Former Oregon Players Are NOT on the Fans’ Team

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck Editorials

I have been pretty disappointed recently with the decisions and intentions of former Oregon football players, and their disproportionate impact on the Oregon Athletic program.  I am not just referring to the bizarre letter to AD Rob Mullens, although it is a good example. As far as I’m concerned, the former players are 0-2 with their influence recently, and they have acted directly against the people who funded their scholarship and keep the lights on right now.

You know, fans like you and me.

Were YOU in Favor of the Name Change?

The name change of the rivalry game between Oregon and Oregon State started with a girlfriend of a former player. From there, the former players pushed for the change hard, even lighting a fire in Corvallis. Were the fans ever consulted? You know, the people who actually pay the bills at both schools? Do you think the majority of them even think of an actual “War” when they utter the name? Any bets on whether or not the majority of the fans for both schools would prefer a name change?

I know what my Oregon friends say. I also have quite a few Oregon State family and friends who have shared their frustration at the name change. This might be the only issue where the majority of both fan bases are in lock-step agreement. I understand why the change was made, and we had articles on this site in support of the name change, but it does not represent what most of the fans want.

Fans on both sides can come together on this “name” issue.

Please do not publish comments or posts about the “why or why not” of the name change. If you do, I will delete them. This article is not about arguing the merits, the war or the fine points again, but about how the former players had outsized influence on the athletic programs to make a change that was not in the best interests of the fans. How do the majority of the fans feel about this? Were they consulted? (I cannot imagine they were.) How do they feel about it now, since the name change has not been completed?
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My FishDuck Friends, just what team are the former players on? As far as the fans are concerned … they don’t seem to be on our team!

Former Players Tried to Foist a Catastrophic Blunder Hire on Oregon Fans!

I could not believe what I was hearing and reading! Some former Oregon players sent a letter to Rob Mullens that was a bit hard to decipher, but the general impression is that they wanted stability for the program and advocated for hiring Justin Wilcox! And he was actually offered the job twice!

These former players are on our side?

I cannot picture a faster descent into mediocrity than hire the guy with the No. 58 recruiting ranking on Rivals. Between that and his electrifying offense, his all-Oregon HC/OC/DC team is what the Ducks need right now? Coach Dan Lanning was second to that? I do not know what is more inexplicable to most Oregon fans–that the former players would advocate Wilcox, or that Mullens would actually buy into it.

Are the former players working against the interests of Oregon fans of all ages?

Just precisely what did the letter say? Can anyone explain it, or was it in code because the former players knew it would go public? How did Rob Mullens read anything from it?

Let’s call “stability” what it is; a million miles from where the Lanning staff will take us. And when are the former players going to give up the Brooks/Bellotti days? Those days are never coming back. We don’t hire coaches these days, we only rent them for a few years and pay buyout penalties when they fail. (How messed up is that?)

Perhaps there was a reason why Chip Kelly ostracized the former players when he was head coach at Oregon. When there are no checks or balances in place, it seems they have massive influence on the athletic department.

I am picturing an off-season as a publisher if Wilcox had been hired. The fan pulse would be barely above life-support: “I guess we’ll give him a chance.” Or we would hear grumbling… Meanwhile the Lanning hire has energized the fan base as we are excited to learn more about the philosophies and talents of the new staff. This is the most energy going into an off-season in what, four years?

Charles Fischer Analysis: Byron Cardwell sees the linebacker in the gap he wants to run to.

Look, I love watching Joey Harrington look down and drone on for television interviews as much as the next guy, and I do not want to read a whiff of anyone attaching a “disloyal” label on yours truly. Nobody has done more for Oregon football and the former players than I. Check the fawning tribute given in hundreds of History of Oregon Football articles by FishDuck writers, or nearly two hundred more articles about the Men of Oregon published over the last decade (and the 500+ articles written by yours truly) or the 600+ World-Famous FishDuck Analysis Library articles extolling their techniques and touchdowns.

I have breathlessly written about their past exploits in Oregon football, as I do with the current team, and it is quite clear that I have been on board with the former players in recognizing their place in Oregon football history. But have they been on board with the Oregon fans in the last two years? It looks like the former players have just gone 0-2 with the people who make it all happen.

I am distressed that a major change was made, and a catastrophic blunder hire was nearly made, at the urging of the former players, while we fans, the people who actually pay the bills, had no say in it!

That is wrong, my FishDuck friends.

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

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