Tag Archive: Oregon Ducks


Welcome to America’s cul-de-sac: The Pacific Northwest.

There is no state in the nation’s contiguous states, which is located further away from a steady supply of stud football players, let alone media markets, than Oregon.

For the Oregon Ducks, geography could be an easy excuse. Instead, it is a challenge that must and is being surmounted.

Oregon has chosen to compete in terms of marketing, facilities, swagger and success.

Autzen Stadium is rocking on Saturdays, and yet there are some who cannot pronounce the name of the state correctly particularly those east of the Hudson and in bucolic Bristol, Connecticut. … It’s Or-ee-gun.

As a 30-year season ticket holder, Almost DailyBrett was rooting for the Ducks before it was cool.

Your author earned his bachelor’s degree in broadcasting journalism from USC and his master’s degree in communication from the University of Oregon. There is no game that tugs at the heart strings more than when the Ducks and Trojans come together as will be the case this Saturday at the LA Mausoleum.

The illustration of the GPS disparity (e.g., 858 miles) between Los Angeles, California and Eugene, Oregon cannot be minimized. Oregon is the home to 4.19 million souls. The Los Angeles area has 18.79 commuters.

Geography matters.

USC easily has greater access to more stud athletes within a 40-mile radius of its urban campus than Oregon has in a 400-mile radius of its college town setting. Historically, USC recruits and signs more decorated big men on high school campuses than Oregon.

What? Oregon is a 4.5 point favorite over USC in Los Angeles.

How can that be even remotely possible?

Oregon Chose To Compete

Can’t tell you how many times Oregon was confused in the 1990s with … the Beavers.

You can’t tell the difference between “The Jetsons” and “The Flintstones”?

The working pejorative by the lazy sports media was to simply lump the Ducks and Beavers together as … “The Oregon schools.”

Attempting to stay in the game with USC, UCLA, Stanford and Washington for a quarter or two was an accomplishment. If that was indeed the case, the next obvious question was … why bother?

Athletes in Oregon could not practice their game 24,7, 365 because of the state’s wet climate. The team would never prevail. Oregon would never win the conference crown. The Ducks would never go to the Rose Bowl. They would never play for the “Natty.” A Duck would never win the Heisman Trophy.

Whatever happened to all these modern-day Nostradamus,’ who uttered these ex-cathedra proclamations?

Since Almost DailyBrett first purchased his Oregon season tickets and made his initial donation to The Duck Athletic Fund in 1990, the Ducks have won six conference titles. They have played in Pasadena on New Year’s Day four times, winning two. They have competed in the “Natty” twice. And Oregon deity, Marcus Mariota, won the Heisman.

With each accomplishment, Oregon blew away each recruiting disincentive: Can’t work on your game, never will win, never play in a major bowl, never compete for the national championship, will never be in the conversation for the Heisman … let alone win the trophy.

Oregon Reign

It reigns in Oregon. It reigns big time.

Oregon is the ultimate overachiever, not just in football but men’s and women’s basketball and track and field as well.

What are the components of Oregon’s accomplishments?

Marketing: Oregon is forward-looking. Buy the stock. The school doesn’t concentrate on past tradition, but pivots off immediate success to project forward.  Oregon has identified its target audience (high school sophomore and junior studs) with fun football, cool uniforms, playing in ultra-loud Autzen Stadium on national television. The Ducks are cool, and everyone knows it (including those in Seattle and Corvallis). Maybe their images and likenesses of future Ducks will draw the attention of … Nike?

Facilities:  If you build it, will they come? Almost DailyBrett remembers the alumni tent in the gravel parking lot. That mental image was light years ago. Conservatively, Oregon has invested $15 million for the Moshofsky Center (indoor practice facility), $41 million for the John Jacqua (athletic academic support center), $68 million for the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex (football operations center) and $68 million for the expansion of Autzen Stadium.

Kudos for a huge assist from Oregon’s resident alum swoosh billionaire, Phil Knight.

Swagger: The Golden Era of Oregon football has returned. Former lineman Mario Cristobal has brought Alabama smash-mouth football with speed to the perceived soft Pac-12 conference. Cristobal’s energy is infectious. Every potential recruit coming to Eugene, leaves with photos of himself in Oregon football pads with the Nike logo prominently featured. Once again, Oregon is the hunted, not the hunter.

Success: As John Madden once said: “When you win, nobody can hurt you. When you lose, nobody can help you.” After the school’s best-ever results (46-7) during Chip Kelly’s tenure from 2009 – 2012, and recorded three straight conference titles, four BCS bowl games, Oregon fell back into the Pac. Coaching matters.

