Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sports Illustrated Showing DAT Some Love

I wonder what the person who told me De'Anthony Thomas was overrated at the beginning of the season is thinking now?  Might wanna take off your orange colored glasses and wake up!  Don't let your Duck envy get in the way of recognizing game.

A threat to score every time he touches the ball, he's totaled 382 yards on 24 touches (13 rushing, 11 receiving), and the 7 touchdowns Thomas has are tied for the most in the nation.

Oh, and he returns punts too (when teams actually kick to him).  Thomas averages 13.3 yards on 7 returns, ranking him in the top 30 nationally.

As for the person who called him overrated?  Strange, I haven't heard back from him in a while.  It's ok, I understand...nobody likes to eat their own crow.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What Rivalry Means The Most To Oregon?

Many factors contribute to a rivalry, like geography, culture, and the product of competition in the series.  

So when it comes to Oregon, who really matters most to you?  If I had to ask you, who you wanted to beat the most this year, who would it be?  Oregon state?  Washington?  USC?  Lets take a look at each of them, and maybe your answer will change at the end?

First lets start with probably our most natural rivalry, Oregon state.  They fit the first two factors (geographically and culturally) but they fail to meet the third factor (series competitiveness) for many reasons, that I see keep the program always at a distance from Oregon.

The beavers will never be our equal.  There was a time when both programs were down, but Oregon state was really down, and even then the series wasn't competitive enough to be a real intense rivalry.  

The Ducks lead the series 59-46-10.  But they are 28-11 since 1972, and have currently won 4 straight in the series.  

The steady climb of Oregon's program to the top has generated a lot of support from fans (thank you Phil Knight), incredible facilities (again, thank you PK), and national relevance.  All of those factors will keep Oregon an elite program, and ahead of Oregon state.  The beavers don't have the money or fan support to ever compete on the level with Oregon.  They're already too far behind.  

And most Duck fans you talk to always say they root for Oregon state whenever they're not playing Oregon (I want them to lose every game).  Even at Autzen stadium, when they announce the beaver score, if the beavers are winning the fans will cheer (I don't).

So is that a real rivalry then?  Don't you need hate for the other side, like with Washington?
Then there is our rivalry with the Huskies.  Duck fans HATE Washington.  You could read more about it here, but the hate comes from both sides, unlike with Oregon state, where a lot of it comes mostly from them (jealousy and envy).  

Duck fans for years resented how obnoxious and arrogant UW fans were.  Believe it or not, they were always contending with SC and UCLA, so they were a bigger target for Oregon to climb over.

The huskies used to be the big bullies on the block, and Oregon was little brother.  But Oregon got tired of being picked on, they grew up and got bigger, and fought back!  They have firmly replaced UW as the top program in the region, and it's been that way for quite some time now.  Husky fans (who once were too proud to admit they had a rivalry with Oregon) now resent Oregon for sending them back to the bus.

But it hasn't been that competitive either.  Since Kenny Wheaton picked off Damon Huard's pass at the 3 yard line, and housed it 97 yards later in '94, Oregon is 15-4 against Washington, including an 8 game winning streak.  

Oregon has turned their attention elsewhere, to an even bigger bully with a much bigger target on its back...USC.

Duck fans have always taken pleasure in being a thorn in the trojans side.  It's probably because of their arrogance, their southern Californian life style (a lot of animosity towards SoCal in Oregon), and all the hype they get from playing in the nations second largest television market.  

But Oregon has largely been off USC's radar, until recently.  After dominating the conference for most of the 2000's, Oregon elevated their program to even greater heights soon after the hiring of Chip Kelly in 2007, putting them in direct competition with the trojans.

The series has been the most competitive out of the three (OSU, UW being the other two) recently, with Oregon going 3-2 vs. the trojans since 2007. When these two teams meet, there's usually a lot at stake.  Both are ranked, probably in the top 10, and conference as well national positioning is at stake.

You can read more about the growing rivalry here. 

USC fans, as you could imagine, resent Oregon's success, and have developed some hatred for them.  It's a big deal to the players too.  Trojan quarterback Matt Barkley said this about Oregon: 

"Oregon is our biggest competitor in the conference.  Beating Oregon last year was special.  It let us know that if we can compete with Oregon, and beat Oregon, that we can compete with anyone in the country."

Plus it has to mean a lot to so many of the Duck players come from Southern California.  

