In the interest of full disclosure, I have to confess that I am not a fan of the Duke Blue Devils. I suppose it is a natural byproduct of having a father who graduated from the University of Kentucky, and of my own matriculation at UCONN, Texas, and, most recently, NC State. My background surely helped to foster a deep dislike of Durham, North Carolina's most famous collegiate sports denizens, that and Dick Vitale's incessant shilling for the Blue Devils, to be sure.
One thing that I've noticed about Duke basketball players through the years (apart from their maddening youth-be-damned confidence, and the way they normally cream teams they're supposed to cream), is the way they seem to cling to each other during lulls in the action.
While you may assume I'm looking to shock readers with allusions of a "Brokeback Basketball" bent, I assure you I'm not. I'm just wondering if all the hugging, the hands resting on necks and shoulders, the fanny slapping, and other signs of physical intimacy during basketball games among teammates (especially Duke teammates, it seems) are nothing more than indicators of players' absolute acceptance of each other on the hardwood. I watch my beloved Kentucky Wildcats play and it seems like they're playing by strictly Victorian rules of physical contact. Could the answer to their current hoops woes be settled by some simple Magic-on-Isiah Thomas lip-to-cheek action? Is there something to this close-contact among teammates that signals total buy-in to the team concept?