Oregon comes to the LA Coliseum this Saturday with the wind in its collective sails (5-0 in the Pac-12). The Ducks respect USC, but don’t fear the Trojans. As evidenced by the Washington and Wazzu games, the contest is expected to be close, real close.

One way or the other, Oregon will be competing for conference title on December 6.

Will our fine-feathered friends have a Rosey future? Expect the Ducks to compete like hell for Pasadena, because they can.

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2019/01/02/the-conference-of-champions/

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

 

The beer stand at Oregon’s Moshofsky Center indoor “tailgate” party offered an intriguing choice last Saturday.

One could purchase a 16-ounce Deschutes Brewery Mirror Pond Pale Ale for $10.

Or one could consume two 12-ounce Coors Lights (a.k.a. “The Silver Bullet”) for the same price … $10.

Here’s the question: What is more important … the quality of the beer or the cost of the suds?

Back in college we never blinked about the source of our fermented hops, water and barley, our only considerations were access and cost (e.g., Oly quarts for 55 cents).

Heck, we even tapped keg beer and consumed nothing but foam.

When contemplating this national issue, consider that Oregon is celebrated for its microbrew culture (along with Pinot Noirs and Cannabis).

Almost DailyBrett is a big fan of user friendly Mirror Pond pale ale with its smooth full taste, reasonable amount of malt and barley, and low alcohol.

But would your author … even for a nanosecond consider drinking two Coors Lights (24 ounces) for the same cost of one Mirror Pond (16 ounces)?

The real question: Was yours truly willing to make “love in a canoe” in the name of thrift?

“Life Is Too Short To Drink Cheap Beer”

The Germans are legendary for their beers, namely golden (helles) and dark (dunkles) lagers.

Das Reinheitsgebot or the German Beer Purity Law goes back to München 1487, five years before Columbus set sail for the New World.

Besides setting its protectionist standard for beer (e.g., no Silver Bullets in Deutschland), the Germans also coined the above phrase about life being simply too short to ingest Coors Light or any other Ausländer lager, let alone English ales.

For Almost DailyBrett, is his expected stay on this planet way too short to even consider … let alone drink … Coors Light regardless of price?

Mirror Pond pale ale is the anchor brand for Bend Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery, and favorably rivals Chico California’s Sierra Nevada’s Pale and Ft. Collins, Colorado’s New Belgium’s Fat Tire.

Admittedly, $10 is pricey for a one half-pint when you consider you can buy a “sixer” at your local supermarket for approximately the same price. One should also consider and weigh the ambiance of game day at Moshofsky with several thousand of your most intimate fellow Duck fans.

Isn’t Gemütlichkeit or being warm and fuzzy all over with kindred spirits the same whether one Mirror Pond or two Coors Lights are being carried and consumed?

That question is the essence of the dilemma. How many beers do most people quaff before, during and after a nationally televised football game (e.g., Oregon’s 17-7 win over Cal)? For Almost DailyBrett, the answer is typically two.

Okay, let’s rephrase the question: Two Mirror Ponds for $20 (32-ounces total) or two Silver Bullets for $10 (24-ounces).

Would your author actually Make Love In A Canoe?

Gasp, would yours truly consume two beers that are F…… Close to Water?

Alas, dos Coors Lights were the shameful order of the day in direct violation of the Reinheitsgebot, and everything we hold dear in America.

At least your author was not tempted by PBRs at any price or quantity.

When it comes to a race to the bottom, yours truly will only stoop so low.

https://www.coorslight.com/av?url=https://www.coorslight.com/

Mirror Pond Pale Ale

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

 

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/

 

 

Boys will be boys.

And what interests boys? Football? Sex? Both?

Going back to the golden broadcast age of Roone Arledge, Chris Schenkel and Keith Jackson, ABC Sports college football cameras were among the first to start featuring cheerleaders and student bodies in search of healthy examples of the female form. Coming as no surprise, seemingly no one argued.

Why not incorporate beauty into football broadcasts to drive ratings? We all know that sex sells.allie

But what happens when pure sex appeal is brought down to the sidelines? Is the network mission to inform or to titillate? The majority of football fans are still male, so why not introduce telegenic women to the broadcast?

The rub comes when less-than-intelligent “reporting,” emanates from the sidelines, causing the viewer to question whether the reporter knows what she is talking about. Is our collective intelligence being insulted because the perception is that all males care more about T&A, than the T-formation?