With everything taken into consideration, in terms of most significance, USC has to rank #1 because there's so much at stake.  A win puts Oregon in the drivers seat for a conference championship at the very least.  The competitiveness in the series has made it more intense as well, and given it a big time feel.

But there's still something about keeping little bro (Oregon state) in check, and never seeing them succeed.  And it's always important to remember why Duck fans hate husky fans so much in the first place.  

I think most Duck fans will always have a special place in their heart for hating on UW and OSU, while the rivalry with USC could fizzle.  And that's why I think Washington and Oregon state will always matter most to Oregon fans. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

LeBron James Knows It's O-TIME!

Thank you King James for doing a little bit of recruiting for Oregon!  He only has 6 million followers on twitter who look up to him, and saw him tweet this pic out, with the following message:

@KingJames: S/O to Oregon for the fire!! Best uni's in the Nation #Nike

Tuesday Rants: Weekend Recap, plus Links

The Oregon offense is the type of offense that causes defensive coordinators to lose sleep at night.  

And maybe it was in the head of Matt Barkley and his fellow trojans as they stumbled their toe once again against Stanford.  Perhaps they were looking ahead to that showdown with mighty Oregon?  It's a shame they lost and didn't hold up their end of the deal, because now, that game will take a back seat to Alabama/LSU.  

But Oregon took care of business last Saturday by crushing Tennessee Tech 63-14.  I'm a little late in getting to this, and have already moved on to Arizona, so I won't spend much time here, but here are some of the things I took away from that game.

Oregon's offense is good!  Really good!  Oregon has weapons everywhere, and scored at will, amassing a total of 652 yards.  And I know the critics will say Tennessee State, but Oregon did what good teams do to inferior opponents...they dominated them.
De'Anthony Thomas (6)

De'Anthony Thomas is a threat to score the ball every time he touches the ball.  He's on a whole 'nother level and is a game changer.  He's worth at least 7 points a game, if not more.

The only negative I took away from the game is the Ducks need to clean up the penalties.  Eliminate those "self inflicted wounds" as Chip Kelly would say.

With the win, Oregon improves their record to 4-0, and moves up to #3 in the polls.  They appear ready to make another run at a fourth consecutive conference championship.  It won't be easy, as the rest of the Pac appears to be better than previously thought (minus Colorado).  Their first test is coming up this Saturday, as they host #22 Arizona under the lights at Autzen stadium.

Now the links:

From espn's Pac 12 blog, everything regarding the conference. 

De'Anthony Thomas rising in the Heisman race (bout time)

Aaron Fentress takes a look at the defenses of both Arizona and Oregon

Marcus Mariota discussing Arizona

Rob Moseley on Oregon's penalties

A look at UA/Oregon from Oregon Duck Football News

Oregon recruit RB Thomas Tyner is killing the competition!  Watch all 18 of his touchdowns here.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Oregon's All White Road Unis

If you're like me, you were probably wondering what Oregon's "storm trooper" unis looked like this year?  Have a look:



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday's Rants: Cocky Beaver Fans, Plus A Bunch of Links

From the Civil War last year. 

There's an awful lot of noise coming out of Corvallis lately.  A win against an extremely overrated Wisconsin team, and now suddenly the beavers are back, and are on their way to a 10 win season.  Shoot, may even beat the Ducks this year!

While the win over Wisconsin (that they claim is the biggest home win in program history) looks nice, let's not get ahead of ourselves here.  Wisconsin is not nearly as good as the team Oregon beat in last year's Rose bowl.  

But that didn't stop beaver believer Andrew, from Salem, emailing me his garbage about how Oregon hasn't beaten anyone, the defense looks terrible, the injuries will catch up with them, and Oregon state will upset the Ducks based on home field alone.  

You see this is why I fuckin hate beaver fans.  Hey beaver fans, who are you to be bumpin your gums at Duck fans?  Your program is garbage, and you haven't achieved anything!  Which is why beaver fans resort to the tactic of comparing other teams (like Alabama, LSU, or USC) to Oregon, and say Oregon will never be on their level, and couldn't compete.  They do that because they know they have no grounds to stand on when it comes to their OWN program.

Wanna know how to shut a beaver fan up?  Just hit 'em with facts.  When I emailed Andrew from Salem back, providing support for my claims from national writers, he got pretty quiet.  Even if all he said about Oregon is true (weak schedule, bad defense, injuries will hurt them) Oregon will still smoke the beavers for the 5th straight year, and put all their little fans back in check.  

