Tag Archive: Rose Bowl


Invested in Oregon football season tickets 27 years ago, and also seats for the Oregon Symphony Orchestra.

Whatever happened to those yawn-a-minute classical music tickets?

Reflecting on the purchase of Oregon season seats and directly related contributions to the Duck Athletic Fund, the author of Almost DailyBrett can categorically state: My life has been totally transformed partly as a result: super spouse, college professorship, advanced degree and even a little Valley Fever to build a little character.kevinatoregon

Never conceived even for a nanosecond or two that my two humble tickets in Section 33, Row 15, Seats 7-8 near the 30-yard line at Autzen Stadium could mean so much.

When I ordered the season tix, there were only 12,000 brave Oregon season ticket holders. There was an alumni tent in the gravel parking lot. The average crowd was about 25,000, and the mean, hateful, despicable Don James-era Washington Huskies ruled the Pacific Northwest, if not the Pac-10 Conference.

Today, there are more than 42,000 season ticket holders for the always packed friendly confines of Autzen Stadium, where it never rains. The Ducks have beaten the Huskies a series-record (and counting) 12 straight times.

Back in 1990 the Ducks were … the Ducks. They were always a tad above mediocre. Bill Musgrave was the quarterback, surrounded by decent talent. Oregon went 8-4, including a landmark upset of Ty Detmer’s No. 4 BYU Cougars, but lost in the frickin’ Freedom Bowl.

The author of Almost DailyBrett was determined back then, he did not want to go to the Pearly Gates without once watching the Ducks in the Rose Bowl. Oregon was predicted for 10th in the Pac-10 in 1994. And then there was the magical October 22 game against Washington in Autzen Stadium.wheaton

For a few seconds, it seemed that time stood still: “Kenny Wheaton is going to score. Kenny Wheaton is going to score …

The band was playing “Mighty Oregon” on the floor of the Rose Bowl on January 2, 1995. There was not a dry eye on the Oregon side of The Granddaddy of Them All. We lost that day, wearing Champion jerseys and pants in uniforms that would make the Green Bay Packers proud.

Uncle Phil was not on the sidelines. That would soon change.

Akili, Joey, Kellen and Dennis …

Some of the greatest to ever play quarterback for Oregon starred during the Mike Bellotti era (116-57) including Akili Smith, Joey Harrington, Kellen Clemens and Dennis Dixon. They handed the ball off to Reuben Droughns, Maurice Morris and Jonathan Stewart. The likes of Haloti Ngata plugged up the middle on defense.

The big moment during the Bellotti tenure was blowing out Colorado 38-16 in the 2002 Fiesta Bowl (we should have been in the Rose Bowl) to finish No. 2 in the country at 11-1.joeyharrington

The author of Almost Daily Brett worked for LSI Logic and Edelman Public Relations during this era and would make frequent trips to Eugene and to road games (e.g., Michigan Big House in 2007) from Silicon Valley – all for the love of Oregon football.

Unfortunately, breathing in the Valley Fever fungus before Oregon’s tight win over Fresno State in Fresno almost led to curtains. Never thought that going to a Duck game could be so deadly to my health. Fought the little Valley Fever bugger to a standstill and dodged prostate cancer as well. The net result: The Chip Kelly era of Oregon football, matrimony, an advanced degree and a second career.

LaMichael, Kenyon, DeAnthony, Darron, Jeanne …

Headed up to Eugene during Chip Kelly’s first year for a game against Cal. Went to more than a football game that fall day in 2009. Stopped off at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication.

Could I be a college teacher? Sure, take the GRE, apply for a fellowship, serve as a TA and devote 15 months of my life to earning a Master of Arts degree.

All the rest is history.

Oh BTW, Oregon went 46-7 in Chip’s four years including a trip to the “Natty,” a thrilling win over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl with a high-speed, spread offense that revolutionized football.