There are few instances in life that drive serious football fans insane than an ex-beauty queen making inane remarks and asking less-than-intelligent questions of coaches and players. Can’t the networks provide us with more than a pretty face?

Before Launching Your Verbal Grenades

Almost DailyBrett will always plead innocent when it comes to any-and-all allegations of misogyny.

At the same time, your blog author is guilty as charged in terms of being an over-the-top, über football fan.

For the past 26 years and counting, yours truly has been a season ticket holder on the opponent’s 30-yard-line at Autzen Stadium in Eugene. My tenure at Autzen started with Bill Musgrave and company in 1990 right through this season’s one-year stint of Vernon Adams.

The author of Almost DailyBrett also served as a football manager for the Oregon Ducks and the USC Trojans, and therefore knows what goes on in the huddle, in the locker room and on the sidelines. The “Sam” backer is lined up over the tight end on the strong side. The “Mike” patrols the middle. The “Will” plays the weak side.

Wonder how many former beauty-queen sideline reporters understand the placement of “backers” on the field, let alone the other intricacies of the complex game of football? If they do not, then why are they there?

This question is not to insinuate that women shouldn’t be on the sidelines … they should … but to contend they must know what they are talking about before they are given a sideline pass. Does Miss Teen USA 2005 and Trump Modeling Management model, Allie LaForce, really know football? The 26-year-old played basketball at Ohio University and majored in broadcast journalism, but did not graduate.

Why is she covering football? She knew how to instinctively flip her strands of blonde hair while interviewing Nick Saban at halftime during the SEC championship game, while asking canned questions. Hey CBS Sportss, is that all it takes for Allie to earn a ticket into the living rooms of literally millions of fans across the country?

Less Ornamentation; More Knowledge Please

Let’s compare Mizz LaForce to Doris Burke, who covers NBA basketball for ABC. When she interviews LeBron James or Dwayne Wade, she asks probing, intelligent questions. Burke, 40, started playing basketball in the second grade and starred with the Providence Friars, and is second all-time in dishing out assists. She was inducted into the Providence College Hall of Fame. Doris received her bachelor’s in Health Service Education/Social Work and her master’s in Education from the same university.dorisburke

Doris is attractive, but not a former model. More importantly she is accomplished on-and-off the court, and she obviously knows her zone and man-to-man defenses. She played the game. She holds two degrees. Almost DailyBrett has far more respect for Doris than Allie.

The same is true for ESPN’s Lisa Salters, 49, a Penn State graduate in Broadcast Journalism. She played guard for the Penn State women’s basketball team, and is the shortest ever player for the Nittany Lions at 5’2.” She covers football and basketball, and once again she can distinguish between her Xs and her Os.

Washington Wizards v/s Cleveland Cavaliers November 18, 2009 at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

Washington Wizards v/s Cleveland Cavaliers November 18, 2009 at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

Michele Tafoya, 50, has seemingly reached the pinnacle of her trade, serving as the sideline reporter for NBC’s Sunday Night Football since 2011. She received her bachelor’s degree in mass communications from University of California, Berkeley, and her MBA from the University of Southern California (May the Horse be with you, Michele).

She joined CBS in 1994, covering March Madness and U.S. Open tennis. Michele moved on to ABC/ESPN in 2000 as a sideline reporter for ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

Does Michele Tafoya understand basketball, football, tennis and conceivably other sports? Yes. Was she chosen strictly for her ornamental value? No. The same is true for Doris Burke and Lisa Salters.tafoya

Can we say the same for Allie LaForce?

The purpose here is not to beat up on Allie and other beautiful sideline reporters. They should not be penalized for their appearance. At the same time, they should not be awarded prime sideline real estate just for being a pretty face. They should know the game and they should be smart and accomplished, otherwise the networks are insulting our collective intelligence.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/06/business/roone-arledge-71-a-force-in-tv-sports-and-news-dies.html?pagewanted=all

http://www.si.com/more-sports/2015/12/06/media-circus-michelle-tafoya-sunday-night-football-lorne-rubenstein

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

http://nypost.com/2015/03/16/meet-allie-laforce-a-former-miss-teen-usa-whos-ruling-the-march-madness-court/

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

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

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

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/misogyny

 

 

 

 

They don’t hate us. We hate them, even though our mumsies told us to never use that verb.

Eugene is only 47 miles down the road, guess that proves that familiarity does indeed breed contempt.bennybeaver

They actually root for us, except once a year in the Civil War. We detest, despise and loathe them and everything they represent. We will never, ever cheer for them.

They see themselves as The Jetsons. They compare us to The Flintstones.

