Cal Game-Day Discussion: A Justin Wilcox Evolution Due to FishDuck?

Charles Fischer Editorials 154 Comments

That title seems like a tall order, but there have been so many stories associated with this website over the years that few know about. It’s been part of the rewarding aspect of associating with so many of you, as I have regaled so many of you with the real-life stories that have a twist at the end due to FishDuck.com.

One of the most unusual, unknown FishDuck.com background stories concerns current Cal Head Coach Justin Wilcox when he coached as defensive coordinator for Boise State, and later Washington. The pattern seemed clear that he taught headhunting, and wanted to take major stars of the opponent out of the game.

I noted in the game against Boise State in 2008 — when a late hit put Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli out of the game, and later in the same game, the same headhunting attack was attempted on the Ducks’ tight end star Ed Dickson. At the time — many of us not only noticed, but were infuriated by what was occurring and seemed to be directed by a former duck!

I was also hearing from Oregon State fans how their star receiver was also being targeted when Wilcox was at Washington. One Beaver believer was very angry in his description of how it was obvious to him that the Huskies were trying to take their game changer out of the contest.

When Oregon played the Huskies at Autzen in 2012, the Ducks were flourishing under new redshirt freshman Marcus Mariota. Sure enough, when the game was getting out of hand — one of the most horrendous cheap shots ever in the rivalry took place. (Above)

That was not a gentle push or even a hard push out of bounds; the Husky was dragging him and flinging him into the player bench many yards behind the sideline! Had Marcus hit his head the wrong way, who knows what the future would have been? Yet my recollection was that the player for Washington, Travis Feeney, was not reprimanded, or even removed from the game by Coach Wilcox.

I was beyond furious because the play before the Mariota cheap shot was an intentional helmet-to-helmet hit, which drew a penalty against the Huskies as well. They were not trying to win the game; they were trying to injure Oregon players! This made me write one of the biggest hits and most read articles in the history of the site, and you can see it right here. I think my conclusion in the article said it well …

“He has no compunction coaching his players to be headhunters, and while some may say he is part of Oregon football royalty? Baloney. When he’s teaching these tactics he is just another Damn Husky. You can never beat the Huskies enough times or by enough points, but I would never condone tactics that could injure any opponent players, because that is where I, and evidently the University of Oregon, draws the line. It is what we stand for.

Headhunting on the field and out of bounds; is that what you stand for Justin Wilcox?”

Kevin Cline

Marcus Mariota was just a RS Freshman that evening seven years ago …

As you can imagine, the article blew up and created quite a stir, as Oregon fans as well as Beaver fans were discussing what was becoming an obvious pattern to the fans with Wilcox-coached defensive players. As time passed — things died down, but a couple of years later, a FishDuck.com writer attempted to interview Justin’s brother Josh Wilcox, and was quickly told that this site is persona non grata to the Wilcox family. No surprise …

Yet something highly interesting occurred; the headhunting ended. I did not hear of any further incidents either at Washington or at Cal after my article. Did the FishDuck.com article alter Wilcox’s behaviors and become part of his evolution as a coach? The other Oregon media ignored the change in behavior, and certainly the Wilcox family would deny it, so I guess I will let all of you come to your own conclusions. I am just grateful that it ended, and that nobody got seriously hurt.

So many stories from the site and it is fun to see Coach Wilcox on the sideline now without anyone harboring any animosity. I wish him well …

Kevin Cline

Oregon fans can be very innovative …

A New Rule for Comments and Discussion…

One thing about this very astute group of readers, is that they use very innovative ways to skirt around the rules. When they find a new loophole, I have to think through how I’m going to close it! The latest has to do with the use of sarcasm, and it really made me think about the community that we are all trying to create. I really don’t want anybody feeling restrained from offering an opinion because of some tart sarcasm offered up in the past. So we have a new set of paragraphs added to the Rules of Commenting and it is below…

“Sarcasm is a form of belittling, of making fun of an individual or a group for their view on a topic. We do not want any type of belittling or put downs on FishDuck.com because of differences of opinion, thus such denigrating sarcasm is not allowed on this site.

If you are the kind of person that wants to “shake things up” with your comments or figuratively throw a written hand grenade into the room, then this is not the site for you. If you are a reasoned individual who wants to discuss topics of Oregon sports in a civil, friendly and protected environment, then this is the perfect website for you.”

Now let’s enjoy discussing our Beloved Ducks before, during and after the Cal game!

Charles Fischer         (FishDuck)
Eugene, Oregon                                                                                                                                                                    Top Photo From Video

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