It’s OK, Charles Barkley, We Still Love You

1. He Must Have Been an Emory IM Basketball Referee

There has been a long-standing divide between fans and enemies of the Duke Blue Devil basketball program. Many claim that Coach Mike Krzyzewski belongs among the likes of Abe Lincoln and George Washington as one of our greatest Americans. These Cameron Crazies camp out for days leading up to games and then don’t sit down for the entire basketball game, creating an unbelievable atmosphere unparalleled in college athletics. (Oh, be quiet, Michigan football: We can’t count on you anymore considering how bad you guys are.)

Anyway, for the rest of us, Duke fans are an annoying, elitist bunch who believe they are always right and that any wrongs must be someone else’s fault. We maintain a long-held belief that Duke benefits from being a referee favorite. Sadly, even the refs have all bought into some ridiculous brainwash that without Duke on top of college basketball the world as we know it will cease to exist.

Well, the ref conspiracy theory was validated after the most obviously blown call in history. Against Wake Forest, freshman Elliot Williams received the ball at the top left of the arc. Then, to move about six feet to his right, he decided to go elementary school on everyone and walk there. He literally took 12 steps, looking more like a Michael Jackson back-up dancer than a point guard.

We make fun of the Laker and LeBron conspiracy, thinking that it must be real. But then every once in a while, the refs will call something against them to keep us guessing. Never with Duke. Seriously, how fair is it when a team starts 10 meters behind? Even Emory basketball could be a D-I, top-10 program if its violations were never called.

In the end, the refs at the Duke match didn’t call a travel. That’s just as well: We don’t think we could have handled such a drastic policy change on such short notice.

2. Another Slap in the Face

The Tampa Bay Lightninghave been at the dregs of the National Hockey League since the start of the season. With about a fourth of the season to go, Tampa Bay’s playoff hopes are already down the toilet, yet the front office remains steadfast in its quest to drag fans out to games. After ESPN commentator Barry Melrose was fired from his head coach position, Melrose went on the record to say that he hopes Tampa Bay doesn’t win another game this season.

The Lightning’s latest slap in the face comes at the hands of the New York Rangers, who recently fired their head coach and replaced him with former Lightning head coach John Tortorella. Get ready to watch the Rangers soar with their new coaching addition and the Lightning continue to tank to finish out its pathetic season.

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