Know your place beaver fan.


A very good breakdown of why Oregon will beat USC this year from the bleacher report.

Latest on Josh Huff

Oregon's schedule may be tougher than thought?

Oregon's all white uniforms revealed

Week 3 and Oregon is a consensus top 5 team

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tennessee Tech: You're Next

Anybody really worried about this game?  No, seriously?  Didn't think so.  This is another stat game for Oregon to put up playstation like numbers, get the backups experience, get a W, and hopefully remain injury free.

Tennessee Tech:  you get to fly across the country and for your trouble, you get an ass beating and $500,000.

Even Tennessee Tech's head coach Watson Brown will admit the odds are stacked against him:  "this is the best team we've played since I've been here.  They're just so big and fast everywhere.  They don't make many mistakes and they just jump on everybody quick.  They get you fast," he said Tuesday, during a conference call.  He added, "we know what we're running into."

An interesting note...Tennessee Tech's wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers has seen Oregon's offense firsthand.  As a freshman receiver at Tennessee in 2010, he watched as his Vols lost to Oregon 48-13.

He told coach Brown, "it's not a pretty sight," about Oregon's offense.

So what should you expect from Tennessee Tech?  They pride themselves on running a no-huddle offense.  Yeah, like that's gonna work!  Oregon's defense see's this every week in practice when they go up against THE best up tempo offense in college football.

I don't know why, but something just tells me the Oregon defense will be able to handle whatever Tennessee Tech throws at them.

Another blowout win for Oregon, lets just hope they get through this one without suffering any casualties. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Injuries To The Ducks Have Some Fans Nervous

Carson York
The hits just keep on coming...first Boyett, now Carson York is out for the year. That's football though. Injuries happen...somebody needs to step up. Let's have faith things will work out. I get tired of all the negative crap I see sometimes, especially after the game vs. Fresno St. (and that's why I left for a while). Yeah there are some issues, but c'mon already! Give the team time to develop and let everything work itself out.  

John Boyett (20) blowing up a Trojan
The loss to Boyett is tough (more on him later), but it's a chance for a new guy to shine.  Remember, it was Boyett that filled in for an injured TJ Ward in 2009.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tuesday Duck Links

Oregon's Byron Marshall (#9) dives for a touchdown last Saturday vs. Ark. St. 

Oregon moved up to #4 in the latest polls which were released today.  I was happy they jumped OU.  I smell a fraud when it comes to the sooners.  To see the complete list go here.

Aaron Fentress of the Oregonian takes a sneak peek at Fresno State, because well, that's what he does, and he does it very well.

Speaking of Fresno State, Vegas like them too much...Oregon opens as 33.5 favorites.

Here's an interesting story about how an all men's college in Queens adopted the Ducks as their team!

Several of the talented freshman on Oregon's roster saw significant playing time, here's how Charles Fischer (also from fishduck) graded them in the Oregonian.

Here's a good piece by the Oregonian's Aaron Fentress (again!) on Kyle Long's (son of Howie Long) first game as a Duck at Autzen stadium.

Monday, September 3, 2012

First Week Impressions

After the first weekend of football in the Pac 12, one thing is clear:  it's Oregon and USC, then everybody else.  I'm not even wasting my time pretending to make a case for everybody else, but here's where I rank 'em:

  1. Oregon
  2. USC
  3. Utah
  4. UCLA
  5. Arizona State
  6. Stanford
  7. Washington 
  8. Arizona
  9. Cal
  10. Oregon State
  11. Washington State
  12. Colorado
I know Cal lost and Oregon state has yet to play, but c'mon, Cal is better (at least on paper).  Beavers will be 0-1 after this week.  And if I'm Washington, I'd be very concerned if my team had played a rebuilding MWC program with a demonstrated to be crap QB (Katz), and performed as poorly as you did at home. Oregon is gonna smoke you again this year, like they have for the last 8.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Mission Impossible: Oregon

Fresno State, your task is to come up with a way to slow down the Oregon offense.  While you're at it, you may wanna increase the tempo of your practice to get your defense ready for the speed that the Oregon offense operates at.

You have a week to do it.  Good luck.

Like it will matter?  All the preparation in the world isn't gonna stop the inevitable from happening.  It's like patching a leak with bubble gum, eventually you're doomed.

