An Extremely Heavy Wager on NCAA Basketball

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Two North Carolina basketball fans share a food bet that outweighs many others. Tom Rankin, the director of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and Tim Tyson, a visiting professor of American Christianity at Duke's Divinity School, give the details of their wager.


Now, a couple of rabid fans have taken this North Carolina/Duke rivalry up a notch. Tom Rankin, a North Carolina fan, and Tim Tyson, a Duke fan, settle their disputes with an interesting little wager.

Mr. TIM TYSON (Visiting Professor of American Christianity, Duke Divinity School): Little wager! This win is two pigs and a goat a little wager?

ELLIOTT: Well, maybe not so little. Welcome to the program, gentlemen.

Mr. TYSON: Well, thanks for havin' us, Debbie.

ELLIOTT: It's two pigs and a goat. Explain to me what's at stake here.

Mr. TYSON: So far.

Mr. TOM RANKIN (Director, Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University): Well, the first Carolina/Duke game, Tim, who's very generous, for some reason he was so confident he gave me eight points and the wager was a pig, and Duke won by four but not by enough points so I won a pig.

Mr. TYSON: It was a moral victory.

ELLIOTT: So the spread, in other words, was eight points and you won.

Mr. RANKIN: Yeah, the guy next to me at Dean Dome wondered why I was so ecstatic at the end, Carolina having lost, and I had to tell him that I was taking a pig home.

ELLIOTT: And what happened with the second game?

Mr. TYSON: The point of the wager in some respects is to eat these animals, so I didn't want there not to be a party because if it was just double or nothin' and Duke had won, then I wouldn't have owed you any pigs, and so I threw in the goat to make sure that we at least had a goat. Actually, in point of fact, legally speaking, I don't think there was any mention made of the size of age or vitality of the animals involved.

ELLIOTT: Okay, wait a minute. What does this mean?

Mr. TYSON: Well, when he gets to his office he's gonna find out that there are two piglets and a small goat in his office. Running around live and well.

Mr. RANKIN: Eatin' up all my memos.

Mr. TYSON: Eatin' his books and papers.

Mr. RANKIN: Yeah.

ELLIOTT: Where do you find piglets and goats?

Mr. TYSON: Well, you know...

Mr. RANKIN: That's Tim's burden at this...

Mr. TYSON: Yeah.

Mr. RANKIN: Where are you gonna acquire my pigs?

Mr. TYSON: In point of fact, my brother-in-law is a hog farmer, so I actually don't have any problem. The goat may be a little trickier.

Mr. RANKIN: In all seriousness, the point of this is as much to have a party and cook a pig, which is a long and rich tradition in North Carolina. I think both Tim and I would agree that North Carolina has not only the best basketball but the best barbeque. So to merge the two together, neither one of us can really lose for very long.

ELLIOTT: How are you gonna cook your whole hog and your goat?

Mr. RANKIN: On a metal pig cooker, where it's smoked slowly with vinegar base and red pepper sauce and ...

Mr. TYSON: Hickory.

Mr. RANKIN: ...and hickory and...

Mr. TYSON: We agree. See, we have broad areas of agreement.

Mr. RANKIN: Yeah, we can agree on this, which is why it's a great reconciliation of any differences between these different shades of blue.

ELLIOTT: Tom Rankin is the director of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and Tim Tyson is a visiting professor of American Christianity at Duke's Divinity School. Mr. Rankin pulls for North Carolina and Mr. Tyson is a Duke fan. Thank you both for speaking with us.

Mr. TYSON: Thanks, Debbie.

Mr. RANKIN: Thanks a lot.

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