when they “copy-cat,” can’t superimpose their opinions.   The reason people love Duke.  In Durham it is the home team but nationwide, probably because people love winners, love excellent and frequently see the games on television.  To be sure, that would require a deeper survey.

Go Duke! – but win or lose – don’t buy all of the crap about “everybody hates Duke” even if you hate Duke.  It isn’t even close to being fact, no matter how often it is said, loud it is shouted or repeatedly reported.

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