Weber State (who they beat in week one 37-10) may have been a confidence booster for you, but it did nothing in terms of getting you ready for Oregon.

Jonathan Stewart running away from Fresno State in '07.
This is a team coming off a 4-9 record last year, and they're not even as good as they were the last time they visited Autzen, in 2007, when they got drilled 52-21.

Fresno State may be confident now, but they're gonna get a reality check when they go up against one of the nations elite.

Ducks win going away.

Post Game Thoughts: Arkansas St.

It was one of those night games at Autzen stadium that make it one of the most beautiful settings in all of college football - a warm 74 degrees at kickoff, incredible sunset, and a full moon - all had people pulling out their camera phones.

The uniforms Oregon rolled out with were just as impressive, proving once again, that Oregon sets the standard in uniform design.  Most of the people I talked to loved them as well, save for a few old curmudgeons.

On to the game.  Oregon won 57-34 and already people are grumbling that the defense gave up that many points.  Look, lets not kid ourselves...the defense only started to give up points in the second half when the backups came in.  

Oregon dominated that game.  They pretty much did what they wanted, when they wanted in the first and second quarter.  The students that came got free tacos by the 10:45 mark in the second quarter, when the Ducks reached the 43 point mark (the total needed for the students to receive 2 free tacos from Jack In The Box).

Mariota looked sharp, the offense has plenty of weapons, and the defense I thought played well when they were into it early on.

The team you saw early on in the first and second quarter is the team that will gradually be increasing over the season.  Oregon did what good teams do, they dominate inferior opponents, put in their backups, and escape without suffering any major injuries.  

The Ducks are locked and loaded.  Up next on the hit list: Fresno State. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

First Autzen Stadium Memory

With today being the first game of the season, a yearly tradition resumes, as I get ready for another special season full of great memories at Autzen Stadium.

Everybody has their favorite story or first memory, for me, it was November 17th 1992, in a game against Cal.  I was 6 and not even a Duck fan yet.

Not much I remember from that day other than the most important parts, which stuck with me and made me the passionate Duck fan I am today.

I remember walking up to what seemed like just a hill...a mound of dirt.  But as I made my way up the hill and looked over the brim, I was blown away at what I saw.

It was love at first sight.  It was my first football game I attended live, so I had never seen anything like it before.  The bowl seemed so big!  I had never seen so many people before, even though looking back, it probably wasn't that big.

What stood out to me the most was the multi-colored turf, with white numbers, and the old school Duck stepping through the block "O" at midfield.  The walls surrounding the field were concrete at the time, with the banners of every Pac 10 team hanging on them.

I loved the atmosphere as well.  The crowd was into it, with their chants and booing the officials or the other team, the fight songs (even Cal brought their band) - all exemplify the pageantry of college football.

And of course, the best part of the day was, Oregon won 37-17!

By the end of the day, I was a full fledged Duck fan.  I told my dad I wanted to play football here and go to school here.  On the way home, I couldn't stop humming the Oregon fight song.

Today, families will be bringing their children to Autzen for the very first time, creating special memories for years to come.  

Saturday, August 25, 2012

No Love For The Beavers

In case you forgot, or you are new to the blog, I HATE the beavers.  I can't stand it when Duck fans say 'I root for them in every game when they're not playing the Ducks.'  

To hell with that!  I have no sympathy for them.  I want them to lose every game.  They're so out of touch with reality, predicting 9 or 10 wins this year, including wins over Wisconsin and Oregon.  


I guess they have to fantasize don't they?  Realistically what do they have to look forward to this year, knowing they're not really competing for anything?

Another thing that bothers me about beaver fan is how they label Duck fan as fair weather, and a bang wagon fanbase.  

Pretty funny because in their magical run last year of going 3-9, including a loss over FCS power Sacramento State, they ranked 10th in the conference in attendance.  

Where's the support?  Aren't these the same fan's that claim to support their team through thick an thin?  Isn't that the very definition of a fair weather fan base?  One that doesn't support the team during the midst of a 3-9 campaign?  

Silly beavers.  But that's're a baseball school anyway right?

Big Balls Chip Living Up To His Name

There's a reason why they call him "big balls Chip Kelly."  

In the months leading up to his decision on who the starting quarterback for the Oregon Ducks will be, I had people asking me how could Kelly name a red-shirt freshman the starting quarterback over a red-shirt sophomore with actual experience?

