As the snap sailed over the punter’s head resulting in the safety that secured an Oregon victory on Saturday night at Husky Stadium, my three companions and I all looked at each other and eagerly said, “Let’s go!” As many fans could see on television, the Oregon-Washington game was cold, wet and windy.
As we began to make our way out, I decided to make a quick pit stop. I didn’t really need to go, but with all the post-game madness I was not sure how long it might be before I had access to another restroom. My comrades were eager to leave and simultaneously responded with an eye-roll and a, “Really?”
Hey, though I’m not yet a “greybeard” (FishDuck regulars over 50), I am fast approaching (s–t!), which has me, even in the face of ridicule, displaying responsible, greybeard type qualities.
And boy was I glad I did.
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For, as I stood in front of the urinal relieving myself, an embittered, menacing, middle-aged Husky fan with a booming voice that echoed throughout the restroom let out an ominous, Jimmy Lake directed, “F- – – – -G FIRE HIM, NOW!”
I exploded into a highly contained laughter — you know, the laughing equivalent of attempting to hold in a sneeze — as I did not want this raging Husky lunatic to run over and punch me in the back of the head while I remained in such a vulnerable position. I’m more of a let me look you in the eye before you punch in the face kind of guy. This way I can at least provide the police a sketch drawing of the individual, assuming I can still remember what he looked like after the concussion.
But I digress (and yes, as I secretly laughed some of my pee may have uncontrollably showered the bathroom wall). The point I’m trying to make here — outside of fulfilling my own perverse, sophomoric need to express potty humor — is that Husky fans are not happy. And for good reason — their coach stinks.
Lake fired Offensive Coordinator John Donovan on Sunday. It capped off a long week for Lake in which he had provided the Ducks with bulletin board material after making insulting comments about Oregon’s academic standards. Then, on Saturday, Lake struck a player on the sideline during the game (for which he has now been suspended for a week by the University). Donovan is a guy who Lake never should have hired in the first place, and his hiring was heavily bemoaned at the time in Montlake.
If you were not aware, there is a juicy Oregon-Washington back-story to Donovan. He was fired as the OC at Penn State in 2015 for heading up a tepid Nittany Lions offense while his replacement, the one and only Joe Moorhead, went on to light it up at Penn State in 2016 and 2017 before earning a head coaching job at Mississippi State in 2018.
To put it bluntly, Washington hired the guy who wasn’t very good, while Oregon hired the guy who is very good. That has to be frustrating for Husky fans — in fact, frustrating enough that they are willing to sacrifice their high-mindedness by screaming simpleminded profanities in the bathroom. I just pray that the alumni of an institution of such high academic prowess had not been reduced to the low-brow activity of calling phone numbers carved into bathroom stalls. That could only have gotten ugly.
As my group and I rode the subway from Husky Stadium south through downtown to our destination, I could not help but overhear a couple of Washington graduates talking behind me. Their frustration led them to reminisce about past glories and Rose Bowls, while expressing the fear of slipping back into the Tyrone Willingham era of Husky football. They wished that Chris Petersen was still the coach, but he isn’t. Unfortunately, for them, the recent success from the Petersen era is officially on the fast track to also becoming the “good ole days.”
Along the sidelines at Husky Stadium in the turf, it reads: “The Greatest Setting.” Some Duck fans might get mad at me, but Husky Stadium is a very beautiful setting nestled next to Lake Washington. Sorry, it just is. But beauty does not just come from looks. Beauty comes from within. Beauty comes from deeds. Beauty comes from love. And my friends, that type of beauty, to borrow a term from my Husky pal in the men’s room, just isn’t “f — g” happening right now in Seattle.
Top photo credit: Twitter
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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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