Happy 30th to a bumper sticker for the ages

“It was the summer of ’79, and four Lincolnton boys were going through Dean Smith’s basketball camp at Chapel Hill.

“Between lay-up drills, John Cloninger, Lee Brogden, Chris Brogden, and Trey Carter whiled away the time thinking up rude things to say about the Tar Heels’ ACC rivals.

“‘Duke is puke,’ said one.

“‘Wake is fake,’ another offered.

“‘But the team I hate,’ said Lee, tying it all together, ‘is N.C. State!’

“The campers liked the line so much they were still reciting it when their parents picked them up for a farewell stop at Franklin Street’s Shrunken Head souvenir shop.

“Cloninger’s 10-year-old sister, Elizabeth, liked it so much she had it lettered, with modifications, on a T-shirt at the Shrunken Head.

“Shelton Henderson, owner of the Shrunken Head, liked it so much he added it to his line of bumper stickers.

“And Tar Heel fans liked it so much they bought, in a barely a year, about 3,000 ‘Duke Is Puke…’ stickers, a figure that rivaled ‘If God Is Not a Tar Heel, Why Is the Sky Carolina Blue?’ (and topped ‘Teach a Young Child to Hate State.’)”

— From The Charlotte Observer (Nov. 30, 1980)

3 thoughts on “Happy 30th to a bumper sticker for the ages”

  1. I spent my early childhood (1979-1986) in Lincolnton, and I definitely remember chanting, singing, and screaming this with all of my other UNC buddies. I just assumed that it was one of those things that had always been around–“author unknown.” Very interesting to learn that I probably heard it not long after it was created! My other favorite was: “You can’t get to heaven in a red canoe, because God’s favorite color is Carolina Blue.”

  2. Your early childhood??? Jason, you make me feel old. I had already left Lincoln County for Chapel Hill well before you left Lincolnton!

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