Stanford Is Oregon’s Kryptonite? Five Reasons Why ESPN’s Ted Miller Got It Wrong, and Why the Ducks Will Win

Screenshot 2014-10-31 13.21.32

If I hear ESPN’s Ted Miller (God bless him) refer to Stanford as “Oregon’s kryptonite” one more time, my head may explode – you know, like the planet Krypton.

This is my head, Ted

This is my head, Ted

The problem here is that Miller’s analysis is distressingly superficial – disappointing in a writer normally given to scrupulous accuracy, so much so that I’m normally prepared to ignore his annoying use of the adjective “salty” all the time. That’s just the kind of generous guy I am.

So, to set the record straight, here are five thoughtful, carefully nuanced reasons why Ted got this whole “Stanford is the Ducks’ Kryptonite” thing all wrong.

REASON NO. 1: It’s Red-Green Kryptonite, Stupid

Of course anyone who knows anything about the subject is well aware that Stanford isn’t normal. It’s a swishy, oh-so exclusive private school whose sports teams are named after a color, featuring a mascot that only vaguely resembles a tree. This holds when it comes to kryptonite as well. Stanford is not your normal, garden variety green football kryptonite, huh-uh. It is in actuality red-green kryptonite – you know, the alloy that was created by Brainiac back in 1961. Which leads us to the next two points.

David Shaw in a contemplative moment

David Shaw in a contemplative moment

REASON #2: David Shaw Is Brainiac

While this may sound like a compliment to the uninitiated, it isn’t. Bald, with a set of diodes protruding from his skull (in Shaw’s case cleverly disguised as ears), Brainiac is an extraterrestrial android named the 17th greatest comic book villain of all time. So he barely makes the top-twenty. That’s about right.

REASON #3: Marcus Mariota Has Eyes in the Back of His Head

Hardly a revelation to anyone who’s watched the Ducks’ Heisman candidate play, it’s a little known fact that it was, in fact, Brainiac who triggered this handy mutation – once the initial effects of the hapless bad guy’s red-green kryptonite wore off (see the last two Stanford-Oregon games), presto! That third eye popped up in the back of the Hawaiian Superhero’s head. Much to the chagrin of Stanford’s blitzing linebackers and safeties. Thanks, Brainiac.

Here we see only two of Mariota's three eyes -- the other one's back there, trust me

Kevin Cline

Here we see only two of Mariota’s three eyes — the other one’s back there, trust me

REASON #4: Oregon’s Offense and Defense Let It All Hang Out

Or wait – maybe I got that wrong, Ted. We could be talking about periwinkle kryptonite. You know, the variant discovered in March, 2013. If so, then watch out, Brainiac and your Cardinal horde. Because as any informed observer knows, that’s gonna cause the Ducks to lose all inhibitions. Watch Tony Washington leap tall tackles in a single bound. Watch Royce Freeman, Thomas Tyner, and Charles Nelson shoot through the Stanford D like speeding bullets.

Royce Freeman, aka Superboy

Kevin Cline

Royce Freeman, aka Superboy

REASON #5: Superheroes Always Win in the End

Two words: Marcus Mariota.

So Ted, next time do your homework. You could start with Action Comics #275, then move on to Superman Family Adventures #9. In the meantime I’ll continue to take your analyses with a large dollop of salt.

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Randy Morse

Randy Morse

Randy Morse (Editor and Writer) is a native Oregonian, a South Eugene High and U of O grad (where he played soccer for the Ducks, waaay back in ’70-‘71). After his doctoral work at the University of Alberta he launched a writing & publishing career – that plus his love of mountaineering has taken him all over the world. An award-winning artist, musician, broadcaster, and author, he’s written 8 books – his writing on media & democracy earned him the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting’s 2014 Dalton Camp Award. He swears he taught LaMarcus Aldridge his patented fade-way jump shot, and is adamant that if he hadn’t left the country (and was a foot taller) he would be the owner of a prosperous chain of fast food outlets and a member of the NBA Hall of Fame by now. If there is a more rabid Ducks fan in the known universe, this would come as a major surprise to Morse’s long-suffering family. He resides in the tiny alpine village of Kaslo, British Columbia.

  • MarcTheDuck

    Stanford brings us the Psy-Ops effect. We have to get over that. The fear of losing to this same team for the third straight time. Add Arizona to that club, too. Mariota is all world and Freeman is getting there quickly. We have a now-proven set of great receivers and tight ends. A bunch of them, including an amazing speedster in Devon Allen. Our O line has gotten past its early woes although, 1) our depth is not so deep as we had expected it to be, and 2) Stanford’s front 7 will probably be the best we face all year – in the regular season (again). We’re getting back some guys who have been out with injuries at just the right time.

    Hopefully the D continues to improve and has its best game of the year to date. Now is the time we need it. I also would love to see Charles Nelson get the ball on offense some. I know he’s supposed to be a defensive guy (so was Kenyon Barner) but he mostly sits on the bench when the D is on the field, and we’ve seen what he can do with a ball in his hands. It’s hard to keep him off the field when the offense is on. I think I did see him get a carry in the last game?? I also hope Thomas Tyner is healthy enough to play the way he did against UCLA. He was authoritative and determined in his running and laid so extra effort out there that got him extra yards a lot. We need him to do that. Freeman may have established himself as the #1 back (at least for now) but Tyner is another guy that is just too good with the ball (when healthy) to not have him out on the field.

  • FunkyDucky

    Meh. I think with all the debate and analysis and fear and uncertainty and “what if’s” with regard to Oregon’s ability defeat the Tree, I’ve come to agree with Wilner. Stanford will win this game, until Oregon proves that it won’t. Here’s hoping the Ducks can step over (juke around) THIS banana peal on their way to the next. Get a good nights sleep EVERY player on the Duck’s roster. This will take a TEAM EFFORT.