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.
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.
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.
Want to read all the Oregon Sports Articles in one place? Check out our new FishDuck Feed for Oregon Sports News and Articles aggregated every day for Duck fans and it is free. Over 50 articles curated in one day recently!
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?).
Los Angeles, California
Top photo by Kevin Cline
Drex came to Oregon from the Alaska bush at a time that Dan Fouts, Ahmad Rashad and future New York Giant great George Martin (a freshman dorm mate) roamed Autzen. He was Emerald editor-in-chief before going on to a 44-year career at newspapers in New York, Alaska, Nevada and California. He spent half of his career at the Los Angeles Times, including stints in New York and Washington D.C. bureaus, where he was foreign affairs editor.
Drex worked in news, not sports, but did occasionally indulge his passion for football and once covered a tickertape parade for the New York Yankees. He directed investigative stories in 2008 that won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize gold medal for public service. He retired in Los Angeles but has a season seat at Autzen and flies up for most home games.
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!