It's simple.  Chip Kelly does what Chip Kelly wants.  He follows his own intuition.  He doesn't listen or care what the media thinks, or what people on message boards say.

"Marcus earned and won the starting job," Kelly told The Oregonian's Adam Jude. 

With that, a new king was crowned in Eugene, one that could very well lead Oregon to even greater heights.  

Once he was announced the starter, the compliments began to file in, including those from former players such as LaMichael James.

Mariota has been referred to as "a more polished Dennis Dixon," and we all remember how well this Oregon offense was under him, before he got hurt in '07.

ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit listed him as the single "most ahead of the curve" player in the nation in this column. 

If it seems like a lot of pressure to put on the young man's shoulders, he's already showing the leadership ability to be able to handle it:
"It's a blessing and it's an honor...but I'm going to take this in stride," Mariota said.

So for the second time in three seasons, Chip Kelly went with his own intuition, and picked the quarterback least expected by the media and fans to win the starting job (the other being Darron Thomas over Nate Costa).

Mariota has four years to be a star in this Oregon offense, and for the Oregon program, the future looks brighter than those shiny helmets they wore on New Years Day last year!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Oregon Ducks Secret Weapon: Defense

Wrong flock to mess with

I have a friend that played football at Arkansas and was a professor at Georgia, who said that people in SEC country have been holding their breaths for the last few years, hoping that Oregon never gets a defense that could match their offense.

Well, their worst fears may be coming true.  Talk around the team is that this could be the best defense under Chip Kelly.  They're fast, they're physical, they fly to the ball (no pun intended), they return 7 starters, but also have a lot of depth and experience, due to the way they rotate their players.

Now I know at Oregon most people like to talk about the offense, myself included, but a good defense can be just as fun to talk about.  Lets take a look at each level of the defense, and give some of these players the respect they deserve.

Dion Jordan sacking a beaver
DEFENSIVE LINE: Oregon's defensive line is loaded, and has developed depth which allows them to stay fresh.  This is important because of how fast Oregon's offense puts the defense back on the field.  

Led by Dion Jordan, who they call the praying mantis, the former TE turned DE was an all-Pac 12 conference selection last year, who had 71/2 sacks and is on the watch list for 4 awards, including 2 that go to the defensive player of the year (Bednarik and Nagurski).  He has an explosive first step, a proven pass rusher, the ability to finish, and should have his best year yet.

Another player Duck fans should be excited about it is blue-chip recruit Arik Armstead.  At 6-8, 290 pounds, already sounds like a one man wrecking crew.

LINEBACKERS:  Oregon's linebacking corps is loaded with Michael Clay, Kiko Alonso, and Boseko Lokombo.  

Michael Clay was the team's second leading tackler a year ago and ranked second in the Pac 12 in tackles per game.   

Kiko Alonso has always had the talent - at 6-3, 225 pounds, he combines size with speed - he just couldn't get his act together off the field, which prevented him from realizing his potential.  Until last year.  As a back up he had 46 tackles, 6 tackles for a loss, 2 1/2 sacks, and 2 interceptions, including one in the Rose bowl that came at a crucial time, later earning him defensive MVP.

SECONDARY:  The secondary has depth, experience, speed, and athleticism all across the board.  Terrance Mitchell, Troy Hill, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, and Dior Mathis have the corner positions locked down.  But the unquestioned leader of the secondary is John Boyett.

John Boyett
Oregon's four year starter at safety is a heat-seaking missle with unlimited range, that'll lower the boom and snot bubble any receiver who dares go over the middle.

Oregon's defense has the potential to be Chip Kelly's best.  Even though the offense gets most of the attention, the defense is capable of making big plays, creating turnovers, and getting stops.  Something we could all get excited about.  

A better defense means a more balanced team.  Something the rest of the college football world fears.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Rise Of XILE

Chris "Xile" Kautzky

If you didn't think Xile ruled as the official song maker for the Oregon Ducks after O Time, he's got your attention now with his latest, "Gotta Get It."

In fact, not only has he dethroned supwitchugirl with his latest Duck hit, he stuck a dagger in their heart and twisted it.  GAME OVER.

Supwitchugirl, you know...the group that came out with I Love My Ducks, is so three years ago.  Sure, we all love our Ducks, but we're not smellin roses anymore, we're squeezin' oranges.

SWUG isn't even making Duck video's anymore.  Which is probably a good thing, considering the fact that the two times they did, Oregon lost their bowl games that year.

