Sunday, March 7, 2010

Post Game and Final Thoughts

(Esther Showalter)

Two of the most common exaggerations that people at Duke throw around carelessly every day can be unexaggeratedly applied to 5pm - 12pm of Saturday, March 6.

Epic - heroic; majestic; impressively great; of unusually great size or extent; worthy of poetry.

Awesome - inspiring awe

Awe: an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like; power to inspire fear or reverence; fear or dread.

And all things considered, watching Duke beat/overcome/subdue/pound/whip/toast/cream/trash/permanently humiliate/punish/squish like a bug/maul/thoroughly cheese UNC in Cameron Stadium was utterly amazing, but tenting for more than a month beforehand gave it a flavor of excitement that no amount of well-played basketball could ever muster on its own. It's all about the hype, I think. And maybe the blue paint soaked into my skin had something to do with it. Blue paint which not only washed off beautifully but was, according to some Line Monitors who as we all know always speak truth, "more Duke Blue" than what the Lobby shop was selling. Major kudos to Captain Our Captain for trusting some Home Depot guy, who turned out to be right.

Favorite comment of the night: “Girl, you are very blue!”

Like Robert said, if you watch the game, you notice a blue blobby area in the bottom left of the fan crowd, which is The Fortress. The totally blue skin totally worked totally.

Apparently the line monitors got 1600 people into the stadium section. Epic, Zach White, just Epic. And The Fortress was standing right in front of a gap between the writer desks so it was like having a whole 4 square feet to ourselves – the Maryland game felt more crowded than this one. I’m going to aim for the front row every time now.

During the half-time show I went out to get water and when I came back a security guard told me I couldn’t go in the way I came out, that I had to go around to the other side (the student entrance nearest the door to Cameron) so I went back around and found a bunch of other people who had been told they couldn’t get back in either. I thought, Great, now I get to sit the rest of the game out behind all the bleachers. How purposeful. So I thought that maybe, just maybe I could condense myself into the size of a micron and hold my breath and maybe, just maybe, be able to squeeze through the crowd back to where the Fortress was.

Nope. Not a chance. Not a shadow of a chance. Not a ghost of a shadow of a wheeze of drop of a chance. I got 5 people in, knocked the same guy off his bench 3 times, then gave up and jumped out. Then I went around back to the stadium entrance that I had originally left by and the security guard wasn’t there anymore so I went right in and ran back the where the Fortress was when a break got called in the game. Well done, security guy. You securely guarded Cameron Stadium from all blue-painted basketball fans. Except you didn’t. And since you apparently also let in two more Bodnars than actually go to Duke, it’s a triple fail. But we forgive you. Because Duke cheesed UNC.

I read somewhere that even if Duke hadn’t scored a single point in the whole second half of the game, we still would have won.

Epic. Awesome.

Thanks to everyone in The Fortress who woke up one morning and thought, Yep, I think I’ll Tent this semester, and replied to Jonathon’s email. Thanks to Jonathon for sending out that email. Thanks, in no particular order, to Claire, Nick, Jonathon, Brandon, Cameron, Hannah, Laura, Lewis, Michael, Robert, and Tim for sticking out Black, Blue, and White Tenting and never complaining beyond what is necessary and expected when you live outside under a tarp for more than a month in Winter, and for always being excited about and juiced up about and looking forward to The Game To End All Games. Getting to know each of you was more fun than I ever expected to have while Tenting. These last two month have quite metaphorically blown all my preconceptions about Tenting out of the water. If this is how tenting with The Fortress goes the very first year ever, it absolutely needs to happen every year from now on.

Happy Spring Break, everyone!

Here’re some more favorite memories:

Jon Scheyer’s look when Laura and Claire and Hannah and I ran up to him and asked him to take a picture with us. I don’t think he actually heard all of what Laura said, but he did hear “picture” and – as it came from a bunch of smiling girls – probably agreed on principle. Then Laura turned and shouted something like “Hey Fortress, come take a picture!” Imagine slo-mo now: Scheyer turns his head to see who Laura’s shouting at and sees eight guys + two Bods jump up and start running towards him. His congenial smile slides off in momentary confusion and - as fighting or flighting kicks in – mild terror flickers across his expression. Then he rallies magnificently as we prove to be only Fans and gives us a big Scheyer smile for the picture. That photo is going to get passed down to someone’s grandchildren. He still does look a little confused in the picture, though. I guess that's just how everyone feels after The Fortress happens to them.

Jonathan standing on a trash can pounding a sign post two feet into the ground with a rock. Every other tent was soooooo jealous.

Midnight Stat 113 parties with Tim and Tanner and Josh and a few other people as we tried to figure out what in the world our professor was expecting of us. What does REGRESS in MATLAB actually do anyway? The only thing that would have made those parties better would be if Stat class had just gone away.

Waking up for a Tent Check at 3am during Black Tenting and knowing that in JUST FOUR HOURS I could finally go take a warm shower!

Also during Black Tenting, hiding my head in my sleeping bag all night because otherwise I would be breathing down Robert’s ear.

Bugging the line monitors to give us more tent checks. We were there all the time anyway, we might have well have checkmarks next to our names on some piece of paper somewhere to show for it.

Getting cookies from people I don’t know but now love.

Reading the blog and wishing I could spend all day in The Fortress because so many interesting things went on there when I wasn’t around.

