With this week’s unceremonious ouster of Oregon State from the Pac-12 Basketball Tourney, the Ducks have once again plunged a knife into the soul of our friends from Corvallis. I, for one, feel bad. It must be hard to be a Beaver over the last, oh, 100 years.
Much is made of the fact that Oregon State’s Head Coach is the President’s brother-in-law. One would think that such proximity to the Point Guard-in-Chief would have served OSU well in the gathering together of skillz. Such has not been the case.
But everyone knows that the current state of the hoops union in Corvallis isn’t Craig Robinson’s fault. No one since Slats Gill has been able to win there without treating the NCAA rule book like two-ply Charmin.
Not to mention, well, Corvallis.
You just can’t be a compassionate Ducks fan without feeling a little bad for an Oregon State fan. That’s why I have decided to help. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, in her groundbreaking work “On Death and Dying,” gives us a starting point. There are five stages of grief. The faster a Beavers fan gets through the stages, the better chance he has for a fulfilling future. Let’s get started:
Denial (stage one): ”Things really aren’t so bad in Corvallis. The program is poised for really great things next year. Just a few breaks . . . balls bounce our way . . .”
Anger (stage two): ”AND DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE END OF THE CIVIL WAR FOOTBALL GAME. WE HAD IT! IT WAS OURS!”
Bargaining (stage three): ”One time, Lord. One time before I die. Let me know what it feels like to be a Duck! The style, the grace and, most of all, the winning!”
Depression (stage four): ”Where is Daddy’s medicine?”
Acceptance (stage five): ”I’m a Beaver. I was born a Beaver. I’ll die a Beaver. My uncle and my Mama got into the corn likker and I’m a Beaver.”
So, tomorrow (Selection Sunday) when Ducks fans around the world are finding out where our team will be dancing in the month to come, remember the Beavers’ fan in your life. He may be your brother-in-law. He may be your cousin. He’s likely the convenience store guy working the graveyard shift and making gas station coffee. But whoever he is, be nice. One screwed up chromosome and you might have been him.
Top photo by funeralparlours.com
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.”
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