The Washington Times - February 28, 2008, 09:46AM

\ Made it down to Carolina a night early and caught the Duke-Georgia Tech game at Cameron while working on a story for the middle of next month.\ \ \ It was worth the trip, on several levels.\ \ \ One was just getting the chance to watch Duke run its Euro-style offense without having to worry about filing on deadline. \ \ \ Another was the opportunity to wonder if all the paranoia about officiating heavily favoring the Blue Devils at home is really true. If you’re a conspiracy theorist, you might want to get your hands on tape of last night’s game. Georgia Tech didn’t take a free throw until the final 10 minutes. Folks, that isn’t easy to do.\ \ \ But the unintentional highlight of the night came when the Duke mascot did its usual rolling surf board trick in the first half —- and proceeded to fall off and eventually limp off the court, as Fayetteville Observer beat writer Dan Wiederer pointed out so eloquently. \ \ \ It isn’t right to laugh at someone’s misfortune like that, but at some point, you have to ask yourself —- How bright is it for a person wearing a giant mascot head on their noggin to be pulling that stunt over and over?\ \ \ Of course, the Maryland message boards I scanned last night after returning to the hotel had a link to a few pictures of the stricken mascot (this one helpfully includes the score of UNC Asheville’s victory over Coastal Carolina). The denizens of that board are Duke haters for all seasons, that’s for sure.\ \ \ Here’s hoping the kid’s OK —- and is smart enough not to try surfing on top of a few polo shirt-clad Crazies when North Carolina comes to town in another week and a half.\


\ Editor’s note: A reader was kind enough to pass along the video to the mishap.\

\ —- Patrick Stevens