Grr, stupid Time Warner Cable/Internet, being out on Saturday so I couldn’t post. 😦 But here’s what I would have written, had I been able to post!


Today I spent the afternoon doing something that I’ve been doing, off and on, since the fall of 1995. Getting my hopes raised and then dashed, dramatically, by Duke Football. Despite the fact that I’ve seen the team win less than 10 games in 12 years (they’ve won a few more than that, but I haven’t been there), I still love Duke Football. Every game is exciting, at least for a little while. And there are so many hilarious stories from my undergrad that come to mind during every game.

For instance, today we played Georgia Tech. When I was a senior, and drum major of the marching band, we traveled to Atlanta for the Georgia Tech game. Because I was drum major, and because of the way the stands are built at Tech, I had to stand on the sidelines. The Yellow Jacket mascot and the Blue Devil mascot were nearby fighting with waterguns, and trying to catch us in the crossfire. Then, the Yellow Jacket came over and tried to take my folio of songs–the one I would hold up to tell the rest of the band what to play next. I yanked it back, and then started swatting him with it, repeatedly, until he ran away. That’s a pretty good memory.

Last week, we played Clemson, and that one comes with an even better story. I think it was junior year in college, and we were playing Clemson at home. It was almost halftime, and the entire marching band (I wasn’t yet drum major), was standing on the sideline waiting to go on the field. We were standing in a big clump, and nearby, the Clemson cheerleaders’ flags (the giant ones that spelled out C-L-E-M-S-tigerpaw-N) were lying on the ground, unattended.

One of the band members came up with the brilliant idea that if we all just moved a little closer, we’d be able to take one of the flags off the pole and steal it. (We were big on stealing rival teams’ flags. We had one from Wake Forest. We also stole a padded chair from Illinois and the Kentucky flag, and several ESPN banners over the course of my time in DUMB*.) We were able to pull one of the flags into the group, pull it off the pole, and then slide the pole back into the pile, and covered it up. Now, we had the flag, but we were about to go on the field for our halftime show. What were we going to do with it?

Well, our band president grabbed it, and started stuffing it inside his uniform jacket. It made him unnaturally puffy, and you could see an orange tint through the white parts of his jacket. But we were counting on the fact that no one was really paying attention to us, and it paid off. After we marched off the field, we surrounded the band president while he removed the flag from his jacket and stuffed it into a hatbox. Then we had one of our esteemed alumnae (who was attending Duke Law at the time) come get the box and take it to her car, outside the stadium. We thought we’d gotten away with it.

And we almost did. Our football team pulled off an amazing feat–holding Clemson scoreless (and thus, no flag waving) until about 3 minutes before the end of the game. When the cheerleaders picked up the flags, they were shocked to find one missing. Our band broke out in cheers. In retrospect, we probably shouldn’t have done that, because we were immediately BUSTED! We had to retrieve the flag and return it, sadly. But it was still one of my most fun memories of Duke Football.


*DUMB=Duke University Marching Band. Coolest acronym ever, right?