To properly tell the story of Krzyzewskiville, one must first understand the advent of rabid fanaticism at Duke basketball games. Students in Cameron have always been known for Crazieness, but one group in particular turned things up a notch.
We're just following tradition, say the Animals. That they are. A few years ago, whenever he saw time in Cameron, corpulent Virginia forward Dan Merrifield was greeted with cries of "Orca!" In 1979, Tar Heel forward Mike O'Koren's acne earned him a banner proclaiming him OXY-1000 POSTER CHILD, on the off chance he wasn't already sufficiently self-conscious. Jim (Bozo) O'Brien, a Maryland forward in the early '70s, was easy to spot because of his thinning, curly red hair. During warmups at Duke one winter's night, a Student Animal sporting a red rubber nose, floppy shoes and a red Bozo the Clown wig joined the layup line behind O'Brien. Dueling Bozos. The crowd went wild.
It started as early as the 1960s, when the university approved campus status for a selective living group known as the Bunch of Guys. The now-infamous organization was the only all-male SLG at the time and was intended to function as an alternative to the Greek life present on campus. Free from the restrictions surrounding traditional fraternity recruitment, the Bunch of Guys attracted a subset of the student population that quickly became notorious for its sharp wit, its disregard for authority, and its love of Duke basketball.
“[The Bunch of Guys] were the entertainers of the entertainment,” Krzyzewski wrote in an email. “They were in the middle of everything. I know they created a lot of angst and were a cause of concern at times, but overall, they were great.”
Over the years, as the student section at Duke evolved from the Student Animals into the Cameron Crazies of today, the Boggers marched in the vanguard, constantly toeing the line between barely acceptable and downright crude. After a particularly controversial event involving Maryland player Herman Veal in 1984, Duke president Terry Sanford - affectionately known as "Uncle Terry" by students - wrote the now-famous Avuncular Letter that asked students to clean up their act. Wit and sarcasm prevailed, and at the following contest against Carolina, students donned tin foil halos and brandished signs reading "WELCOME, FELLOW SCHOLARS" and "A HEARTY WELCOME TO DEAN SMITH."
After their on-campus behavior took a turn for the worse in the late eighties, the Bunch of Guys was eventually disbanded in 1992, leaving behind a legacy of wit and dedication alongside crude and questionable-at-best behavior. Many students would soon follow in their footsteps at basketball games, though the level of cruditas has never returned to its former peak.