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Preview Update: Duke’s Jela Duncan Out for the Season

Hand the ball to the Ref and act like you’ve been there. Jela Duncan blew an Achilles doing a celebration. It’s a tragic ending to a good player’s college career. It will also affect the game with the Hokies Saturday. #OneGameOneTeamRightNow

NC Central v Duke
Excessive Celebration can result in Nemesis visiting
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Sometimes when you are researching and grinding in the late hours you miss some things, and this was a big one. In the preview, I should have mentioned that Duke’s star and lead running back Jela Duncan tore an Achilles tendon on Saturday.

The injury is season ending because it took surgery to fix, but it is also the end of his collegiate career, which is truly sad. Injuries are part of football, all of us who played sport some sort of bump, scar, or gimp from the thrill of playing full contact football; but no one wants to see this sort of injury occur.

The circumstances of the injury are not part of football; however. Young Mr. Duncan blew out his critical tendon in a freak accident during a celebration, and that’s a lesson that many players really need to heed. Let’s step away from the silly “anti-fun” rules about excessive celebration; one ref’s excess is another ref’s “kid’s having fun leave him alone” thus making the penalty both cruel and arbitrary.

Let’s concentrate on the reality that much of this glowering, jumping around, hooting and hollering, and other over the top antics are not part of the game. Sometimes those displays result in bad things happening. Nemesis is a stone cold you-now-what, and she shows up at the oddest times in the most inopportune circumstances.

This should be the subject a film shown for every excessive celebration by Duke players.. at the beginning of every season and occasionally there after as a re-enforcement tool for the old great coach’s admonition added to a wise action; “hand the ball to the referee and act like you’ve been there before.”

We at Gobbler Country wish young Mr. Duncan a speedy recovery. His absence will be felt on the football field on Saturday.


(BTW. H/T to VT_Bandit for mentioning it in the comments of the Preview.)