It is a true sign of sportsmanship to go out of your way to recognize a unique individual, despite the team logo on the helmet. So let’s say that, hypothetically, the Oregon State Beavers made it to a prestigious college bowl game or the National Championship. Would we, the rival Ducks, support them? This is something I have always wondered in my five years here in Eugene, Oregon, knowing that the up-state Beavers have always been deemed “Little Brother.” But for me, this feeling only lasted until Oregon State released an ad in The Oregonian praising the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner, Oregon’s own Marcus Mariota.
In an interview with Oregon State’s athletic director Steve Fenk, ESPN.com reporter Darren Rovell got the answers as to why they performed such a selfless act.
“We have a lot of respect for Marcus,” said Fenk. “While many years apart in age, Marcus displays the same type of class that [Oregon State’s 1962 Heisman Trophy winner] Terry Baker does on a daily basis.”
According to the article, Fenk said the school partnered with The Oregonian on the ad and didn’t know the cost of the full-page ad.
It is special to now have two Heisman winners from the state of Oregon. Both Baker and Mariota not only embody everything the Heisman represents, but also show great class for the state of Oregon.
The best part of this recognition, in my opinion, is not knowing how much the ad space in The Oregonian cost. To have that much respect for a player in the same league, and not to mention a rival, says a lot about Oregon State’s program. Oregon has won in the last seven meetings against the Beavers. But records aside, Oregon State showed great respect for this unique player, making the whole state of Oregon proud and showing support for the quarterback phenomenon, Mariota.
Well done, Beavers, well done. Mahalo.
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