Tag Archive: Joey Harrington


It was the agony of defeat … over and over again.

All throughout the garbage-time fourth quarter in South Bend, the voyeuristic NBC cameras kept focusing on the deadpan face of an obviously hurting 20-year-old college student.

He was anything Saturday but “So Good, So Cool, So Cal.”

The Associated Press pointed out that USC has already turned over the ball 19 times in eight games, emphasizing that 16 of these were committed by quarterback Sam Darnold.

There will be no all-expense-paid trip to New York in December.

Someone else will receive the Heisman.

There will be better days for Sam Darnold, maybe this coming weekend in Tempe.

He will celebrate his 21st birthday next June 5.

As a college professor, who once roamed the sidelines as a student football manager for both USC and Oregon in the mid-1970s, Almost DailyBrett must ask:

Are pre-season Heisman Trophy hype campaigns launched by university athletic departments/sports information offices in the best interest of a college-student/athlete, who is not old enough to legally order a beer?

Is the young stud ready for the plethora of writers, camera lenses, microphones and fawning stories? The media is absolutely superb at building up a celebrity; the beast is even better at crashing the new hero down to earth and stomping on him.

Some may contend these premature campaigns draw national media attention that carries over to the season and may lead to holding up the most famous stiff-arm in all of sports.

USC athletes need extra media attention in the second largest television market in the country?

Almost DailyBrett wonders whether more times than naught these athletic departments are setting up these young people, students at their school – most not ready for the limelight – for failure by the jury-judge-executioner media (e.g., MSESPN).

Believe it or not, these kids have to go to school, attend classes, submit papers, work on projects and take exams (okay, maybe not the University of North Carolina basketball team).

Your author knows as much as any other writer, how a mere university cannot control the Fourth Estate. If the folks in Bristol, Connecticut or Sports Illustrated wish to build up their list of Heisman candidates before the season starts, who is going to stop them?

Cats are easier to herd.

Halloween and The First CFP Rankings

The College Football Playoff Selection Committee will not release its rankings for the real contenders for the sport’s four playoff spots until Halloween, safely past the mid-point of the season.

If the NCAA is “wise” enough to put off the hoopla surrounding who could be playing in the first semifinal at the Rose Bowl and the second in the New Orleans Superdome, then why can’t this august body put a kibosh on overactive athletic departments, exploiting underage students?

Many say: “Where are the parents?” Almost DailyBrett asks: “Where are the university presidents?”

It doesn’t matter whether a student seeking the NFL degree attends a heavily covered traditional power (e.g., USC Heisman campaign for Sam Darnold and Matt Barkley) or less heavily covered sometimes power (e.g., Oregon with the Joey Harrington Times Square billboard and Marcus Mariota), the respective athletic departments/sports information departments need to remember the football team represents the university … not the other away around.

Football is a team sport. Yes, everyone knows a quarterback is the most equal-of-the-equals and has the best chance of holding up the Heisman hardware, but the trophy is not presented on a Southern California beach in August.

The 12+-week season is a grind. This year’s team may not be the same as last year’s team. Conferences abound with college towns and trap games. College football is much more unpredictable than the brand played by the National Field-Goal League (NFL).

Sam Darnold is talented, but clearly does not have the hogs in the offensive line or the skill players beside him. The Trojans are good, maybe the best in the Pac-12, in a down year for the conference. The league will not send a team to the playoff unless there is dog-eat-dog chaos in the other conferences.

Hopefully, Darnold’s parents will be wise enough to steer him to return to USC for another year. He needs the time to work on his game, hit the books and earn a degree in communications. There may even be a Heisman Trophy and the NFL dollars in his happier future.

Wonder if the USC Athletic Department/Sports Information Office can dial back the P.T. Barnum/Donald Trump hype and let a good college kid be a good college kid?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Darnold

http://www.espn.com/college-football/undefined

http://www.latimes.com/sports/usc/la-sp-usc-notre-dame-20171021-story.html

http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-football/news/college-football-playoff-rankings-2017-2018-release-date-schedule-cfp-selection-day-committee-national-championship/t22jkpo01wej1j8dzmr925m28

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/should-matt-barkley-be-canonized/

https://247sports.com/college/usc/Article/Sam-Darnold-says-Irish-were-a-little-too-much-to-handle-109296081

 

 

 

 

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Oregon has not fired a head football coach since 1976.

That streak will come to a close with the termination of Mark Helfrich.

Why? He presided over the end of the Golden Era of Oregon Football.helfrichbeard

Some will contend the musings of Almost DailyBrett and a growing chorus of Duck commentators are a reflection of Oregon fans being spoiled. Joey Harrington is the high-priest of this particular gospel.

You were a great quarterback for Oregon, Joey, but it’s time for you and other apologists to smell the coffee. Oregon’s demise is real and sustaining, and no amount of Uncle Phil money is going to change it.

Unless the present course is dramatically changed, Coach Helfrich and the majority of his staff need to be shown the door.

Consider yesterday’s very winnable game against Nebraska on the road.

