Ponder-Point Predictions: When DOES Oregon Play Football?

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck Editorials 37 Comments

My friends, I stated last week that we will have articles four days a week through this Oregon Sports Desert, and can pop in a “Ponder-Point” for discussion occasionally on the other three days each week. But I have to admit that I look forward to reading and discussing something just as you do when I get up every morning. So, I thought I would start off the discussion on a topic and ask for your thoughts as well.

Today’s Ponder-Point is, “when does Oregon play football?” When is the starting point in your prediction and why? What about the other sports? When does Oregon Athletic life return again?

You have seen my prediction in the past; I believe we will not play any sports until fall of 2021. Effectively, when the players feel safe enough from the disease and the universities feel safe enough from litigation–we play again. This is assuming a discussion about COVID, but what about the player demands?  Can enough of those be solved soon enough?

This is not an official article, in fact it is simply a discussion starter similar to a comment. However I am quite curious as to the opinions out there and why people feel as they do?

Remember….this prediction is not what you want, but what you actually believe will happen and when.  Mr. FishDuck says we are done until fall of 2021; can it happen sooner?

“Oh how we will never stop pondering about Our Beloved Ducks!”

Charles Fischer   (Mr. FishDuck)
Eugene, Oregon
Top Photo by Eugene Johnson

If you have a ponder-point for Tuesdays and Thursdays, send them to charles@fishduck.com with your own perspective on the topic.  Give me your handle-name and location for fun and let’s discuss!

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To be honest, I have no idea. Hopefully fall 2021.


FYI, my TV listings shows that there is new, “Talkin’ Ducks” scheduled tomorrow night at 7:00 on NBCSN, 737 locally.


Great topic with fascinating discussion, thanks again FishDuck!

IMHO, the soonest we see FB return to Autzen is September 2021, and that is only if we start to have the coronavirus under control. As mentioned multiple times today, safety and liability are major factors.

We are hearing of some good interventions that can and will help, but they need to be tested and implemented. The SalivaDirect test mentioned by descutesduck is one, and I read yesterday that trained dogs are able to sniff out corona positive with 100% accuracy. It will take time and $$ to get these measures up and running.

My concern is what the college FB landscape will look like when it does return. I am pretty sure a lot of schools that fielded teams in 2019 will drop their FB (and other sports) programs in order to “stop the bleeding” as it were.

My bold prediction, SEC and ACC will also cancel their 2020 seasons by the end of this month. With this thing infecting 3 to 4 hundred thousand Americans each week for the last 7 weeks, I think we can safely say we are nowhere near out of the woods.

Finally, it is my fondest wish that the PAC 12 Presidents man up and kick Larry to the curb. Rarely have I witnessed such a monumental waste of breathable air.

My condolences on your mother’s passing😔. Although I would imagine the cat gave you some small comfort in letting you know s/he knew.

This was where I saw it.





My thinking is it all depends on how the SEC etc do. If they pull off a decent fall 2020 season then I beleive we will see spring Pac 12 football.
Also supposedly there could be a vaccine in early 2021 so that could also come into play.
So yes to spring football.


I mean no offense here or anything, but back in the ’60’s they said by 2021 we’d all be traveling around in flying cars…I wouldn’t hold my breath on what “they say.”


Speaking of “flying cars”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jetsons

The Jetsons is “distinguished in science-fiction lore by the fact that it is a rare attempt in this genre that actually succeeds in predicting the future.”[34] Apart from flying cars, which are as yet unfeasible in the real world, the technology of The Jetsons has become commonplace: people now communicate via video chat on flat screensrobots have taken over many jobs; push-button food provides fast and high-quality products (e.g., Keurig coffee); and various high-tech devices are used for leisure. Tucker notes that The Jetsons depicts neither a grim dystopia nor an idyllic utopia, but rather a world where capitalism and entrepreneurship still exist and technology has not changed fundamental elements of human nature.


HA! First of all, kudos for just referencing The Jetsons. Back when cartoons were, well good. I do have to say, which I know I’ve said before, but one of the other things that makes me laugh about your post, not because I’m laughing at you, but at a word that people use that doesn’t mean what they think it means…in Latin, “utopia” means “nowhere.”

It always cracks me up when people talk about Utopia being this place of bliss, enlightenment and perfection…because just like the context of the reference most of the time, they’re talking about a place that doesn’t exist…

Oh, and holy inserting links, Batman…someone has some web pages pulled up for their post. Well done, sir…


No offense taken.
I figured my thinking would⁰ buck the trend.
But as we all have seen, nothing is normal and circumstances change daily/weekly.
I just don’t see the powers to be letting the season lag till fall 2021.
Something somehow somewhere will turn up.
All bets off the table if the SEC and Co back out of their season.


I need to follow that up. I didn’t post my last comment to be a, umm…[not nice person]…all I really was trying to say is that rumors have said everything from this is just the flu to the end of the world. The reality is that so far it’s still a guessing game. I really hope that we return to normal by 2021, but I, personally, am not holding my breath.

Jon Sousa

I hate it when folks can’t see just how deep my tongue is in my cheek when I am on line.