Well, they are still making videos actually.  Their latest, titled, "The Best Bro," is a poor attempt at humor, makes no sense, and has nothing to even do with the Ducks.

While they're busy making homoerotic short films, Xile is in the studio whipping up dope tracks for the Ducks.  Original lyrics to original beats producing duck anthems fans can bump and be proud of anywhere.  There's nothing cheesy about his songs.

Oh, and the Ducks are undefeated in their bowls games when Xile has come out with a song and video.

New Oregon Uniforms

One thing I'm proud of about being a Duck fan is that, Oregon has constantly been the trend setters when it comes to uniforms.  There are some fan bases that love to mock Oregon for it, but you know they're just jealous and would do anything to have what we have.  Others try to imitate Oregon, but fail miserably (Maryland).

There was a time when I was embarrassed by all the uniform changes and wanted Oregon to stick with one, traditional uniform.  But Oregon isn't traditional, they're innovative.  Tradition is for programs that wear three colors.  Oregon's better than that.

Once again, Oregon has rolled out a pretty dope set of unis, that fans can buy and look good in anywhere they go, and the players will look good in (especially when they beat SC on Nov. 3rd).

Not much is different from last years except the feathering, and the green one is a different shade of green, one that I like much better from last year.  
Now these uniforms look good, but just imagine what they'll roll out with on Jan 7th when they play in the Orange bowl.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Addresing Today's Sanctions Rumor

People are funny. They'll believe anything they read. Some guy in his mommy's basement in wisconsin can tweet out that Oregon is gonna get the hammer and everybody runs. Next thing you know, it spreads from message board to message board, and everybody's "inside source" says this and that, so it must be true. How bout we settle down, and go straight to the source? Chip Kelly told Rob Moseley of the Register Guard, there's nothing new to announce. That works for me! We got a season that starts in less then 20 days. Get focused!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Remembering Terrance Kelly

Eight years ago, on August 12th 2004, the world lost a great one in Terrance Kelly. His life was tragically cut short in an act of senseless violence, when he was shot to death outside of a friends home.  

The more time has passed, the less I see people paying respect, or talking about him, but the news hit me in such a way, that I've not forgotten.  This is my way of paying respect, looking back on who he was, and what we lost that night his life was taken away.

2004 was the first year I started to get into following recruiting, and I picked a helluva time to start.  Oregon was in the midst of having their best recruiting class in history, highlighted by the De La Salle 4: Cameron Colvin, Willie Glasper, Jackie Bates, and Terrance Kelly.

It was a tight group.  All four of them were 4 or 5 star recruits, and could've played virtually anywhere.  Among the four, Kelly was the leader. A young man who possessed those leadership qualities.

He grew up in the Iron Triangle neighborhood in Richmond, California.  An area known for its violence and gang activity.  In a place where drive by shootings happen almost daily, it's expected of you to join a gang, but Kelly didn't.

He made a conscious decision to avoid the gang life, and stay on the straight path to success.  Considered a model citizen amongst his peers, and a role model for many growing up in similar situations.

While at De La Salle, Kelly was a star running back and linebacker.  By his senior year, he was listed as a 4 star recruit and had several offers from colleges.  Ultimately though, he chose Oregon, along with the three others.

I had followed the recruiting of the De La Salle 4 closely, checking message boards and websites daily.  So when it was announced all four were coming to Oregon, I was ecstatic!  I couldn't wait to see all of them have success as a Duck.

I never, in my wildest dreams, would've thought that one of them would die before ever suiting up in an Oregon uniform.  The four had just been at Oregon attending a summer camp, when Kelly went back home briefly to say goodbye to his family.  But he wouldn't make it back to Oregon.

On the night of August 12th, 2004, Kelly drove to a friend's house to pick him up.  He pulled up and waited while his friend was getting ready.  It was at that moment when a 15 year old came up along side the car, and opened fire several times, apparently over losing a basketball game against Kelly a couple months earlier.

I read the news the next morning and was numb all day.  Not because we lost potentially a superstar player, but because such a good young man was killed over a game of basketball.  He had so much going for him, and it was taken away from a punk kid who had nothing going for him.  

I kept thinking over and over about the circumstances: what if he never went back home, what if his friend had been waiting for Kelly, instead of Kelly waiting for him, and so on.

As time passes, I've gone from mourning his death, to recognizing how special he was, and the good he did while he was here.  

Gone but never forgotten.   

