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Robert Novak: Duke May Save My Life, but I Still Don't Like the Blue Devils or Their Fans

Sep 6, 2008 – 8:38 PM
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Michael David Smith

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The political columnist Robert Novak is known for his strident conservatism, but in a column about his fight with brain cancer, he sounds as if he's turning over a new leaf, even having nice things to say about Ted Kennedy.

But read a little further into the column, and we find out that brain cancer hasn't completely changed Novak. After mentioning that his doctor is the chief of neurosurgery at the Duke University Medical Center, Novak writes:
The irony of my going to Duke to save my life can only be appreciated by somebody who knows that I am a fanatic University of Maryland basketball fan with no use for the Duke Blue Devils and their student basketball fans, who certainly have not turned the other cheek toward me.

The ingenious taunts by the students at Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium are usually directed against opposing players, but I am one fan who also has been the target of the "Cameron Crazies."

During my last visit there to watch a game won by Maryland, students raised a placard with two pictures: one of Benedict Arnold and one of me. "Two Traitors," said the headline.

It's good to know that a little thing like a brain tumor won't change the passions of a college basketball fan, even though Novak also writes, "it will be very difficult for me to inveigh against Duke in the future."
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