Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

Duke-UNC show travels familiar Tobacco Road path

(Credit: Watchdog)

I wrote a post last week about Oceanside High's own Art Heyman tied to the debut Monday night of HBO's new documentary about the Duke-North Carolina rivalry.

What about the show itself? Is it worth watching? As with most HBO sports documentaries, the answer certainly is yes.

But this one leans too much for my taste on recent history - granted, when you're as old as me Michael Jordan's winning basket in the 1982 NCAA final seems like recent history - and at times details seasons and championships in an almost perfunctory manner.

Most of all, it lacks the emotional depth that made the 2007 HBO film about the Ohio State-Michigan football rivalry resonate.

Here's the problem: No matter what Duke and North Carolina fans and players say about the hatred between the programs, college basketball culture can carry such feelings only so far.

Really, it's only basketball, Heyman's 1961 fight with Larry Brown notwithstanding. Much of the time the mutual dislike expressed here seems as much bemused as heartfelt - and that includes you, Cameron Crazies.

Football? Ohio State-Michigan? That, my friends, is true sports hatred, which made it a more emotionally powerful documentary.

Click below for a review from WatchDog's official Annoying Dukie in Residence, who once wore underwear on her head to a game against N.C. State.From Mrs. WatchDog:

As a tried and blue Dukie, who once wore undies on her head in Cameron Indoor to mock a State player who had recently been arrested for stealing a three-pack of underwear from a Kmart-type store, I will share my comments on the HBO Tobacco Road Documentary:

Overall, it was a nice trip down memory lane. I did find the Carolina material more informative, which suggests that the general public would find both stories informational and interesting. My one peeve was the presentation of Duke as an elite Northern school without a bit of basketball history attached to that i.d.

Yes, compared to Carolina, Duke always had a bit of a rich kids' school tag even thought their financial aid program is generous and particularly so for North Carolina kids. BUT, Duke was not a northern school until the 80's ( an influx started in the late 70's).

In fact, one could/should argue that what makes Duke so popular (and impossible to get into now) is a reputation built on winning Basketball. When I used to tell folks where I went to school, even in the early 80's, I'd have to add "in North Carolina" to the "I went to Duke". It was not known up North. Now, of course, everyone knows, and wants to go there.

I loved the part on K-ville. I would have liked even more history on the Cameron Crazies. When did they start? Certainly prior to the 80's successful run as I was standing in line for hours to get into Cameron with underwear on my head in the late 70's.

Tags: hbo

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