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Christian Laettner

With the Duke Blue Devils making perhaps an unexpected return to the Final Four, some members of the mainstream media have begun championing their cause, at least, in a way. More to the point, they are trying to get to the bottom of what they perceive as an unnatural hate for the Blue Devils, while saying those feelings probably aren’t necessary.

Fortunately for me, my reason is covered and excused by Gregg Doyel, but allow me to reiterate to those who might not be aware — I can sum up my dislike for Duke with three words:

Christian Donald Laettner

As long as that %&#@*!# shot exists, so will my dislike of anything Duke-related. I have to see it EVERY TIME college basketball is shown on CBS and frankly, if I never see Thomas Hill crying again on the sideline again, it will be too soon.

Yes, I get it, Thomas. You’re as shocked as anyone at what you just saw: John Pelphrey and Darren Feldhaus just standing there, letting Laettner shoot it, uncontested. Yay for you and your explosion of emotion.

Just get off of my TV screen.

Perhaps Kentucky’s payback in the 1998 Tournament should’ve cleared away my hard feelings, but that’s just too bad. I don’t like Duke, I won’t be rooting for them tonight against Butler, or any other night for that matter. And as long as I have to see highlights of Laettner’s shot, I don’t see that changing any time soon.

With that in mind, I fully expect Duke to beat Butler tonight, and if the Bulldogs go on another 10-minute scoring drought in the second half, they just might get smashed by the Blue Devils. Look, I’m sure Jon Scheyer, Kyle Singler, and Nolan Smith are great kids, and they’re certainly really good basketball players. Even a non-fan like me sees that, but, that being said, if Duke wins, I certainly won’t be cheering them on.

The following image says it much better than I ever could:

Petty? Perhaps, but then again, this is something of a sports rivalry we’re talking about and you know those are never logical.