Thursday, August 7, 2008

Can UNC fans embrace team led by Coach K?

In recent Olympics, it has become increasingly difficult for some fans in the United States to wholeheartedly embrace Team USA in basketball. There was a reigning perception that U.S. players were selfish or interested only in marketing themselves and the products they endorsed.

Meanwhile, Naismith's native nation saw its results on the court plummet. Now, suddenly, there seems to be more support for the U.S. team, at least among the media.

Sports Illustrated recently wrote a complimentary story about coach Mike Krzyzewski's "Redeem Team." In an unusual column (, frequent Krzyzewski critic Gregg Doyel of CBSSportsline (who was my predecessor as an ACC writer at The Charlotte Observer), said he will make amends with Krzyzewski if he brings home the gold medal.

The consensus is that by demanding a three-year commitment from players and instilling the same team-first attitude that made him successful at Duke, Krzyzewski is doing the right thing for USA Basketball. That has a lot of people rooting for his team across the country.

But Krzyzewski often has contended that Duke is more popular across the country than here in North Carolina. The real question is, are North Carolina fans rooting for Team USA, knowing that a gold medal would cement Krzyzewski's legacy as one of the all-time greats? North Carolina guy Larry Brown (with Roy Williams at his side) settled for bronze in 2004.

After that disappointment, could North Carolina fans stomach Coach K with a gold medal around his neck?

Does patriotism override college basketball's most passionate rivalry?

For a few weeks in August, can Tar Heels set aside Carolina blue to wear red, white and blue with Krzyzewski at the helm?

Locally, those will be some of the most interesting questions as Team USA seeks to redeem itself in Beijing.

– Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

Not a Chance

Anonymous said...

This is America! Coach K may look like a Rat and ACT (not saying he is) like a sell out with his many endorsements and be a hypocrite for complaining about Dean Smith getting all the calls and now stomping up and down the court himself when he doesn't get calls, but he is still a great coach. That I will never deny. Also the ACC as a whole seems to have lucked out by getting a league full of coaches with integrity!

Anonymous said...

I will always bleed carolina blue....that being said, this is the olympics not the acc. They have USA across their chest not DUKE. So I don't care who coaches or who plays just as long as we (USA) are standing on the podium listening to our national athem.

Also a side note.........I hope that Roy never coaches team USA because it is too long of a commitment and Coach K's recruiting has been hurt during the process........

Anyway.....GO USA

Anonymous said...

Anybody who must ask this question is ignorant.

If you cannot root for your own country because Coach K is coaching it, then you have no right to claim yourself as an American, let alone a Tar Heel. Move to Mexico, maybe your community college degree will be worth more there.

Anonymous said...

The coachs don't get medals so you won't see anything around Coach K's neck except for his tie.

So go, USA! USA! USA!

Junaid said...

What an asinine thing to write about. You've gotta be kidding me.

Anonymous said...

NBA Thugs + Coach K. What's not to love? I hope they embarrass themselves and lose in the first round and the IOC decides to go back to using amateur players in the future.

murph said...

Tysiac is stupid. I bet even John Kilgo and Ron Green SR pull for USA Basktball to bring home a gold.

And who's this anonymous guy?


Anonymous said...

No way.

Dracula is from Romania, so it would be unpatriotic to cheer his profanity-laced leading of men.

Let us also not forget that Kay has been invited to participate, leaving the world unprotected from his pale-green charm. Truly the undead litre of men has already warped the minds of Americans. After all, he has them believing that winning with the most talented team ever assembled is some sort of accomplishment, and if that isn't mind control what is?

The Larry Brown comparison is not only unfair because they had different personnel, but also because Count K teaches the fundamentals which are unknown to sun-lubbers like LB. Brown lacks the ability to blind the referee's eyes from seeing 9 of 10 fouls, therefore his teams couldn't "d-up" like the redeemers can. Classy moves like the flop, the scratch, the elbow, the trip and the jersey grab are well out of LB's reach, to say nothing of the man-hug magic that Nosferazewski has bewitched America's sportswriters with. Lastly, Brown does not have the ability to Zombify his minions. A free-thinking human would be incapable of jacking up quick 3's or breaking a nose when the game's outcome is no longer in doubt. These are the types of intangible evils, I mean fundamentals and savvy, which lesser men than Vlad the Blue Devil are simply incapable of understanding, let alone "teaching". Also, Larry Brown can't turn into a bat.

I'm proud to be an American. This great country gives us all the right to our own opinion. We don't elect these (d)ream teams, but I'd still like to exercise my right to say "Undead Zombifying blood-suckers are not my voice".

Anonymous said...

As a Wake Forest fan, I have grown up hating both Duke and UNC. I feel, however, as an American that you have to cheer for him, no matter what school he coaches at. Despite Larry Brown coaching the previous Olympics in 2004 and only getting the bronze medal, it is another bragging point for the ACC. Chris Paul (Wake Forest), Carlos Boozer (Duke), and Chris Bosh (Georgia Tech), under the leadership of Coach K, were able to beat everyone else in the world for the Gold Medal in the Olympics. Tell me, who else in the NCAA can compare themselves and say thay are better than the ACC now?

Anonymous said...

"Dracula is from Romania, so it would be unpatriotic to cheer his profanity-laced leading of men."

Um... wrong. Krzyzewski was born in Chicago, which is actually located right here in the U.S.A. If referring to his ancestry then you are still wrong, since he is Polish. Not sure why that matters anyway... ignorant. As fun as it would be to pick apart all the other ridiculous claims you made, I just don't have the time. If you don't know what you're talking about, just don't talk.

Anonymous said...

"If you don't know what you're talking about, just don't talk."

Good advice, you should consider taking it as Parody and Satire seem to be well beyond your grasp.

I won't bother explaining to you, but I will say that perhaps you should stick to sitcoms. "Three's Company" is a good bet for you, as it requires little mental processing to understand it's wacky plot twists. A small amount of mental processing appears to be your strong point. Since you're in the mood though, how about "picking apart" the Zombifying "claim" for us ignorant folk.

By the way, Count Dracula was from Romania, it would be "ignorant" to believe otherwise.

Brave Mr. Anonymous: Misspelling the name of the person you're replying to could also be considered the work of a "fing idiot".