They see themselves as ultra-cool, and so does ESPN. Guess that makes us, Brand X.

When they do deign to actually contemplate us, they regard us as “Little Brother,” and that “Cow College.” They make disparaging sheep jokes: “The greatest lie in Corvallis? ‘I was only trying to help that sheep over the fence.’”

That’s not funny, and it’s not true.

Seriously.

On Tuesday nights, they watch “Talkin’ Ducks” on Comcast SportsNet. On Wednesday, we are supposed to watch “Talkin Beavers,” even though the title sounds like the obscene chatter of adolescent boys.

We were just so close this past Friday, our rodents coming within three points twice in the fourth quarter until they took it away from us for their eighth consecutive win. The Civil War is now Oregon 63, Oregon State 46 and 10 ties … once again we were on the wrong end of the scoreboard.

Their biggest rival is the Washington Huskies, not us. They will not even acknowledge that we are their true rivals.

They are so smug in their ever-changeable Nike uniforms. We have to admit they have a better school, better stadium, better facilities, better team, better band, better songs, better mascot, better rally squad. Everything is just frickin’ better.shout

Okay, we are better at agronomy, but does that count?

Flat Tail Society

We supposedly market ourselves as Beaver Nation, but does anyone outside of Benton County really believe Mike Parker, The Voice of the Beavers?

They have “Uncle Phil,” and his Nike billions. He lavishly and charitably gives millions to both athletics and academics at his alma mater, and yet we still wear his swoosh uniforms. Doesn’t Adidas or Under Armour want to protect our house?

We played in the Rose Bowl on January 1, 1965, losing by only 27 points to Michigan. They played in the Rose Bowl this past January 1, beating previously undefeated Florida State by 39 points … and the game wasn’t that close.

Twice we were within one game of the Rose Bowl in both 2008 and 2009. All we had to do was beat them … that’s all we had to do. Alas …

“Send me dead flowers by the mail

Send me dead flowers to my wedding

And I won’t forget to put roses on your grave” – Jagger, Richards, Dead Flowers

Coming Full Circle

We have a Heisman Trophy winner by the name of … ahh … what was his name again? Oh, Terry Baker in 1862. Sorry, made a mistake, it was 1962. Their Heisman Trophy winner is Marcus Mariota, just this past year. You can watch him play every Sunday for the Tennessee Titans.marcusheisman

We set an NCAA record for most consecutive losing seasons: 27 (1971-1998). We seemed to be turning the corner until we ran into an oncoming train. Our native-son coach, Mike Riley, packed his bags for bucolic Lincoln, Nebraska. We won two games this year. Oregon had a bad year (for them) too, winning only nine, six straight, and yet another win over us.

At least one commentator referred to our football program as a “road apple.” Hey, that’s not true. We almost won a conference game. And we are going to fix up the Valley Football Center in Corvallis.

Maybe we can adjust the rabbit ears at the Valley Football Center and watch the Ducks in their 12th straight bowl game … at least they are not playing for national championship this year.

We are optimistic about next year. Contrary to the persistent rumors, there will be ice on the sidelines at Reser Lunch Meats Stadium. The student with the recipe is staying for graduate school.

Even though we lost yet another Civil War last Friday, we are proud of Oregon State, our alma mater dear. Our diplomas are proudly hung on the wall, and most of us are gainfully employed.

And when customers arrive, we cheerfully ask: “Would you like to supersize your meal?”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_War_(college_football_game)

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/rollingstones/deadflowers.html

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

“To be blessed to have all of this stuff around us, we want to give back. We want to give back to Phil Knight, to give back to Nike, give back to all the donors that donated to the school, and changed Oregon.” – Oregon defensive back Ifo Ekpre-Olomu

It’s been success, and really, Nike. Let’s face it. Without them, we wouldn’t be here.” – Craig Pintens, University of Oregon senior associate athletic director for marketing and public relations

Does that mean that Oregon would be somewhere else? Corvallis? Pullman?

Are Oregon returning seniors giving back in order of importance: Uncle Phil, Nike and oh yes … the donors too?

Is the Oregon Athletic Department once again confusing the “O” for the “Swoosh”?Oregon1

“University of Nike”

“We are the University of Nike. We embrace it. We tell that to our recruits,” – Jeff Hawkins, University of Nike senior associate athletic director of Football Administration and Operations.

Nike-Logo

Bad habits die hard at the University of Oregon Athletic Department.

A little over a year ago, Almost DailyBrett reported about how Jeff Hawkins made the “University of Nike” pronouncement to the New York Times.

