Coach Helfrich’s Daughter Wishes Hroniss Grasu a Speedy Recovery

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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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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.

  • Jon Sousa

    Happy Thanksgiving to all.