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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Randy Morse (Editor and Writer) is a native Oregonian, a South Eugene High and U of O grad (where he played soccer for the Ducks, waaay back in ’70-‘71). After his doctoral work at the University of Alberta he launched a writing & publishing career – that plus his love of mountaineering has taken him all over the world. An award-winning artist, musician, broadcaster, and author, he’s written 8 books – his writing on media & democracy earned him the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting’s 2014 Dalton Camp Award. He swears he taught LaMarcus Aldridge his patented fade-way jump shot, and is adamant that if he hadn’t left the country (and was a foot taller) he would be the owner of a prosperous chain of fast food outlets and a member of the NBA Hall of Fame by now. If there is a more rabid Ducks fan in the known universe, this would come as a major surprise to Morse’s long-suffering family. He resides in the tiny alpine village of Kaslo, British Columbia.
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