Uncle Phil was stepping up big time with the Moshofsky Indoor Practice facility (no more alumni tent in the gravel parking lot), an academic support center for athletes and an incredible football complex.DSC01377

Landed an emergency adjunct instructor position at Oregon, which led to a July 4, 2012 Match.com date with a fantabulous Fraulein by the name of Jeanne. She is now Jeanne Brett.

Heisman Marcus; Rose Bowl Blowout

Nearing the end of my sixth decade on the planet, my UO advanced degree, teaching experience and my extensive background made me competitive for a tenure-track assistant professorship in public relations and advertising.marcusrosebowl

The drive from Ellensburg’s Central Washington University to Oregon’s Autzen Stadium is about six hours. It has been worth every minute as the Ducks continued to overachieve under Mark Helfrich (33-8). Marcus Mariota won the Heisman, and easily outdueled Jameis Winston in the Jan. 1, 2015 Rose Bowl, 59-20.

The Ducks have come a long way from the days when yours truly wondered if they would ever play in Pasadena on New Year’s Day, let alone twice competing for the national championship.

If you are scoring at home, Oregon is 226-100 ever since your author bought his season seats in 1990. The Ducks have won seven conference championships, went to two national championship games, played in four Rose Bowls, winning the last two, and two Fiesta Bowls, winning both. All-in-all, the Ducks have been to 23 bowls during this time.

More importantly, the tickets have been so much more than precious pieces of cardboard with bar codes. They have represented new love (e.g., Jeanne), a challenge (e.g., Valley Fever), an intellectual achievement (e.g. M.A. degree); valuable teaching experience (e.g., adjunct instructor): and a new career as a professor and mentor (e.g., assistant professor).

All-in-all, I am One Ducky Dude. Can hardly wait for fall.

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYt2GDh9PgU

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/washington-cancels-oct-17-game-against-oregon/

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

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/the-world-through-corvallis-eyes/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2013/07/09/the-right-woman/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2011/10/25/prostate-cancer-a-piece-of-cake-compared-to-valley-fever/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2016/05/08/from-press-secretary-to-professor/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2014/03/04/launching-a-second-career-2/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/give-some-credit-to-rich-brooks/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/ducks-vs-dawgs-to-end-the-season/

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Move Paves Way for Huskies to Join The Big Sky Conference

SEATTLE, WA, April 1, 2015 – After failing to defeat Oregon since George W. Bush’s first term in office, the University of Washington today announced the cancellation of its October 17 game at Husky Stadium against the Ducks.ducksdawgs

Under the terms of the memoranda of understanding (MOU) with the University of Oregon, Washington will still pay the visiting team share to Oregon, and another $500,000 so the Ducks can host Florida State on October 17 at Autzen Stadium in Eugene. The Rose Bowl rematch will be televised nationally on ESPN at 4:45 pm PDT.

In place of Oregon, the University of Washington will renew its historic rivalry that very same day against the Idaho State University Bengals in Holt Arena in Pocatello, Idaho. The game will be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis on Pac-12 Networks at 11:30 pm PDT, following the conclusion of the Washington vs. Washington State Apple Cup women’s soccer game.

“After losing 11 consecutive times by an average deficit of 25 points with no game being closer than three touchdowns, we have done a lot of soul-searching by the Montlake,” said University of Washington Athletic Director Scott Woodward. “We have been living in a state of  denial way too long. It’s time to accept reality: Washington can neither compete academically with Oregon nor can the Huskies contend with the Ducks athletically.”

Woodward announced the university is in active discussions with Commissioner Larry Scott about resigning from the Pac-12 in order to seek a more appropriate level of athletic and academic competition in the Big Sky Conference. To ensure that 12 schools still comprise the major conference, including two from the Evergreen State, Woodward said the Washington administration proposed that Gonzaga University join WSU as the state’s representatives in the Pac-12.

“Even though the Washington athletic administration is proposing a zero sum game, we have to study this plan carefully as we know that Gonzaga in-place of Washington will strengthen the league’s competitive stance in NCAA basketball,” said Scott. “Gonzaga would give the Pac-12 access to the Spokane media market, while the retention of Washington State will continue the league’s presence in the all-important Pullman, WA/Moscow ID region.

