Scha·den·freu·de (noun): The emotional experience of pleasure in response to another’s misfortune.
Now that you have wiped my title-induced vomit off your screen, let me say that I do understand that I am currently the most unliked guy at FishDuck.
The idea of cheering against our western brethren, and more specifically northwest brethren, against some arrogant team from back east does not appeal to me. Brothers might fight, but when outsiders pick a fight with them, they have each other’s backs.
Yes, I can hear the snickering from Seattle. But, I do not care, for I must stand up for what is right and most benefits the Ducks. So, bear with me.
We may battle the Huskies, but the greater war is the war against East Coast (especially the south) bias. East Coast bias is what cost Michael Penix the Heisman trophy. The west can lessen East Coast bias by winning, and less East Coast bias benefits the Ducks, which could help another Oregon player win the Heisman someday and/or help the team get a more favorable ranking in the College Football Playoff.
So, essentially, Washington success can lead to more Oregon success.
Plus, I simply cannot bring myself to cheer for an entitled program from the East, particularly a team from the south where football is “king” and means absolutely everything to these people. While they believe that football success is their God-given right, I relish the thought of living a balanced life out west where football is simply another interesting thing that we do well — as opposed to having football poured into the local water reservoirs as something to lap up 24/7 in order to sustain their lives.
I remember the 2000 Fiesta Bowl when Oregon State destroyed Notre Dame. I was with a large group of Oregon fans watching bowl games that day and everybody wanted the Beavers to win except for this one guy. He so hated the Beavers that he would rather root for Notre Dame.
Notre freaking Dame!?
The thought of cheering for the most entitled and overrated program in perhaps all of sports over the humble Beavers made no sense to me.
Now, I am not saying that the Huskies are like the Beavers; there is nothing humble about Washington. Having said that, I have never been a “Husky hater.” Part of that is due to my family’s connection to Seattle. (I will not bore you with that right now, but it might be something that I delve into in the offseason.) While cheering for the Huskies holds very little appeal for me, the idea of cheering for some arrogant blue-blood like Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State or Michigan (Jim Harbaugh and all), holds negative appeal to me.
I have Washington State fan family members who like to razzle me because Oregon has not won a championship and they always send me texts to mock me when the Ducks lose in a big game. My response is usually along the lines of, “Well, at least we play in big games.”
Keep in mind if you put down a Husky fan if they lose Monday night, they have a pretty easy rebuttal to make you look stupid.
I will not say, “Go Huskies,” but I am asking you to please beat the Wolverines.
The Ducks drew the short end of the straw in its New Year’s Six Bowl matchup by having to play the Group of 5 champion Liberty Flames. The Fiesta Bowl went as I expected. The Ducks rolled to a 45-6 win over the overmatched Conference USA champ and while the victory was nice, I still cannot help but feel jilted by the matchup.
A victory over the likes of Penn State, Missouri or Ole Miss would have been infinitely more satisfying. It would have given the Oregon faithful a much more robust feeling about how special this team was. And, if the Ducks had lost against a fellow Power-5 team, so be it; at least we know where we stand.
The Ducks had nothing to gain in this matchup, only much to lose. So, they did what they were expected to do by blowing out Liberty. Had they won a relatively close game, they would have been heavily criticized. And, if they pulled a USC from last year and lost, they would have been crucified.
Thankfully, with the advent of the 12-team playoff next year, the short straw will be burned at the stake.
Top photo credit: Truong Nguyen
Natalie Liebhaber, the FishDuck.com Volunteer Editor for this article, works in technology in SLC, Utah.
Darren Perkins is a sales professional and 1997 Oregon graduate. After finishing school, he escaped the rain and moved to sunny Southern California where he studied screenwriting for two years at UCLA. Darren grew up in Eugene and in 1980, at the tender age of five, he attended his first Oregon football game. His lasting memory from that experience was an enthusiastic Don Essig announcing to the crowd: “Reggie Ogburn, completes a pass to… Reggie Ogburn.” Captivated by such a thrilling play, Darren’s been hooked on Oregon football ever since. Currently living in Spokane, Darren enjoys flaunting his yellow and green superiority complex over friends and family in Cougar country.
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