Register-Guard columnist Bob Welch wrote an excellent piece on Sunday about the remarkable success the Oregon Ducks athletic program has enjoyed in the last few years, ending his column with this line: “Then, again, at Oregon the extraordinary is becoming ordinary.”
I assume Welch is simply saying that athletic greatness has become the norm at Oregon, but that line got me thinking: is there a chance that some people are taking this success for granted? If so, all of us who root for and/or cover the Ducks should take a step back and acknowledge just how astonishing Oregon sports have been the past 5-10 years.
When discussing Oregon athletics, football is the first sport that comes to mind, due in large part to the fact that the Ducks have 8 straight winning seasons and four straight BCS bowl appearances (winning their two most recent ones). Then there’s the men’s basketball team, which has experienced a resurgence under head coach Dana Altman. The baseball team has become a PAC-12 power since re-joining the conference in 2009 after a 27-year layoff. The softball team looks like a national championship contender this year, building off their tremendous success from several recent seasons. What a year it was for the volleyball team as well! Don’t worry, track and field, I didn’t forget you. The accomplishments from every track team put the other sports to shame.
I’m sure most people reading this know about most, if not all, of these accomplishments. My intention isn’t to inform but to remind people that Oregon sports have never been more collectively successful than they are right now. I’d hate to see those involved with the University look at the present and future without acknowledging this incredible past. Expect this success to continue, but don’t forget just how rewarding these past several years have been.