The first two-point conversion attempt was successful. Great. Now let’s kick extra points. What? Helfrich kept going for two-point conversions and the team failed four consecutive times … and the Ducks lost by three? What did Einstein reportedly say about trying the same thing over-and-over again and getting the same result? The definition of insanity.

How many penalties did the Ducks incur? Five? 10? How about 13 for 126 yards? This sad result comes down to one conclusion: Coaching.helfrichriley

Now before you state that one-game does not constitute a trend, let’s examine the unmistakable trend. In Wall Street terms it is downward and to the right, time to sell the stock.

During Chip Kelly’s four years as head coach, the Ducks were 46-7, including a dominating 33-3 in the Pac-12 conference. Oregon went on to the Rose Bowl twice, winning one; won the Fiesta Bowl and came within a field goal of taking the “Natty.”

Now in his fourth year as head coach (the first one, trying to grow a beard), Helfrich is 35-9, including 22-5 in conference. Inheriting Chip’s recruits, including 2014 Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota, the Ducks were 24-4 overall, 15-3 in conference in Helfrich’s first two years, winning another Rose Bowl and an Alamo Bowl.

Since losing the 2015 Natty to Ohio State in a blow out, the Ducks are 11-7. Last year’s defense gave up a school record 37.5 points per game, and this year’s “D” is no better. How can we forget that Oregon lost to Utah by six touchdowns at Autzen, and blew a 31-point halftime lead at the Alamo Bowl?oregontcu1

For the second time in two seasons, a one-and-done “grad” student is playing quarterback. Vernon Adams and Dakota Prukop are more than capable, but what happens to Oregon when the one-and-done sustains an injury (e.g., Adams)?

Ready to take on Washington, USC and Stanford, true freshman Justin Herbert?

Oregon is the storied program that has developed fabulous quarterbacks who played two, three or four years (i.e.., Dan Fouts, Chris Miller, Bill Musgrave, Joey Harrington, Kellen Clemens, Dennis Dixon, Darron Thomas and of course, Marcus “Heisman” Mariota).

How about recruiting a stud high school quarterback or two and letting one of them win the job? Travis Jonson from Servite was supposed to be the “guy.” He is running fourth string. Five-star defensive lineman Canton Kaumatule was supposed to make us forget Haloti Ngata. Instead, we are fondly remembering DeForest Buckner and deep-sixing any thoughts of Kaumatule in Canton.

Oregon arguably has the best facilities in the nation for football, a good reason why the team stays in the discussion despite being marooned in America’s geographic cul-de-sac, the Pacific Northwest. And yet, the program’s recruiting classes are dropping off under Helfrich and his staff, presently running #38 nationally and number five in the Pac-12 behind Arizona and Colorado.

Nebraska celebrated an NCAA record 350 consecutive sellouts in its 90,000-seat stadium this past weekend. Oregon is now working on a two-game streak of non-sellouts at 54,000-seat Autzen Stadium.

How many losses will the Ducks endure this season? The two gimmies, which were not as easy as they seemed on paper (i.e., the dreaded UC Davis Aggies and the vaunted Virginia Cavaliers) are in the books. The Pac-12 conference with its great offenses lies before Oregon. And how does Oregon with one of the worst defenses in the nation even get to the Las Vegas Bowl, let alone the Fiesta or Rose?

Better get out your green-and-yellow rosary beads, D-coordinator Brady Hoke.

Almost DailyBrett was rooting for Oregon before it was cool. This is your author’s 27th year as a season ticket holder and a Duck Athletic Fund member. No one can accuse this blog of representing only a fair-weather fan.

Having said that, the undeniable truth must be told. The Ducks are looking at three more losses and possibly five or more. A post-season — any bowl — is not assured. Want to take the “under”?

Oregon cannot sustain its success on Uncle Phil’s money alone. Coaching matters. Coach Helfrich and his staff are on the hot seat.

Wonder if UO Athletic Director Rob Mullens already has some names in mind when the inevitable change becomes … inevitable?

http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/sports/blogs/martini/2016/09/17/oregon-ducks-loss-nebraska-100-percent-mark-helfrich/90601784/

http://www.oregonlive.com/sports/oregonian/john_canzano/index.ssf/2016/09/canzano_identity_crisis_at_ore.html#incart_river_home_pop

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Oregon_Ducks_football_seasons

http://www.goducks.com/roster.aspx?path=football

http://www.oregonlive.com/ducks/index.ssf/2016/09/penalties_continue_to_add_up_f.html

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/08/16/rooting-for-oregon-before-it-was-cool/

 

 

“I don’t want to play in a Rose Bowl unless I’m playing for a national championship.” – Oregon wide receiver, Josh Huff

“It’s not a big deal at all … We already won a Rose Bowl, so I feel like it’s whatever.” – Oregon running back/receiver/athlete De’Anthony Thomas

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl-Wisconsin vs Oregon

The 100th Anniversary Rose Bowl … “Whatever”?

