Monday, February 10, 2014

Could Winter Storm Threaten Duke-UNC Game?

A winter storm that could dump 8 inches of snow and ice on much of the state of North Carolina could threaten the UNC-Duke rivalry game on Wednesday night.  A wintry mix of snow and freezing rain is expected to start Wednesday afternoon.  The Blue Devils and Tar Heels game begins at 9:00pm local time that night.

The ACC will play the game provided that the officials, players and coaches can get to the game site.  Just a few weeks ago, the North Carolina Tar Heels got to Atlanta during their infamous winter event to play a game against Georgia Tech.  They played the game even though ESPN's production crew and many fans failed to attend the game.

I'd imagine that it would be the same deal for the Duke-UNC game in Chapel Hill.  The officiating crew should be able to have plenty of time to get to the town, if they aren't there already.  The Dean E. Smith Center is on campus, so the Tar Heels should get to the game pretty easily.  The issue would be for Duke.  The Blue Devils are a mere 8 miles down the road in Durham which could make their bus trip a bit tricky.  Still, I think they'll get there alright.

The issue would be in the stands.  What if, like the Georgia Tech game, not many fans showed up?  I mean, I know this is the biggest game on the calendar for both these programs, but what if fans just cannot make it?  They will still play the game, of course, but it would be amazing to see a UNC-Duke game not have that crazy atmosphere to it.  I know the Smith Center crowd isn't as raucous as the one at Cameron Indoor Stadium, but it still rocks when the hated Dookies come down the road.

You could wonder, actually, if it would get louder.  In 2000, a snowstorm hit the Triangle area and forced a lot of fans from attending a Maryland-UNC game.  UNC allowed their students to fill the seats which provided quite a difference from the typical "wine and cheese crowd".  Could UNC get have their own version of the Crazies in a huge building like the Smith Center filled with primarily students?   As a North Carolina fan, that could be epic and easily one of the most interesting moments in the history of one of the greatest rivalries in sports.

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