To Hate Like This Is to Be Happy Forever

To Hate Like This Is to Be Happy Forever

A Thoroughly Obsessive, Intermittently Uplifting and Occasionally Unbiased Account of the Duke-North Carolina Basketball Rivalry

Book - 2006
Average Rating:
Rate this:

"It is a basketball rivalry that simply has no equal. Duke vs. North Carolina is Ali vs. Frazier, the Giants vs. the Dodgers, the Red Sox vs. the Yankees. Hell, it's bigger than that. This is the Democrats vs. the Republicans, the Yankees vs. the Confederates, capitalism vs. communism. All right, okay, the Life Force vs. the Death Instinct, Eros vs. Thanatos. Is that big enough?"

The basketball rivalry between Duke and North Carolina is the fiercest blood feud in college athletics. To legions of otherwise reasonable adults, it is a conflict that surpasses sports; it is locals against outsiders, elitists against populists, even good against evil. It is thousands of grown men and women with jobs and families screaming themselves hoarse at eighteen-year-old basketball geniuses, trading conspiracy theories in online chat rooms, and weeping like babies when their teams -- when they -- lose. In North Carolina, where both schools are located, the rivalry may be a way of aligning oneself with larger philosophic ideals -- of choosing teams in life -- a tradition of partisanship that reveals the pleasures and even the necessity of hatred.

What makes people invest their identities in what is elsewhere seen as "just a game"? What made North Carolina senator John Edwards risk alienating voters by telling a reporter, "I hate Duke basketball"? What makes people care so much?

The answers have a lot to do with class and culture in the South, and author Will Blythe expands a history of an epic grudge into an examination of family, loyalty, privilege, and Southern manners. As the season unfolds, Blythe, the former longtime literary editor of Esquire and a lifelong Tar Heels fan, immerses himself in the lives of the two teams, eavesdropping on practice sessions, hanging with players, observing the arcane rituals of fans, and struggling to establish some basic human kinship with Duke's players and proponents. With Blythe's access to the coaches, the stars, and the bit players, the book is both a chronicle of personal obsession and a picaresque record of social history.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, c2006
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780060740238
Call Number: 796.3236 B6297t
Characteristics: 357 p. ; 24 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Apr 04, 2016

An excellent examination of the UNC-Duke rivalry and what makes it so special -- the title alone is reason enough to read!


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SFPL

To Top