In addition to paving the way for admission into the Big Sky, setting up contests against Weber State, Northern Arizona and Eastern Washington among others, the University of Washington will undergo a massive reduction in the capacity of Husky Stadium from 72,500 to about 16,000 to more align the university with its new FCS division.husky

University of Washington Football Coach Chris Petersen acknowledged the presence of University of Oregon billionaire alum, Phil Knight, was a contributing factor in the now lopsided “series” between Oregon and Washington with the Ducks outscoring the Huskies 481-202 since 2004. Petersen, who served as an assistant at Oregon, before taking head coaching jobs at Boise State and Washington, knows firsthand the advantages that UO has over Washington.

“Many warned me that I would be taking a step backward in terms of athletics and academics, when I left Oregon for Boise State,” Petersen said. “I didn’t fully appreciate that downward spiral would not only continue, but actually accelerate, when I left picturesque Boise for dreary Seattle.”

Petersen encouraged the University of Washington administration to be realistic, and forget about churning out billionaire alums. He suggested the university instead focus on the few promising UW students that someday, someway will actually make six-figures cumulatively (e.g., one, two, three, four … ) in the course of their lifetimes. There are certainly opportunities for Udub graduates in maintenance engineering, petroleum transfer and refuse collection, he added.UOUW

Oregon coach Mark Helfrich indicated that he was saddened the Oregon vs. Washington “rivalry” was coming to an end after 107 games with Oregon winning the first 43-0 in 1900, and now the last 11 times.

He said that circumstances ultimately change, and wished Petersen and the Huskies all the best in not only the October 17 game in Pocatello, but against all of its other conference foes in the fortified Big Sky.

“We are hopeful there will be the same intensity exhibited by both players and fans in a different Oregon vs. Washington rivalry, when the Huskies take on Portland State,” said Helfrich.

“Washington supporters should keep in mind that when it comes to Portland State, you cannot stop the Vikings, you can only hope to contain them,” he said.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon%E2%80%93Washington_football_rivalry

http://www.isubengals.com/index.aspx?path=football

http://www.gohuskies.com/SportSelect.dbml?SPID=126613

 

 

 

Reportedly, a 36-year-old Rich Brooks was told there was no way he could win at Oregon, when he accepted a $32,000 per year, four-year contract to become head coach in 1977.richbrooks

There were no natural advantages at the counterculture oriented, liberal arts university located in a college town tucked away in a sparsely populated, rainy slice of America’s cul-de-sac, the Pacific Northwest. Brooks predecessor was 9-24 in three years.

The negative recruiters, who were steering studs to USC, UCLA and Washington, said that star high school recruits could not work on their game year around in Eugene; they would never win a championship; never play in a bowl game; never be seen on television; never play in a game that mattered …

And for the most part they were correct. Ground zero was the absolutely awful 0-0 “Toilet Bowl” tie against Oregon State in 1983. Thankfully, the game will go down in NCAA history as the last scoreless tie ever played.

Hmmm…the Ducks played in the last scoreless game and the first college football playoff game, dominating Florida State 59-20 and winning the Rose Bowl as well. What a difference three decades can make?

And according to USA Today, ESECPN and others, all the credit goes to Nike founder/super $19.9 billion alumnus Phil Knight.

unclephil

As we celebrate the legendary contributions of Phil and Penny Knight in terms of Oregon’s brand and facilities, let’s not forget the achievements of an Oregon State grad, Rich Brooks.

No Swooshes on the Uniforms

There is a reason the turf at Autzen Stadium is called, “Rich Brooks Field.”

During the course of his 18-year stint as Oregon’s head coach, the Ducks went 91-109-4 … not a record that would prompt anyone to write home to mumsy. Many alums were calling for Brooks scalp, when one year of mediocrity followed another in the early 1990s.

