Durham County

Here’s how a father and son show their school spirit for Duke and Georgia Tech

The Ramblin’ Wreck is in Durham this weeked for the Yellow Jackets’ game against Duke. The driver, Chris Healy, and his father Pat, who was the Blue Devil in 1975-76, share a love for their schools.
The Ramblin’ Wreck is in Durham this weeked for the Yellow Jackets’ game against Duke. The driver, Chris Healy, and his father Pat, who was the Blue Devil in 1975-76, share a love for their schools.

School spirit runs deep for this father-son duo from Winston-Salem. One cheers for Duke, the other for Georgia Tech.

Their divided loyalties will be on display Saturday when their favorite teams square off on the gridiron.

Chris Healy, who drives Georgia Tech’s Ramblin’ Wreck, was a Duke fan growing up. He got his love for Duke from his dad, who is a graduate of the school. Pat Healy’s love for Duke was so great that he was the Blue Devil mascot during 1975-76.

The younger Healy followed in his father’s spirit squad footsteps, according to a profile in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He won the job by a vote of the Ramblin’ Reck Club, the student spirit group at Georgia Tech.

Chris, who’s one-year driving term is winding down, leads the Georgia Tech football team on the field at Bobby Dodd Stadium for every home game. This weekend the iconic gold and white antique Model A coupe is in Durham for a Georgia Tech alumni tailgate event. The Yellow Jackets will be taking on Duke (3:30 p.m., FSS) at Wallace Wade Stadium.

“It’s a great opportunity for the Wreck to gain some exposure and to interact with alumni that it usually doesn’t,” the younger Healy told the AJC. “And also we’re providing another opportunity for some cool experiences.

“It’s been good this year. We’ve been pretty lucky – knock on wood. We’ve avoided any of the crazy situations where the car won’t start the morning of (a game).”

Healy’s father Pat was chosen by the late Tom Butters to be the Blue Devil, according to the article.

“I knew back then he had an eye for talent,” Pat Healy said.

But his devil outfit wasn’t nearly as elaborate as the present-day costume. Healy said it consisted of gym shorts over blue tights with a tail. His pitchfork was homemade and the mask only covered his eyes and most of his head.

Community outreach was the offshoot for both of the Healys. Pat said he made visits with cheerleaders to Duke University hospital to visit children and on gamedays to hand out candy to kids in the stadium.

His son has had similar experiences.

Joe Johnson: 919-419-6678, @JEJ_HSNews

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