Surprised does not describe what many of us feel after the last two days, as numbed is more like it. We are all trying to figure out the implications of the COVID-19 virus upon our lives and those we care about, which is obviously the highest priority in our thought process. The fastest bear market in stocks in history, pricing battles within OPEC and a disease that transmits twice as fast as the flu? It is a ton to digest, process and determine the new variables within your life…
But I still worry about Our Beloved Ducks; everyone at the Cas Center as well as the coaches and players in all sports.
We simply do not know the full impact, as there are multiple scenarios that can affect so many people whose livelihood depends on the Oregon Sports Programs. I am not professing to have the answers, but simply want to raise some questions and thoughts for us to discuss, and vent. Cancelling so many sports seems so drastic, yet buying time to prevent our health care system from being overwhelmed makes sense.
For many of us old-timers this is not the first time. Full athletic seasons were cancelled in the second World War, and I recall thinking how odd it was that a Rose Bowl was moved to North Carolina in case of an attack upon California. Yet at the time it made sense … as the current actions do now?
Like you, I was considering the loss of more thrilling victories for Sabrina, Ruthy and Payton. I was thinking about the skills that diminish without real contests among our spring sports and other ancillary events that will be missed as growth opportunities. But in the end I am concerned about the funding for the entire athletic budget, as that makes the whole Oregon sports world go round.
That funding is centered on football.
As you know, the profit from football pays the bills for all the other sports, along with some from men’s basketball. Without a packed Autzen, the softball team or the baseball team could suffer, and as it is — we only have 18 sports at the University of Oregon. Will people come to football games this fall? Some think not, as the feeling is that life will not return to normal until there is a vaccine.
Yet others are more fatalistic, and assume that everyone who is going to contract this virus will in the next six months. Could cases level off by then and make fans comfortable with traveling and assembling in groups again? Or will Round Two of the virus or a mutation emerge at that time?
Would fans be willing to buy Collectible Tickets as they do for some bowl games, with the understanding that they are effectively helping to pay the athletic bills?
The core of the football funding is the season tickets, and a curious circumstance may have helped the athletic department: in distant years, the deadline for renewing season tickets was in April and even in May. This year the deadline (that I barely met) was February 28th? So the athletic department received the bulk of next year’s budget before the major news of COVID-19 hit? Did they see that in advance?
If so, it was quite brilliant.
Yes, people can ask for their money back, but it is much easier for Rob Mullens to ask fans for their forgiveness in late April, than to ask for a $2,000+ tab for tickets and DAF contribution for games they won’t being going to. (Especially with the way this disease is exploding.)
I thought at first that they might be capitalizing on the Rose Bowl victory while it was still fresh in everyone’s mind; then I started thinking of the conspiracy theory you see above. The reality is they began asking for season ticket payments this early prior to this year, and it was simply an amazing coincidence. (And one that could make or break the budget next year for Oregon Sports.)
Before you lecture me on the important things in life that I should be focused on, save it. We all deal with the realities of life every day, and I worry about some aged relatives and special Duck-Buddies across the US. But the purpose of this site is to be the GREEN SANCTUARY from all the serious stuff, as it is fun to compartmentalize those tough subjects for a little while every day and engage in civilized debate concerning the interesting topics surrounding Our Beloved Ducks.
Nothing like this has happened in our lifetimes, and I am curious about your thoughts and reactions to all of it. I rescheduled today’s planned article and told everyone at 5:00 pm yesterday that I am sitting down to write this article. Because frankly … I need the therapy with all of you too.
“Let us ponder it all along with Our Beloved Ducks!”
Charles Fischer (FishDuck)
Eugene, Oregon Top Photo by Kevin Cline
(My friends, let’s focus on Oregon Sports and refrain from any reference to politics at all, as this site is a refuge from all of that agitation.)
Charles Fischer has been an intense fan of the Ducks, a season ticket holder at Autzen Stadium for 33 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…
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