Fast forward to today and Ifo and Pintens sang a similar song to Chris Dufresne of the Los Angeles Times.

Yes, Uncle Phil has been incredibly generous to the tune of more than $300 million and counting to the Oregon Athletic Department (e.g., impregnable Brazilian ipi wood in the 25,000-square foot weight room) and academics (e.g., Law School and Library).

The university is extremely fortunate that its most distinguished alum founded and ran Nike. He is now worth billions, and is bestowing a portion of his wealth to his alma mater. That’s great.

What is a matter of public relations concern is the intentional practice of making the Nike and Oregon brands synonymous.

Quick: Name another major university that is the brand equivalent of a Fortune 500 publicly traded company? The closest that Almost DailyBrett can even ponder is Oklahoma State and T. Boone Pickens, but of course, the former Wall Street raider is not a corporate brand.

Overcoming Geography

Even though the campus is tucked away in America’s sparsely populated cul-de-sac, these are heady days for the University of Oregon. The Ducks are No. 2 in the AP poll of football writers after dashing the notion that Oregon is “soft” with a second-half smack down of Rose Bowl champion, Michigan State. The final was Oregon 46; Michigan State 27, and in the end, it really wasn’t that close.

There is a swagger that has been building in Eugene during the last decade-plus: High tempo spread offense, cool Nike uniforms every week. Ferrari leather, Brazilian wood, and high-tech gizmos at the $68 million (it’s more than that) 145,000 square-foot Hatfield-Dowlin football complex adjacent to the friendly confines of Autzen Stadium. There are also the 10 straight over Washington with number 11 slated for October 18. Yep, it’s cool to be a Duck fan.

There is zero doubt that Nike played a significant role in the program’s success, but the story does not start or end there. The Ducks made it to the Rose Bowl in 1994 with no swooshes on their traditional uniforms and mediocre facilities. They did it with great coaching, skillful recruiting and a confident team that caught fire down the stretch. “Kenny Wheaton is going to score. Kenny Wheaton is going to score.”

wheaton2

Proclaiming the equivalency of Nike and Oregon sends the unfortunate and inaccurate signal that Oregon would be Oregon State or worse, Washington State, without Uncle Phil’s largesse.

The more important issue is the resulting confusion when it comes to multiple brands.

USC wears Nike jerseys, but no one mistakes the cardinal and gold, the Trojan head, the Song Girls, and Traveler the Horse with the “swoosh.”

Sergey Brin and Larry Page went to Stanford, but there is no PR effort on the Farm to tie Stanford to Google. Stanford will never be confused as a search engine with an Android operating system.

Reser Foods sponsors Oregon State’s football stadium, but no one is attempting to equate Benny Rodent with bratwurst … even though the idea has some appeal.

Think of it this way. Starbucks is Starbucks. Apple is Apple. Amazon is Amazon. Southwest is Southwest. So why does Oregon have to be Nike?

Are the brand management rocket scientists at the Athletic Department trying to be both the “O” and the “Swoosh” at the same time? And if so, what is the unifying message? Just Do It!? Or Go Ducks?

Here are even more germane questions: What does the latest in a line of interim presidents at the University of Oregon think about dueling brands on the same campus? Do they even recognize that they have a problem on their hands?

Or is it simply, the team is winning, so who cares if there is a little brand confusion?

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-oregon-football-20140826-column.html#page=1

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2013/08/03/university-of-nike/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqlcRAZfRHc

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T._Boone_Pickens

 

 

 

 

“It’s the edge of the world
“And all of western civilization
“The sun may rise in the East
“At least it settled in a final location
“It’s understood that Hollywood
“Sells Californication” –
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Californication

They received the same welcome as a swarm of locusts.

Blue Tarp Tenting at Scorpion Ranch on Santa Cruz Island

They polluted campgrounds.

They clogged freeways and roads.

They had the audacity to pay cash, and drove up real estate prices.

They were the dirty, rotten Californicators and they were coming to the pristine Pacific Northwest in droves.

That was the 1990. This is now.

Six Californias, One Oregon, One Washington?

When the author of Almost DailyBrett left California for the first time in 1990, the destination was Portland, Oregon … long before it became known as the city, “where young people go to retire.”

It took awhile, but eventually I learned to answer “Sacramento” when people asked: “Where did you come from?”

Oregonians who immediately equated the word, “California,” with gag-me-with-the-spoon, “San Fernando Valley” didn’t know how to process, “Sacramento.” The “Valley” with its sprawl of cookie-cutter neighborhoods (e.g., Chatsworth, Reseda, Encino) with the Ventura Freeway and Monopoly ranch-style houses epitomized everything that was wrong with California.

