Tuesday, July 17, 2007

College Football at its Best - Oregon Ducks

Today Stiles Points moves to the westcoast and features the Oregon Ducks as part of the series "College Football at its Best".....Dave from the blog Addicted to Quack was kind enough to respond....he may have the best named college football blog in the country.....I want to thank him for his time.....

  • Addicted to Quack - Oregon

  • Q1. I have to ask you about the multi-colored jerseys? What is your truthful opinion of them?
    I think that many Duck fans truly wonder what the big deal is. While the jerseys are certainly unorthodox, and the lightning yellow is especially ugly, I doubt that they are the ugliest uniforms known to man. We don't have great traditional uniforms. We don't have great tradition, period. But people are ALWAYS talking about our uniforms. It keeps the Ducks on the front burner, even during poor seasons, because they're always at the cutting edge. And players often help design them. They're big with recruits. And if they help us get recruits—which is a given fact at this point, then I, as well as most Duck fans, like them.

    Q2. What is the greatest Oregon football game that you have seen - whether it be in-person or on television? Explain the game and why it was so great.
    It's really hard because there have been so many great games. I really want to say the Michigan game in 2003 (photo) because the atmosphere was so intense and we knocked off the #3 team in the country in what was arguably the biggest nonconference game ever in Eugene. There was also the Fiesta Bowl win in '01, and the 56-14 steam rolling of Oregon State in the fog bowl of '05. However, one game rises to the top because, arguably, Oregon football doesn't exist today without that game. I'm talking the 1994 game vs. Washington.

    #7 Washington, favored to win the Pac-10, comes into Eugene having won 17 of 20 vs. Oregon. Oregon football is nothing at that point: a Freedom Bowl berth that Oregon basically bought a few years before being the biggest football accomplishment in 30 years. The Ducks took a three point lead over the mighty Huskies, but looked like they would have their hearts broken as Damon Huard drove Washington down to the three yard line with 1:05 left. But then Kenny Wheaton picked off a ball and returned it 97 yards for the touchdown. The win catapulted Oregon to its first Rose Bowl since 1958, and is the game that most signify as the beginning of Oregon football as we know it. To this day, "the pick" is the last thing they play on the scoreboard before the Ducks take the field, to the roaring of the crowd. Oh, and I was a sixth grader--it was the first Oregon game I ever saw in person. Great timing, I guess.

    See "The Pick" on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qx9rBOlubPQ&mode=related&search=

    Q3. Who is Oregon's most hated rival - Oregon State, USC, or UCLA? (explain the rivalry)
    What's funny is that you probably totally missed it. I wouldn't call UCLA or USC rivalries, beyond the fact that they are conference games. Oregon State is definitely a rival, but it's kind of a friendly rivalry. Obviously, we never want to lose to the Beavers, but most Duck fans root for the Beavers in games that don't affect the Ducks. But if you want to talk about pure, unadulterated hatred, there is only one acceptable answer: The University of Washington is our most hated rival.

    Some say that it started in 1948. In the old Pacific Coast Conference, there was a vote to determine the Rose Bowl representative between Oregon and Cal. It was assumed that the six Northwest schools would vote Oregon, and the four California schools for Cal. However, Washington voted for Cal and convinced Montana to do the same. A few years later, the dean of Oregon's law school led a successful crusade against Washington's football program for paying its players. In the meantime, the teams exchanged beatings on the field. It was really nasty, but then Washington went into a 30-year period of dominance in the series.

    The aforementioned pick in 1994 rekindled the rivalry, and many Duck fans were especially bitter at the way they had been treated by Washington fans over the years. For the next decade, the teams would exchange wins in the series, which always seemed to have conference title implications. This rivalry is purely hatred, and Duck fans laugh at Washington's current status as doormats of the Pac-10. If they never won another game, it would suit us just fine. But these games are always nasty.

    Q4. Since 1970, who are the five greatest players to put on an Oregon jersey?
    1. Joey Harrington (photo) has to be number one. With Joey Heisman at the helm, you were never out of a game. In his final two seasons, he had five fourth quarter comebacks. He led Oregon to arguably their two best seasons ever in '00 and '01. He was Pac-10 player of the year in 2001, and is easily the most recognizable player in Oregon football history.

    2. Bill Musgrave. If he had come ten years later with better talent around him, he'd be Joey Harrington, only Musgrave had greater physical skills. He's still Oregon's leading career passer with 8343 yards. As a junior in 1989, he led Oregon to its biggest victory to the date, a drubbing of #3 BYU in which Musgrave passed for 489 yards. And he led Oregon out of decades of darkness to their first two bowl appearances (1989 Independence and 1990 Freedom) since the 1963 Sun Bowl.

    3. Haloti Ngata has to be Oregon's most dominant defensive player ever. From '02 to '05, Ngata anchored the defensive line, drawing double and even triple teams on every play, and STILL getting to the quarterback. His dominance allowed very average players such as Devan Long (sacks) and Aaron Gipson (interceptions) to be among the national leaders in those categories. A first team All-American in '05, he currently plays for the Baltimore Ravens.

    4. Kenny Wheaton. If sports is all about moments, he has to be in there. However, he was no one trick pony. In addition to "the pick," he was a great shut down corner and was the first Oregon Duck to leave school early for the NFL.

    5. It's hard to say. We've had a lot of good backs and receivers, but a lot of them lump together in my mind. But Jonathan Stewart will be here by the end of his career. Bank on it.

    Q5. Make your case why Oregon football, as a whole, is the best football program in the country?
    Its hard to make that argument based on on-field success. Oregon doesn't have the storied history of a Penn State or a Texas. But that's also a very exciting thing. Rather than carrying on tradition, the players and fans of the last 15 years have been building the traditions. Its a very exciting time of transition here at Oregon. I also love that we can respect the past while we embrace the future. Some of the newer Oregon students have grown up with relative success, but most Duck fans can remember the day where we were truly terrible year in and year out. I think that it gives us an appreciation for what is accomplished. I love that we are successful, but I also love that I can tell my children I remember when…..That, and I guarantee there is no better stadium atmosphere anywhere than Autzen.

    I want to thank Dave again for his time.....on Thursday Texas A&M Aggies will be featured....


    thePigPen said...

    I kinda like their uniforms. I usually hate jerseys with too much going on, but for some reason, Oregon's just work.

    Quacked and Fated said...

    "Kenny Wheaton's gonna score! Kenny Wheaton's gonna score!" I moved to Oregon that fall...and have been a Duck fan ever since! That Nebraska (B-12 2nd place!) got to play for the Nat. Championship against Miami and Ducks had to settle for crapping on Colorado 38-16 in 2001 still gets my blood pressure up!