Christmas, Hernias and Bowl Games

Mike Merrell Editorials

Mike Merrell’s Three-and-Out

With the changes at, the Three-and-Out hasn’t gone away. It’s just been laid up with Christmas, a hernia and bowl games. And that’s the subject of this week’s Three-and-Out.

1. Christmas. On my last trip to the bank, the teller innocently asked me how things were going. I told her, “Nothing fatal.” She laughed until the look on my face told her that I wasn’t just being polite enough to refrain from laughing at my own sick joke.

This pretty much says it all.

This pretty much says it all.

Christmas and the time leading up to it is a perfect time for stress overloads. Ours has featured a dry well, an irreplaceable broken electronic control on an expensive range oven, a need for two new sets of snow tires, a dead washing machine, a sixteen-year-old dog who is “losing it” all over the place, two feet of snow and a broken snow blower, getting blown off by a close family member, cold sores for everyone, and a hernia for me.

There’s got to be a partridge in a pear tree around here somewhere, but it hasn’t dropped its load on us yet.

At least Christmas is behind us, but what awaits me tomorrow is …

2. Hernia surgery. If you read this Monday morning I will be totally knocked out (which sounds pretty good about now) having a surgeon cut me open to put some wonderful mesh in my groin so that my guts stop spilling out. It will be my third hernia surgery in the past 2 ½ years. And in another week the pain will be pretty much gone.

Christmas 2015 was more fun than the Sun Bowl.

Christmas 2015 was more fun than being in the stands at the Sun Bowl.

I should probably learn to take it a little easier than I do, but it’s unlikely to happen. Besides that, I think my abdomen is getting close to being solid mesh and I’m running out of places to get hernias, so there shouldn’t be any real need to adjust the lifestyle a whole lot.

Anyway, all is not lost, because there are ..

3. Bowl Games. My wife told me that the rate of vasectomies quadruples (or something like that) just before March Madness, so I was thinking that lying on the couch recovering from surgery between Christmas and New Years watching bowl games might be competitive with adjusting to the fact that you’ll be shooting blanks the rest of your life.

Things could be worse. I could have been stuck in a blizzard in El Paso, Texas watching the “Sun” Bowl live with the other three hundred spectators actually in the stands. I’ll take a hernia any day.

Watching UCLA stink it up in the Chicken Legs Bowl last night, though, I started wondering if they’ll have all those James Bond reruns on some obscure channel or another.

Too many bowl games nobody wants to go to?

With seating for 16,000 Idahos Kibbie Dome is a perfect venue for most bowl games.

With seating for 16,000 Idaho’s Kibbie Dome (actual size, pictured above) is a perfect venue for most bowl games.

Charles thinks all the stinky bowl games should be replaced by an 8-team playoff. I have a different solution. Have ALL the lower-tier bowl games played in the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, Idaho.

The Kibbie Dome is indoors, so any fans who can’t think of excuses fast enough at least wouldn’t get snowed on or rained on. And it only seats 16,000, so that’s a real head start to avoiding all those empty seats. And at least Washington State should travel well, since it’s only eight miles away.

There are so many lower-tier games now that if you required all of the teams to attend the games they’re not playing in as punishment for not doing better during the regular season, that alone would probably fill the “stadium.”

But no fans would want to go to Moscow, Idaho, you say? Shoot, they don’t even go to Honolulu for a bowl game, and I don’t know about you, but I’d just as soon not go to Moscow as not go to Honolulu.

And think how ESPN would make out by having all its crews in one spot instead of spread out all over the country.

The corporate sponsors could also develop ad campaigns based on the plight of those attending. Can’t you just see it? “You’d better buy her that diamond to make up for this one!”

Or, “After a week watching crap football in Moscow, Idaho, don’t you think you owe yourself a new Buick?”

Or maybe, “Stuck in Moscow, Idaho? Nothing to do? Aren’t you glad you have Viagra!”

Time for some more codeine and a James Bond rerun. I think I’m missing Moonraker. Merry Christmas and Go Ducks!

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