Oregon played in a relatively small (41,000 capacity at the time) noisy stadium, Spartan facilities, rarely on television, and had trouble competing against the USCs, UCLAs and most of all, the Washingtons of the conference.

And yet Rich Brooks hired the core group of coaches that started the Golden Era of Oregon football: Mike Bellotti, offensive coordinator; Nick Aliotti, defensive coordinator; Don Pellum, linebackers: Gary Campbell, running backs; Steve Greatwood, offensive line; and Jim Radcliffe, strength and conditioning.

In turn, they found gems in the rough … Danny O’Neil, Ricky Whittle, Cristin McLemore, Jeremy Asher, Rich Ruhl … and a redshirt freshman defensive back by the name of Kenny Wheaton as in, “Kenny Wheaton is going to score. Kenny Wheaton is going to score” that propelled the Oregon Ducks to their first Rose Bowl in 37 years in 1994.

The Oregon Ducks with traditional uniforms that mimicked the look of the Green Bay Packers with no swooshes to be found gave #No. 2 Penn State holly heck that day before falling 38-20. Even in defeat, it finally become cool to root for Oregon.

Goodbye Rich; Enter Phil

After winning national coach of the year awards, Rich Brooks was a hot commodity. He was hired by the St. Louis Rams for a contract far in excess of his $32,000 starting salary at Oregon.

What followed was the heralded conversation between “Uncle Phil” and Brooks’ successor, Mike Bellotti. What did Oregon need to compete? An indoor practice facility. The rest is history. Knight wrote the $10 million check that allows Oregon athletes to work on their game year round.

Since that time, Knight invested more than $300 million to the Oregon Athletic Department including $70 million for the football performance center, $60 million for the renovation and expansion of Autzen Stadium; $60 million for an academic center and $100 million for the basketball arena (e.g., the Matthew Knight Arena).

The Ducks in turn have revolutionized football, particularly under Chip Kelly and Mark Helfrich as head coaches, and Scott Frost as offensive coordinator. Wearing the cool Nike uniform du jour, the Ducks run their spread offense at a warp-speed tempo and put up ridiculous amounts of points.

They still don’t out-recruit USC or UCLA, but they find their “guys” to fit into the system, and Almost DailyBrett knows the coolness factor helps attract the attention of studs that would never have considered the little school from the little state in the Pacific Northwest.

The bricks of the Berlin Wall of negative recruiting … lousy weather, subpar facilities, no bowls, no championships, no Heismans, no television … have all fallen by the wayside.

rich-brooks1

To be fair, we need to reflect on the guy that got it started, Rich Brooks. He will never be accused of being warm and fuzzy, and maybe that contributed to those who called for his firing in 1993-1994. He turned the Ducks around. It took a patient 18 years, but his perseverance was rewarded. He ushered in the Golden Era of Oregon Football.

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

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/pac12/2014/12/29/oregon-nike-phil-knight-college-football-playoff/21013009/

http://www.forbes.com/profile/phil-knight/

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

 

 

“When in doubt, declare victory.” — Oft heard political axiom in Sacramento.

For some reason, Jeff Long, chair of the College Football Playoff Committee, could not simply proclaim that his 12-member committee got it right: The four-best football teams in the country are in the long-awaited, first-ever January 1 playoff for the championship trophy.

In the face of persistent badgering by 1988 Alabama graduate Rece Davis of ESECPN, Long came across as defensive, almost apologetic and unsure. He inadvisably went down paths best left untrodden, and seemingly couldn’t wait for the public grilling to end.

ReceLong

Admittedly, the present University of Arkansas athletic director was operating on little, if no sleep. He and his committee members had a thankless job; shoehorn four major conference champions into two bowls, and leave one big-time conference champion out in the cold (e.g., Baylor).

Guess what? This problem will persist next year. Get used to it.

Here are some PR talking points for Chairman Long free of charge, courtesy of Almost DailyBrett:

“We had a tough job to do. We did our job. And we came up with exciting semifinal matchups involving the best four teams across the fruited plain (i.e., Alabama vs. Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl, and Oregon vs. Florida State in the Rose Bowl). We are proud of our work, and we can hardly wait for January 1.”

