Five Football Reflections From Epic Songwriters

Craig Strobeck

1. “The world is a vampire, sent to drain.” — Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins.

My feelings this past weekend after the Oregon vs Stanford tilt on Thursday night are as close a Duck fan could get to having the life blood drained from its body.  I ate and slept less, couldn’t turn on the TV to watch but a couple minutes of college or pro football, and food has seemingly lost its taste.  When winning is the norm, losing is the worst.  Cheer up fans, we’re in this together.

2. “He’s not a businessman, he’s a business, man.” — Jay-Z

To those who saw the ill-timed photos of Nike Founder Phil Knight dressed in Alabama gear for the SEC’s biggest match-up of the year and thought their world was melting before them, it wasn’t.  Phil Knight makes loads of money off customers such as Alabama, through making and marketing their gear, and in turn, gives a portion of that money away to the University of Nike.  Nike U is still firmly planted in Eugene, so you can all back away from your bridges now and continue on down the bike trail to your coffee shop of choice.

3. “I like big backs and I cannot lie.” — Sir Mix-a-Lot

Okay, we know ‘backs’ is a stretch, but work with me for a moment.  Good coaching recognizes weaknesses in opponents, great coaching exploits those weaknesses.  It is clear that the linebacker position is an area of inexperience this season for Oregon, and Stanford drew up a plan that would chunk away at that weakness.  They obviously didn’t want to throw on Oregon, especially considering Ifo Ekpre Olomu’s interception early in the contest (my stat sheet says pick because that wasn’t pass interference, PAC-12 crew).  The truest sense of “ground-and-pound” modern college football has ever witnessed, took place this past Thursday.  It was ugly, but it was effective.

Photo: Craig Strobeck Stanford's line consistenly locked up Oregon's defense.

Photo: Craig Strobeck Stanford’s line consistenly locked up Oregon’s defense.

4. “There goes my hero, watch him as he goes.  There goes my hero, he’s ordinary.” Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters

A reported MCL sprain to his left knee, pressed Marcus Mariota into a style of play he was not prepared to play, against the country’s best defensive front seven.  The nation’s top duel-threat QB became a pocket passer in the world’s smallest pocket, due to the tremendous pressure consistently placed on the offensive line throughout the game.  If ever there was a game where Oregon missed the physical presence of Kyle Long in the interior, it was this game.  The humble nature of Oregon’s favorite son still shone bright after the game in interviews.  It is said that in defeat heroes are truly tested, and this young man continues to prove his mettle every week.

Photo: Craig Strobeck Marcus left it all on the field on Thursday.

Photo: Craig Strobeck Marcus left it all on the field on Thursday.

5. “Oh the times, they are a changin.” –Bob Dylan

As much as Duck fans want to think Oregon will remain at the top of the conference forever, Stanford has found a successful formula to defeat the Ducks and maintain PAC-12 supremacy for another season.  The Tree’s match-up with USC will again be favorable against a smaller linebacker corps built to run with the spread, so Oregon fans shouldn’t hold their breath for another Stanford loss this year.  There is still a season to complete for Oregon, and another BCS bid would be no small feat for this team, even if Stanford wins out.

 

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