Are We Entitled? Is That a Bad Thing?

“Entitled.” Some people use it a weapon when discussing fan behavior. Sort of a “drop-the-mic and declare victory” moment.

Critical of the defense? “Oh, you’re entitled.” Critical of the coaching? “You should lose your entitlement attitude.” Disappointed over a season seemingly topping out with a minor pre-New Year’s Day Bowl? “You must be” — *fill in the blank* — “entitled, new, bandwagon, young or stupid.”

The Oregon Ducks are now a different program than we were in the ’70s and ’80s.

Blessed Be!

Blessed Be!

How did we get here? The money invested by thousands of small donors (not just the one big one, as our opponents would have you believe) and some serious coaching by some of the greats to ever walk a sideline, have helped. Some heroic play by some dedicated players has been a big part of it.

Let's Go Ducks!

Who else still misses this guy?

And a certain amount of ineptitude elsewhere has helped a little, too.

And a certain amount of ineptitude elsewhere has helped a little too.

“I saw real live bears playing for Baylor!”

Together these things have allowed a small school in a very small state to poke its head above the muck and mire of mediocrity.

Hey! Who put the Sun Devils under mediocrity? Edit! Rewrite! City desk! Stop the presses!

Hey! Who put the Sun Devils under mediocrity? Edit! Rewrite! City desk! Stop the presses!

In defense of entitlement, let me add the ongoing and increasingly onerous investment required to be a season ticket-holding supporter of our Ducks.

"Honey! I can't fit my donation to the Duck Athletic Fund into this envelope. Do you have...a truck?

“Honey! I can’t fit my donation to the Duck Athletic Fund into this envelope. Do you have … a truck?”

But it takes investment and commitment to be great. We are the Fighting Ducks of the University of Oregon! We are different! We could have grown up rooting for the Beavers.

And you can still go to their games for just a possum and bag of chitlins.

And you can still go to their games for just a possum and bag of chitlins.

So, in closing, let me shout from the mountaintops! Go Ducks! Trim the Trees! We all deserve it!

Top Photo by 

Print Friendly
Kim Hastings

Kim Hastings

Kim Hastings is a 1984 graduate of Northwest Christian College. He cut his journalistic teeth as sports editor of a paper in his home town of Fortuna, CA, and, later as a columnist for the Longview Daily News in Longview, WA. He saw his first Oregon game in 1977 and never missed a home game from 1981 until a bout with pneumonia cut his streak short in 1997. He was one of the proud 3200 on a bitterly cold night in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1989 for the Independence Bowl, and continues to be big supporter of Oregon sports. He is an active participant on the various Oregon Ducks messageboards as "TacomaDuck."

  • Pete

    I am someone who despises entitled fans. This article doesn’t represent the worst of entitled fans so much as misunderstand what entitled means. I don’t call anyone who criticizes the coaches or players entitled. There is certainly plenty to criticize this year. And if you think us old-time fans from the 70’s and 80’s weren’t critical of those teams, you’re dumber than you sound. Fans who are entitled don’t respect the process. They don’t respect how hard it is to be great (and that it’s impossible to be great every year with no drop off). They don’t respect the difficulty of being great in Oregon, specifically. They don’t respect that the effort and learning curve for a group of 18-22 year olds can be erratic. And they don’t respect the opponents. They think our program exists in a vacuum. But, worst of all, while you’re being entitled, you usually sound like an idiot who doesn’t understand football nearly well enough to criticize. Here are some tips, if you don’t want to sound entitled. Just because we have expensive facilities doesn’t mean that every coach in the country is biding their time waiting to come coach here. It doesn’t mean that we are going to win the Pac12 North every year. Try not criticizing individual play-calls after they don’t work. Have some awareness of what you don’t know. The worst part of the entitled isn’t that they criticize, it’s that they don’t appreciate how hard it was to finish in the top 11 for 7 straight years … in freaking Oregon.

    • Pete, thanks for reading. I appreciate the feedback. (Could have done without the “you’re dumber than you sound” part, but okay.) I think you may have missed part of the point, though I’m sure you are neither dumb nor do you sound that way. We actually don’t disagree. The problem I was highlighting is this: Fans who have perfectly reasonable criticisms of this or any team often have their opinions marginalized as if there is some elitism ladder of fans. What some people call “bandwagon” fans used to be called “new” fans and were welcomed. Who cares if they didn’t it through the 0-0 tie with OSU as I did, and you may have, as well. The newbies have a certain expectation of athletic competence. Great! To be held to a high standard, in any job, is a good thing. To play the “entitled” card isn’t a guaranteed winner. Enjoy FishDuck, Pete.

      • Pete

        I apologize for the “dumber than you sound” remark. I was conflating you with some of the fans I have been subjected to over the past year or two. And there was no reason for me to do that. I was at the 0-0 game, but I don’t expect new fans to relate to that experience. My expectations are much higher now as well. That’s not the problem. What I hate to hear is remarks that usually call for a coach to be fired or a QB to be replaced every time we don’t get the outcome we hope for. I don’t think these problems are unique to new Duck fans; indeed, they are common throughout sports whenever a team has experienced prolonged success. But, just because it’s common to be entitled doesn’t mean I have to suffer them silently. Success is not our birthright just because uncle Phil gave us a bunch of toys. And if Chip was still here, he would have eventually experienced a down year, too. I am not saying there isn’t room for legitimate criticism. But, some objectivity and perspective is required. And some football knowledge would be appreciated. When I hear fans deride our staff as stupid, forgive me for doubting their qualifications. I’ll never eradicate entitlement among Duck fans (prolonged losing is the only thing that can do that now), but I will call it out when I hear it.

        • Well said. I roll my eyes at some of the things I hear, as well. But mindless fans are a part of all live sports. I love good dialog, and don’t like opinions shut down with, as I said, a “drop the mic” catch-all.

          I don’t know if this counts as entitled, but a quarterback the quality of MM tends to make us forget just how hard it is to be play the position at the level he played (plays) it. The best of fans sometimes has to check himself when we grow used to someone like him.

        • BigBallzChipper

          Gents, To be honest I was surprised at how long we were able to maintain that level of success. I knew watching MM after the first three games in 2012 that this would be something that you would tell stories about “once in a life time” type of thing. As so I always kept in the back of mind that hey he is human and he can get injured, or leave early. It was a nice surprise to have him back for 2014, but like all things nothing lasts forever so I always tried to tone down expectations because I knew the next QB couldn’t possibly be that good. Now I was happy with some that was DT or Nate Costa level, but outside of VAJ the others need work. I’m not trying to get down on Locke, but I just don’t understand how we ever made it with him as a backup no wonder we started MM against the trees with a MCL tear. I’m not really blaming the coaching staff because I understand that after MM it was difficult to recruit a decent QB because no one wanted to sit until MM would move on, and all of the negative recruiting that everyone did against us while Chip was the coach did help. What I can’t comprehend is how could they not find just a decent QB, and the troubling part for me is next year I don’t see this issue being resolved. Sure, Ty could have been great if he would have stuck with the QB group or Travis if he wasn’t injured. That is my biggest issue …… Every which way I analyze it I see either Locke or Allie, and I like Allie over Locke! Allie will make a great backup or maybe starter once he is a Junior or Senior, but he still has much to learn. I just don’t see anyone stepping up or next man up.