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Archive for the tag “Oregon Ducks”

Today’s Topic: 12.4.2013

College has become something of a hassle for today’s student athlete, especially those who are seen as “superstars”.  A stick on the rollerblading path of success, a boring trailer waiting for the movie to start.  What ungodly comparisons could some of the brightest minds make for an athlete having to sit through lectures and recitations and exams?  Who knows?  Cardale Jones, Ohio State’s third-string Quarterback, may have said it best that he “we ain’t come here to play SCHOOL”.  Cardale came to one of our nation’s Universities, known as “higher education” to some idiots, to play football.  Naturally, I mean that’s why college’s are around, right?  Today’s Topic takes us to a college in Eugene, where a top five pick spurned the NFL….and for what?  To play school?

12.4.2013

I’ve never considered myself a huge Marcus Mariota fan, I guess mainly because I’ve never been a huge fan of Oregon; in fact, I root against Oregon more often than I root for them.  Why?  I have no idea.  I have no connection or disconnection to Oregon, but I always find myself hoping they go down in flames week-in-week-out….except when I pick them against the spread, of course.  The Ducks have become a polarizing team thanks in large part to Nike owner Phil Knight.  He has showered the Ducks with countless gifts including the nation’s most gaudy and awesome uniforms, facilities which no other school can match, and an overwhelming sense of entitlement.  Lost in the Phil Knight scramble are the Oregon players.  They have seen to become an amorphous blob of annual speed racers.  Every year Oregon has the nation’s quickest running back and most versatile quarterback.  Why pay any attention?  These guys are all system products, products which begin with the tantalizing props Phil Knight provides via his astounding wealth and generosity to the University’s athletic programs.  So why would anyone pay any attention to Marcus Mariota?  He’s just another Oregon quarterback who can throw and run, but will find his comeuppance in the NFL because he’s just another stat machine bred by the Oregon program, right?  Well, suddenly the entire nation is agape at a decision made by Mariota and he’s captivated the entire country with a decision many thought ridiculous.  To quote an ESPN commercial, “He’s coming back.”

What are Mariota’s reasons for coming back?  I thought he would have told the media what it wanted to hear, “I want to win a championship”, “I just couldn’t leave knowing we have left so much unfinished this season”, etc.  He’ll talk football, because he’s a football player.  He ain’t at Oregon to play SCHOOL, and the media doesn’t pay attention to him because he’s playing SCHOOL.  Mariota is only making headline news because he’s a football player who is staying in school.  Manziel, Hundley, Bridgewater…all names which appear on the 2014 draft board rather than a 2014 attendance sheet.  I’m not condemning these players.  If I were in their place, the riches of the NFL would be difficult to pass up, but he (Mariota) is shunning these riches.  He’s Matt Barkley-ing the NFL; although, I think we can all hope he meets a better end to his decision than Barkley has.  Believe it or not, my assumptions about Mariota’s decision were as wrong as the constant dick sightings in the movie Wanderlust starring my boy Paul Rudd.

In some back recess of my mind, I’m hesitant to laud Mariota; after all, who knows how much SCHOOL factors into the decision.  Quoth Marcus, “It is an honor to be a student at the University of Oregon and to have the opportunity to represent our institution on the football field alongside my teammates […] I look forward to earning my degree next year and to the rest of my career at this great University.”  Tears are coagulating in my eyes and suddenly I have a huge man crush on Mariota.  He could be being facetious, pandering to the world of unread blogs such as this because it makes him look like a great guy.  No one is beyond facetiousness; however, for the sake of my own sanity and the sake of what I have already written, I’d like to personally declare myself a huge Marcus Mariota fan and praise the young man for making a decision which few would dare…actually staying in college to play some SCHOOL.

College Gameday Drinking Game: Week 9

To Start:
Take a drink for each person wearing a black suit coat.
My Friend Game: One person is designated “My friend”.  Every time Corso says, “Not so fast, my friend” everyone besides the designated person finishes his drink.  The last person to finish becomes the new “My friend” for not being fast enough.  Also, when someone says “friend” or a synonym, the “Friend” must take a drink.
Pollack’s Bitch Game: One person is designated as David Pollack Bitch.  Every time David Pollack insults a team, player, or coach, Pollack’s bitch drinks for ten seconds and then passes the roll onto some of his choice.
Analyst Game: Pick an analyst (Kirk, Lee, or Desmond).  Each time your analyst is shown alone on camera, take a drink.  Each time your analyst previews a game, drink for 10 seconds.
Signs and Flags
Take a drink for each Washington state flag in the background
Take a drink for each sign negatively referring to Shabazz Muhammad
Take a drink for each sign referencing Jerry Sandusky