Jon Sousa

Regarding #WeAreUnited demands and how this might affect the restarting of Oregon football:

Notice how quickly the #WeWantToPlay folks boiled down the demands to one all important demand: We want to play, but we want to play safely.

The PAC canceling their season took almost all of the wind out of the United gang because them not playing is no longer a threat. They can’t play… and therefore they cannot threaten not to play.

The United folks have already learned that some of their demands simply cannot and will not happen. They are the ones that are illegal (like messing with donated money). So, with that disappointment, they are left with a shorter list. Some of the things on the remaining list are things that the NCAA is already working on and have even already promised.

With the desire to play growing, the longer the wait will have a negative effect on United’s resolve to stay united. So with that, I really don’t see player protests have a large impact on when we see football again.

This should probably be in a separate comment but: The social justice demands need clarifying. (How can we negotiate when we don’t understand the problem is, or, more specifically, how United thinks that the problem can be solved?) Several people on here have expressed that they do not understand where this is coming from, as the majority of us uneducated fans do not know specifically where/how different groups of athletes are being treated unfairly because of their ethnicity/color/preferences/religion/etc.

This being said, I am not expressing doubt that some social injustice is happening, but since it is not happening openly/overtly it is hard for outsiders to know and understand without further explanation. We want to be empathetic and helpful, but we need our eyes opened to be able to be so.

Jon Sousa

Yes, I was referring to the racism charge directed at Athletic Departments. And, as you last punctuation mark implies… we really don’t know. Hopefully, they have a clear idea of what they are talking about and have discussed ways to clearly communicate it.


I think the new SalivaDirect test could be a game changer that allows college sports to return quicker than I was expecting. That said I think the real issue for most college athletes is going to be intermingling with other students on campus and how honest the players are with their coaches and teammates, they need to be in an environment where they feel safe to ask for a test.

I think trying to isolate a football team from the rest of the students for a full season is a pipe dream but perhaps possible for smaller sports with shortened seasons?

As I keep typing i can’t help but think that even with better testing college sports won’t be viable without a vaccine…


Great question and topic. I hope we see some of these issues settled before we see football.

Players need to feel they are better valued and also learn to understand the value of education.

The NCAA and Athletic Departments need to see an end to the ever ballooning income and rain in the extravagant spending on themselves.

The priority needs to get back to developing the best student athletes for our societies needs. Not just the best athlete’s to entertain us on Saturdays.

When and if this happens I think we will all go back to watching the great college football we knew and want to see again.

Oh yea, when, probably next fall, sadly, with little done, but what if?

“how to make the players feel more valued without turning the system upside down?” I think it is easy, if you can make them understand the importance of an education. You then extend the value of the education you give these athletes. You also have to let some of the players turn pro, as some players are ready and some will never be happy until they realize they weren’t ready, or never would be. We will then, again, have student athletes playing college sports. All of them getting an education and some, 2% of the football players, playing in the NFL.


O–kay, Charles. You asked for it.

I hate to be a negative Nancy here, but I believe that Covid-19 is only (but a serious) catalyst for what’s to come of the sports schedules…and the country at large. I anticipate a great upheaval, which is in its infancy at the moment, involving the entire country and perhaps the world. Economic issues, especially as caused by the pandemic will pervade the entire operation of the government and country at large.

One doesn’t have to look hard at the racial unrest in our country…ironically, perhaps the most free country for ethnic minorities in the world. And charges of racism and demands for reparations are frequently, I believe, racist in its core. Few seem to remember Dr. King’s admonition about the content of character vs. color of skin. So a race war? Like Charles Manson always wanted? Or something else? In general, there is great divisiveness brewing in our country. (Race is but one aspect.) That division is even evidenced in a small way right here on FishDuck. Although we express differing opinions with much more respect.

I ponder mostly about the result of our coming presidential election. It appears likely that no matter who wins, there will be trouble in the streets. And we can see enough violence already in cities like Seattle, Portland, New York, Chicago, and even in smaller burgs. The rule of law, that which allows for this country to exist, is smoldering with political and physical abuses. Where and/or when that violence ends…speculate for yourselves…I believe will determine the timing of more mundane matters such as collegiate sports.

If you pressed me, Charles, I’d have to say 2022 at the earliest…again, irrelevant of the COVID treatment development. I sincerely hope I’m completely wrong.

Santa Rosa Duck

The soonest we will see Oregon football is the fall of 2021 IMHO. It is possible that it is later than that, even dragging it into fall of 2022. As I previously mentioned, we still do not have a vaccine that has made it through Phase III trials. Lets say by March 2021 we have 2-3 vaccines that work reasonably well i.e. 50-70% effective.

Now for the USA we have to manufacture 300M + doses or 600M + doses if it takes two doses. Now it has to be distributed across the USA. How many people will get vaccinated? Anti vaxers are pretty vocal now a days. If we have a vaccine that is 50% effective and only 50% actually take the vaccine, that is not enough to achieve herd immunity. All of this can easily take us time wise deep into the fall of 2021.

Perhaps the football team gets vaccinated (Do all get vaccinated?) and other teams do the same, then football could resume in the fall of 2021. How many people allowed into Autzen? Unknown. This is also when the player demands such as union and pay +++ will have to be dealt with and it may not be easy.