Period. Finis. Endo Musico.

Far Better Than The BSC

Many, many moons ago, the conference champs were simply locked into the major bowls. If this scenario was still the case: Alabama would be in the Sugar Bowl; Oregon and Ohio State would be in the Rose Bowl; Florida State would be in the Orange Bowl; Baylor would be in the Fiesta Bowl … and TCU would still be moaning and complaining.

How would one determine the national champion? The polls? The computers? ESECPN?

The BSC … err BCS (Bowl Championship Series) … was devised to improve upon the automatic bowl lock-ups, producing supposedly a matchup of the best two teams in the country.

If that was still the case, Alabama would be playing Oregon and undefeated Florida State would be left out … or would they?

Wait a minute would the BSC exclude the defending national champions, the winner of 29 straight games and counting? Of course not.

Bye-bye, Oregon.

The Tri-Lateral Commission for Dominance by the Eastern Time Zone (TLCDETZ) and ESECPN would not allow a team located in a sparsely populated Western state in America’s cul-de-sac (e.g., Pacific Northwest) to throw a monkey wrench into a classic matchup between SEC-champion Alabama and pseudo-SEC team, Florida State.

You can be sure that Davis (Alabama), Jesse Palmer (Florida), David Pollack (Georgia) and Danny Kanell (Florida State) would not allow that to happen. Ditto for Kirk Herbstreit (Ohio State), Joey Galloway (Ohio State), Lee Corso (Florida State), Desmond Howard (Michigan), Lou Holtz (Kent State) or Mark May (Pitt).

Did you note the time zone for these gents’ alma maters? The Eastern Time Zone.

It must really bum them out that Oregon’s Marcus Mariota is going to win the Heisman. Guess, there really must be life west of the Hudson.

A Four-Team Playoff for the Ages

The committee made the ill-fated decision that Chairman Long was going to be its one-and-only spokesperson.

Don’t get me wrong, Long comes across as a nice competent guy, but does not have the smoothness, confidence and gravitas to serve as an effective spokesman.condi

The committee could have turned to Stanford Provost Condoleezza Rice, who earlier served as national security advisor and secretary of state for two administrations or USC Athletic Director and Rhodes Scholar Pat Haden to carry the PR ball.

Something tells me that neither Rice nor Haden would have publicly punted the ball in the face of the fierce ESECPN verbal pass rush.

haden

Let’s face it: No system is perfect, but this one is easily better than any that has come before or any other (e.g., an eight-team playoff; there are not eight great teams … and number nine would be whining).

This is where the When in doubt, declare victory mantra works.

Regardless of the questions from the Pharisees at ESECPN, a confident spokesperson (e.g., Rice or Haden) keeps coming back to how this system is easily the best, far better than anything that preceded it, and best of all, the top four teams in the land are going to get it on.

Let’s tee it up on New Year’s Day.

http://espn.go.com/college-football/

http://www.collegefootballplayoff.com/selection-committee

http://espnmediazone.com/us/bios/davis_rece/

 

 

Friends welcome; relatives by appointment only,” – Memorable sign in colleague’s house.

“What’s the difference between in-laws and outlaws? Outlaws are wanted.”

The first rays of winter sunshine came over the eastern horizon on December 26.

The sounds of engines revving could be heard.

The only things that were missing were the pace car, the parade lap and the green flag.

Ed Carpenter

The relatives were leaving and heading home.

The holidays were coming to a merciful end.

Thank God.

If They Weren’t Your Relatives, Would They Be Your Friends?

There is good news, and not so good news about Thanksgiving and the December/January holidays.

The great tidings are rivalry weekends and championship games that are circled more than one year in advance on many respective calendars.

In Oregon, there is the Civil War between the Jetsons (e.g., Oregon Ducks) and the Flintstones (e.g., Oregon State Rodents).

In Southern California, there is USC vs. the junior campus of the University of California.

