Ducks Men Run Away with NCAA Track & Field Crown

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Mike Merrell, reporting direct from Historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon What was supposed to be a close team race turned into a romp as the Oregon Men’s Track & Field Team ran away with a second straight NCAA Outdoor title. The Ducks racked up 85 points to outdistance second place Florida with 56. Track & Field News had projected …

Track Championships: Men are Charging and Women Bounce Back

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Mike Merrell, reporting from Historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon The University of Oregon Ducks Men’s Track and Field Team made another positive move toward a second-straight NCAA Division I championship Thursday when decathlete Dakota Keys wrestled his way up from fifth place to third with a total score of 7863, just short of his personal best of 8,086. Keys …

Ducks Start Strong at NCAA Track & Field Championships

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The Oregon Ducks Men’s Track & Field team held form and then some on the first day of the 2015 NCAA Championships at Historic Hayward Field, setting up a Friday showdown with co-favorite Florida. The Ducks scored 33 big first-day points to take what looks like a commanding lead, but Florida, with 16 points, stands poised to cut deeply into …

Track & Field at the Crossroads

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Mike Merrell’s Three-and-Out With the upcoming NCAA Track & Field Championships – and with the utter failure of the preliminary rounds as spectator events — those who oversee the events ponder what to do to generate more spectator interest, and, presumably, therefore more dollars. But maybe efforts to promote track & field should be made with something besides dollars in mind. …

Jim Mora Runs a Professional Operation at UCLA — Not So Much

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Mike Merrell’s Three-and-Out In a gag-me-with-a-spoon move coming from two time zones away, ESPN’s Adam Rittenburg dished up an unappetizing morsel about the professionalism of Jim Mora and the UCLA football program. Mora, it seems, runs his organization like an NFL team. Since Rittenburg went to Northwestern and is currently rumored to be living just outside Chicago, he is a good …

And the Award for Most Irritating Opponent Goes to …

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Mike Merrell’s Three-and-Out Every school has its irritating fans, and the Ducks are certainly no exception. Stanford has its offensive band that — due to some transgressions — got banned from traveling to away games next season. And when it comes to irritating, USC’s band and the only song it knows are hard to beat. But when it comes to …

Bulls, Gamecocks Highlight Dilemma with Women’s Mascots

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Mike Merrell’s Three-and-Out Most college team mascots were chosen long before Title IX came along, and naturally no thought was given to the possibility that women might someday bear the name on the battlefields. So when Title IX created intercollegiate women’s sports, the dilemma of what to do about team mascots came with it. Somebody got the bright idea to …

Athlon Ranks Helfrich in Bottom Half of Pac-12 Coaches

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Mike Merrell’s Three-and-Out In a move certain to offend all college football fans who haven’t been advised to sell when their IQs reach 50, Athlon Sports’ Steven Lassan labeled ASU’s Todd Graham (77-41) the best head football coach in the Pac-12. If that wasn’t gray matter-challenged enough, he relegated Oregon’s Mark Helfrich to the bottom half. It’s time for Lassan …

Three Coaches — Three Cultures

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Mike Merrell’s Three-and-Out My first direct contact with a big-time football coach came in fall of 1966 when John Robinson — then an assistant at Oregon — blessed us incoming freshmen swimmers with a pep talk. It was all about what a great athletic family the Ducks were. With a fist waving in the air, Robinson declared that when you …

Is This the Year for the Huskies?

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Mike Merrell’s Three-and-Out No. I first wrote the above one-word article on August 26, 2013 and it has been sitting unpublished in the FishDuck.com archives ever since. Though only one word long, the article proved to be spot-on for 2013, and as it happened, 2014 as well. Why 2015 will join those two years and the nine before them, and …

Bucs’ Choice, Baby-Talk Athletes and Fans’ Rights

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Mike Merrell’sThree-and-Out While the national pundits make a bit of an about face on the Mariota vs. Winston draft pick issue, it’s not a bad time to take a look at some of the little things that maybe shouldn’t be so little in the convoluted relationship among athletics, universities and fans. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ top draft choice, baby-talk athletes …

Oregon Football 2014: Three Defining Moments

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Mike Merrell’s Three-and-Out Some things never get old. Remembering wonderful things that came our way out of the blue always brings a smile. For sheer joy, it’s a toss-up between that and remembering the most outlandish, hilarious misfortunes that happened to those whom we might consider our enemies. Three defining moments of Oregon Football 2014 are the subjects of this …