Keep in mind, California at the time indeed was a “Great State with a Great Governor.” I proudly worked for that governor, George Deukmejian, for eight years, the most popular California chief executive of the modern era.

Sorry AH-Nold.

One sensed that the resentment for Californicators was born out of envy and jealousy. California has wunderbare Wetter, Silicon Valley, the Napa and Sonoma Wine Country, great beaches, Venice’s weightlifting platform, the San Francisco Giants, USC Trojans, Los Angeles Kings …

Oregon and Washington were recovering from twin economic downturns in forestry and aircraft manufacture (e.g., Boeing in Seattle). The weather changes every five minutes. Hey, check out that sun break before it goes away!

Now the proverbial shoe is on the other foot. California still has Silicon Valley, but the rest of the state is suffering with clogged freeways, skyrocketing housing prices, chronic budget snafus, foreclosures and food stamps. One rich venture capital-type – Harvard-Stanford educated Tim Draper — has even proposed submitting a 2016 ballot proposition to divide California into six states with 12 U.S. senators and scads of House members.

sixcalifornias

Maybe this contemplated action and others in the Golden State are just another tangible sign that the quality of life is simply better in the Pacific Northwest, and everyone knows it.

The End of Californication

“The dream of the 90s is alive in Portland!
“Sleep ‘til 11,
“You’ll be in heaven.” Theme Song for Portlandia

Maybe the Northwest’s now superior quality of life explains the profound change when I moved to no sales tax Oregon for the second time in 2010 to pursue my master’s degree from the University of Oregon in Eugene (e.g., University of California at Eugene).

Naturally, I took immediate steps to get the offending California license plates off my little green chariot. And this time when I  asked where I came from, I simply replied: “Silicon Valley,” even keeping my 408-area code cell phone number to prove it.

Certainly, the Silicon Valley suffers from the same indistinguishable communities (e.g., Milpitas, San Jose, Cupertino, Sunnyvale) and butt-ugly topography that is the case for the San Fernando Valley. The difference is that Silicon Valley is the home of Apple, and UO academic types love their Macs, iPods, iPhones and iPads. They really don’t associate their Apple Kool-Aid consuming cult with California or even (shudder …) corporate America.

portlandia

There does not appear to be even remotely the same California envy and jealousy (save Oregon losing to Stanford in football the last two seasons…the Cardinal visits Autzen on November 1).  Oregon pinot noirs command top dollar. Nike, Columbia Sportswear, Amazon, Costco, Nordstrom, Microsoft, Starbucks are some of the coolest publicly traded companies on the planet.

And just in case you forgot, the Seattle Seahawks beat the San Francisco 49ers for the right to win the Super Bowl. If you don’t believe me, just ask Richard Sherman.

And if you want to relive the 1990s, retire young, forget all about your fellow Californicators, the Pacific Northwest is just beckoning for you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlUKcNNmywk

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Californication

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/redhotchilipeppers/californication.html

http://geocurrents.info/place/north-america/northern-california/tim-drapers-proposed-six-californias

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_C._Draper

http://cnsnews.com/blog/lars-larson/portlandia-no-joke-city-where-young-people-go-retire

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZt-pOc3moc

http://blog.oregonlive.com/portlandcityhall/2010/12/portlandia_the_place_where_you.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portlandia_%28TV_series%29

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soft Oregon?

Oregon Ducks fans are more rabid because there is nothing else to do in the state except watch ‘Portlandia.’” – author and New York City native, Buzz Bissinger.

Oregon is putrid against nationally ranked opponents. All the Ducks really do is feast on the poor, and suck it up against the rich.” – Harry Gerard “H.G.” Bissinger, III.

rosebowl

Leave it to the author of Friday Night Lights to mess up a magazine with heroin-chic Kate Moss on the cover.

Bissinger wants to bring back more concussions, blood and broken bones to college and professional football.

Yep, Buzz gave it to the Oregon Ducks from the comfort of his Manhattan digs in his From Butkus to Buttercup essay. BTW Bissinger III, OR-EE-GONE is located due west of the Hudson River…give or take two-or-three time zones to the west.

Maybe I shouldn’t be so rough on Buzz. After all, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, Friday Night Lights, about Reagan-era football in West Texas.

And his reflection of the perception about Oregon football being soft is shared by others, particularly the talking heads on Bristol, Connecticut’s ES(SEC)PN.

Bissinger (not to be confused with Kissinger) offered that Baylor and Oregon have become “dirty words” in college football. Why?

