Welcome to the Duke beat, Jessika Morgan



The News and Observer announced Wednesday that Jessika Morgan would replace Laura Keeley on the demanding Duke beat for the area’s largest newspaper. While Blue Devil fans scramble to follow her on Twitter, here are some bits of advice from us on covering Duke. Consider this our welcome gift, Jessika.

  • * Make friends with the students who sit behind you early in the basketball season. You’ll have more physical contact with these people than you’ll have with anyone over the course of the year, and establishing a good relationship early is critical. They can be your best friends or your worst enemies. Choose the former.
  • * Work on your quads. Upper leg strength is crucial during the National Anthem in Cameron because you aren’t going to be standing up.
  • * $7 of CoryCash will get you a Bojangles’ sandwich, two bags of chips, or a pack of Starburst. There are no other acceptable options.
  • * Don’t tweet play by play. It’s Duke basketball, everyone is watching on TV. Plus there’s a solid six second lag between live action and TV. (side note – Duke fans are not shy about reminding of you of this on Twitter)
  • * Don’t ask Coach K why Matt Jones plays so much. There will be many times during the year where you’ll want to ask this. Don’t. Just let it go.
  • * Don’t wear white unless you enjoy washing off body paint.
  • * Don’t wear the colors of the opposing team, or light blue, or red.
  • * Get ready to be called a Duke homer by non-Duke fans who feel like the Duke beat writer should cover the team through the lens of rival fans.
  • * Get ready to be called a Duke hater by super-sensitive Duke fans who can’t take any criticism of their team.
  • * Get ready for both of those to happen after the same column, regardless of topic.
  • * It won’t be the UNC fans who hate you the most. It will be the State fans. Believe that.
  • * Wake fans are SNEAKY angry on social media. Keep your head on a swivel.
  • * Don’t incessantly complain about parking or wifi. We already have a guy who does that.
  • * Don’t complain about start times. We have a guy for that too.
  • * Do interact with basketball fans on Twitter. This is a smart area for basketball and most fans are level-headed and just love talking hoops. Be a part of that community and you’ll love your job more than you already do.
  • * Have fun. This year’s team is an all-timer, so really enjoy chronicling their journey.
  • * Visit Krzyzewskiville during UNC week.
  • * Play in the media game in Cameron.
  • * Stop by the SportsChannel8 house at the ACC tournament. Those folks are downright enjoyable.