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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 1, 2010 1:30 PM. The previous post in this blog was Play the over/under on Kroger press releases in 2010. The next post in this blog is Jerome Kersey may have to suit up. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, January 1, 2010

Can I go via Duck, just for a day?

Well, here comes the Rose Bowl featuring the Oregon Ducks. I rarely root for the Ducks -- I've got too much history as a Stanford alum and a one-time denizen of Corvallis. There's been the occasional exception, however.

The Ducks made it to a big bowl game -- I think it was the Rose -- in the early '90s. I was on the East Coast visiting the family, and knowing that I had replanted my roots in Oregon, everybody there expected me to root for the Ducks. And I did -- even bringing to the TV set a little plastic cartoon duck beak that emitted a quacking noise when you blew into it. The memory's pretty dim, but as I recall the Ducks lost.

I made another exception just a few weeks ago, when the Ducks played USC. It was a battle of two teams that I don't like, and Oregon was the lesser of two evils. The Ducks prevailed in that one.

Can I bring myself to cheer on the Ducks today? Nah. Nowadays it's like cheering for Phil Knight's money -- it doesn't need my help. With every win, the athletic department in Eugene gets bigger and bigger -- way past the size of its britches. Next year, they'll be talking about a national championship in football again, and if the Ducks win today, that might be a credible scenario. They're already doing stuff like taking away law professors' parking spaces and handing them over to football players; a Rose Bowl victory seems likely to bring on more of that.

But I can't root for "The" Ohio State University, either. Now, there's a school that sold its soul to the sports devil many decades ago, and they don't merit my suddenly jumping on their bandwagon. I'll have to stay neutral.

Meanwhile, I see that creaky old Brent Musberger will be calling the game on television, which means that I may have to drink regular coffee instead of my normal decaf. That or turn on the radio for the screaming homers.

Anyway, Pasadena on New Year's is always a wonderful spectacle, and it will be fun to watch, however dispassionately. Enjoy the game, peeps.

Comments (38)

Me too. I am an alum of the University of Hawaii and American University and don't get too excited about Oregon games as a general rule, but this is the big time. GO DUCKS!

I agree with you about cheering for Phil Knight's money!
Quack!

PS: That Jaqua center looks pretty fancy. Is that the new 'special ed center' so the football players can "pass" their classes and thus continue to play football? or what ever sport?
Gee whiz, when I went to UofO ( back in the dark ages) all the athletes had to do was remember put their exams in a separate pile on the prof's desk at the end of the final exam.
No questiones asked...

Silly me. Every once in a while I am naive enough to think that NCAA rules actually mean something and are enforced.

How does reserved parking lots, reserved spaces in other lots, and the entirety of the "academic center" for athletes only square with the basic NCAA rule that athletes receive no benefits not available to non athlete students?


Please keep any responses or comments to words of no more than three syllables. I only have three earned degrees, none from an athletic factory.

And screw bthe Oregon Knights!

And what is wrong with just yellow and green for the uniforms?

Jut awaiting the ghost of Woody Hayes to make and appearance.

Way back I expected OSU to go all the way!

Over the last year I've posted repeatedly to various forums, asking someone to reveal what field of study or degree program Blount is pursuing.

Either nobody knows or nobody cares.

I don't know about majors but I can tell you what Blount was pursuing today. He was pursuing the football after he dropped the handoff and then kicked it around 30 yards into the end zone.

Anyone have any idea how the these schools compare when it comes to bringing in the research dollars?

Ohio State winnings means I have to put up with a full season of ignorant college football analysts touting Terrelle Pryor. "Look at how fast he is!," "even though run first quarterbacks who score less than wide receivers on the Wonderlic and never do anything in the NFL except get their legs and knees broken, Pryor's athleticism is unparalleled!," "Pryor would have made a great receiver," "Pryor is just like Michael Vick!," ad nausea m.

At least it is better than Oregon whining about being left out of the BCS Championship and having their Joey Harrington show up as a used car salesman 8 years later.

Speaking of Joey, what brand of used cars does he sell?

You need to make a New Year's resolution to be a lot less bitter.

Why does it not surprise me that most of you have about as much loyalty to a team from the state you live in as you do American patriotism!! This was a great honor to play in the Rose Bowl, doesn't that mean anything to you?

a team from the state you live in

Sorry, that's not enough to get some of us to stand up and salute.

