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This Is So Stupid

It’s Perfectly OK To Admit You’re Secretly Rooting For A Grizzly Bear To Tear Coach K’s Head Off

Coach K, and a grizzly paw
Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images; illustration by Chris Thompson

You’re probably ready to call the FBI, but hear me out. There’s a part of you that wants a slavering 700-pound grizzly bear to charge onto the court in the middle of Saturday night’s Elite Eight matchup between Duke and Arkansas and haul Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s head clean off of his shoulders with one swipe of a mighty paw.

Yes, I know, Duke is just “a basketball team,” and Coach K, though surely a despicable domineering creep who has spent 40 years robbing basketball players under the auspices of a sports cartel and posing it as leadership, at least in strict terms is just “a basketball coach” and not “the kind of guy whom it’d be appropriate to hope gets his head yanked off of his torso by the razor-sharp claws of a giant furry killing machine.” I know that you have been conditioned by socialization in conventional morality to think that it is rude to wish for—to loudly and publicly pray for—one of earth’s most powerful apex predators to pluck a specific man’s head from his neck as simply as one plucks a grape off of a stem, and then maybe to crunch it up while his headless body kinda staggers around and pitches over onto the parquet. Except … wouldn’t that actually kick ass?

(An aside: There are exceptions. I don’t expect Mike Krzyzewski’s immediate family to root for this, at least not out loud.)

Fine, I’ll admit that there’s a percentage of me that wants this to happen during Saturday night’s game, despite generally striving toward nonviolence in my actions and thoughts toward other people. That percentage is 99 percent. The other one percent hopes it happens after Duke loses in some type of definitive, humiliating fashion, but before Krzyzewski makes his way to the postgame locker room. Ultimately I will be rooting for Arkansas in any case, and for Krzyzewski’s career to end in basketball defeat, rather than with a disgusting sixth national championship that could be held to certify his legend for all time by the most obnoxious people imaginable: Duke fans.

But in the back of my mind, and also the front and middle, and in writing, and vocally, I just want to see a huge terrifying grizzly bear rear up on its hind legs, roar loudly enough to rattle the backboards, and smack the side of Coach K’s head with one horrifying knife-tipped paw the size of a dinner plate so hard that his skull flies out of the other side and soars into the arena’s cheap seats, leaving a lil’ skin parachute atop what once was college basketball’s most exalted figure.

Go ahead. Alert “the authorities.” Just know that I know that you know that I know that I’m speaking to some part of you that kind of wants a grizzly bear to rip Mike Krzyzewski’s head off and do the Ickey Shuffle over his crumpled ruin. Or maybe for an eagle to carry him off into the sky and drop him screaming into a caldera. You just don’t have the guts to say it out loud!