USC’s Flight to Blizzardville, and Other Cheesy Jowly Things

Drex Heikes Editorials

A few random thoughts from a random guy in the bleachers before the season begins and we have actual football to chew over.

USC’s scramoose from the Pac-12 reportedly comes with a desire to take a break from the Ducks, which at the moment means keeping them out of the Big Ten. Some Ducks fans find that outrageous, but it makes sense from the other side.

USC hasn’t kept up with Oregon’s recruiting in Southern California since coach Pete Carroll left L.A. in 2009. Depriving Oregon of games in Southern California could allow the Trojans to re-establish recruiting heft in their own back yard. They need that boost because their new Big Ten rivals will have an easier time recruiting in Southern California.

For you young ‘uns, here’s context. Years ago, the Trojans were the top football program in the West — and for good reason: they chose their parents well. USC had the foresight to have a fabulously wealthy alumni base, the iconic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum available as a home field, more top recruits within an hour’s drive than Oregon coaches can reach by jet in two hours, and the good luck to play in the nation’s second biggest media market.

Mid-October football at Wisconsin, 2018. USC fans: It’s even colder in the stands. Bring axe and matches.

Slouching Toward Piscataway

Today, the Ducks have Uncle Phil. He and a handful of other big donors have given Oregon a sizzling brand with the nation’s best facilities. The Ducks consistently have better coaching and better athletes, even through the coaching carousel of the last decade. Plus, Autzen is a full-throated game day spectacle (is anything better than a golden September afternoon at Autzen, or the rabid and comic animal house of a Halloween game?).

Oregon’s progress has chipped away at the enormous recruiting advantages USC enjoyed since birth. All the Trojans have left now are a fabulously wealthy alumni base, a cavernous Olympic stadium for a home field, a campus at the center of one of the nation’s deepest recruiting pools and the nation’s no. 2 media market with 5.7 million households.

But go ahead Trojans, if that’s not enough, give Oregon the ixnay as you go slouching toward Piscataway. We understand. It’s painful to lose stature at home. Even actor Steven Seagal moved last year (to Russia) after losing relevance in Hollywood. So, as the USC song says, Flight On to Victory. Flight on! And by golly, good luck and stay warm at Wisconsin…

Where the legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they called Gitchee Gumee.
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy.

One more thing. We might note that USC poached two Oregon coaches who went on to win five national championships for the Trojans, but that’s a non seq so let’s not bring it up.

Travis Dye runs for daylight against the Trojans in 2020.

Shout Out to Travis Dye

What are Oregon fans to think about the transfer of Travis Dye? He and brother Troy killed it as Ducks for six seasons. Not only were they magnificent players, but also outstanding ambassadors for Oregon football — and unrivaled “Shout” dancers.

Travis transferred to USC for understandable reasons. He and his fiancée are Southern Californians eager to start their life together there. Plus, the Ducks were yet again hiring a new head coach. So c’mon Duck fans. Let’s thank Dye for the great memories and hope he gains 200 yards a game on the way to a big NFL contract that eases the pain of an 0-12 season.
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No cheese sauce please.

Yes, Bring Back Autzen Pretzels

Full support here for the campaign to bring back hot pretzels at Autzen. Just not with cheese sauce, please? God created pretzels as a carrier for French’s mustard. For pretzels with melted ungulate orange goo, Husky Stadium is your ticket.  They also sell hot dogs with ketchup, which that slobbering mass considers a delicacy.

That’s it. I’m out of your hair until after the Georgia game. Please join me in the fabulous Our Beloved Ducks forum to discuss any of this (except the mustard thing, please. I want to believe that all of us intelligent, kind and good-looking souls on FishDuck have better taste than the jowly droolers up north?).

Drex Heikes
Los Angeles, California
Top photo by Kevin Cline

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