Sitting in the Bastion and listening to the Randos talk about The Fortress and sniggering – yes, sniggering – about them with Michael.

Choosing the one night it snowed to camp out in the walk-up line for the Maryland game.

Introducing myself to Tim twice.

Thinking Cameron was a Rando snooping around the Bastion when he woke me up to replace me one morning. He really did look like he had hair.

Nick always wearing shorts. This I still don’t understand.

Claire’s tyres. And strutting through the London airport (Heathrow?) like a celebrity.

Poking around Wilson Gym trying to find all potential electrical outlets.

Lewis declaring war on the other tents. This was just an ongoing phenomenon, I think, not one specific time.

Laura, once upon a morning of black tenting: “It’s 7. I love you all, but leave.”

Watching people’s faces when I told them we were Black Tenting and explained to them why it was so easy.

Trying to decide if people would understand if I said “Tarping” instead of “Tenting”.

Finding out that people to whom no one in the Fortress is related read this blog.

Hoping the person whose sleeping bag I’m stealing won’t also be spending the night in the Fortress and wanting it back.

Hannah getting bronchitis the first week(ish) of Tenting and still sticking it out. You inspired us all, Hannah.

Brandon’s steadfast devotion to all things Lemur despite all mocking that came his way – and then giving up the lemur suit for the sake of Fortress unity when the Game came.

Leaving for a weekend of skiing right in the middle of Tenting – did anyone ever make a cake for the line monitors after all? Are there pictures?

Genuinely missing Black Tenting because it was more interesting with two people in the tent during the day – then sniggering some more internally whenever people complained about Blue Tenting.

Watching everyone’s Facebook profile pictures gradually turn blue after the Game.

Still picking blue paint out of my knuckles. This will probably still be happening in a month. I look forward to comparing Knuckle Paint Quantity with all of you when we get back from break.

Less Favorite Moment: Deleting the "Tenting Schedule" bookmark from my browser window

Props to Terry Pratchett for inventing the word “cheesing”. It’s like creaming, but it goes on for longer.

(Robert Francis)

Another one bites the dust, the fat lady has sung, we’re cashin’ in our chips, our frogs in the frying pan, and its time to give it a rest. Tenting had to kick the bucket eventually, it said it’s prayers, and when push came to shove it ended well. But now it’s belly up, stick in a fork in it, it’s done. Now that I’ve listed just about every finality related cliché I could think of it’s time to pull the plug (couldn’t resist one more). We’ve gone out in a blaze of glory (maybe 2 more). The entire experience was amazing and definitely something that will help to define my Duke career. The Fortress was a phenomenon. Our infamy around K-Ville and reputation with the line monitors was a testament to the people in The Fortress and those who are our allies. It was a great group of friends and has brought me much closer to all of them. Unlike other tents we had a real team since about everything with everyone doing their part and then some. Everyone raised the standard and did more that they needed to. We never missed a check. We did everything we had to with the help of everyone. The Fortress had such a great since of pride and unity it was awesome. My parents said that as they watched the game our section stood out as the only solidly blue section. I think the way we were in the game well represents our tent. We were a solid, close group of people who worked together and had an awesome experience. Farewell for this year Fortress, I cannot wait for Fortress II. It was an epic game and an epic experience. All is well.

(Lewis Purcell)
Before I enter my final thoughts I just want to conclude with some stories.
Showering in belltower and destroying the showers and getting that paint off was awesome.
Hanging out in blackwell commons, markering up Gavin's face, and being Russian by kissing all the girls and guys out of happiness rocked.
Sam and Andrew Bodnar getting into the game was so epic.
Going to get the last bench that went into the bonfire was so great - Dean Sue told us we could (Case and I; founding members of Duke's Riot Team) so we went to get it well two gay frats wouldn't give us their benches (though one we did take their whole case of beer since they were being retards) so we took Keohane's but twas so far away and so we started carrying and we made it after several archway stuck spots but when we were in the last arch before the bonfire they were like NO - you can't. NO MORE. And then Dean Sue was like, "Case, NO" but he reminded her that we had said we could and they said take it back - well it was both stuck and it was over 600 yards downhill - we weren't about to - so we started to leave and they were like - who's gonna take it back - Fine - Burn it - so we did. Was epic.

Ok - so my final thoughts.
Tenting has been one of the funnest experiences of my life. I love each and every fortress member and I'm so glad we went through this together. I can't wait till next year when we have two tarps and double own. I hope the line monitors evil plans of making us line monitors completely fall through. Black Tenting was so much fun - and we can always remember and tell our great grandchildren how we were the first to black tent. And Finally I would like to nominate some Fortress Hall of Famers; Nick Bodnar - First Fortess Tent Captain. Tim Lin - Administrative Brigadier General of Agricultural Studies - Blog Master *For making the blog - one of our coolest aspects and for always being in the tent. period. Jonathan Τhielmаn - Unsung Hero *For always picking up slack in the tent both literally and morale'ly and never getting credit for it* and finally for Esther Showalter - MVP of Fortress *for being the most resourceful man or woman of the tent and always volunteering for anyone who couldn't take a spot*

Anyone second my nominations?
It's Been Epic. Love, Lewis Jake Purcell - Head Engineer of the Fortress.

(Esther Showalter) - Post-game
Oh this is beautiful. For the record, Dick Vitale is wearing Cameron's hair.

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