So a ten-game Pac-12 schedule begins on September 19th; do you believe it?
I do not, as I believe the liability risk to the university of a player getting sick or a spectator who not only acquiring the disease, but suffering the worst is too much risk for survival as an institution. In terms of the probabilities–the likelihood of lawsuits is the most credible if they go forward with a schedule and most of us know it. A player can survive COVID, but sue for internal damage to the body and the loss of anticipated NFL earnings, etc. Thus I believe the liability risk is too much for the University and will remain untenable until a proven vaccine is available.
As for a spring football season? If we have one it will be diluted, as all juniors and seniors who have a shot at the NFL would sit-out the 2021 spring season in favor of preparing for the NFL Combine and the NFL Draft in the winter and spring of 2021. And what about the wear and tear of two football seasons in eight-months? And the risk of exposure to COVID at the same time … more eventual lawsuits?
My FishDuck friends, I hope for the best, but am expecting the worst as I believe that if they don’t play football, then neither will any of the other sports play over the 2020-2021 academic year. That to me is the highest probability and it will take a miracle to alter that ultimate scenario.
What About the FANS and FishDuck?
I believe Coach Mario Cristobal, the staff and the team have done the best they can with all the uncertainty. They are fighting for a season, for the program and the health of the players as best they can. The disruption to their lives and their future mirrors what the rest of us have faced, and the uncertainty seems just about as draining as the stress brought about by the disease.
As fans, it has sure messed with our lives and plans. We all feel the pain of losing Oregon sports, possibly over the next year and that would include Mr. FishDuck and the staff at FishDuck. It makes it hard to plan, because what will there be to write about–for us to discuss if we don’t have sports over the next year? The reality also is that without the sports many fans will refrain from even coming to this site, as they will feel there is nothing new.
“Was it Over when the Germans Bombed Pearl Harbor?”
I smile thinking of that line from Animal House and yet it pertains to our plans at FishDuck; we are not going away regardless of the absence of Oregon sports. For the present, we will continue with articles seven days a week, but things will change when we get into the College Sports Apocalyptic Era.
Once the worst is announced by the Pac-12, we will at minimum have articles on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and I am working on potential article types for Sundays as well during the upcoming College Sports Apocalyptic Era. Once arrived at–we will post a schedule and make it available to all, and for us hard-core Oregon fans … there are always items to discuss and ponder over the nine-to-twelve-month period that I anticipate.
We will delay the roll-out of the Our Beloved Ducks forum until we know when the football is actually going to begin, and that release would occur before the season were to start play. Scratching for one article topic a few times a week is tough enough, but to have that many generated every day inside the new forum to initiate discussion? No need to create any more mountains to climb over during the upcoming College Sports Apocalyptic Era.
Credibility Lost? Experience and Wisdom Gained…
We had quite an event at FishDuck a few weeks ago when we published an article dealing with the name change of the rivalry game with Oregon State in all sports. It was not popular, and the backlash came from three different groups who made their feelings quite clear in emails to Mr. FishDuck.
One group did not want the name change and resented the direction of the article. Another group agreed with the article but felt that it did not go far enough, and that Mr. FishDuck should implement a long list of items they suggested in their correspondence. The final group hurt Mr. FishDuck the most by stating that the founder of the site violated his own “No Politics” rules, and thus the site and the principal had lost significant credibility in their eyes. There is no dispute with what they wrote, and it initiated some reflection that continues to this day.
I would not change publication of the article as I felt it contained information that I and many other Oregonians were unaware of, and thus performed an important public service. Yet I do acknowledge that it contained a political message in it, and thus violated the rules that have worked so well over the last two years. Less than 1% of all comments ever get deleted and it is refreshing to have civil conversations and vigorous, yet respectful debate in the comments. This is a jewel, a GREEN REFUGE from the nastiness in the world at this time.
There is a reason why big sites such as CNN, PBS, ESPN, USA Today and even OregonLive have removed the comment sections below their articles. Because managing it is hard, and I know this from the tons of hours spent in discussion with people in the course of implementing policy, making mistakes and correcting those errors over time. There are so many different fine lines and distinctions to recognize in monitoring comments, and yet also take the time to be decent to good people who sometimes get too exuberant.
I have deleted hundreds of comments referencing politics over the last two years from all of you, and I hope you can overlook this from yours truly, for getting pulled in an unanticipated direction-even with good intentions. My FishDuck friends … this is why what we have is rare, is because it is incredibly hard to pull-off. Even when you have rules that work, you get drawn into surprising directions and it only takes one misstep to hurt your credibility.
Just as I sometimes slap the hand of a commenter/poster who has violated the rules, I just had the rolled-up newspaper whack me across the head as well. This was a great learning experience, a Stress-Test of the unique rules we have and it has made an undeniable impact on me. I have gone through a ringer in creating these rules, refining them, and becoming savvier of the behavior of others (and myself) than anyone at any website ever.
It has made me wiser, and more appreciative of all the readers who take part in this grand adventure. It also reignites my passion, the drive to continue learning, and the resolve to fight through the upcoming College Sports Apocalyptic Era as Coach Cristobal and his intrepid team will.
“Oh how we will never cease to ponder, (even through COVID CATASTROPHE) Our Beloved Ducks!”
Charles Fischer (Mr. FishDuck)
Top Photo by Kevin Cline
Brad Nye, the FishDuck.com Volunteer editor for this article, is a land conservation attorney in Central Oregon.
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…
BIG, BIG Changes at FishDuck!
Mr. FishDuck, where are all the daily articles?
Answer: Go read this article right here for learning about the transitory period we are in.
Do sign up for our Newsletter to let you know when Mr. FishDuck has written an article and for his spicy not-for-public commentary. Newsletters begin in mid-October!
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Our 29 rules about posting a comment at FishDuck can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) keep it clean for the grandchildren reading, and 3) no reference to politics!