Take a drink for each sign playing off of ESPN
Take a drink for each sign talking about Rick Neuheisel
Take a drink for each sign mentioning NIKE
The Samantha Ponder Game:
Take a drink each time Samantha Ponder is shown.
If when she’s shown, you think Samantha Ponder is a Smokeshow continue drinking until she is off screen.
During the show:
If at any point during the show, an analyst picks your alma mater or favorite team to win, finish your beer.  (If picked during Saturday Selection, you only need to finish a single beer)
Make sure to continue following the “My Friend”, “Pollack’s Bitch”, and “Analyst” games
Take a drink every time they mention Chip Kelly/The Eagles
Take a drink whenever your alma mater is mentioned
Take a drink whenever the Oregon/Washington game is mentioned
Drink for the amount of seconds you think are equal to the length of Paul Finebaum’s ears when he is shown the first time.
Take a drink every time a stadium is shown.
Take a drink whenever time Maty Mauk is mentioned
Take a drink whenever De’Anthony’s connection to Snoop Dogg (Snoop Lion) is mentioned.
Take a drink anyone says “Autzen Zoo”
Take a drink every time Kirk says “Win Big”
Take a drink every time Lee Corso says “Closer than the experts think.”
Take a drink each time Lee Corso stumbles over his words.
Take a drink each time Lee Corso repeats something he has just said.
If Ty Burrell or Kaitlin Olson is the guest picker, drink for 10 seconds.  If both are, finish your beer.
Take a drink every time The Bear is shown.
Perform the Saturday Selections.  Each time you agree with your analyst, take a drink.  Each time you disagree, take 3 drinks.  If you fail to make a pick, take 5 drinks.  (Desmond’s partners will be paired with the guest picker.)
Take a drink whenever Teddy Bridgewater is show or the UCF defeat of Louisville is mentioned.
During the Oregon-UCLA pick, Lee Corso ushers live ducks onto the stage finish 2 Beers.  If Corso picks the ducks and hugs the real Oregon duck finish beers.  If Corso picks UCLA finish 2 beers.

College Gameday Drinking Game: Week 7

To Start:
Take a drink for each person not wearing a black suit coat.
My Friend Game: One person is designated “My friend”.  Every time Corso says, “Not so fast, my friend” everyone besides the designated person finishes his drink.  The last person to finish becomes the new “My friend” for not being fast enough.  Also, when someone says “friend” or a synonym, the “Friend” must take a drink. 
Pollack’s Bitch Game: One person is designated as David Pollack Bitch.  Every time David Pollack insults a team, player, or coach, Pollack’s bitch drinks for ten seconds and then passes the roll onto some of his choice.
Analyst Game: Pick an analyst (Kirk, Lee, or Desmond).  Each time your analyst is shown alone on camera, take a drink.
Signs and Flags
Take a drink for each Washington state flag in the background 
Take a drink for each sign referencing Chip Kelly 
Take a drink for any sign with the word “Nickelback” in it. 
The Samantha Ponder Game:
Take a drink each time Samantha Ponder is shown.
If when she’s shown, you think Samantha Ponder is a Smokeshow continue drinking until she is off screen.
During the show:
If at any point during the show, an analyst picks your alma mater or favorite team to win, finish your beer.  (If picked during Saturday Selection, you only need to finish a single beer) 
Make sure to continue following the “My Friend”, “Pollack’s Bitch”, and “Analyst” games 
Take a drink if Chris Fowler mentions “CenturyLink Field” or the stadium is shown 
Take a drink whenever your alma mater is mentioned 
Take a drink whenever your biggest rival is mentioned 
Take a drink every time Lane Kiffin’s firing is mentioned 
Take a drink every time “Red River” is said. 
Take a drink when anyone says “Apple Cup” 
Take a drink whenever Chris Fowler says “Meeshigan” instead of Michigan. 
Take a drink if Lee Corso says “Warshington” rather than “Washington” (including Washington St etc.) 
Take a drink every time Kirk says “Win Big” 
Take a drink every time Lee Corso says “Closer than the experts think.” 
Take a drink each time Lee Corso stumbles over his words.
Take a drink each time Lee Corso repeats something he has just said. 
If Hope Solo or Warren Moon is the guest picker, drink for 6 seconds…if it is anyone else, take a deep breath.
Take a drink every time The Bear is shown.
Perform the Saturday Selections.  Each time you agree with your analyst, take a drink.  Each time you disagree, take 3 drinks.  If you fail to make a pick, take 5 drinks.  (Desmond’s partners will be paired with the guest picker.)
Take a drink if Chris Fowler references the fans in his first sentence introducing the Oregon-Washington game, drink for 5 seconds.
During the Oregon-Washington picks, if Lee Corso ushers live Ducks onto the stage, finish beers.  If Kirk picks up one of the Ducks finish another beer…if the Ducks make no appearance, only finish a beer if Kirk touches Lee’s mascot head…if none of this happens you’re off the hook.

