Ducks Victory Leaves Me Speechless

Darren Perkins Editorials

I never experience writer’s block. But, it is funny how I find it much more difficult to come up with something to write when the Ducks play up to their talent and expectations and play, well, as they “should.

When the Ducks play lousy it is easy for me to come up with a couple of thousand words of criticism that I painfully cut down to less than a thousand to keep the reader’s interest. Attention not being what it used to be and all. 

For all his faults as a coach (he is a good man), Mario Cristobal sure as hell brought out the best in me. Right now, I’m salivating at the thought of writing about the Hurricanes’ 45-21 loss to Duke. Heck, after I finish this post, I may just write about MC for pure enjoyment.

I guess I am some sort of a jerk. Like a stoic father from the 1950s, (sans Ward Clever) I have plenty of words when things go bad, but very few when things go right.  

Don’t worry, this isn’t a reflection of how I am in a relationship. My significant other, Jenn, interacts with the public all day, and when she comes home from work is generally in a cranky mood. Early in the relationship I quickly learned that asking her, “What the hell is up your butt?” was not the best way to handle the situation. I mean, after all, who likes to say good night to their loved one in bed while staring at their back?

Running the ball was a big plus for the Ducks.

But, now when she arrives home, in not the greatest of moods, an enlightened me, with flashbacks of a shot to my groin she had once delivered, simply nods in agreement to her day’s “protests.” I am now in total agreement with her complaints and am sure to include the occasional, and in my best interest, high-pitched voice, “That’s awful, honey, what a bunch of jerks!”

 I’m no magician, but it does seem to work like magic. You see, life is not that hard once you realize how stubborn you have been. Now, I just need to translate this “I learned it the hard way” relationship advice to my beloved Ducks. 

Does this mean I’m a negative person? Do I need counseling? Am I just an A-hole?

Perhaps you are reading this right now and are just like me. When the Ducks do not play as they should you complain to no end. But, when they “do what they should” we are short on words. Perhaps I need to change my ways, and as with Jenn, do it before the entire football team takes a shot at my, well, “mid-section.”

The imaginary therapist in my head is now saying, “Instead of taking your Oregon Ducks for granted, think of three positive things they did on Saturday.”

 Ok, Doc, here it is:

1) Oregon’s Offense: Bo Nix was highly efficient, passed, and ran well, and the running game couldn’t be stopped. The “O” spoke for itself. The “coaching down” of Mario Cristobal is a now distant memory… unless you live in Miami. (Duke 45, Miami 21). 

2) Troy Franklin: After years of lacking a “star receiver,” which occurred about three decades of seemingly always having one. The Ducks have their pass-catching super stud. He’s been toying with that title, but, on Saturday he solidified it.

3) Good Coaching: Now there’s something long-time Oregon fans had taken for granted until about midway through the 2016 season when it finally hit us like a 2×4 to the head that Mark Helfrich was not an “it” coach. While it is too early to crown Dan Lanning the next great coach, early returns are promising.

Well shoot, perhaps the Ducks did not leave me speechless after all. After analyzing my own selfish, underappreciating shortcomings, I believe that maybe I have made progress as a Duck fan. And, if I am ever to waver, the occasional PTSD flashback of the shot I took to my “peanuts” from Jenn reminds me to stay empathetic, understanding, and thankful.

Thank you, Ducks, I am appreciative of your fine victory over UCLA on Saturday. 

Ah shucks, perhaps I did have something to say today after all.

Darren Perkins
Spokane, WA
Top photo credit: Craig Strobeck

Natalie Liebhaber, the Volunteer Editor for this article, works in the financial technology industry in SLC, Utah.

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