Originally, I did not want Mario Cristobal to leave. I wrote of how I admired so much of what he did for Oregon football in so many areas, yet his offensive philosophy was beginning to turn off large portions of Duck fans. The problem was–I could not possibly see a candidate to replace him that would be as good or better … until Athletic Director Rob Mullens went to work bringing Coach Dan Lanning to Eugene. The impact on this off-season is truly a momentous one, as we will savor so much of what will happen.
While the college football off-season will be much more fun this year as I learn about our new coach, I also like to enjoy some NFL gaming action with Fanduel Super Bowl odds in the early part of this off-season. After those playoffs, this off-season could have had a very dour feel for devoted Duck fans if things had gone the way it was appearing for a week or so in December.
The Cristobal Off-Season
Over the past four years I was trying to convince people of the reality of what Cristobal intended over the long term with the Oregon offense, but the typical fan was unconvinced. In each off-season Duck fans were hopeful that “he will become a CEO this year,” or “he’ll turn the offense over to the OC,” or finally--“Joe Moorhead has not had time due to COVID to install the full offense, thus we’ll see a big uptick in scoring in 2021.”
Now after four years of averaging only 33 points per game–Oregon fans know that he isn’t going to change, and this off-season would be been grim for many of us. What is there to discuss? We know what he is going to do, (or not) and many of the fans feared a sizeable exodus of players transferring out who also now saw the truth beyond Mario’s sales pitch. The only energy in a Cristobal off-season would come from the fans grumbling and growling.
The Justin Wilcox Off-Season
Oh gosh, can you imagine how bad that would have been? It seems to me that he understood that getting paid three million a year for a 26-28 record over five years at Cal is a pretty good gig after all. But wait–he can recruit … right? Nope; after five years his ranking for the 2022 recruiting class (Rivals) should be higher than No. 58, as that would not propel the Ducks to the promised land, nor create excitement for the fans.
If Oregon had listened to the former players and hired Wilcox–the off-season would be been boring. “Well, I guess we have to give him a chance,” would have been the motto and the interest level in Oregon football would have barely been above a live pulse. Either a Cristobal or Wilcox hiring would have made the long off-season interminable for all but the most hardy Duck fans.
The Thrill of the Lanning Off-Season
I never could have imagined Oregon hiring an-up-and-coming-coach like Dan Lanning as head coach, and I must give huge kudos to Rob Mullens for such a great hire. I believe, as many do, that he will become one of the great young coaches in CFB, and we have already begun to see evidence of that.
Oregon fans are aware of the high-caliber staff Lanning has assembled, as well as retaining players from transferring out or going to the NFL. His recruiting skills of players are becoming evident, and it appears he can out-recruit Cristobal for the best coaching talent. Remember my expression … “Greatness and Weakness Emerge Early?”
We have seen greatness in coaching performance before he even took permanent residence in Eugene!
The difference in the Oregon fan-base is not just the opposite of a Cristobal or Wilcox off-season … it is energized by a factor of three or four times more. Duck fans cannot wait for Spring Football to learn more as the coaches roll-out their offense and defense in just a few months. There are going to be wonderful reports about recruiting for 2023, and who knows what arrives by way of the portal in the next four months!
The FishDuck Off-Season is Only THREE Articles a Week?
The articles on FishDuck will go from an article on seven days a week during the season to three days a week (Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday) in the off-season. Today is an exception, and there will be other days when I receive a guest article or I cannot wait until my next writing slot on the schedule and have to share my thoughts sooner with you. It will remain this way until mid-August when we return to seven days a week once again.
Why are we doing this?
First, it takes an enormous amount of time and work to recruit, train and monitor new writers, and after ten years of the extreme time and hassles–I have declined from training new writers. The writers we have on-board now are quite experienced and do not require any time on my part. They wish to get some time off now, as the 2022 football season is going to be quite exciting.
In the past this would be a brutal blow to FishDuck, but we are having a blast having Duck Discussion at the Our Beloved Ducks forum, where all topics beyond the daily article can be hashed out by the devoted Duck fans who engage at this “Forum with Decorum.” There is nothing like it in the world, where civility reigns in our own GREEN REFUGE.
While it has only been in existence three months, the OBD tail, is now wagging the FishDuck, as 64% of total pageviews of the two sites occur on the forum. And our numbers are higher than any point of FishDuck’s history by a factor of three times our previous best. In short–we are having great fun in the forum!
So do check here early in the week, and always check out the Oregon Sports news, press releases and tremendous banter in the OBD forum. We are going to be breaking down the Dillingham offense and the Lanning defense in our off-season articles, and I know it is going to be great fun as…
“Oh, how we love to ponder about Our Beloved Ducks!”
Charles Fischer (Mr. FishDuck)
Top Screenshot from CBS Sports Video
Charles Fischer has been an intense fan of the Ducks, a season ticket holder at Autzen Stadium for 35 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…
FishDuck Going to Articles on Monday and Tuesday Only…
Our off-season schedule begins, and we move from publishing articles seven days a week to Mondays and Tuesdays only. Same great group of writers, and we will have an article on other days on occasion.
The Our Beloved Ducks Forum (OBD) is where we we discuss the article above and many more topics, as it is so much easier in a message board format over there. At the free OBD forum we will be posting Oregon Sports article links, the daily Press Releases from the Athletic Department and the news coming out every day.
Our 33 rules at the free OBD Forum can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) do not tell anyone what to think, feel or write, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!
OBD Forum members….we got your back. No Trolls Allowed!