As soon as the first checkout was completed, and darkness fell on the Blue Zone, it was pretty clear that the CCMBA setup was just a little bit less than what other tailgaters brought to the party. For sure, the CCMBA campers didn’t quite have the same opportunity to plan, given most of us flew into Durham and we all spent two weeks in class. While we did have an RV as a central command post (big thanks to Pat S. for setting that up!), but that’s not what other Dukies were thinking.
Like the engineers parked next to us. Not content to spend the weekend playing beer games and doing other tailgating fun…these guys brought a whole multimedia setup! As neighbors, it was a bit slow watching the Halo tournament that was going on, but once they started showing college football on Saturday, we started gathering a ton of passers-by just hanging out.
To our other side of the RV, we had a group of Asian grad students who went all out, bringing in a catered food setup complete with a deep fryer and sushi! Within viewing distance of the RV, there were people deep frying turkeys, charcoal grills, the aforementioned sushi…it was clear that there was a ton of planning that went into some of these campsites.
But certainly, the best part of the campout was not the amenities, but the people involved. At any given time, there were about a dozen CCMBA’ers actually participating in the ticket lottery, with another 6-12 classmates showing up intermittently to hang out and party.
During the day Saturday, the events were a lot more laid back; while there were some camp site who tried to keep the party intensity from Friday night going, for the most part people just chilled for a bit and enjoyed the perfect Fall day in Durham.
Getting back to the ‘better planning next year’ theme, the best place to be Saturday afternoon would’ve been on a hammock (had we had one). But since chairs were at a premium at the CCMBA camp, we did what any proper group of business school students should do instead: find something competitive to play against each other!
Luckily, the engineers in the U-Haul next to us had way too many things to keep them busy, so the CCMBA group commandeered their game of ‘cornhole’, a game where you throw a bean bag to land on a platform with a hole in it. Not quite horseshoes, but similar. As the beers kept flowing, the trash-talking got more intense, but we all kept one thing in mind: no one can pass out, we must all make it through until Sunday morning and the last check-in…
With all this talk of mega-tailgating, it’s hard to forget that the reason all “2500″ of us graduate students were camping out was in support of the Duke Basketball programs. Tickets or not, the whole point of the campout is to support both the Men’s and Women’s Basketball programs as they start the season.
Although there was plenty of speculation that Coach K and the team would be showing up at some point during the campout, when the siren went off at 9 p.m. or so Saturday night the check-in started at a relatively low point, as GPSC tried to throw the scent off by talking about garbage or something. But as Coach K led the team towards the check-in tent, the crowd erupted and everyone knew that it was going to be a good night!
Luckily, I had grabbed my video camera on the way over to the tent; unfortunately, I ran out of battery while Coach K was speaking. Had I known he was going to give a 45-minute motivational speech, I would’ve charged up before hand!
Such is life. Of the camera footage I did get, it didn’t come out so well anyway. Holding an HD camera in your hand, zoomed in, in a dark environment = bad picture quality. This will just be one more of those memories I’ll just remember, as opposed to reliving. Although, it would’ve been great to record the jackass who tried to get Coach K to “Ice” someone; when Coach K was like “I don’t even know what you are talking about”, and followed up with, “I don’t single people out, I’m a team guy”, it was clear that the questioner might have been the dumbest guy at the campout.
But again, such is life.