Selling a school's soul to the devil is all relative I guess. However, Ohio State's football graduation rate is comparable to Oregon's, and they have higher undergraduate admissions standards and superior graduate schools:

University of Oregon:

* Percentage of applicants accepted: 87%
* Middle 50% SAT Reading: 480 / 600
* Middle 50% SAT Math: 490 / 610

Ohio State University:

* Percentage of applicants accepted: 62%
* Middle 50% SAT Reading: 540 / 650
* Middle 50% SAT Math: 590 / 680

That's The Ohio State University.

I flirted with the idea of rooting for Oregon a couple of years ago. But then Belloti played Dennis Dixon on a torn ACL and blew out his knee. Won't root for the program now.

Carol -

About 16 - 18 years ago, my wife's aunt was in Portland. Auntie dear was Rich Brooks' secretary.

Auntie proceeded to entertain us with a thousand and one reasons why both the Beavers and the Cougars had to be expelled from the PAC-10 because those two schools, according to "Rich", couldn't compete either in terms of facilities or on the field and dragged down the rest of the conference.

An interesting viewpoint from the heart of UO's jock strap department

The arrogance and the stink wafting out of Eugene has turned off a lot of folks.

Dear Carol,
Do you also support and defend the axiom of "my country right or wrong"?
Patriotism and/or supporting a school can take many diverse forms.
Personally, as far as supporting an institution of higher education, I prefer to support scholarship programs for academic endeavors, and research. I have the old fashioned idea that publicly supported colleges and universities should not be used as the training grounds for private, professional sports.

The military jets screaming overhead during the opening ceremony while soldiers held flags and cheerleaders held their hands over their hearts really makes me wonder when "patriotism" got all confused with "playing sports" and "rooting for sports teams funded by a corporate billionaire who dictates event he parking rules".

What's even weirder is the people who actually believe the two are somehow the same thing, and that if you don't root for the billionaire-owned sports team, you're somehow "unpatriotic" or "unsupportive of your home state".

Heck, for that matter, the jets were probably being flown by Blackwater employees.

Ecohuman: Sorry to tell you, but a military honor guard and playing of the Star Spangled Banner are a part of every major sports event in the Unites States. If a brief display of patriotism and honoring of our armed forces somehow offends you; maybe you might be more comfortable living in a nation like Somalia where it's everyone for themselves.

If you want some serious anthem-playing before your sports, North Korea would be a good place to go.

The Duck mascot jumping around and gesturing wildly to the camera for about a minute before the ceremony was over was a heartwarming touch to yesterday's festivities.

Wow...why such jealousy/hatred for athletes? Maybe some hazing incidents that still hurt?

"a military honor guard and playing of the Star Spangled Banner are a part of every major sports event in the Unites States. If a brief display of patriotism and honoring of our armed forces somehow offends you"

It offends this veteran -- first, because statistically none of the athletically-gifted young people in the sports arenas will go into the military that they are supposedly "honoring" with their mandatory appearance during the pre-game; second, because it's completely corporate and unconsidered, imposed by the producers of the spectacle and reflecting no actual thought or intention to honor anybody; third because it's just more sanitized BS to persuade Americans to keep on cheering while otherwise totally ignoring the horrors we're inflicting, both on innocents abroad and on our own military people.

When they wheel out the honor guard consisting of an empty spot to symbolize the KIAs, and a blind guy with burns, two guys with brain injuries, a homeless guy who can't get VA help for voices he still hears, and the wife of a guy who shot himself after coming back, then I'll think it's an intent to honor rather than to advertise.

I have the old fashioned idea that publicly supported colleges and universities should not be used as the training grounds for private, professional sports.

Why not? Its just another career. Whats the difference whether someone wants training to have a career as a computer programmer or a quarterback, or even an actor? They are all private fields.
So I guess if you go to a public school, you should only be able to get a job in the public sector? Sounds kinda "Soviet".

"none of the athletically-gifted young people in the sports arenas will go into the military"
Particularly after Pat Tillman's sacrifice.

Whats the difference whether someone wants training to have a career as a computer programmer or a quarterback, or even an actor? They are all private fields.