Former Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington was shaking his head reflecting on DAT’s Rose Bowl whatever  dismissal during the latest installment of Comcast’s “Talking Ducks.”

Harrington grew up in Portland, Oregon dreaming of playing in Pasadena on New Year’s Day.

He took the Ducks to three consecutive bowl game wins: The Sun over Minnesota in 1999; the Holiday over Texas in 2000; and the Fiesta on New Year’s Day 2002 over Colorado. Three-for-three for “Captain Comeback,” but no Rose Bowl.

An awful Civil War game against Oregon State on a frigid November Saturday in 2000, and a nightmare fourth quarter against Stanford in October, 2001, kept Harrington out of Pasadena for the final two years of his college career. His ultimate dream was not realized, and it obviously still hurts to this day.

joeyharrington

Josh Huff and De’Anthony Thomas are good guys and their comments are understandable, considering that Stanford pretty much put the kibosh on Oregon competing for the national championship.

To some the Rose Bowl has become a consolation prize, largely because of the BCS. Similar sentiments are being heard in Columbus, Ohio, where an undefeated Ohio State team may be relegated to…the Rose Bowl.

“I don’t mind playing in the Rose Bowl, playing for the fans and my teammates,” Huff said. “But deep down I don’t wanna be a prep game for the national championship game.”

It hasn’t always been this way, and it really shouldn’t be this way.

Growing up I didn’t want to die without seeing the Rolling Stones live, and the Ducks in the Rose Bowl.

I achieved Satisfaction (even hearing the song played live three times), doing my best Jumpin’ Jack Flash with the Stones six times, proving that you can get what you want.

The first Oregon Rose Bowl in the modern era came in 1994 from an Oregon team forecasted to finish 10th in the Pacific 10 conference. Tears were rolling down collective faces as the band played “Mighty Oregon” on the floor of the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.

There was no place else I was going to be on Planet Earth for those four hours on January 2, 1995 (Never on Sunday for the Tournament of Roses).

Since that time, the Ducks have been back to Pasadena twice, losing to Ohio State in the 2010 game and beating Wisconsin two years later. And now the Ducks sit on the precipice of their third trip to the Rose Bowl in five years.

oregonrosebowl

As Ronald Reagan would say, “Not bad, not bad at all.”

Almost DailyBrett generally refrains from making categorical, unequivocal statements but will state for the record that Pasadena, California on New Year’s Day is gorgeous on the most beautiful day of the year. The Los Angeles smog takes the day off. The skies are blue. The air is warm. The tailgate parties on Brookside Golf Course are rocking and rolling by 8:30 am, about five hours before kickoff.

My childhood home was literally next door in Glendale, The Bedroom of Los Angeles (dubbed out of the sheer boredom of the LA suburb, not for rampant sexual activity). You could almost hit the Rose Bowl with a rock from the balcony of my high school, St. Francis, in adjacent La Cañada.

I always dreamed of going to the Rose Bowl game.

My first time was as a junior manager for the USC Trojans, right on the sideline, on New Year’s Day 1977. We beat Michigan that day, 14-6. I still treasure my Rose Bowl ring and watch. Since that day, I have been to eight more Rose Bowls including the three aforementioned Oregon Rose Bowls.

As Gary Horowitz of USA Today wrote there was a time that Oregon even making the Rose Bowl would be relished, and not seen as the warm-up act before the headliner: The BSC National Championship Game.

Part of the reason for the lack of overall excitement by Oregon player’s lies in the fact that the program played in the “Natty” in 2011. That was the dream this year. The Bristol, Connecticut network Pharisees (e.g., former Florida QB Jesse Palmer or former Georgia LB David Pollack) at ES(SEC)PN have already discarded any chance of one loss Oregon playing in the Natty, so the Rose Bowl is now the realistic goal.

Keep in mind that five nationally ranked Pac-12 universities are still in the hunt for Pasadena on New Year’s Day: Oregon, Stanford, Arizona State, USC and UCLA. The latter four do not see the Rose Bowl as a consolation prize.

The precious nature of the Rose Bowl is magnified if one makes a visit to Corvallis, Oregon, Berkeley, California or Tucson, Arizona. The Beavers have not been to the Rose Bowl since 1965 (48 years); the Cal Bears have been shut out of Pasadena since 1959 (54 years); and the Arizona Wildcats have never made it to Pasadena.

And these three schools are not making it this year either.

If Bear Down Arizona or the Old Blues of Cal or the Beaver Nation ever makes it to Pasadena there will be tears shed in Tucson, (even) Berkeley or Corvallis.

No one would be dismissing the Rose Bowl as, “Whatever.”

http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/10011543/oregon-ducks-unhappy-prospect-rose-bowl-trip

http://bleacherreport.com/tb/dbMv4?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=oregon-ducks-football

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/pac12/2013/11/20/oregon-ducks-rose-bowl-pac-12-marcus-mariota/3659641/

http://www.oregonlive.com/ducks/index.ssf/2013/11/oregon_ducks_football_deanthon_8.html

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/lifelong-search-for-satisfaction/

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