Yes, today marked what was, for me at least, one of the best times of the year: the first official basketball game for the Duke Blue Devils.  I’ll get to that.

Today started off like just about any other Sunday in that Amanda and I got up and went to church.  Afterwards we went out to eat with Kristen Barriner, Rob Peterson and Elliot and Melissa Clark.  I’m sure Ben and Jessica Lambeth would have come too, but they were out of town this weekend.  We all went to the Causeway Cafe.  I’d only eaten there once before, when my family stayed at Wrightsville Beach a couple summers ago.  It was some good down-home cookin’.  When tables are ready a guy pokes his head out the door and yells the name really loud.  It surprised all of us the first few times.

It was pretty chilly outside and we had to wait a while.  Kristen said it wasn’t cold when they left their house this morning, so while she was wearing a long-sleeved shirt, it wasn’t very thick.  Rob had a jacket but was wearing short sleeves under it.  I told him to take his jacket back and gave Kristen mine because I was wearing a long-sleeved button-up shirt with a t-shirt on under it.  It wasn’t to bad for me.

After we ate Amanda and I went to Home Depot to see what they had as far as bamboo floors go.  They had some for the same price as Lowe’s and Floors Today (who have yet to get in their shipment).  We really wanted to go with Floors Today because they were very nice and helpful, and they’ve been frustrated by their shipments as well, but it’s been about a month that we’ve been wanting to get our floors.  The reason we’ve decided to go with Home Depot is that we have some pretty decent discount cards with them.  We figured we’d apply for a Home Depot credit card to get no interest for six months, but the guy who took my application said that the credit card people would have to call for more information.  I know I had pretty bad credit before we started working on getting our house, but it should be pretty good by now.  No matter; we can afford the wood; it’d just be easier if we could spread it out.

When Amanda and I got home I put in a new flagpole holder Amanda had bought and we hung out the Duke flag.  I was really anticipating the game tonight.  Next we started sorting out wedding photos I’ve taken for a portfolio.  That took a little while, but it ended up not much mattering because the people I was going to meet with today about their wedding rescheduled for Wednesday, which was fine with me.  Still, I wanted to go ahead and get everything in order.

At 5:00 Amanda and I went to Wild Wing Cafe to eat some food and watch the Duke game, which was coming on ESPNU.  Before we left I had called to make sure it would be on one TV or another and was told it would be.  When I got there I asked if one of the TVs could be put on the game and the waitress said she wasn’t sure.  I was a little miffed since four of the eight or so TVs surrounding us were only showing two different games.  After a few minutes a manager came out and told me that the game was at 8:00, which, after he told me, I vaguely remembered.  I felt like a bit of an ass, although it’s not like I was rude with anybody about it.  I had been getting pretty annoyed though.

That was the first time we ate at Wild Wing Cafe and it was pretty decent.  Amanda got a some ranch flavored wings that I liked well enough and I got a club wrap.  When the guy who brought the food came out he mixed up our dishes.  Made me feel like a little less of a man that this guy (it wasn’t our waitress) gave Amanda the wrap and me the wings on a gender assumption.  Oh well.

After we got back I called Elliot Clark and left him a message about going out to watch the Duke-Columbia game.  He called back a minute later and said he’d meet me at the Buffalo Wild Wings near Wal-Mart.  I’d have gone by myself if nobody else was going- I’ve just really been anticipating the beginning of the season and the opportunity to see all these freshman stars the Blue Devils are getting this year.

I got there just a couple minutes before Elliot and we were shortly joined by a friend of his named Adam Cheshire.  I remember it because I went to school with a guy named Adam Cheshire, but it was not the same person.  Another guy, Derek? with whom Elliot works joined us off and on, but he was there to watch the Giants and the Bears.

The game was a lot of fun to watch.  The freshmen, particularly Jon Scheyer and Brian Zoubek, really put on a show.  Scheyer beat a school record for the most three-point shots made in a debut game.  Another great surprise was that Greg Paulus was able to start, despite a foot injury a few weeks ago that had people wondering if he’d miss a large portion of the season.  We were all excited to see Matynas Pocius get some good playing time.
Yes, it’s a young class, and I think there’s plenty they will need to work on, but it should be a fun ear.  With all that talent, if most of them stick around a year or two we may see another national title hanging up at Cameron Indoor.

I love basketball season.

Zach Dotsey