Because they win?

Because they are both a blast to watch?

Substitute Oregon for Central Florida against Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl, and I guarantee you ES(SEC)PN ratings that will be higher than the astronomical figures on the scoreboard.

College football is immensely popular because of the breakneck speed in which it is now played. Huddles are so yesterday. Speed. Tempo, Excitement. New unis. New ways of thinking.

Bissinger and the purists want to go back to Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler and three-yards and a cloud of dust. There is just something magical about watching a team break the huddle. The quarterback putting his hands on the center’s derriere. And then (gasp) handing off the ball to the burly fullback for a dive play…Yawn.

woodybo

If you want that kind of game, just watch Stanford vs. Michigan State in the Rose Bowl. There will be big burly linemen, packed like sardines on the line of scrimmage in which everyone in the stadium and on television knows what play will be run. The game will be as predictable as a root canal.

“Former Oregon coach Chip Kelly either revolutionized the game with the hurry-up, no-huddle offense every play or hastened the game’s absurdity, since the team looks like an amphetamine-induced ‘Tom and Jerry’ cartoon in which the beleaguered cat and its nemesis mouse wear green Speedos.” – Bissinger III in From Butkus to Buttercup.

buzz

That would be the same Chip Kelly, who has already doubled the number of wins for the Philadelphia Eagles with two games to go. These are the same Philadelphia Eagles that went 4-12 in 2012 and are now leading the NFC East at 8-6 with a big Sunday night game against the Chicago Bears on the docket.

Getting back to the notion that Oregon blows away the weak and crumbles before the smash-mouth crowd may be de rigueur with the Eastern Time Zone folks, who can’t stay up late for Oregon’s games. There are a few facts that belie this perception…Yes, yes, there is the adage about perception trumping reality. Sorry “putrid” does not apply unless you are talking about SEC non-conference “competition.”

● Oregon plays in the Pac-12 Conference, which mandates each team to play nine conference games. The SEC only requires its teams to play eight conference foes…which leaves a spot open for another cupcake game.  Let’s see…on November 23, Alabama walloped Chattanooga and South Carolina beat up on Coastal Carolina. West Carolina was not available that day as they had already played Auburn.

● Speaking of the SEC, Oregon ran all over Tennessee and its smash-mouth offensive and defensive lines, 59-14 at Autzen Stadium. This is the very same Tennessee team that later upset Steve Spurrier’s South Carolina Gamecocks, 23-21.

● Oregon lost to Stanford this year and in 2012 in relatively close games. Keep in mind, Oregon blasted Stanford in Palo Alto, 53-30 in 2011, and 52-31 in Eugene in 2010, with Andrew Luck serving as Stanford’s quarterback.

● Finesse Oregon never wins the big games, particularly big physical teams. Really? Does the 2012 Rose Bowl 45-38 win against burly Wisconsin with Russell Wilson at QB and Montee Ball carrying the rock ring a bell? Oh…Wisconsin ran out of time, instead of Oregon winning. Is that what you are saying? Scoreboard baby, scoreboard.

● Guess beating USC twice consecutively in the LA Coliseum doesn’t count, 53-32 in 2010 and 62-51 in 2012. SC has never been considered to be a soft opponent and winning in LA is difficult. Ask Stanford. Ask Ohio State.

● Yes, Oregon lost the 2011 “Natty” on a last second field goal to Cam Newton’s Auburn, the 2010 Rose Bowl to Ohio State and the 2011 opener to LSU in the Cowboys Classic in Arlington, Texas. They easily could have scheduled Idaho on that date, but they didn’t. Wait…didn’t Florida State play Idaho this year…in Tallahassee? It was an 80-14 squeaker on November 23. I’m quivering just remembering where I was when I heard the score for the first time.

● For the quantitative types, Oregon is 56-9 in the last five years recording 10-wins or more in each of these seasons. This is the first year that a BCS Bowl game is not the reward for a great year. Not bad, not bad at all.

Even though ES(SEC)PN makes Game Day visits to Eugene (and I will give them credit for that), most of the Trilateral Commission for Global Domination by the Eastern Time Zone (TCGDETZ) can’t handle the team from Eugene, Oregon and they can barely tolerate the team from Waco, Texas (Baylor).