In Alabama, there is the Iron Bowl pitting Alabama (Roll Tide) vs. Auburn (War Eagle). Wonder how many trees will be poisoned this year?

In the Midwest there is Ohio State vs. Michigan … even though the game looks like a monumental mismatch this year.

Heck on Turkey Day, there are wall-to-wall football games, including the annual No Fun League (NFL) contests held in Detroit and Dallas respectively, and even a big one between the 49ers and the Seahawks.

And when Xmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan all roll around (choose which one applies to you) there are the annual bowl games and this year the extra special treat associated with the first-ever NCAA college football playoff.

Yep, we just can’t get enough of football. And we are sad when the season ends, even the NFL playoff games with their never-ending field-goal kicking contests.

The not-so-good news comes with the holidays themselves and the familial requirements that are associated with them. Why can’t we just fast-forward this DVD to spring and call it good? Alas, relatives were put on earth so we could experience our purgatory here and now.

The unrestrained joy and excitement that comes from a football weekend is not the case with co-mingling with relatives old and new. In fact, most dysfunctional families are only good in measurable-and-finite doses. Yes, you can O.D. on family, and the withdrawal symptoms are simply downright painful.

Keeping Score, Always Keeping Score

“Love is patient, love is kind … it keeps no record of wrongs.” — 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

There are scoreboards at all football games. They are switched off once the game is done.

Scoreboard

There are also scoreboards with families. They are never turned off. In fact, the opponent’s score keeps accumulating akin to pinball games of yesteryear or video games of today.

Four years ago Almost DailyBrett concluded that families are way overrated. This opinion remains intact.

In fact, this point is magnified, particularly with the specter of the holidays approaching, hanging over family members similar to the Sword of Damocles. And with these so-called special days come special obligations. You are present not because you want to be there, but because you have to be there. It’s all rather political.

Conversely, when you contemplate going to the football game, you think of tailgate parties with friends, good cheer and even better craft beer. Your heart rate starts pumping with fight songs, the national anthem and standing up for the kickoff. You are celebrating life in an earthly heaven with 60,000 of your most intimate friends, and hopefully (best of all?) no relatives.

Contrast this sentiment with sitting around the table with people, who most likely are not your friends and most likely never will be your friends, And then, there are the embarrassing stories and remembrances. Love may be patient; it may be kind, but relatives keep a detailed record of your myriad of real and perceived wrongs.

relatives

Hey, isn’t there a 10-year statute of limitations embedded in the law? Alas, this doctrine does not apply to most families.

And if you are honest, and invent some reason you cannot be present for a family holiday gathering (e.g., flying to a college football playoff game), this slight will just be added to your personal scorecard always to be remembered and never to be forgotten.

Would the author of Almost DailyBrett rather spend the holidays with relatives and miss going to the Rose Bowl or go to Pasadena and nix breaking bread with the family?

What time is kickoff?

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2010/12/28/if-they-weren%e2%80%99t-your-relatives-would-they-be-your-friends/

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

 

 

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/

“When you’re winning, no one can hurt you…

… and when you’re losing, no one can help you.” – Former Hall of Fame Coach and Broadcaster John Madden

A rogue student manager has been deflating footballs at USC.

The Pac-12 reprimanded and fined USC for the practice.

And according to Head Coach Lane Kiffin, the (now fired) student manager was acting as a lone ranger, even though footballs are easier to throw when they are slightly deflated.

lamekiffin

How do I know this?

I was a student manager at USC during the 1976 and 1977 seasons. Even more precisely, I was the student manager working with the offensive coordinator at the time, Paul Hackett, the quarterbacks (e.g., Vince Evans, Rob Hertel and Paul McDonald) and wide receivers (e.g., Shelton Diggs, Randy Simmrin).

For each game, I was responsible for getting the USC football into the game when the Trojans were on offense. That meant following the line of scrimmage, carrying at least two footballs, for the better part of three-plus hours.

