Guest Post from DDubbs
It takes everything I have...every single sliver of patience, forgiveness, and love to write this post. Yes, the Ducks have disappointed me. Yes, the offseason was once again, completely brutal. And yes, a piece of me...a piece of my heart, has been taken, never to be returned again.
And I think about this.
In the time that has passed since a field goal that buried my soul, I’ve found a love for baseball. It’s a love that I felt long ago...over ten years...a love that once left for transgressions, namely steroids. It wasn’t an intentional departure, but rather, a natural absence from my life, due to the negative feelings that it stirred.
But...an email came my way. And in that email, my dad, who only ever passes advice worth hearing stated, “You must watch Ken Burns’ baseball documentary before you die.” Well, with that kind of recommendation, I had to watch it. And watch it, I did.
In the months that have passed, I’ve found everything good that was baseball, and I’ve come to understand that steroids wasn’t a reason to abandon a game that, to the core, means so much to me.
Sadly, in sports today, there are a lot of shady dealings going on in back rooms. It means too much now...the money...it means so much that is overshadows the game itself, but only if you let it. You see, I’ve decided a few things for myself.
I’ve decided that in baseball—in football—in life; you can only love some things for what they are, not for the influences that have an eventual impact. In that, I’ve found some comfort. It wasn’t that baseball was flawed, but rather, the establishment that allowed for steroid use to go on, seemingly unnoticed, was flawed. The same holds true for football...the flaw is not in the game...it’s in the establishment that, in some ways, forces deviations from acceptable behavior.
If Johnny Cash were to write a song about the Ducks, from a fan’s perspective, it may sound something like this:
I hear the Ducks a comin'
They’re rollin' 'round the bend,
And I ain't seen the football field,
Since, I don't know when,
I'm stuck in the offseason,
And time keeps draggin' on,
But those Ducks keep a-rollin',
On down to Ar-ling-tun.
When I was just a baby,
My Papa told me, "Son,
Give the ball to LaMichael,
Don't ever give up on the run,"
But I passed the ball on fourth down,
Just to show them I got a gut,
When I become pre-dic-table,
Put me in the tomb with Tut.
I bet there's some Ducks smokin’,
In a rental car,
They're pro’bly all out,
Of some dank that wasn’t cigars,
But I know we had it comin',
Playin’ in the Natty doesn’t come free,
But those players keep a-movin',
And that's what tortures me.
Well, if they free me from these sanctions,
If we can avoid a major fine,
I bet I'd celebrate a little,
Write a more positive rhyme,
Far from Mike Bellotti,
That's where we used to play,
And I'd bet that team from Louisanna,
Feels the exact same way.
I’m not here to make excuses for the Ducks. I’m not here to say…”Well, they’re just college kids, doing what they will do.” I’m not here to say, “All of the other teams are doing it too.” No. It’s never been our attitude...it’s never been what we’ve cheered for, as long-term Oregon fans.
I feel betrayed. I’m angry, and it’s just something that I have to face. I knew I was going to write something for the game, and I’ve been waiting to find a way to forgive the Ducks for the anguish that they’ve put me through. Well, I’m not there...I’m just not. And I’m not going to feign some acceptance for actions that simply are not acceptable. But I have to move on...because, it’s where I want my heart to be, even if it’s not there yet.
So, my hope for this game is some enlightenment. I don’t want excuses. I don’t want shady dealings. I want football. I want to beat LSU on the field...and I want to beat them with heart. I want to beat them with grit, integrity, and determination.
As a prediction, this post doesn’t really fly. But let me say this...since I am a man of predictions...I think we have an uphill battle. I don’t think we’ll run the ball well. I believe that the reason why we’ve stumbled against teams like LSU is that our system doesn’t fit well with their scheme. So, it’s not going to be an Oregon blowout. Instead, I place everything on the defense, and on Darron Thomas.
I think our defense will create opportunities and turnovers. I think Darron Thomas will find his receivers, and I think Justin Hoffman will find his way into every Duck fan’s heart.
That said, I’ll keep this simple. Oregon will score 27 points, and they won’t come easily. But thankfully, Oregon will only allow 17 points.
With that, I’m ready for football to begin. I’m ready to reignite a passion for a game, and for a team that I’ve followed.
This is the second draft, and I must say, the first draft wasn’t pleasant. But, I’m ready to move on. I’m ready to feel the excitement. I’m ready to share some love.
Uniforms: Ninja, through and through
Corso: Mmmmm...Go Ducks!