Stanford Is Oregon’s Kryptonite? Five Reasons Why ESPN’s Ted Miller Got It Wrong, and Why the Ducks Will Win

Randy Morse FishWrap, FishWrap Archive

If I hear ESPN’s Ted Miller (God bless him) refer to Stanford as “Oregon’s kryptonite” one more time, my head may explode – you know, like the planet Krypton.

This is my head, Ted

This is my head, Ted

The problem here is that Miller’s analysis is distressingly superficial – disappointing in a writer normally given to scrupulous accuracy, so much so that I’m normally prepared to ignore his annoying use of the adjective “salty” all the time. That’s just the kind of generous guy I am.

So, to set the record straight, here are five thoughtful, carefully nuanced reasons why Ted got this whole “Stanford is the Ducks’ Kryptonite” thing all wrong.

REASON NO. 1: It’s Red-Green Kryptonite, Stupid

Of course anyone who knows anything about the subject is well aware that Stanford isn’t normal. It’s a swishy, oh-so exclusive private school whose sports teams are named after a color, featuring a mascot that only vaguely resembles a tree. This holds when it comes to kryptonite as well. Stanford is not your normal, garden variety green football kryptonite, huh-uh. It is in actuality red-green kryptonite – you know, the alloy that was created by Brainiac back in 1961. Which leads us to the next two points.

David Shaw in a contemplative moment

David Shaw in a contemplative moment

REASON #2: David Shaw Is Brainiac

While this may sound like a compliment to the uninitiated, it isn’t. Bald, with a set of diodes protruding from his skull (in Shaw’s case cleverly disguised as ears), Brainiac is an extraterrestrial android named the 17th greatest comic book villain of all time. So he barely makes the top-twenty. That’s about right.

REASON #3: Marcus Mariota Has Eyes in the Back of His Head

Hardly a revelation to anyone who’s watched the Ducks’ Heisman candidate play, it’s a little known fact that it was, in fact, Brainiac who triggered this handy mutation – once the initial effects of the hapless bad guy’s red-green kryptonite wore off (see the last two Stanford-Oregon games), presto! That third eye popped up in the back of the Hawaiian Superhero’s head. Much to the chagrin of Stanford’s blitzing linebackers and safeties. Thanks, Brainiac.

Here we see only two of Mariota's three eyes -- the other one's back there, trust me

Here we see only two of Mariota’s three eyes — the other one’s back there, trust me

REASON #4: Oregon’s Offense and Defense Let It All Hang Out

Or wait – maybe I got that wrong, Ted. We could be talking about periwinkle kryptonite. You know, the variant discovered in March, 2013. If so, then watch out, Brainiac and your Cardinal horde. Because as any informed observer knows, that’s gonna cause the Ducks to lose all inhibitions. Watch Tony Washington leap tall tackles in a single bound. Watch Royce Freeman, Thomas Tyner, and Charles Nelson shoot through the Stanford D like speeding bullets.

Royce Freeman, aka Superboy

Royce Freeman, aka Superboy

REASON #5: Superheroes Always Win in the End

Two words: Marcus Mariota.

So Ted, next time do your homework. You could start with Action Comics #275, then move on to Superman Family Adventures #9. In the meantime I’ll continue to take your analyses with a large dollop of salt.

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