As the George Zimmerman trial came to a merciful end last night, the world took to social media expressing their feelings on the biggest media trial we’ve seen since since O.J.’s glove didn’t fit.
It brought out the best in people, it brought out the worst. It brought people together, it pushed people apart and, most importantly, it forced everyone to have an opinion on something that was bigger than themselves.
Many Oregon Duck players partook and I, for one, liked what I saw.
I don’t have an opinion on the trial, I’ll tell you that right now. I have avoided the news, simply because I don’t want to get involved with something that I have no control over. The bottom line is that one person died, two families were shaken, and to me, that needs to be the focus. So I have no opinion on the verdict, one way or another. On Twitter, however, many Duck players made their views — for and against the final verdict — known, and it brought a smile to my face.
Twitter has, for me, been a wonderful way to follow great sports writers and read things that might normally have escaped me. It’s also been an intriguing way to follow my favorite Duck players getting critical updates on their classes, when they’re hungry (and what for) and waiting anxiously as they search for something to do on a Friday night (my tongue is pressed firmly in my cheek, by the way). With the announcement of the Zimmerman verdict, we got to see a different side of our boys that we normally wouldn’t get to see.
I won’t give names, or opinions. If you want them, you can follow the players themselves. But what took place last night was insightful thoughts, smart banter and honest feelings. The subject at hand goes more than skin deep, and it was refreshing to see so many
18-22 year olds take a break from their lives and give question to a subject that is so painful.
Chip Kelly took a lot of heat his first year for the character of his team. The rash of arrests was appalling, and Duck fans took notice. Four years later, it appears that his ultimate goal for the team, to be remembered for having character and not being characters, is paying off.
Will every team be filled with nothing but choir boys? No. Just last week, an incoming recruit found his name in the paper for the wrong reasons. But if the response from the Zimmerman trial, and the small sampling of players’ opinions that we saw on Twitter, is any indication, Oregon fans should be proud of the team that has been assembled.
College football players will be, well, college football players. They’re going to have moments of immaturity, miss a class or two, gawk at girls in the quad… but that doesn’t define character. True character comes in the way you treat other people in a time of need, and the way you rationalize and think about things that are bigger than you.
It appears Oregon has plenty of guys who are thinking the right way. Good character, good players. I don’t know if you can ask for more.
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Joel Gunderson grew up in a small town, where the only thing he did for fun was worship the Oregon Ducks. He later moved to Eugene, where he studied journalism at the U of O. After working in radio, he married the woman of his dreams and settled down. Joel now spends his days studying Journalism and the fine world of grammar, all the while worshiping the ground that Charles “Chip” Kelly walks on! Follow him on twitter @gundy85
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