Some of our decisions in life are bad-or-bad such as the upcoming Presidential election. Yet some choices are similar to, “Who gives Royce Freeman a rest … is it Tony Brooks-James or Kani Benoit?” Now that is choosing from good-or-good, as both back-up running backs have done well for our beloved Ducks. Could many of you be in that decision mode when contemplating whether you want coach Mark Helfrich to stay or be fired?
I’ll never forget the first time the concept of “good-or-good” hit me. It was 1994, and I was standing in line for lunch at Oregon Club – of all places! Oregon had lost badly in Hawaii, and I just watched them get their butts kicked by Utah two days prior. Oregon was 1-2 and “Ditch-Rich” murmuring was surfacing.
The vast hotel/motel the function was held at had a huge parking lot and near the back were two trucks with tons of lumber behind them. I wisecracked to my Duck-buddy about “whether that lumber will be used to hang Rich Brooks!” (Talk about gallows humor!) It was then the concept hit me … “that if Oregon wins out – good. I love my Ducks and that would be wonderful. On the other hand – if Oregon didn’t win many games left – then the AD would fire Brooks, and I was fine with that too.” It’s Good-or-Good!
You all know the rest of the story … the first Rose Bowl in nearly 50 years, the Pick and the beginning of Oregon becoming an elite program – all from that day on from standing in the Oregon Club lunch line!
Those close to me know that I use the expression Good-or-Good often in conversation referring to the winning of so many Oregon athletic programs. (Yet that expression covers so many other aspects of our lives.) Sometimes when I reflect back on that moment, I think of it as an instant of progress (adopting the Good-or-Good way of looking at things), and yet I am ashamed with my abject foolishness when considering what I was applying it to.
Brooks turned the Oregon program around; he was respected enough in the NFL to be hired as head coach of the Rams after the Rose Bowl season (although they didn’t give him the chance to finish his work), and at Kentucky they revere him as much or more than at Oregon.
The Wildcats were crappy before Rich Brooks and have been abysmal since, and the fans in light blue know of him as the only coach in their lifetime that brought them winning. And I was OK with firing him at Oregon before it all really came together for him? Geez, I was a young idiot at the time!
If the Ducks had fired Brooks, then Oregon would have never elevated Mike Bellotti who took us to another new level – he would have dispersed to the winds of drifting football coaches nationwide. Where would Oregon be now? The article by professional writer and FishDuck.com contributor, Brian Libby, illustrates well the lessons of patience at Oregon. Do you make a knee-jerk change and have the revolving door like USC, or do you have patience and potentially watch your program decline as Washington’s did after Don James?
This is not easy stuff here, my friends.
Are you in the same mode as I in 1994? Is it Good-or-Good with Mark Helfrich? Are you making the same ignorant assertion as I did in 1994 … or are you avoiding the Jim Lambright-Rick Neuheisel-Keith Gilbertson-Tyrone Willingham equivalents for Oregon?
Sometimes it is not Good-or-Good!
Charles Fischer (FishDuck)
Top Photo by John Sperry
Disclaimer: Readers: Every writer on FishDuck.com is allowed to express their opinion in their articles. However, articles do not represent the views of the other writers, editors, coaching consultants, management, or the principals of FishDuck.com. Charles Fischer
Charles Fischer has been an intense fan of the Ducks, a season ticket holder at Autzen Stadium for 35 years and has written reports on football boards for over 23 years. Known as “FishDuck” on those boards, he is acknowledged for providing intense detail in his scrimmage reports and in his Xs and Os play analyses. He and his wife Lois, have a daughter Christine, reside in Eugene Oregon, where he was a Financial Advisor for 36 years and now focuses full-time on Charitable Planned Giving Workshops for churches and non-profit organizations.
He does not profess to be a coach or analyst, but simply a “hack” that enjoys sharing what he has learned and invites others to correct or add to this body of Oregon Football! See More…
New! Oregon Sports News and Articles Curated Every Day for All Duck Fans!
Want to read all the Oregon Sports Articles in one place? Check out our new FishDuck Feed for Oregon Sports News and Articles aggregated every day for Duck fans and it is free. Over 50 articles curated in one day recently!
The Our Beloved Ducks Forum (OBD) is where we we discuss the article above and many more topics, as it is so much easier in a message board format over there. At the free OBD forum we will be posting Oregon Sports article links, the daily Press Releases from the Athletic Department and the news coming out every day.
Be a part of the forum and stay caught up! When you wish to post there, do know that you are protected just as you were on FishDuck. Join us on the free forum right here!
Our 33 rules at the free OBD Forum can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) keep it clean, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!
OBD Forum members….we got your back. No Trolls Allowed!