Updated: Duke, North Carolina Rivalry: On the Court, Online, in Print

Update: Huge thanks to Sara Gregory at the Daily Tar Heel for providing the following clarification on this post:

“I don’t think ESPN should have linked to dailytarhole.com when talking about what the Chronicle does rivalry-wise. The Daily Tar Hole Web site is different from the Daily Tar Hole spoof the Duke Chronicle does each year. The Chronicle didn’t do a Daily Tar Hole this year, but when they do, it’s on game day and they change their flag to look like ours and write stories mocking UNC on their front page. It’s similar to when NCSU’s Technician does the Daily Tar Hell. The Daily Tar Hole Web site is registered in the name of a UNC alumni. Last year it was being run by her and two others who have since graduated. This year we’re not sure who is behind it, but it’s unlikely to be Duke Chronicle students.”

Meanwhile, related to the real Chronicle-DTH rivalry, Gregory provided a photo of her and fellow DTH editor Andrew Dunn delivering copies of the recent devilish-blue Daily Tar Heel to Chronicle staff.  In Gregory’s words, “it’s a hell of a rivalry.”

The Daily Tar Hole is a newspaper unlike any other in collegemediatopia.  For the past year, the spooftastic online-only rag has periodically published a new set of articles mocking the University of North Carolina and its flagship student paper, The Daily Tar Heel.

As a new ESPN.com blog post confirms, the article releases have especially been timed to appear just before a basketball game between UNC and its fiercest rival, the Blue Devils of Duke University.  The alleged student satirists behind the Tar Hole: staffers at The Chronicle, Duke’s student newspaper.

With the latest Duke-UNC showdown looming (and now just completed), a trio of new pieces were placed on the Hole homepage.  Meanwhile, the two most read articles on the Daily Tar Heel‘s site today are a pair of pieces by a DTH columnist circa 1990 named Ian Williams.  One or more of his columns are apparently run before each Battle for Tobacco Road.  The headlines say it all: “Why I Hate Duke” and “Why I Still Hate Duke.” (The third most-read piece, by a current UNC j-student: “Never Hang Our Heads for Duke.”)

It is a rivalry on the court, online- and in print.  As ESPN reports, “Pushing the envelope even further, the two publications have agreed the loser of the first basketball matchup must put the winning school’s logo in a prominent area of the school paper claiming the winning school is ‘still the best.’  If Duke wins the game, The Daily Tar Heel is required to print their masthead in Duke blue and if UNC is victorious, The Chronicle must stamp their masthead in Tar Heel powder blue. We haven’t seen this much action in periodicals since Newsies hit theaters in 1992!

Last night, in what the Chronicle called “a battle between royal and baby blue,” Duke defeated UNC 64-54.  Even if you did not know the final score, however, the color of the masthead on today’s DTH front page reveals the outcome.

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