I am sick of the pretentious articles by John Canzano and other writers who portray the Beavers as the aggrieved party in the Pac-12 dissolution, painting them as noble heroes fighting a righteous battle as the little guy against the Genghis horde of ten other Pac-12 programs. It is wrong, and it is emblematic of modern day journalism that presents only facts that support the writer’s narrative, and not the full truth.
Writers such as Canzano and others have implied that Oregon did this to Oregon State, and are enjoying the benefits (and the hoots) that come from it. The truth is actually the reverse. On the Our Beloved Ducks forum that I own and manage, it was clear that 95% of the thousands of Duck fans that come to read did not want Oregon to leave the Pac-12, or see the Pac-12’s demise. We even talked ourselves into believing elaborate fantasies of how streaming was the rescue, and how this west coast conference would ultimately prevail over the others.
We justified any reason to believe the conference could survive.
Heck, I wrote often of how I did not want to join the “Truck-Stop Conference,” and I wanted the Ducks to play Oregon State and Washington State, and not Rutgers or Minnesota as conference games. We have tradition, rivalries and history in the Pacific time zone, and the vast majority of Oregon fans want to retain them. The representation of Oregon fans by these writers is not just a bit off; it is 100% off-base when you consider the Oregon fans’ depth of feeling for retaining the Pac-12 conference.
John did acknowledge the fiduciary responsibility/liability of Oregon’s athletic director to take twice as much over a ten-year period in the B1G versus the Pac-12 proposed contract. The exposure is 100% different as well between stuck in the Pac-12 nether-world of nobody-seeing-you-on-streaming-only, versus the B1G proposal of being seen on up to five different national television stations. Of course John never mentioned that if given the chance, Oregon State would have taken the same deal in a heartbeat, both for finances and to be able to stick it to Oregon.
The Free Market Has Spoken
Do you believe in the free market setting the true value of an asset? I know I am not happy with trying to sell a home at this time, but the relative value is different than two years ago. Do the Beavers believe what their true value is? Think of it…not a single Power-Five conference wanted anything to do with them, and not even at highly discounted Cal/Stanford prices!
Oregon State…the free-market just spoke; your value is at the Mountain-West Conference level.
That means that by receiving an equal share of Pac-12, Pac-10, and Pac-8 revenues for the last 60 years, while your value was nowhere near that, the rest of the conference was subsidizing you, and propping up your appearance as a worthy conference member. You have been massively over-valued, and subsequently, you have been massively over-paid for your participation in the conference for decades.
You have cheated Oregon, and the other nine members out of millions of dollars that you should not have had access to. Only now do we know your true value, although we intuitively knew–but wanted to ignore it as you had a long-term history with the conference. So instead of being grateful for receiving monies you did not deserve, you demand more? Not even a “thank-you” for hundreds of millions received unjustly?
Why Does Oregon State Have Such a Poor Following and Brand?
In the 1970s, both Oregon and Oregon State were in a similarly precarious situation. What has been the difference since then? It is the management of the respective athletic departments that has created the enormous difference in brand recognition. In 1979, OSU could have hired Rich Brooks, but declined, selecting Craig Fertig instead. So Brooks went to Oregon, and all the history of Oregon could have been the Beavers’!
Imagine how Brooks would have hired Mike Bellotti, and later–Bellotti would have brought Chip Kelly to Corvallis. All of Oregon’s glory could have been theirs, and Oregon had nothing to do with it. It is but one example of how decisions made by Oregon State busted their own dam over the long term.
Don’t even go the Phil Knight direction; he did not help until Oregon went to the Rose Bowl, and Cotton Bowl first without him. Winners want to work with winners, and the Ducks had to prove themselves worthy before receiving such outstanding support. Has Oregon State done anything resembling that to attract their major donors?
Whose Fault Is This Dilemma for Oregon State?
Do Canzano or any of the pundits who wish to promote a David-and-Goliath story ever address where accountability should be placed? It is squarely on Oregon State, who failed their athletes, their incredibly loyal fans, and their donors over the years. Has anyone pointed a finger where it belongs, at the athletic administration in Corvallis? How is a poor brand and small fan base the fault of anyone else?
But that’s today’s culture, isn’t it? Avoid accountability by blaming someone else. Position yourself as a victim while actually milking the other conference members whose value towers over yours. It is so typical of today’s journalism, to describe the folksy judge in Colfax, instead of looking at the total mosaic of facts that brought Oregon State to this moment. (Of course his daughter attending OSU might also shade John’s perspective a touch.)
Now the Beavers Want to Steal MORE from the Conference?
It is estimated that Oregon is owed 35 million for this current academic year, and the Pac-2 want to steal it. They want up to 400 million for this year, and all the revenue streams in the future to fund their Broke-Pac-Mountain-West Conference. They’ve been taking more than their fair share for 60 years, and they still want more? They want to cheat 10 other teams out of what these teams have rightfully created, and deserved, over the years?
And journalists like John Canzano are running cover, justifying the theft for the Pac-2 a couple of times a week.
Does Oregon State appear to you to be as over-valued, overpaid, ungrateful and as unaccountable as I believe? Share your thoughts in the only civilized, free Oregon football forum and message board because…
“Oh, how we love to ponder about Our Beloved Ducks!“
Charles Fischer (Mr. FishDuck)
Top Photo by Kevin Cline
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…
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