At UO, the difference might be that the computer programmer or actor don't have a 150 million dollar complex to practice in, reserved parking, a corporate sponsor, favored status in many classes, all the equipment and supplies they need for free, and a host of other privileges.

I like sports. played several. Also was in the military. But the weird conflation of sports with patriotism, and the perverse domination of academic institutions by sports corporations (and increasing dependence on those corporations for funding everything else) says something profoundly disturbing about a free society, I think.

Nevermind the cliche "if you don't like demonstrations of "patriotism", then go to Somalia" responses.

Or, to quote Lincoln: "A patriot's first duty is not to raise up a flag, but to raise up his fellow man."

Jefferson's not bad, either: "I will not salute a flag because it is raised and a hymn played. Let us in time of peace not make ourselves rituals of war designed to frighten enemies and silence the patriot."

Or heck, to quote Mussolini: "A patriot shall not fail to salute the flag at every public occasion. Those not proud of your country should make plans to leave it; to question our government's authority is tantamount to treason."

Folks, as far as I can tell, flag-waving, always military-styled "patriotism" is almost uniquely associated in history with fascism. For a country that never wanted to have a standing army or become subservient to blind worship of leaders and symbols, we've sure come to an interesting point in our history.

Thought I might try to answer my own question about research dollars above so here goes from the Seattle Times. We might ask which has the greatest impact on the community a sports complex or a research lab?

“Looking at the Pac-10 conference though this lens gives us an entirely different view of the competition. See the accompanying graph.
UCLA tops the conference standings, University of Washington captures second place and Stanford comes in third. UCLA went from $355 million in science and engineering R&D expenditures in 1996 to $812 million in 2006, an impressive 128 percent increase. UW grew from $407 to $778 million, and Stanford went from $351 million to $679 million in the same time period.
If we were to look at just federal research dollars, our Huskies beat UCLA and all others. UW is the No. 1 "public" research university (No. 2 overall) in the country in attracting all categories of federal R&D money.
The middle of the "Pac" steadily grew their R&D and maintained their positions over the decade. And Cougar fans have reason to cheer, as WSU essentially doubled its R&D, from $99 million to $196 million. As a land-grant university with no medical school, WSU should be viewed in competition with other, similar institutions and in that context is performing very well.
Then we have our neighbors to the south. Oregon State grew from $131 million to $190 million — respectable, but nowhere near the progress made by WSU. And look who comes in dead last: Rose Bowl-bound University of Oregon. The Ducks may be flying high on the football field, but their R&D went from a mere $34 million to $57 million in 10 years.”
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2010587937_guest27jaech.html

I had to root for the Buckeyes. The Ducks have knocked my boys out of the Rose Bowl for the last 2 years. Great game.

George and Eco, I guess that you haven't attended an event (sports or otherwise)that has our national anthem played with honor guards with someone that has served their country and been wounded in combat. The anthem has deep meaning for them and for me that respects this service. What is remarkable is that they solemnly do so with no fanfare and don't seek recognition of their service.

One friend piloting his helicopter after saving several soldiers in a night rescue in Vietnam was shot down. Almost every major bone in his body was broken and several major organs in his body were crushed. After over a year in hospitals he lived to walk again. Now in his latter years those injuries are affecting his life. His wife was also serving in Vietnam as a nurse and was allowed to help nurse him back to good health. When I attend Oregon games with our dear friends, like we recently did at the Oregon-Arizona game, I do not think the same things you do when we stand in honor. I have over four other friends who have service memories that are dramatic like above. The most recent involves Fallujah, Iraq, and in its own way more horrifying.

If you want to not stand, remove your hat, to not sing, or face the flag, please feel free to do so. But please don't disparage those that do because there are many reasons for those that do honor the moment.

Man, what does all tis have to do with Oregon needing a better defensive backfiled and their offense being able to contend with a good defense Like Ohio State or Boise State?

Any we are only two days into the decade - Its going to be fun.

George and Eco, I guess that you haven't attended an event (sports or otherwise)that has our national anthem played with honor guards with someone that has served their country and been wounded in combat. The anthem has deep meaning for them

I have. I served. It doesn't.

