DURHAM, N.C. — Bloody Tuesday, a demanding period of football preparation at Duke University, commences with a devotional led by the team’s chaplain at 7:05 a.m. each week. A meeting follows at 7:10 and players later march down the paved path onto the practice field, a secluded swath of turf lined by black fences bordering Wallace Wade Stadium, the Saturday battleground, on West Campus. Chaos reigns around 10 a.m. as loudspeakers blast “Seven Nation Army.” Players form a tight circle around midfield as coaches call for physical one-on-one combat. Whistles blow; helmets and pads crash. “Ass-kicking time!” one defender shouts, racing over. “Ass-kicking time!” Calm on the perimeter, David Cutcliffe, head coach of the Blue Devils, collegiate mentor to both Peyton and Eli Manning and holder of what he describes as a degree in “Knowology” from the University of Alabama, observes his charges on the field. He goes by “Cut” and shouts into a megaphone with his southern baritone as he resuscitates a program from decades-long irrelevance to a quest for back-to-back bowl appearances for the first time in school history. Born in Birmingham, Ala., he charted a football career from serving as a student assistant under Bear Bryant in… Read full this story
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