“It was the worst of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of foolishness, it was the age of foolishness; it was the season of darkness, it was the season of darkness.” It was 2016, and Colorado had just stampeded Our Beloved Ducks by a score of 41-38. All the tragic details are in the book “A Tale of One City,” and it’s enough to make you lose your head.,
For all the pounds in London and euros in Paris, I can’t seem to remember the author, but it’s a sad, sad drama with a cutting edge, set right here in Eugene, and I can’t recommend it, unless you need kindling for your woodstove or fireplace.
Six years later, the Ducks alight in Boulder with a vindictive axe to grind, and I’m not in any way suggesting that we run up the score–I’m demanding it. When the Ducks are ahead 93-3 with half a minute left in the game, I want to see a Hail Mary launched out of Victory Formation.
That 2016 loss should be filed under the category “Things That Should Never Happen,” like the McRib, Celebrity Jeopardy, and people claiming that Colorado once won a football national championship. Such a notion is more ridiculous than having a 2,200-pound side of beef named Ralphie running around your stadium looking for people to flatten.
Sorry, Colorado, But 1990 Doesn’t Count
Far too often, referees call penalties that make us want to jump out of a building, as we know all too well in the Pac-12, where the conference actively recruits umpires, line judges, and field judges from the Helen Keller Academy. But do rotten referees ever get punished? My recommendation would be the rack.
Referees are a more protected class than the Albino crocodile, but one hapless crew bungled things so badly that it actually managed to get a suspension. The beneficiary of the screw-up was none other than the Colorado Buffaloes of 1990, who beat Missouri that year when the brain-dead referees gave them five downs. You probably don’t remember 1990, since no one else does, but to give you some reference, it was in the days when you’d drive to Blockbuster Video going 70 miles an hour, so you could grab the last copy of “Ernest Goes to Jail.”
The fifth down happened on the last play of that game against Mizzou, and the evidence shows that even with the benefit of that illegal extra down, the Colorado quarterback failed to reach the goal line to score the go-ahead touchdown. The whole thing was a bigger mess than any that Ralphie has ever made.
Yes, the Colorado Natty is Just a Myth
Before college football emerged from the primordial ooze of the 20th century and began crowning real national champions by virtue of title games, championships were called “mythical,” because number-one teams were decided by polls, and no, we don’t mean citizens of Poland, although in hindsight that might not have been a bad idea, considering what happened in 1990.
In that highly forgettable, yet very crooked year, Colorado and Georgia Tech allegedly shared a split championship, and the Buffaloes deserved the butt end of that trophy, if it even ever existed. One team was declared number-one, according to the beer-and-booze-swilling Associated Press voters, and the other number-one was voted by workaholic coaches who didn’t have time to watch any teams but their own. Needless to say, this way of picking champions made as much sense as the way they choose presidents in Somalia.
Although Colorado’s final 1990 record is listed as 11-1-1, that’s fiction, as false as claims that UCLA and USC have an ounce of integrity between them. Sorry, Colorado, but you can’t buffalo us any longer. Without your bogus victory over Missouri, your real record is 10-2-1, and your so-called half natty is about as legit as that $500,000 bribe from Lori Loughlin to the sleazeballs at USC. Loughlin’s “rowing recruit” daughters have more credibility.
Meanwhile, in Coral Gables…
What’s happening in Miami has exactly zero bearing on the Ducks, the price of Oolong in Shanghai, or well-played football, for that matter, but it’s fun to follow the stumbling, bumbling U, referred to not so long ago as Convict U. It’s the same way that you like to go to your high-school reunion and learn that the bully who once shoved you in a locker is now working third shift at the local Texaco.
YouTube is a great channel for seeking out fresh, new comedy talent, and danged if I didn’t find a new comic the other day, who coincidentally is a big Miami Hurricanes fan. My sides are still sore after watching the wacky routine of J.D. Pickell, because his one-liners were more outrageous than anything ever uttered by George Carlin, Richard Pryor, or O.J. Simpson’s attorneys.
Pickell got things rolling with the hilarious joke, “Mario is on a slow build,” which sent me sprawling on the floor, and while I was on my back, laughing harder than I have since Washington State “coug’d it'” against us, he hit me with: “There’s gonna be a lot of wins coming to Coral Gables.” By then I was doubled over in hysterics with tears cascading down my face, and I had to hit the mute button on my remote before I heard another uproarious word, lest my laughter crack a rib or two.
Man, I love good comedy, but that material coming out of South Florida is sure hard on my system.
And Now Back to Boulder
The Buffaloes are in more trouble today than during the 1870s when their opponents were large parties of psychopaths with long rifles. Back in the day, though, the buffaloes finally made a comeback. No such bounceback is on the horizon for the football players and coaches at the University of Colorado. Folsom Field, sitting at 5,440 feet above sea level, is more likely to see scores of altitude sickness than Buffalo scoring drives.
On the plus side, there’s a great view of the Rocky Mountains from the stadium, if you can get up in a Goodyear blimp. The law of supply and demand has made ticket prices cheaper than a Snickers bar. And Ralphie is the mascot that other college-football fans would love to have–in brisket form.
For me, I’d prefer a double buffalo patty on a toasted brioche bun with a thick slab of cheddar, lettuce, and herb mayo. If that upsets any of you vegans out there, I can see where I may have crossed the line, so I’ll start working on an apology, as soon as I finish this vanilla milkshake and quarter-pounder with cheese.
Football Karma Ran Over Colorado’s Dogma
Dishonesty is a dastardly dog that will come back and bite you, and karma is a Karen. The phony boasts of a national title have brought Colorado football to where it is today–a program with 16 losing seasons since 2000 and a future that’s dimmer than dark matter in a black hole.
And Colorado, you may have thought we forgot about that 1996 Cotton Bowl, when your weaselly coach Rick Neuheisel called for a fake punt with five minutes to go, leading by 26 points. No, we have not forgotten nor have we forgiven, so get ready for a big, juicy platter of retribution that’s been on ice for more than a quarter of a century.
After that Hail Mary out of Victory Formation scores a Ducks touchdown to put us ahead 99-3, we’re going to go for two.
And then we’re lining up for an onside kick.
This time around we’re going to beat the dickens out of you.
Top photo by WikiImages from Pixabay
Alan Lohner is a native of Toledo, Ohio, where he served as a police officer from 1976-1980, before he moved West, graduating with a master’s degree in journalism at the University of Oregon in 1981. He’s enjoyed a long, successful career as a writer and creative director in advertising and marketing communications.
Alan takes delight in writing satire and spoofs for Ducks fans. He’s also written two self-help books; one is a highly acclaimed guide for teens and young adults, available as a free PDF to any member of the FishDuck community. Send a request to Alan, via message, in the OBD forum. For professional writing inquiries, you can contact Alan at firstname.lastname@example.org
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