Coach Helfrich’s Daughter Wishes Hroniss Grasu a Speedy Recovery

Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich was asked this morning about the obviously hand-made get well card reporters had seen stuck on the scooter that injured Ducks All-American center Hroniss Grasu is using to take the weight off his injured foot.

The reporter who posed the question, exhibiting the sort of incisive investigative work that led to the Watergate revelations, wondered aloud if the card wasn’t the handiwork of Helfrich’s three-year-old daughter, Maggie.

Helfrich grinned and responded, “Well, my daughter loves Marcus Mariota, Hroniss Grassu, and Number 9, Number 9, Byron Marshall. But yeah, Marcus and Hroniss have been her favorites for a while and I was kind of explaining to her what happened and she wanted to make a little card. I thought that was pretty cool that she did that and he kept it in there [on his leg-protecting scooter]. She loved that too.”

And of course it goes without saying that we love it all. In the end we’re all great big softies here at Sports fanatics, yes. But all warm and mushy, too. The mere thought that it’s almost that time of year for It’s a Wonderful Life makes us tear up. Obviously we love our Ducks. And we particularly love the obvious sense of inclusiveness, of family that permeates the program. Every now and then that tell-tale, endearing sign of humanity slips through, whether it’s a brief, un-selfconscious anecdote about Marcus Mariota helping a homeless guy, Charlie Pape piping up about Jesus, girls, and the World’s Greatest Quarterback at a press briefing, or this latest reminder that we’re all just folks – and the Ducks, from the coaching and support staff to the players, aren’t afraid to admit it.

We love that.


Top photo by Craig Strobeck

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