Why I Don’t Hate UNC


February 15, 2012 by Jay Helms


I am an avid Duke fan and I do not hate UNC. One of my very earliest memories in life is of being at the Duke University student bookstore with my Dad. I must have been about 5 years old when he took me there to show me around. In the years that followed I would see many football games and basketball games in person on that campus with my family and friends.

Where were you and what were you doing on February 9, 1986? I know where I was.


I was sitting in my seat (Section 1, Row J, Seat 7) in Cameron Indoor Stadium and I was crying because Duke had just lost to #2 ranked Georgia Tech. Do you believe me now when I say I am an avid Duke fan? I could say a lot more to prove how much of a fan I am, but that’s not the main point. It’s just a fact that I want to establish to share where I am coming from when I say “I do not hate UNC.”

I enjoy beating UNC, that much is true. And I admit seeing Austin Rivers hit that shot in 2012 was fun for me, even though I know I had absolutely nothing to do with it and can claim no legitimate bragging rights of any kind because of that reality.

But you know what I have discovered over the years of being a sports fan? I have discovered that it is an adventure in missing the point of life to choose a team over friends who I would love and who love me. And I have learned that it cannot possibly bring joy to the Author of Joy himself, for me to delight in hating another team and take delight in another’s frustration and misery. That way of being just can’t possibly make him proud to point me out to others as one of his disciples.

So I’ll tell you I am very happy to not hate UNC. And I am very happy to put my true delight in a savior who will never lose (even death could not destroy him) and to take after him in loving people and delighting in their joy, not their suffering.

So Aaron, Chad, Bari, Courtney, Gordon & Christie, Denise, Doug, Jeff, Amie, Andy, Shannon, Anne, Phillip & Jamie (& Jay, too), Vic, Rhonda & Chad, Barry, Wendy, Morgan, Sharon, Steve & Eric, and Bill, this one’s for you. I love you very much.

Jesus said, “Love each other. As I have loved you, love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34, 35)

One thought on “Why I Don’t Hate UNC

  1. Martha Helms says:

    That win against NCSU last night was sweet, but I am not glorying in it this morning. Like you, I have too many lovely friends who are fans, including Tee and Pamela, to take extreme pleasure in a ballgame. I remember when that was not true for the Helms family. Congratulations for turning that corner.

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Jay Helms


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