I was sitting at my local Starbucks Sunday morning, attempting to get jacked up by acquiring that perfect coffee buzz while blasting some early Motley Crue through my headphones (yeah, I watched their biopic Netflix movie “The Dirt” on Saturday night), but for the first time in God knows how long, I couldn’t think of anything to write. At least nothing I was excited enough about to pound out 1,000 words on.
Usually, I already have a topic in mind upon entering Starbucks a couple of days ahead of my deadline. I try not to write my article too far in advance of the publication date, just in case some breaking news alters the things, or maybe a whole new topic altogether comes to light, which, in all honesty, is just a cute way of me trying to excuse my tendency to procrastinate.
But what could it be? What was this great mystery that lies beneath my sudden, dare I say, “writer’s block?” Well, I finally figured it out.
The dark days of the off-season are upon us — as in no football and no basketball. Never mind that it’s April and we are entering the best six months of weather that the great northwest has to offer. The sun is shining, the barbeques are flaming, the fish are biting, the putts are falling, the serves are acing, the tan bodies are sun soaking, and the fat old hairy men in speedos are creeping.
But as Oregon football and basketball fanatics, please don’t be fooled. For, as they might say on the show Game of Thrones, Winter has come!
And it has come to FishDuck.com.
The Long Cold “Winter”
For a non-X’s and O’s contributor like myself — since there isn’t much hard news occurring — the “off-season” affords me the opportunity to implement more creativity in what I write. And for whatever reason, this creativity often involves tapping into my — dare I say — narcissistic side by interjecting parts of my own life into my writing. Kind of like the annoying Hollywood director who always casts himself in his own movies (I’m looking at you Quentin Tarantino).
As I watched the Motley Crue movie and re-watched past Game of Thrones episodes in preparation for Sunday’s season eight premiere, I couldn’t help but notice that they shared something in common. Actor Iwan Rheon, who plays the “lovable” GOT’s character Ramsay Bolton, also played the role of Motley Crue’s lead guitarist Mick Mars in “The Dirt.”
For me, this was pop culture heaven.
So, in honor of Game of Thrones, Motley Crue, the “off-season,” the summer, the winter, Oregon football, Oregon basketball and everything in between, I shall now share ten thoughts (i.e. complaints/rants/utter nonsense) that I currently have about Oregon sports, while strategically naming each point after a Motley Crue song.
Now buckle your seatbelts my friends; it’s time to kick start your hearts.
The 10 Things
1) Oregon Ducks Football Recruiting: “Saints of Los Angeles” On Monday, the Ducks secured a commitment from four-star athlete and Los Angeles area prospect Anthony Beavers Jr., as the Ducks continue to recruit well in southern California.
2) Louis King, “Without You” I do feel he has a better overall game than last year’s one and done, Troy Brown Jr.. Having said that, talent wise, draft wise and money wise he’d benefit from another year in school. Maybe he gets picked in the second round this year, but next year, in a weaker draft, he could be a potential lottery pick. But it looks like he’s gone.
3) Sabrina Ionescu, “Primal Scream” Celebratory screams were heard throughout Eugene, as the return of Ionescu makes the Ducks the favorite to win the national title next year. Some may note that she was only giving up a WNBA salary of around $55k, but the truth is endorsements would have likely put her income over a million bucks.
Now just that small matter of winning it all in 2020 …
4) The Spring Football Game, “Sumethin’ for Nuthin’ ” I always feel like much of what comes out of the spring game should be taken with a grain of salt. Remember last year, Daewood Davis lit up the game with two long touchdown catches and was thought to really be something at wide receiver. He then went on to produce next to nothing with only one catch the whole season.
5) Pritchard Pritchard, “Home Sweet Home” As in stay home sweet home. Pritchard will make a living for himself playing professional basketball somewhere. He’s a fundamentally sound gym rat with just enough athleticism that he may even hang around a few NBA rosters. But a little more polish couldn’t hurt.
6) Men’s Hoops Roster Turnover, “Merry-Go-Round” Here we go again, with possibly another off-season of major roster turnover for coach Dana Altman, with the players mentioned on this list possibly going pro and Paul White and the Ehab Amin lost to graduation. Thankfully, especially after this year’s run to the Sweet 16, Altman is without question one of the best coaches in the country. We can at least continue to fall back on that comfort given his recent contract extension.
7) Kenny Wooten. “Same Ole Situation” While nobody doubts Wooten’s defensive prowess, how far he goes professionally will depend on how much he can improve his offensive game. His defensive game is a force that the NBA drools over, but he counters that with an offensive game that has a range of zero feet — as in it’s a slam-dunk or nothing. He should stay in school to improve his game and his chances at a big payday.
8) Women’s Basketball Program, “Red Hot” Following a Final Four appearance and the return of all-world player Ionescu, the Ducks landed a commitment from the top guard and 11th-best overall prospect in five-star Sydney Parrish.
9) The Football’s Offense, “Use it or Lose It” The Ducks underachieved on offense in 2018 due to poor scheme, prep, and play calling. The offense was boring, predictable and utterly listless at times. The Ducks have possibly the best quarterback in the game, a solid stable of running backs, and an experienced and talented offensive line. Despite some questions at receiver, this offense needs to light it up this year or we begin to seriously question Mario Cristobal as the head coach. It’s do or die time for the Oregon offense.
10) Utterly Gratuitous Cheerleader Pic, “Girls, Girls, Girls” C’mon, did you really expect anything less?
Long live the off-season, only four and a half months left! And here at FishDuck.com, as The Crue once sang, we will go “On With the Show.”
Spokane, Washignton Top Photo Credit: Eugene Johnson
Darren Perkins is a sales professional and 1997 Oregon graduate. After finishing school, he escaped the rain and moved to sunny Southern California where he studied screenwriting for two years at UCLA. Darren grew up in Eugene and in 1980, at the tender age of five, he attended his first Oregon football game. His lasting memory from that experience was an enthusiastic Don Essig announcing to the crowd: “Reggie Ogburn, completes a pass to… Reggie Ogburn.” Captivated by such a thrilling play, Darren’s been hooked on Oregon football ever since. Currently living in Spokane, Darren enjoys flaunting his yellow and green superiority complex over friends and family in Cougar country.
FishDuck….you are one WEIRD Dude.
I’ve heard that before. Often people do not like my contrarian view to some topics, but being a football critic is who I am.
I will call it as I see it whether positive or negative, and I will never create anything to simply generate a response; I believe in everything I write.
If we were all in agreement, then there are fewer opportunities to learn and I do love the debates we have in our protected environment. More discussion creates more learning, which makes us all better fans. Let’s make the most of it!