Do you have mixed feelings about this upcoming Civil War game? You want revenge for last year, yet Oregon State’s 2017 season has been so dismal, maybe even the hardest Duck heart can empathize with beleaguered Beaver fans after what we experienced last season?
On second thought … Nah!
I have a unique perspective as an Oregon alum who grew up in Corvallis, whose father is a retired professor from Oregon State (and has a scholarship at OSU that bears his name) and truly grew up “loving to hate the Ducks.” I weight-lifted with Oregon State athletes while preparing for high school football at Crescent Valley High. After lifting, I would go visit my father at his office a short walk away. I was bred to bleed orange and hate the Ducks.
But then I fell in love with a girl in Eugene. We got married and moved to Eugene, as she had a great job and could put me through school (married to Lois 37 years and counting), hence my attendance at the University of Oregon. I was surprised at how much I learned, enjoyed it, and became attached fiercely to my Alma Mater. I could never hate the Beavs, I simply loved the Ducks enormously. Hence, I became the dreaded Platypus that is reviled by fans of both in-state universities. Yet all this time I have not cared.
I cannot convey the level of hate Beaver believers have for the Ducks, and I have frequently almost believed the notion that “they hate Oregon more than they love Oregon State.” I don’t completely embrace that concept, because such hatred only comes from a love of OSU, which makes Oregon’s success that much more painful for Beaver fans. That hatred of a rival is something I can understand given my irrational hatred of that team up north (it’s the Huskies, just to be clear). It makes sense, and it is real for Beaver fans, just as it is real for me when it comes to Washington (I cannot utter or write the “H-word” more than once without turning to spit).
What are your feelings about the Beavers now?
They do not know the SAD TRUTH…
The Beaver fan in the top photo knows that Oregon does not have a ‘Natty in football, and retreats to the only trash-talk whiners can revert to. When a lack of national championships is the worst thing you can say? Wow.
Yet they have no idea how far apart the programs are beyond football; if you asked OSU fans how many National Championships they have in all sports, could they tell you? The answer is only three. Next time you ask a Beaver fan how many ‘Nattys’ the Ducks have across all sports, help them by explaining that you can take the three OSU national titles and put up an Oregon “O” next to it, and then add three more, you will get the 33 National Championships that our beloved Ducks have earned.
Of course, the Corvallis retort is that we could not have done anything without Uncle Phil. Yet they refuse to listen to the reality of how Mr. Knight helps to pay for their championship-winning baseball coach’s salary, or the reality of business support and our history with the Nike founder. You see, Oregon had to reach the Rose Bowl in 1994 by itself, without the help of Phil Knight, and only after the Cotton Bowl following the 1995 season did our benefactor come to the Ducks to see how he could help.
Winners only want to work with other winners, and when the Ducks finally proved themselves in 1994, Uncle Phil was willing to step forward.
The Ducks HAVE been Lucky …
Sure, the Ducks had to do it themselves before attracting winners like Phil Knight, Pat Kilkenny, and other major donors, but we have been extremely fortunate with the decisions made by athletic department administrators in the past. We fans have no input into who gets hired, and the contracts used to attract such hires. We truly just observe from the sidelines and cheer or jeer the results. The Beavers have been afflicted with terrible decisions from their athletic management over the years, and their fans have suffered as a result. Like Duck fans, they have no say in those decisions as they are being made.
Remember back 40 years ago when they had to the choice to hire Rich Brooks, (who turned Oregon and Kentucky around) Terry Donahue, (who was a big winner at UCLA) or Craig Fertig? Yikes, how do you mess that up? Again, OSU fans had no voice in the decision and had to live with the choice, for better or worse (in this case, worse).
What do YOU want to see in this Game?
Of course I want the win, but I would like the team to achieve some other objectives to launch into the 2018 season with momentum to match what is happening with current recruiting efforts. Obliterating the Beavers with a massive score really doesn’t do much for anyone, as we all know OSU’s record. A beat-down is satisfying for the Duck soul, but doesn’t accomplish as much as a few other, more significant goals.
Royce Freeman needs two touchdowns to break Ken Simonton‘s Pac-12 record, and accomplishing this against the Beavers would be sweet. If he gains over 100 yards, he moves up from 9th in NCAA career rushing up to sixth, and I’d love to see both records surpassed if possible. In preparation for the bowl game, I would also like to see the passing game tuned up a bit with respect to the wide receivers. Let’s get Brenden Schooler and Johnny Johnson involved and infused with some more confidence!
I want to see Darrion Felix run the ball more and get the experience needed to master the fine points of reading blocks on the Inside and Outside Zone Read plays, as next year we will likely be relying on him heavily.
But when push comes to shove, I just cannot help it, and the real Duck fan within me finally emerges. Below is what I really want, my fellow feathered fans! See you Saturday!
Charles Fischer (FishDuck)
Top Photo: Kevin Cline