10 Things I Learned From Duke

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Al Groh and the Cavaliers fell to Duke, a disappointing feeling for any Hoo.

Losing hurts. Losing to Duke hurts a lot. Losing to Duke two years in a row … ? The right word eludes me.

This week’s column may have a different feeling to it at times. You lose to Duke in football, you get a bit contemplative. At least, I apparently do.

1. Perspective. I have a good friend whose positive attitude I admire greatly. When I think there is nothing but dark clouds ahead, he can find the silver lining, even if miles ahead in the journey. Time after time, he has shocked me with his ability to find a positive where I can find none. This week, however, he took that wonderful positive attitude to a whole new height. Saturday night – technically, I guess it was Sunday morning – he said to me, “You have to remember, it is not like we were embarrassed – we were right there with Duke in the fourth quarter.”

I still admire my friend’s positive attitude. Next time I see him, however, I am checking for a lobotomy scar.

Simply put, the fact that we were “right there” with Duke is just all wrong. Set aside the fact that it meant that the game was close. How about the fact that it is Duke – Duke! – that is the measuring stick in that statement as opposed to saying that Duke was right there with us? Think about that for just a second. The world is upside down when you are measuring yourself against Duke.

Plus, while I think I eventually could come to grips with the fact that we lost to Duke this year, how about the fact that we are in the midst of a losing streak against Duke? A losing streak! To Duke. In football! There are some things I can handle. A losing streak to Duke in basketball is one of them. In football? Not so much.

2. Losing It. It is no secret that Al Groh will not be the head football coach for UVa next season. I have tried not to address it directly because it bothers me tremendously to watch a staff go through what this staff is having to go through this year, I do not want

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