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.