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Letters From You

Somethin new I'm doin here.  Whenever my mailbox is full with questions from the readers, I'll answer them here.

Lets get it started!

Scott from Sacremento asks: with SC picking up Redd from Penn State, do you see Oregon going after any of their players?

Chris Rands:  I can't think of one player they have on offense that Oregon would want, with the only exception being a lineman.  There might be a few on defense, but offensively Oregon is set.  

Jeff from Portland asks: I loved those chrome helmets in the rose bowl, do you think Oregon comes out with a new helmet this year?

Chris Rands:  I don't know, haven't heard, but how can you top those?  Those were the best ever.  That's how you design a helmet (hear that Maryland?)

Bryson from Turner asks:  Who's do you think is gonna be our quarterback this year?

Chris Rands:  I honestly can't say because I'm hearing both are really good, but if you want an answer I'd say Bennett just because he has some game experience from last year.  From what I'm hearing though, Mariota sounds like a better quarterback and fit for this offense.  You can read more about the qb position battle here:

Jason from Salem asks:  I really like your pictures you make, always so fresh.  Where can I see more?

Chris Rands:  Thanks man!  Just check my facebook page, and while you're there, "like it!"

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ducks Set To Kickoff The Unfinished Business Tour

We are less than 40 days away from what promises to be a very exciting tour:  the unfinished business tour.  A tour that's been in the making since Oregon lost to Auburn in the 2011 national championship game.

Oregon's head coach Chip Kelly's resume at Oregon is pretty impressive.  How about the most wins of any bcs school over the past five years (53).  The most weeks in the top 10 of any bcs school (28).  Three straight conference championships.  And three straight bcs game appearances, including a win in last year's Rose bowl.

Auburn RB Michael Dyer's wrist sure looks down to me
The lone blemish on his resume is that loss to Auburn.  In particular, the way in which they lost.  Auburn was probably playing with an ineligible player in Cam Newton.  There were many questionable calls in that game, the most crucial of which came in the fourth quarter, when Auburn RB Michael Dyer appeared to be down (or was he?) but kept running, which put Auburn in position for the game winning field goal. 

Oregon didn't even play their best game, but still had their chances to win.  They only lost 23-19.

It had to have left a bad taste in Kelly's mouth.  Which is probably why, after contemplating an offer from the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kelly came back to Oregon, concluding that:

"I have some unfinished business
  to complete at the University of Oregon."

It was with those words the tour was on.  Now of course Oregon has some questions to answer this year, and some big shoes to fill with the loss of Darron Thomas at QB, and LaMichael James at RB.

But they counter that with talent and depth.  Guys who are ready to step up, and ready for the spotlight.  And most experts have Oregon ranked in the 5-10 range, and being a contender for the national championship.

Chip Kelly and his rock band - one of the most exciting shows in all of college football - kick things off Sat., September 01, versus Arkansas State.

And this tour, will not end until Kelly has fulfilled his prophecy.  



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Champion Will Rise

There are 11 conference championship banners in this stadium.  But we're not here to talk about history, we're here to keep makin it: 34-6 under Chip Kelly, back-to-back-to-back Pac 10/12 conference championships, 3 consecutive BCS bowl games, defending Rose Bowl champions.

For the Ducks, the beat goes on.

Joe Paterno Thoughts

I love it...Penn State got EXACTLY what they deserve. All the Joe Paterno supporters need to go away, I'm sick of hearing from them and their delusional ass's. The current players on the roster can transfer and play IMMEDIATELY so it's not like they're being punished for something they had nothing to do with.

It's as simple as this...people who protect child molesters don't deserve a statue.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Forget The ESPYs, These Are The Duckies


Clearly ESPN is biased towards the Ducks.  If you wasted your time by watching the ESPYs last night, you would've noticed that.  But forget those, here are the REAL winners: 
DeAnthony Thomas' breakthrough game had to of been the Rose Bowl.

