UNC-Duke pranks: A (Very Brief) History

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1. Blue Devil mascot head raised on a spike

What happened: On Feb. 13, 2013, the Tar Heels prepared to play the No. 2 ranked Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium.  After struggling with the loss of their starting five from the previous season, victory seemed like a distant dream for many Tar Heels.  Early that morning, the head of the Blue Devil mascot appeared impaled on a spike on top of UNC’s Student Stores.  The head was removed around 7:30 a.m. by maintenance staff and later returned to Duke University Police, but not before a few had snapped pictures of the beheaded mascot.  News spread quickly on campus, and when Duke confirmed a mascot head was indeed missing from Durham, the prank attracted attention nationwide.  Social media exploded with photos of the decapitated Devil, ensuring that while few saw the head in person, everyone saw it by game time. The Tar Heels fought valiantly that night, ultimately falling 73-68.

2. Duke students steal Rameses, epic battle ensues

What happened: On Nov. 17, 1933, according to an article in The Evening Independent titled “Duke and North Carolina Students War On Campus Over Stolen Grid Mascot,” a group of Duke University students snatched Rameses from his home at The Carolina Inn. As word of the kidnapping spread, about 250 UNC students began the 10-mile trek to Duke’s campus to retrieve their beloved ram. As the Tar Heels approached campus, “Duke students turned out to meet the invaders and rock battles and fist fights developed as roving bands of Carolina students, hunting their ram, ran into groups from Duke.” In retaliation, UNC students painted derogatory signs on Duke’s chapel, and Duke students later did the same to “business houses in Chapel Hill.” The participants gradually dropped out of the fight, no police intervention was required, and “[a]pparently no one was seriously hurt.”

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