‘Twas the night before Christmas, and in Cameron Indoor,
Nothing was present, save for silence galore.
The bleachers were empty with students on break,
And walking the floor felt eerie, like a mistake.
The Blue Devils were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of championships danced in their heads.
And Crazies in their facepaint, coaches in their Duke attire,
Retreated to their kitchens for some food to acquire.
When out in K-Ville, I heard a kerplunk,
And ran from the court to see who was drunk.
Out to the tents I sprinted with grace,
Where soon the outside cold smacked me in the face.
The moon, in full, hanging on the Chapel’s spires
Created a shadow, and more light I did require.
Then a lamppost’s bulb flickered at my say,
And there, all alone on the grass-’twas Coach K!
Donning a black and blue jumpsuit, eyes staring at his strip,
I knew this must be his traditional Christmas trip.
It’s the visit that lives on in legend; no one knows if it’s true,
Except me-here he was, the only thing in view.
“Laettner and Hurley,” he yelled, “come out, ghosts of long ago!
On, JWill! On, J.J.! On, on, Dawkins and Wojo!
To the ground floor of Cameron, to conjure a spell!
Now follow me, follow me, bid the night farewell!”
Without thinking or blinking, the players did the coach proud,
They chased him and disappeared where no one was allowed.
So in through Cameron’s gothic doors they filed,
Still yards behind Coach K, with a gleam like a child.
And then, by certain mistake, Wojo left the door ajar,
I snuck in, content to watch it all from afar.
Left and right I searched, where had everyone gone?
Commotion, up top, into seats they had withdrawn!
They were staring at the ceiling, fixated on their banners,
Embellishing the stadium like a moat does a manor.
And Coach K stood in the middle, flanked by his men,
He cleared his voice, ready to orate again.
His eyes, how they glistened! His hair, how it shined!
The banners, how regal, how they serve to remind,
The championships of the greatest teams of lore,
The types the naysayers decree don’t exist anymore.
“Now, guys,” he said, “you know this is a special time,
Every year, here we gather as we begin another climb.
And every year, we sit and stare, renew our zeal,
And next year, we will return, another banner to reveal.”
The players bellowed with approval, alive in their cheer,
And the cacophony was so loud it traveled to all those near.
Coach K twisted his head and stared up for one last peek-
What’s that, in the distance? Someone begins to speak!
I rush to the front door, again through the hall,
And there they are: Some students, passing a basketball.
The players and coach emerged seconds later with wonder,
And then, on first sight, the chatter turned to a thunder.
The panorama was unique, but Coach K knew what to do:
He strolled to his car, started the engine and drove through.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he raced out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to y’all, a good night!”