Lets also not forget that all the college presidents have much more on their plates than just college football. The University of Oregon budget will be bleeding with lower enrollments, less tuition including out of state tuition, less dormitories occupied, less of everything. I wonder where college football is on their list of priorities?

I met with my doctor this morning who is a big Texas fan and asked him what he thought. He thought it would be foolish and risky for the Big 12, SEC and ACC to move forward. Pac 12 and Big 10 dropping out have given the other conferences a lot to think about when it comes to potential liability and rest assured the litigator sharks are aware. I agree with the Pac 12 decision but do fear that if the other three conferences play, and pull this off safely, that we will see a great number of Pac 12 recruits fleeing to other parts of the country.


This is kind of an interesting topic really. I mean personally, yeah, I’d like to see games as soon as possible, but I’m also not one of the guys on the field, so my “want”, well lets just say that I have one hand filling up faster than the other. I think this is going to boil down to two things: money and money.

Every school, be it big or small is losing a ton of money by not playing. The funds raised by football play a part in every aspect of every school, from sports to academics. There’s going to be a point where either good things are going to happen, the cash cow continues its flow, or bad things, sports and academic departments start shutting down.

Now, there’s an argument that can be made saying that money isn’t everything, but that’s usually an argument made by people that don’t have it. When you do, it really is everything in the sense that without it, you’re no longer you.

Think about this…a homeless guy chillin in his nice tent somewhere off 7th gets told that where he’s at is about to fall into a huge sinkhole…so what does he do? Picks up his tent and moves to the Washington-Jefferson Park. Now what happens if that same guy is told there’s a huge sinkhole and he has to move, but the powers that be tell him that they’ll take away his tent if the sinkhole isn’t filled in?

I know, it’s not the same thing, and it’s quite simplified but I’m hoping you get the point.

The other thing, money, has to do with the players themselves. Yes, they have demands…we won’t get into that…but it’s going to come to a point to where the loudest voices are going to realize that they aren’t going to get their professional contract because they’re not playing. All the talent in the world isn’t going to change the fact that it’s what they do on the field that matters, not what they do off.

When the players start to see their dreams fading away they’re going to do what they do, risk it all in the hopes of becoming a milti-million dollar athlete. There’s a pretty big difference between principles and selling auto insurance.

Right now the players have the advantage…it’s the schools being directly impacted by their absence. When that impact starts catching up with the players, that’s when the music is going to change. Until then, well it could actually be another year or two before things truly start to go back to pre’Rona entertainment.

To answer the question though; when will they play again? I think we’ll have a pretty good idea of what that’s going to be come November-ish…if I had a guess. If there isn’t practices again, or at least very serious talk of it, then I’d kiss spring goodbye, too. Then it becomes a real waiting game…


Awww….stop it. I’m getting all teary-eyed. Oh, wait, yeah sorry, I think it’s from the jalapeno’s in my lunch. Never rub your eyes after eating spicy food…

No, seriously though, I appreciate it. I’ve said it before, a lot of what I say that looks like it goes against the grain of the general populous isn’t necessarily exactly how I view it, but me playing devil’s advocate. It’s a trait, good or bad, that I picked up from my dad and while frustrating at times, has really taught me to look at things from multiple angles. Quite often the first thing we see isn’t our final view, so (up on my soapbox for a moment) keep an open mind, folks! It’ll actually relieve a lot of unnecessary stress in your life.


I don’t see football starting again until the fall of 2021, and probably not any of the other sports either. I just don’t see the COVID situation settling down enough that everyone would feel safe. (I had planned a trip to CT for this July, but canceled it. I doubt I’ll reschedule it for next summer either. Maybe the summer after that.)

I’m really missing sports and have an ache in my heart that there will be no Duck football this fall. (And I have to wonder how many weeks the SEC, ACC, and Big 12 seasons will last.) Sports for me makes the good times better and offers comfort and distraction in the less-than-good times.


20 years ago on a sports message board that is no more, I used a gender-neutral name, as things on that site, while quite interesting and informative, were also rather rowdy. :D I prefer the atmosphere here.


Charles, I actually want and believe that your idea of the fall of ’21 being the return of college football & basketball, that means that Spring football, as we know it, can be back with us in ’21. By this time we could be looking at Covid, being managed to a point that students will be allowed back on campus. I believe that the current situation is a mess.

No way to know what the ACC, SEC & Big 12 will do, I think they will go as long as they can towards having football this fall; whether any other conferences are playing doesn’t matter. But, I believe that putting the playing of sports off, and focusing on working through the player’s concerns, would be a better use of time in the Pac-12.

Jon Joseph

UNC has sent its student body home. Notre Dame has reported a number of cases, 50+, in the general student body.

Schools can plan to play this fall and in the spring of 2021 for that matter, but this man proposes, god disposes territory.

IF the SEC for instance, goes ahead, how many players, as 3 WRs at Florida just did, will opt out? How many players will not be quarantined and able to play ball?

I think the answer to Charles poignant question is: it is, short of a virus being developed, not really in any person’s control?