What Have You Been Up to the Last 42 Years?

Tomorrow night, Mike Krzyzewski, better known as Coach K, will coach his final home game for the Duke Blue Devils. He has been the coach of the Blue Devils since March 18, 1980. If you’re scoring at home, that’s 42 years.

The college basketball world is, predictably, going nuts.

There has been media coverage for seemingly 148 hours straight. ESPN is airing all-day footage leading up to the 6 p.m. EST tip-off. Tickets for the game cost more than tickets for the Super Bowl.

It’s pandemonium, is what it is.

Coach K has won nearly 79% of the games he’s coached, which is a very good record. His coaching replacement will be Jon Scheyer, who was a guard at Duke the same time I was a student at Miami.

How do I know this? Because Jon Scheyer went to a rival of my high school and graduated the same year I did.

I use the term “rival” very loosely. His team was routinely one of the best in the entire state of Illinois. Meanwhile, my senior season, our team finished 4-23, with two of those four wins coming against the same team that was just as bad as us.

In fact, in my junior season, we played Scheyer’s team and lost by 31 points. After the game, our coaches told us it was one of the best games we had ever played. The other team was just SO much better than us, it was still a blowout. Talk about motivation!

Anyway, Coach K is about to retire, buy a new dog, drink more wine, and go to the beach whenever he wants.

And it’ll be the first time in 42 years he can do all of that without worrying about watching film, drawing up plays, or getting around a zone defense. That’s gotta feel pretty good.

To celebrate his coaching career, he’s a non-exhaustive list of things that have happened since Coach K took over the Duke program back in 1980:

  • I was born
  • “American Brick in the Wall (Part II)” by Pink Floyd was the top song in America
  • The first cases of HIV/Aids were reported
  • America has had seven Presidents elected into office
  • Wrigley Field added lights so baseball players could see during night games
  • The Berlin Wall was knocked down
  • The World Wide Web was created
  • Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell went into effect
  • IBM’s Deep Blue computer beat chess champ Garry Kasparov (at chess, not, like, physically)
  • Y2K (and Will 2K)
  • The International Space Station opened
  • Anthrax attacked the U.S. (and was a top concern during Halloween)
  • A lot of people thought the world was going to end—I guess this happens regularly, but I’m specifically thinking of the Mayan calendar thing from 2012
  • The Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal in every state
  • Crisp Bounce Pass was born

That last one is extra special, isn’t it?

Check out this very good Wright Thompson piece if you need more Coach K coverage. And should you find yourself watching the game tomorrow, enjoy it just a little bit more than a typical game. Maybe slam dunk over a friend in the process.