Shawn Yancy and Duke football

December 6, 2013
Shawn Yancy with Joshua Morgan. (Via @ShawnYancy)
Shawn Yancy with Joshua Morgan. (Via @ShawnYancy)

After each of her son’s first three seasons at Duke, Shawn Yancy asked him whether he ever regretted his choice to play college football for the Blue Devils.

Anthony Young-Wiseman, a onetime standout at Whitman High in Bethesda, had chosen Duke despite scholarship offers from more traditional programs like Syracuse and West Virginia. Yancy — a co-anchor for Fox 5 News’s 5 and 10 pm broadcasts — supported his decision; “he told [friends] that making this decision wasn’t about the next four years, but about the next 40 years of his life, and I think that’s what made us most proud of his decision,” Yancy told me this week.

Still, she wondered whether her son — a 6-foot, 220-pound safety — wouldn’t rather be playing in prominent bowls and high-profile December showdowns.

Obviously, she doesn’t have to ask that question any more. Young-Wiseman and his teammates just won 10 games for the first time in school history. They’ll go to a bowl game two years in a row for the first time. They are riding an eight-game win streak, have two wins against ranked teams for the first time in two decades, and are playing for their first outright ACC title since 1962 in Saturday’s ACC championship game against Florida State.

The Blue Devils are massive underdogs, of course, but that won’t stop Yancy from wearing blue during Friday night’s newscast, nor from dropping a “Go Duke!” at some point, nor from leaving the station at 11:30 after the final broadcast of the night and driving directly to Charlotte, where the game will be played Saturday night.

Still, there are predictable side effects from being a D.C. media member rooting for Duke, a media member who is fond of Duke boosterism on social media.

 


“You always get the ribbing, whether it’s on Facebook or Twitter,” she said with a laugh. “Whenever I write something about Duke, I get boooo. But it has been fun this year, with the success Duke football has had. I tease all my friends that went to Virginia Tech or Virginia, just about the fact that we’re kicking their butts now.”

Yancy, who has been at WTTG for 12 years, didn’t want to predict what she might say about Saturday’s title game during Monday’s broadcast, without knowing what will happen on the field. But after her son was a part of Coach David Cutcliffe’s second recruiting class — going from sub-.500 records his first three seasons to this — she said her Twitter talk won’t stop.

“For this to be the way his senior year has played out has been phenomenal. Just incredible,” she said. “This has been an incredibly unbelievable year for the Duke football family.”

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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Dan Steinberg | December 6, 2013