Oregon Duck football and Chip Kelly have become synonymous. I’m surprised that I don’t hear the guys on ESPN call our team the Fighting Chippers. That means that whatever successes or failures that Kelly experiences in the NFL will reflect on the Ducks. This is where things get interesting.
As a group, Duck fans are a sensitive bunch. We’ve been told that our team is flashy, like a Happy Meal toy, but not built to hold up to manhandling — also like a Happy Meal toy. We’ve been told that our success has been gift wrapped in Nike money. We’ve been told that our success is more of a product of a weak conference. We’ve always been told the success is not real. And now, the man who brought the unprecedented success has run to the arms of Roger Goodell. What will the doubters say now?
I have a couple of theories, but I think that rather than guessing what they’ll say is wondering if we’ll ever get over caring what the doubters will say. I think we’ll be fine. Some will expect a big drop in performance, and we’ll get coverage for that early, but if the Ducks hold up against Tennessee, the talk will quickly turn from coaching to the odds of another championship run. As good Duck fans are trained to do, we should ignore the press coverage and enjoy the games on the field. Those games should be fantastic.