I probably shouldn’t share what I’m about to share. After all, the Ducks played a game this past Saturday night. I should have been analyzing the play of the team, the coaching and individual players. I should have been looking for an angle or hot topic to share with you in today’s article, just like I did in my article after the Auburn game.
But I didn’t.
I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Because the harsh reality is that on Saturday night, while the Ducks were methodically grinding away on a completely overmatched lower-division opponent (Montana, FCS, 1-AA), I was disinterested and bored stiff. Saturday was my birthday, and I was in need of some actual fun and excitement. I shouldn’t be obligated to bear witness to an uneven matchup that probably shouldn’t be happening in the first place.
So, at the risk of sounding like a party-pooper, I just couldn’t bring myself to get excited for a game against a cream-puff. In fact, I found it hard to watch the whole game as I began to get an itchy trigger finger on the remote control for something more entertaining.
In contrast, if anyone had touched my remote during the Auburn game, I would chop for their hand like a butcher knife in one fell swoop. But against the likes of Montana, I find myself bored and flipping channels while looking for more competitive games.
I mean, I’m not vehemently against playing lower division opponents per se; they serve a purpose. They ensure a revenue-generating home game, an easy victory (usually), and often a much-needed tune-up. They’re also an opportunity for the starters to prepare for tougher competition and younger players and backups to gain valuable experience.
Plus, cream-puff games also make it possible for more fans to enjoy the Autzen Stadium experience. As opposed to games against high-profile opponents, tickets are usually readily available and less expensive. The whole family can enjoy the game at a much more budget-friendly price.
Having said this, it would be nice for there to be a rule against scheduling such games that applies to all Power-5 conferences. But it must be an all-or-nothing proposition, and as long as the SEC is the SEC, I think we all know that it’ll never happen.
But for an old rugged, battle-hardened, SOB fan such as myself, I’m bored stiff. Here I am, a guy who spends 13 months a year eating, drinking and sleeping Oregon football (ok, a little overly dramatic), and here the Ducks are, live and on TV, and my mind is wandering elsewhere. In fact, after the Ducks got up 21-0 I switched it over to ESPN+ to watch the Tyson Fury heavyweight fight (which was pretty exciting).
During the big games like Auburn, UW or this week against Stanford, I’m an uptight wreck, perched up in ramrod fashion on the edge of my seat. As Ferris Bueller said about his best buddy Cameron in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, “Cameron’s so tight, that if you stuck a lump of coal up his a**, in two weeks it would turn into a diamond.”
That’s me before a big game, an uptight mess.
But not against the likes of Montana. Nope, it’s the complete opposite. I’m fully kicked back in my recliner, cat on my lap, and breaking wind as easily (and with the same ferocity) as sports commentator Stephen A. Smith breaks vowels.
If the football team is going to schedule a glorified practice game, then as a fan I feel I have the right to not take matters as seriously as I normally would. For example, instead of having food fully prepared before the game, I find myself heading to the kitchen during an Oregon drive. Instead of hitting the bathroom during commercial breaks, I’m hitting it whenever I please. And this is all on top of my aforementioned indiscretions with the remote control.
The thing is, as a person who tries to provide insight and perspective to all things Oregon Football, there’s no insight to provide from a game like this. Kicking the snot out of Montana doesn’t mean we’re any better or worse prepared to take on a team like Stanford next week. Sure, maybe we’d like to have seen the Ducks score at least 40 points, maybe the running game could have been better, but we’re just splicing hairs here.
Cream-puff games are really a no-win endeavor. If we win, it’s a shrug of the shoulders; we did what we were supposed to do. If we lose, then oh boy. The only thing to take away from a game like this is if the Ducks had struggled, which they didn’t, so now I’ll shut up about it.
Perhaps some will take issue with my, shall we say, indifference in this article. But for some reason I felt the need to crack open my skull and invite you, the FishDuck.com reader, inside my brain to show you how I’m really feeling. And that underneath my rugged and steely exterior (I’m lying for effect), there is a living, breathing, emotional filled human being and not some football spewing robot.
That’s right, I’m no Roboduck! (I’m all Puddles, baby!)
So, save the boos for Stanford on Saturday!
Spokane, WashingtonTop Photo by Kevin Cline
Chris Brouilette, the FishDuck.com Volunteer editor for this article, is a current student at the University of Oregon from Sterling, Illinois.
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.
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