When I attend Oregon games with our dear friends, like we recently did at the Oregon-Arizona game, I do not think the same things you do when we stand in honor. I have over four other friends who have service memories that are dramatic like above. The most recent involves Fallujah, Iraq, and in its own way more horrifying.

I'll ask it again--what does a corporate-run football game (sponsored by Citibank, bankrolled by Nike and a few other sponsors) have to do with military service?

If you want to not stand, remove your hat, to not sing, or face the flag, please feel free to do so. But please don't disparage those that do because there are many reasons for those that do honor the moment.

I offer you a counter proposal--if you want to sponsor or attend a football game, please feel free to do so. But please don't assume that the other 95,999 attending want to make the football pre-game into some sort of origiastic, hypermilitary patriot-fest. For many, it's an unthinking and asinine attempt to make the sports event somehow be about more than it is.

Golly, someone really hit a nerve here with this patriotic stuff, eh?

Here's the bottom line, Eco. There were some injured vets in attendance. They (meaning the people putting on the show) wanted to show those guys some respect. You dont have to like it. You dont even have to see it. Go the can, go get some nachos, or just close your friggin eyes. Wow.

Here's the bottom line, Eco. There were some injured vets in attendance. They (meaning the people putting on the show) wanted to show those guys some respect. You dont have to like it.

The bottom line was the sponsor--Citibank--hired a production team. The team put on a show. The purpose of the Rose Bowl isn't "put on a patriotic show by trotting out vets and scheduling a military jet flyover".

And in fact, I know a few injured vets who find trotting out injured vets to be self-serving crap by the promoters, and strongly dislike it. They use stronger language.

You dont have to like it. You dont even have to see it. Go the can, go get some nachos, or just close your friggin eyes.

Thanks for your permission not to like it. You have my permission to like it. The difference is--I was talking about the event, not the spectators. You're complaining about the spectators.

And remember--if *you* jump up and salute every time that kind of corporate show is put on, you don't get to define that as "patriotic" or "respectful" for anybody but you.

Eco, Is your beef that Citibank hired a production team? Or that Citibank is a corporation? Did you want Joe down in the mailroom at Citibank to handle all the arrangements for the event? I guess the City of Portland shouldn't hire any production teams to stage the street closures for Bike Days, or events at Pioneer Square, or the taxpayer money shouldn't have any Commissioner teams spewing political spin.

If my memory serves me well, for all the decades I have watched most sporting events (and many other events) the National Anthem is played, sometimes with color guards, sometimes with flyovers. Where is the perverseness of the Opening at the Rose Bowl compared to other years, decades or other events?

Are we to throw out tradition? I guess when our President enters an event we should dispense with the Pomp and Circumstance, he/she is no better than a commoner, and we shouldn't stand along with the Congress when a President enters the Chambers. I served too if that means anything to this discussion.

Eco, Is your beef that Citibank hired a production team? Or that Citibank is a corporation?

Neither. I was fairly explicit in comments above.

Are we to throw out tradition?

Trotting out a disabled vet at the Rose Bowl while military jets scream overhead is "tradition"? If so, then yes, I'd say "throw out tradition".

I guess when our President enters an event we should dispense with the Pomp and Circumstance

Interestingly, Washington and Jefferson (and several early presidents) despised the "pomp and circumstance" that was used for their benefit. They thought it a slavish copy of monarchies and dictatorships--or what we call fascist states today.

You're welcome to romanticize this kind of thing all you want, but I won't be following along. A lot of other won't either. I have a strong feeling that Washington and Jefferson wouldn't have, either.

But "patriot" doesn't remotely mean the same thing today it meant then, does it?

Thanks for your permission not to like it. You have my permission to like it. The difference is--I was talking about the event, not the spectators. You're complaining about the spectators.

I didnt say I liked it. I didnt even see it. I didnt even turn the game on until just before kickoff. I think pregame & halftime shows are boring.
I just dont get why you were bitching about it when you can just turn it off or look away. Seems a non-issue.

This makes the Nike indoor track scheme at UO a bit tougher to accomplish. And nearby the new 15th and Moss street UO Megadorm ($ 75 mill.) proposal that was full speed ahead is now MIA. The reporters will all keep quiet about that simmering planning fiasco I am sure.


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Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 319
At this date last year: 172
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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