 DeAnthony Thomas aka "The Black Mamba."  In just his freshman year, DeAnthony Thomas was a freshman All-American, ranked 11th nationally in all-purpose yards, and was the only player in the nation with at least 400 yards receiving, rushing, and kick returning.
LaMichael James set the Pac 12 championship game standard with 219 yards and 3 touchdowns on 25 carries against UCLA.
  • BIGGEST UPSET: USC beating Oregon
I'm going the other way with this and saying USC.  In a game the Ducks had to have to keep their national championship hopes alive, they came out sluggish, and #18 USC (double digit underdogs) made them pay.  They had a 24-7 lead at one point in the third quarter.  Oregon finally showed that they were better than that, and came back, but a missed fg at the end cost them, and ended their hopes of playing for a national championship.
  • GAME OF THE YEAR: Rose Bowl
In one of college football's games of the year, the Ducks FINALLY got that BCS monkey off their back, and ended their Rose Bowl drought with a 45-38 win over Wisconsin.
  • BEST MOMENT: Winning The Rose Bowl 
The moment the clock hit zero.
  • COACH OF THE YEAR: Chip Kelly
Coached the team to a third straight conference championship and won a Rose Bowl!  Need I say more?
  • BEST COMEBACK: vs. #18ASU 10/15/11
It was kind of hard to find a good comeback win because, Oregon hasn't had to come from behind in many of its games.  So I went with this.  The #9 Ducks trailed throughout much of the first half, but they woke up in the second half and took the lead for good in the third quarter, on a 3 yard TD run by DeAnthony Thomas.  The Ducks would go on to win 41-27, in front of an Autzen stadium crowd of 60,0055.
LaMichael James
He set numerous records this year, including: most consecutive games at Oregon with over 100+ yards rushing, and 200+ yards rushing, he became Oregon's all-time leader in rushing yards and climbed up to #2 on the list in Pac 12 history, oh and he led the nation in rushing yards per game.  Pretty shabby.  

All In The Family: Paterno's Family Is Lying To Us

Nothing irritates me more than people who lie and basically question our intelligence. Joe Paterno did it by covering up the Sandusky scandal to A) protect his program/university and B) protect the name of his long time friend and assistant Jerry Sandusky.

It must run in the family because NOW, they're coming out saying Joe did everything he
could do, and wasn't covering it up. Right, Joe didn't cover anything up, even though evidence would suggest otherwise. Emails show that he knew the details of what was going on, but failed to report it to child welfare authorities. He could've pushed harder but didn't. EVEN Phil Knight retracted his words at your funeral, Joe, and is now saying:

"According to the investigation, it appears Joe made missteps that led to heartbreaking consequences. I missed that Joe missed it, and I am extremely saddened on this day. My love for Joe and his family remains."

His family is just doing the same thing Joe did to protect his university and friend's name: they're lying to us by saying Joe did what he could and didn't cover anything up, so they can protect HIS name. Problem is, it's already soiled.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Enough With List's, and Many Duck Links

52 days left until college football begins.  52 days left until the Oregon Ducks slaughter the Arkansas State Red Wolves, and begin their march towards Miami on New Year's Day.

But 52 days is still a ways away.  That leaves a lot of people with a bunch of time on their hands.  Mostly they like to just hear themselves talk and create polls, or lists, as a way to bait fans and get traffic.

You know the list's I'm talking about:  best uniforms, best helmets, best/worst cheerleaders, best/worst stadiums, best/worst fanbases, etc.

I look at this time as a chance to further my education by taking summer courses, and get out and have some fun while I can, and the weather is still good.  However, I am working on an epic piece that I'm gonna take my time with.  It will be out in time before the season starts.

In the meantime, here are some links I found worth checking out:

Think I was kidding about Oregon being a national title contender?  Phil Steele doesn't seem to think so also has the Ducks playing for the national championship 

Yardbarker takes a look at the freshman who could get a lot of playing time in week 1 

Several Duck's are making national award watch list's 

One word on 2013 Oregon recruit Dontre Wilson: wow 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Playoff System Benefits The Ducks

Last year the Ducks 'Rose' to power. This year they hope to 'squeeze the day' by winning the Orange Bowl

Imagine if Ohio State or Auburn only had a week to prepare for Oregon.  That will be the case in 2014, after it was announced today that a playoff system has officially been approved.

No longer will there be the usual four or five week bowl layoff.  There's no question teams took advantage of the layoff in preparing for Oregon's offensive attack.

The extra time also allowed teams to rest its players and heel up.  Having fresh players and depth is a big key in playing against Oregon.

Now teams will have only a week in between games to prepare for the buzz saw, that is the Oregon offense, coming right at them.  Ask the Pac 12 how hard that is!  There's a reason why the Ducks have won three consecutive conference championships.

Of course the Ducks have to get there first, before even thinking about a national championship.  But if they do, the format plays into their strength.