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The following was written in December 2008 for a class I took at Duke during my senior year called "Anthropology of Sports."

Thousands of miles away from Corvallis, Oregon, where the latest edition of the Civil War football game between Oregon and Oregon State was taking place, I sat in front of my TV pondering why that rivalry had been dubbed the “Civil War.” As I laughed to myself over how the phrase “civil war” was an oxymoron, I wondered why the term had been applied to the game between the Ducks and Beavers, and not another rivalry. Of course, I immediately started thinking of my own rivalry: Duke vs. North Carolina.

The Tar Heels had defeated my Blue Devils earlier that day in the Victory Bell game, our final game of the season. There was no love lost between any of us in the stands, and I felt nothing but a corrosive hatred towards the thousands of Carolina fans who had come to Duke’s campus to see the game that day as I walked out.

Of course, I knew the reasons why. As I sat there watching Oregon dismantle Oregon State’s hopes at a Rose Bowl bid, I knew why the term “civil war” could not possibly apply to t...

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