Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Rocky Top

One little known fact about me – at least to people I've met the last five years or so – is that I am a huge sports fan. I love college football and college basketball and professional baseball and the NBA and once upon a time had the space in my brain to store names and positions and statistics and oddball anecdotes.

Then, I had kids.

All the space I reserved for sports has been filled with other trivia after a long stint as cold storage thanks to sleep deprivation. Where once there was room in my brain to have an opinion on whether Manning or Helton should be the number two behind Jerry Colquitt or who Duke should start against St. John's, or whether or not the Braves should trade Maddux and Glavine, now I have a broad and deep knowledge of all things geek.

I can name 20 different Pokemon on sight or by charades. I can name most of the Autobots and tell you what kind of vehicle they transform into. I know my Triceratops from my apatosaurus . I know more backstory on Spiderman, Venom, Carnage, Iron Man, Wolverine, Captain America, Silver Surfer, Dr. Doom, and the Fantastic Four than I do on a lot of my friends.

Now, though, I'm so excited about college football again that I might have to eke out some room for it this year. And it's all thanks to this man.

David Cutcliffe, is no doubt, a great football coach. He has coached and mentored two of the best quarterbacks in history and at two different schools. But he's also a good man. He and his wife, Karen, took in their son Chris' best friend when the boy's mother died.

Last week, after reading a story about how Coach Cut was changing attitudes about football at Duke and holding the administration and other coaches accountable for treating the football program with the same respect they want, I felt compelled to send the man a note to let him know that Duke football fans are really excited by his presence. (At least those of us who are dyed in the wool college football fans (i.e. the ones from the South) are.) Attached to my e-mail was a photograph of me holding Brendan at his first Duke football game. I never expected to hear anything back at all.

The next day, I got an e-mail from Coach Cutcliffe's secretary telling me the coach had something he wanted to send me and asking for my home address.

A few days later, we received a nice handwritten note from the coach along with a copy of my original photograph, blown up and autographed by Coach Cutcliffe.

It was a very sweet gesture and he certainly didn't have to do it or have his staff do it. But I think it shows what a great guy he is and I am very excited to have him at Duke. I can't wait for August 30th.

Go Duke!


A. said...

yea! Go Duke!! (although I'm a lifelong Tarheel fan, I did attend Duke and have a soft spot for their teams, too. heck, they won the NCAA Basketball championship 2 of the 3 years I went there!).

Jeremy said...

That's a great story.

Here's hoping Cutcliffe is the man to get Duke's football program winning consistently...or at least beating Tech consistently. Sorry, I can never help taking a shot at Tech.

rennratt said...

This man is living proof that "sports" and "class" do not need to be polar opposites.

I have been declared a State Fan (I'm a Transplant, so it was assigned).

However, when Duke is playing others, I will be sure to cheer them on.

Aleta said...

Aww that was really sweet of the Coach! How thoughtful!

Me, I never was into sports until I met Greg. He actually explained not only the game, but the concept behind each play for football and suddenly it took on a new light. I was jumping off the sofa and yelling right along with the best of the fans. Lol. I'm a Saints gal and LSU Tiger fan! Woo Hoo

Courtney said...

Awwww... that's wonderful! : )

Kel said...

Wow, that really speaks volumes about the man. Rarely do people go out of there way for others, but he sounds like one incredible coach who will hopefully inspire the best in his athletes. Too bad there aren't more like him.

BTW, thanks for stopping by!