At least when the latter plays the folks in the midtown Manhattan bars don’t have to stay up so late.

http://www.buzzbissinger.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buzz_Bissinger

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friday_Night_Lights:_A_Town,_a_Team,_and_a_Dream

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20755383,00.html

http://www.philadelphiaeagles.com/team/coaches/chip-kelly/1e82ad7a-dd3c-4f69-be3c-8e0ee114e7f3

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/or-ee-gone/

 

“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/

Here’s a note to those residing in God’s time zone (e.g., EDT, EST), particularly south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

It’s NOT… OR-EE-GONE … It’s OR-EE-GUN.

Just think of the NRA whenever the BSC … oops BCS … once again snubs that team with the funny mascot located in America’s cul-de-sac, about 2,855.2 miles west of Tallahassee in your pickup truck with OR-EE-GUN racks on the back.

gunrack

Just to make sure that I am not directing all of my ire at Dixie, ESPN’s Tony “Pardon the Interruption” Kornheiser from Long Island, also refers to Oregon as OR-EE-GONE.

Being from New York, he would most likely pronounce the river that runs near Autzen Stadium as the Will-a-MET(s).

Think of it this way and you will never mess up the pronunciation: It’s Will-AM-IT; Damn-it!

Besides-so-many-near-the Atlantic being at best indifferent or at worst intellectually challenged in how to properly pronounce the name of the state located somewhere out on the Pacific Coast, there is the inconvenient problem that comes with the Ducks winning each-and-every game by three touchdowns or more.

Oregon is a solid No. 2 in both polls with first place votes coming from football writers and coaches respectively.

No problem? What? Oh, you are going to solve this annual West Coast annoyance with computers. I have seen this movie before in 2001, and I am not looking forward to the sequel.

Even though the BSC thankfully exists for only 76 more days, the Trilateral Commission for Global Domination by the Eastern Time Zone (TCGDETZ) has already initiated the Oregon snub.

This year may be tougher than most. Let’s say the Ducks knock off nationally ranked UCLA, Stanford (on the road), Oregon State and either UCLA or Arizona State in the Pac-12 championship game to finish at 13-0, how will the BSC arrange for two Southern football factories (or maybe Ohio State) to play for the “Natty”?

The first explanation may revolve around the notion that OR-EE-GONE should be happy to play in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day, making it easy for its geographically isolated fans to see their beloved Ducks in yet again, another, other BSC bowl game.

The problem is that the “Natty” is also being played this year in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, just five days after the Rose Bowl game.

Not to worry. This is the same BSC that chose Nebraska to play Miami in the very same Rose Bowl “Natty” in 2001, even though the Cornhuskers were blown out 62-36 by the Colorado Buffaloes. The Huskers were then annihilated and destroyed by No. 1 Miami, 37-14.

By the way, Oregon thumped that very same Colorado team, 38-16 in the Fiesta Bowl to finish No. 2 in the nation. We were deprived of the opportunity of seeing Oregon play Miami for the whole bowl (no pun intended) of marbles by the BSC.

Even though the fix is in with the BSC setting up SEC Alabama vs. ACC (basketball conference) Florida State clash for the Waterford crystal football, this No. 1 vs. No. 3 system will mercifully go into the history books after Jan. 6, 2014. A four-team playoff will ensue and all the controversy will go away.

What’s that former coach Pat Dye from Ah-BURN in da S.E.C?

DYE

You don’t like that Condoleezza Rice as a member of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee because she is a woman and obviously did not play football?

Let’s see Pat, she was good enough to serve as the nation’s Secretary of State and National Security Advisor and now as the Provost at Stanford University, but she is not qualified to interpret won-loss records, strength of schedule, national rankings and computer modeling for college football teams?

She speaks fluent Russian, plays classical piano, figure skates, took a hand at making sense of the history, culture, religious animosities of the Byzantine Middle East, but she doesn’t have the football necessities to determine who are the best four teams in the country as one-of-13 members of the college football playoff selection committee?

condi

Pat, would you like to have the opportunity to take your comments back?

I have zero issues with Dr. Rice serving on the committee other than she may be predisposed to Stanford over Oregon, but my concern is mitigated that she is only one-of-13 votes.

Best of all, there will be no more BSC with favoritism to those who still pronounce the way-off state with the funny mascot, OR-EE-GONE.

http://www.lostlettermen.com/oregon-fans-enraged-over-bcs-snub/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BCS_controversies

http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/10/17/condi-rice-respectfully-disagrees-with-pat-dyes-assessment/

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/nationworld/sns-rt-fbc-news-20130628,0,6685898.story

https://www.google.com/#q=Distance+between+Tallahassee+and+Eugene%2C+Oregon

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condoleezza_Rice

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2013/10/16/meet-the-faces-behind-the-college-football-playoff-selection-committee/2993911/

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