After basketball, baseball and the Spring Game have come and gone, I like to sit back and take stock. Where are we, as an athletic department? Are there changes I would like to see made in the direction of the various teams? Am I doing all I can in helping the University of Oregon (Or “Argin” if you are Roger Goodell) be successful?
But the offseason is also the time to look at our behaviors. Are we allowing our passion for all things “Argin” to get in the way of, well, our sanity? I know there have been times I’ve allowed my passion for the Ducks to get in the way of rational thought and actions.
In 1993, after being taunted with “long drive back to Eugene” by Husky fans twice my size and half my age, I waded into them ready to throw down for the glory of the Ducks. Luckily I was grabbed by friends and marched away.
Since then my actions have been, if not less bizarre, at least safer. I’m still nuts. Just a different sort of nuts.
For example, buried in my email address are the letters “UO” and the number “3”, for my favorite all-time Duck.
I have a Google Voice phone number that rings every phone we own. Part of that number is DUCKS.
While these are positive actions harming no one and adding some Duck fun to my life, still I worry. Have I taken my passion for the Oregon Ducks to a level beyond the boundaries of normalcy? [Ed. note — pic following is actually of a gelded Great White.]
In 2001, the Ducks lost 49-42 to Stanford. The loss ultimately kept the Ducks out of the BCS title game. The loss was that much more devastating as it came about through poor special teams play and allowing Stanford – outplayed for three-quarters – to score 21 points in the final frame, to come from behind and win the game. How did I handle the monumental disappointment? I grabbed the stranger next to me and forcibly tattooed a picture of a Cardinal on his arm. I used a plastic fork from Bellotti’s Barbecue. The color was the falling sky and my own bleeding tears.
The last time the Ducks lost to the Beavers in the Civil War (20 or so years ago, who remembers that far back?), I caught a live beaver in a snare along the Skykomish River. I extracted his teeth with my own and used them to make wind chimes.
It has been a dozen years since the Huskies beat the Ducks, but it used to happen, oh, once every nine years or so. There isn’t anyone still alive who remembers when Washington was anything but Oregon’s b***h, but once in a great while luck would fall on Washington’s pointy little heads and they would eke out a victory over their betters. Since it was so rare, the loss always caught me by surprise. Did I take it well? Not so much.
These things may seem out of the ordinary, but are they a step too far? Nah, I’m fine.
(This week’s column dedicated to the finest little editor in the world. Good luck always to Ms. Junnelle Hogen, and thanks for the work you put into making my stuff look good.)
Top photo credit pqmonthly.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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