On this, the opening day of college basketball, it's always good to remind ourselves why we are fans. Why we watch the games, and shout and cheer and cry. Why we brave wind, rain, snow, sleet and hail to spend two hours with 20,000 strangers cheering for a bunch of gangly 20-year-olds. Why we keep our lucky shirt or hat around even though it's long since passed its expiration date because we're pretty sure it helps our point guard hit his free throws. Why we road trip 1,400 miles and shell out hundreds of dollars on tickets and hotels just for the privilege of watching our team lose on national television. Why we call in sick or skip class to spend an extra day revelling in an especially sweet victory. Why we stay up until 4AM watching your team on a sketchy internet feed when you're living overseas. (And if that last one didn't make it patently obvious, yes, I have done all of those things).
My story is pretty easy to follow - grew up in North Carolina a Duke fan because my older brother went there, ended up going to UNC for college instead, and experienced the Heels going 8-20 in basketball my freshman year, but somehow came out the other side a complete devotee, and I've never looked back. But I'm sure many more of you have some great stories about why you became Duke or Carolina fans - you had just moved to Durham and flipped the TV on to randomly catch Jay Williams dropped his miracle minute on Maryland; or you were growing a beard during the days of James Worthy's high-flying rise in Chapel Hill and felt a strange kinship. But whatever happened, you are now a diehard. The hardest of the hardcore. You would take a bullet for Coach K, or donate a kidney to Ol' Roy.
Well, now's your chance to get rewarded for your loyalty. Hyundai is running a started a campaign called Fanthropology to celebrate the most die hard fans in college sports. All you have to do is submit a comment at the bottom of this post about what makes you a loyal fan and you could win a trip to any college football regular season or bowl game of your choice courtesy of Hyundai. You'll get two airline tickets, hotel accommodations, and two game tickets to ANY game. Yes, that could be the National Championship game if you like. Or maybe even Duke's potential bowl game, if you're a sadistic Duke fan who wants to waste Hyundai's perfectly good offer like that.
So first, leave a comment below about your fandom - whether it's a comment about how you first became a fan, the craziest thing you've ever done in support of your team, you name it - we're open to hearing about anything. All we need is proof that you are a rabid, crazy fan (and we know plenty of you out there are). Then we at BvB pick our favorite entry from the comments section by next Monday, Nov. 12. The person who left that comment will be this site's Fanthropology finalist, and during the following week, we'll have a conversation with the finalist over email that will become a second post in this series (If you don't want to be a finalist who has a conversation with us featured on the front page, that's fine. We'll choose someone else, so feel free to participate in the comments even if you would decline the invitation if selected). Finally, the judges at SB Nation will read through all of the finalist conversation posts and pick the winner by Thursday, Nov. 22.
So now it's time for you to do your part. Fill up this here comments section with some stories about how and why you live and die with either Duke or Carolina - it's the first step to an all-expenses bowl game vacation. You have until Monday at midnight to submit your comment.
Note: By commenting below, you are subject to and accept the terms and conditions of the Hyundai Fanthropology Sweepstakes.