The Tar Heels play today, and for me, it’s been an exciting year in college basketball. I grew up a Heels fan from the time I was old enough to understand sports, and while I know that blind loyalty to a college team (especially for a college you didn’t attend) is pretty silly, that’s never going to change for me. I love UNC, I love the style of basketball they play, I love their class, and I love the commitment to excellence in the program. I have a lot of great memories tied up in UNC basketball, and I hope that Monday night will add another one to the list.

But let’s talk about being a fan for just a minute. You see, as an avid Heels fan, I hate Duke. I hate their attitude, I hate their lame students at their games, I hate their ratface coach, and I hate the arrogance they carry into any game situation. I even hate their ugly cheerleaders. There is not any situation that I can conjure up in my head where I would pull for Duke. For instance, let’s say it’s near the end of the season, and Duke is playing another ACC opponent. Let’s say that their opponent was tied UNC for first place in the conference, and if they lost we’d be guaranteed the regular season title. Even in that situation, I couldn’t bring myself to pull for Duke.

And I certainly would never pull for them to win a National Championship. I don’t care if it makes the ACC look good, I don’t care if they are North Carolina school, I would never, ever, under any circumstance pull for the rival of my favorite team. And I think any self respecting fan would agree with this.

I have some friends that claim to be Duke fans, but they pull for Carolina when they aren’t playing Duke. Well, I hate to break this to those friends, but you are not a true Duke fan. True Duke fans would be ashamed to sit in a room with you. I don’t like the average Duke fan, but I can at least respect their dedication. Pulling for the rival of your “favorite” team shows that you really don’t care about that team.

I’m going to watch the games today with one of these friends, and at some point, I know he’s going to bring up how I’m a jerk because he’s pulling for UNC in this game, and I would never pull for Duke in the same position. But I say that I am not the jerk here! I say that a fan that pulls for his team’s rival is the real jerk, and fellow fans of your team would be appalled by your behavior. Part of the fun of sports is not just liking your favorite team, but hating their rival with all of your energy. If Carolina wins a title this year, I won’t rub it in the faces of Michigan State or Connecticut fans. I’ll rub it in the faces of Duke fans! Why? Because they would do the same thing if they won a National Championship.

And you know what? I’d be disappointed if they didn’t.