I was pretty surprised at the words coming from this long-time season ticket holder, who is a classic example of a professional in the community who maintains a serious passion for our beloved Ducks. Scott Schultz is my attorney, whom I made reference to recently in my weekly column (that is now on Sundays). He is someone I’ve known for 25 years, and I simply could not fathom him declaring out loud and emphatically …
“I have never felt so detached from the Oregon Ducks – the football team – as now. I don’t know what they’re going to do, how they’re going to do it, … I have no clue what that program is going to look like, what the inner culture is going to be, what the coaches are like, how they use personnel, how the new offense and defense will be run …
“There is a whole lot of knowledge about this team that I want to receive …”
Wow. I certainly understand feeling an “absence” of knowledge about the current regime, but regard it with a lust for learning and anticipate the enjoyment that will come from absorbing everything new. Yet other fans almost feel alienated, and “outside the loop” when it comes to Oregon football.
Where does this come from?
Scott explained how over the years, we as fans were ingrained in coaching continuity. When we saw a new face in spring football articles? “Oh yeah, that’s the new guy.” But now every face guiding the team is unknown; you see the practice videos about the team right now, and you can recognize the players — but the coaches? It is an odd, almost creepy feeling because we Oregon fans have not seen a complete turnover of coaches in our adult life. (Not since the hiring of Rich Brooks in 1977!)
No longer in “The Club?”
Schultz explained another phenomenon uniquely experienced by Oregon fans that is now absent:
“I felt like as a fan I was part of a special club … I learned on FishDuck.com the Chip Kelly Oregon offense and knew what was happening and why. I enjoyed watching sportscasters on television get it wrong again, and knew that coaches and fans everywhere were trying to discern what we fans already knew. I felt like I was on the inside …”
“I’m still excited about Oregon Football, but I feel like an outsider trying to look in. I want in. I want to know the password to get into that secret club again.”
Now I get it. We have all been a little privileged in learning more than most college football fans about our team. A void now exists … a Black Hole in our knowledge of Oregon football for the first time in our conscious awareness, and it is very unsettling.
Longtime Oregon fan, writer for FishDuck.com, and engineer in Camas, Washington, Gar Pearson, confirmed these feelings, and told how his friends were asking him “What is going on with the Ducks?” It was unnerving to him to answer that he honestly did not know …
How should we approach this as Oregon Football fans?
I am just as thirsty for information about the program as you and have been talking to the staff at FishDuck.com. I too, must get the password again. The answer to the above dilemma actually came to us about eight months ago when the Grizzled Ol’ Coach, Mike Morris, spoke of some highly interesting points about the Oregon football team. I invited him to consider writing a “Coach’s Opinion” article when he had the inclination, and the rest is history. His articles have been a big hit with readers, and rightly so as we all learn so much from him.
He and other coaches will offer their thoughts, and I feel that this can teach me and other readers a ton more than the typical writer that we have on the staff. We all have opinions, but coaches have a more football educated opinion that can give us insights in what this new staff is doing and why.
In the end — we just keep reading all the sources we can to get acquainted with the special group of coaches, and have faith in what we have seen thus far at the Spring Game and the incredible recruiting taking place. I just wanted to help all of you–to validate that yes, other fans feel it too and is OK to feel a bit detached for awhile.
“Oh how we love to learn about our new Coaches who are now beloved Ducks!”
College Football Analyst for CFF Network/FishDuck.com
Top Photo by Kevin Cline