Befuddled

It was not too long ago I was congratulating Chip Kelly on returning to Oregon rather than boot scoot for the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Today, it was announced Kelly was boot scooting for the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles rather than return to Oregon.  The draw of the NFL seems to have been too much for Kelly and his up-tempo offense will be transitioning to Philly where Michael Vick may have the opportunity to pioneer it along with Kelly.  My only question for Chip Kelly is what is the appeal of the NFL?  People are probably muttering, “Money, it has to be money”.  We all understand your reasoning for mentioning the almighty dollar, but the average NFL coach makes around $4 million.  Chip Kelly was scheduled to make $3.8 million at Oregon next season and $4 million the next two years.  While one may say, “Kelly will make more than the average”, his peer who moved from college to professional football last season Greg Schiano received a 5-year $15 million deal from Tampa Bay.  Money must not have motivated Kelly.  Perhaps the bright lights of Sunday football pulled Kelly from Oregon to Philly, but Oregon has become one of the nation’s more popular programs in a world where the disparity in terms of popularity for the NFL and college football is not as large as in the past.  In the end, Kelly’s decision is overall befuddling.  The Oregon program will eventually recover, but it will be interesting to see if it can retain its status as an annual threat for a National Title.  All Kelly has proven is betrayal to a program runs in his bloodline as both he and his brother Brian made commitments and guarantees to programs before running off to another opportunity.  While Brian made a point of saying he’d leave the University of Cincinnati for Notre Dame when he first signed, he later claimed he would stay with there if they met some demands he had to better the Cincinnati program.  Cincy obliged and Kelly ran for South Bend anyway.  Now, Chip has left a program he had committed (just a few days after saying the NFL was not for him).  Chip Kelly may succeed in the NFL, but it is unlikely he’ll see the success he did in Eugene where he was 46-7 in four years as head coach and visited a BCS bowl each season (including wins in the past two years).  Will Chip Kelly go the way of Nick Saban?  Will he succeed as Pete Carroll has in Seattle during his second opportunity?  We’ll see.  I just don’t know.

BCS Special Article Oregon: Alejandro…

In 2011, Alejandro Maldonado was unfortunately placed by his head coach Chip Kelly into having to attempt a career long field goal against USC last season; it would have tied the game in what would be Oregon’s only loss en route to a Rose Bowl berth.  He became much maligned despite Kelly deserving more blame than the Alejandro.  For the second straight season, the Oregon Ducks’ National Title hopes rested squarely on the foot of kicker Alejandro Maldonado as the Ducks engaged Stanford in an absolute dogfight in the Autzen Zoo on November 17th in order to claim a Pac-12 title and remain unbeaten.

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Rarely does a kicker earn praise.  Kickers practice the same trade day and night.  The only change day-to-day in the kicking world is the weather in which one is kicking.  The field goal posts, hash marks, size of the ball, holder, long snapper, and your own ability are constants.  The opposing team may try different formations of rushes in order to block the kick, but the kicker should not have to worry about this; rather, it is the worry of the linemen in front.  Because of the lack of variables in the kicking game, people expect every kick to be made.  Once you prove you can make a 45-yarder, every 45-yard field goal is expected to be made.  A kicker is more likely to be criticized at every point throughout his career.  Fans jeer because of a missed chip shot or boo when consistency is absent.  No kicker in the country is more familiar with how lackluster the job is than Alejandro Maldonado.  He wears an completely lackluster number (41) and plays kicker.  He attempted only 12 field goals last season…making seven which did not include the game tying try against USC which ended Oregon’s undefeated season and lost the Ducks a chance to play in the National Title Game.  The attempt was a   42-yard try…until Oregon committed a false start penalty, making the try 47 yards.  Alejandro’s long prior to the USC game was 40 yards.  He was benched at the start of 2012, but began kicking for the team again against California, the third last game of the season.  He went 1-1 in the game, making a 26 yard attempt.  Next came the most anticipated game of the season for Oregon.  Stanford, one loss in the Pac-12, was coming to Eugene to take on Oregon.  The game turned into exactly what Oregon did not want it to.  A dogfight which produced only 28 total points in regulation.  Alejandro missed a 42 yard attempt in the third quarter which would have put Oregon ahead by 10 points.  His nightmare had only just begun, unfortunately for Maldonado.  For the second straight season, Alejandro would have Oregon’s entire season resting on a career long attempt.  In Overtime, Oregon received the ball first and eventually came to a 4th and 9 from the 24-yard line (gaining only 1 yard).  If Maldonado made the kick, he’d be meeting expectations and no one would celebrate the kick or praise Maldonado for having huge nuts.  All the powers seemed to be working against Alejandro.  He sent the ball into the Oregon night and waited while the ball soared toward the goal post…literally it sailed right at the left upright.  It clonked off the post and fall harmlessly into the endzone.  Stanford players jogged merrily off the field, knowing the game was all but theirs.  Oregon had missed their chance for a National Title berth for the second straight year due to a missed field goal.  Alejandro is once again the most wanted man in Eugene and should be put into witness protection ASAP.  God bless him…let him live.

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