Paying off a lost bet on Battle of the Blues, Durham honors Chapel Hill — with a poem

North Carolinaâ™s Kenny Williams (24) celebrates the Tar Heels 82-78 victory over Duke on Thursday, February 8, 2018 at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C. Williams scored 20 points in the Tar Heelsâ™ victory. Robert Willett The News & Observer
North Carolinaâ™s Kenny Williams (24) celebrates the Tar Heels 82-78 victory over Duke on Thursday, February 8, 2018 at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C. Williams scored 20 points in the Tar Heelsâ™ victory. Robert Willett The News & Observer
DURHAM

The Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau recently Tweeted its Chapel Hill countepart, Visit Chapel Hill, a laudatory poem after the UNC Tar Heels defeated the Duke Blue Devils in an Atlantic Coast Conference men’s basketball clash on Feb. 8.

The poem grew out of a bet the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau made with Visit Chapel Hill before the Feb. 8 Tobacco Road showdown: Whoever lost the game would write a nice poem about the other city.

“An Ode to Chapel Hill”

We lost a bet, but we’re a city of our word.

We hope you don’t find this poem too absurd.

Chapel Hill is a wonderful town.

Creating a smile from every frown.

The Old Well is such an icon, you drink from its waters.

It will give knowledge to your sons and your daughters.

Rameses the ram — what a powerful creature!

And such passionate fans filling the bleachers.

Such a lovely shade of blue, the color of the sky.

That Roy Williams, a heck of a guy.

It’s pretty in the spring and pretty in the fall.

And it’s pretty dang good at basketball.

The poem idea “came about because Chapel Hill raised the question the night before [the game], Hey, do you want to do a little friendly Twitter war over the game?, and we said, yes,” said Shelly Green, president and CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau. The Chapel Hill group posted several Tweets during the day. “There were some very funny ones, like, ‘Try rhyming with Krzyzewski’,” Green said.

Basketball season is not over, and the rivals meet again March 3 — this time in Durham — when the Durham and Chapel Hill organizations once again will bet to see who has to write the poem.

Green is hoping for a poem from Chapel Hill next time. But unlike this storied rivalry, this bet was in good fun, and respectful. “We took the high road,” Green said. “We wrote it like a love letter.”

Cliff Bellamy: 919-419-6744, @CliffBellamy1