During the Rose Bowl played on January 1, 1977 against Michigan, our quarterback, Vince Evans, kept a ball-inflation needle in his sock. The needle was not used to inflate footballs, but for the opposite reason.

The referee and other officials kept throwing the under-inflated balls to me and demanding an inflated ball. Vince, in turn, kept on deflating the balls. This put me in a classic Catch 22.

When I told Vince about the officials tossing the underinflated balls out of the game, he responded with an imperative. I think it was something like, “Duck you, Kevin!”

We managed to win the game over Michigan, 14-6, and finished #2 behind Tony Dorsett and the Pitt Panthers for the national title. The incident with the ball-pump needle went into the DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory) of my brain and remained there…until this week.

How serious is an underinflated football on a bending-the-rules scale of 1-10? How about a “five”? Yes, it may be easier to throw a football and that certainly is a factor for USC with a great passing quarterback, Matt Barkley, and all-world receivers. Conversely, one would think it would hurt the performance of the punter and field-goal/extra point kicker. USC punted only once last Saturday against Oregon.

My problem with this story is why would a 19-20-21-year-old student manager be deflating footballs without anyone else on the football team (e.g., coach and/or player) knowing anything about it?  This one doesn’t pass the giggle test.

And was it the (scapegoat?) manager that was deflating the balls or maybe a player with a ball-pump needle in his sock? It’s happened before.

What is more germane about this story is how it relates to Kiffin. Let’s face it. This guy is an Oakland-Knoxville-Los Angeles public relations disaster zone always waiting for the next installment. When you open up the dictionary looking up the word, “arrogance,” Kiffin’s mug shot will most likely jump out of the page.

His predecessor, Pete Carroll, was Mr. Public Relations. Pete was everyone’s pal. He was a player’s coach. He was a good interview. He was the face of USC football. Heck, he even risked his life night-after-night, driving into the worst parts of LA to give youths a third option besides jail and death.

Have you ever heard about Kiffin giving back? Opposing teams aren’t even allowed to walk through the LA Coliseum the day before games with the Trojans.

The marauding student manager story follows the quick and painful end of USC’s over-inflated dream of playing in the BCS national championship. The team has lost two straight, surrendered 101 points in the process, and is looking at the prospects of playing in the…Holiday Bowl.

Besides generating controversy du-jour during his relatively brief stays with the Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Volunteers and now USC, Kiffin has consistently parlayed Viagra expectations into Low-T results, 43-37 overall.

What does the fired student manager, underinflated football-gate mean to squeaky clean, play-by-the-book USC Athletic Director Pat Haden? If this was an isolated incident in the nation’s second largest media market, it most likely would be noted and quickly forgotten.

But with USC coming off the third most severe set of NCAA penalties (exceeded only by Penn State and SMU) and considering Kiffin’s repeated bouts with controversy, this may be another small nail (or ball-pump needle) in Kiffin’s coffin.

Haden must know that someday, sooner or later, he will have to terminate Kiffin and maybe even spend literally millions to buy out his contract. Sometimes acknowledging mistakes of your predecessor (e.g., Mike Garrett) is costly. You sure can buy a treasure trove of ball-inflation pins, even with millions of inflated dollars.

Editor’s Note: As mentioned, I managed the USC football team for two seasons, earning a Tommy Trojan statue for my service. I have a Rose Bowl ring and watch, and graduated from Troy with my undergraduate degree in broadcasting journalism. I also managed the football team at the University of Oregon. I am a 23-year season ticket holder at Autzen Stadium and a member of the Duck Athletic Fund. I received my master’s degree from, and presently teach public relations at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication.

http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/ncf/story/_/id/8608359/usc-coach-lane-kiffin-says-manager-deflating-footballs-acted-alone

http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-sn-usc-football-lane-kiffin-no-comment-delated-footballs-20121108,0,5616530.story

http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-sn-usc-football-culture-dufresne20121108,0,822130.story

http://www.latimes.com/sports/college/usc/la-sp-1109-plaschke-usc-footballs-20121109,0,6907619.column

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