Why Leave The Civil War Up to Chance When I Can Jinx Oregon State?

Look how pretty the Quizz Show is!

Look how pretty the Quizz Show is!

The biggest game of my life as a sports fan is Thursday. And as the clock creeps closer to kickoff with each minute ticking by, I am only getting more and more nervous.

Obviously, I can’t do anything to directly help Oregon increase their chances of winning, so I will resort to doing what I what do best: using my sharp, snarky, witty (I could go on forever…) humor to jinx Oregon State into losing a game that will only make those blockhead students from Corvallis just that more ashamed to call themselves Beavers.

It’s the least I could do. Seriously.

  • Jacquizz Rodgers has never fumbled once in his 498 career carries.
  • Because of that, his extra year of experience, and exceptionally sturdy knee ligaments, Rodgers is obviously better than LaMichael James.
  • The fly sweep is the best play in college football, much better than Oregon’s pitiful spread option attack.
  • Oregon State is first in the Pac-10 in passing yards while the Ducks sit in last place. There is no doubt that Sean Canfield is a better quarterback than Jeremiah Masoli.
  • The Beavers have allowed the fewest rushing yards in the conference and tenth fewest in the country. It doesn’t matter that teams just decide it’s easier to throw the ball. Numbers don’t lie!!!
  • Crucial statistic: OSU has a better net punting average than the Ducks. Knowing that, why even bother playing the game? The Beavs have it locked up.
  • Jacquizz Rodgers has a 547.6 quarterback rating. Talk about Heisman!
  • If the Civil War was decided by picking two players from each team and adding up the points from their first name Scrabble-style on a per-letter ratio, the Beavers would win in a landslide. Jacquizz and Zeke? Are you kidding me? Can you even imagine how many points that would be on a triple word score?
  • Oregon State had more four-star recruits than Oregon in 2006. Talk about veteran leadership!
  • After last season, ESPN’s Ted Miller ranked Quizz as the fourth best player in the Pac-10. The Ducks didn’t get a single player in the top eight.
  • OSU cheerleaders are way hotter than Oregon cheerleaders, and look, they even took buddy pics! How cute!
  • Oregon State has two more alumni than Oregon who have been in space. Look, they’re even smarter than us too!
  • In a state known for being green, Chip Kelly drives a Land Rover while Mark Riley drives a Prius. Everyone is always talking about how being environmentally friendly pays off in the long run. The environmental karma Gods are watching!
  • And lastly, the Beavers have a player with 12 fingers. Talk about an advantage; imagine what you can do with all those fingers! He could enjoy 12 ring pops at the same time! Delicious!

I sure hope the Gods of reverse jinxing are Oregon alums. Go Ducks!

Advertisements

My Obligatory Thanksgiving Break Rant, Enjoy

No, I'm a thigh man!

No, I'm a thigh man!

This was an extremely weird Thanksgiving break. Up was down, black was white and in-laws were well, in-laws.

I came home Friday afternoon, a whole week before Thanksgiving, so I could spend a few extra days with the girlfriend. I mean, what’s more important: seeing my girlfriend or going to business calculus and philosophy class? (Dad, I don’t want to hear your opinion)

After spending the past few months in the never ending black hole of overcast, rain, and perpetual 40 degree weather that is Eugene, my skin had a minor freak out upon walking out of the airport into 65 degree sunshine–in late November.

If it weren’t for Oregon football, I’d be kicking myself for ever leaving California’s year-round sunny weather.

Ok, enough weather. Why was this week so weird?

I spent more time in a mall than I did watching football. Seriously. That’s what happens when you have a girlfriend. Is it too late to go back?

I missed out on Tiger’s accident, Pete Carroll being Pete Carroll (read: douche), and six hours of planting my ass directly in front of the NFL Red Zone channel on Sunday.

Instead, I got to spend hours waiting in front of the dressing room at Forever 21, A’gaci, Charlotte Rousse, Bebe and every single other store on the San Francisco Peninsula.

I went to three (three!) different malls, including one on Black Friday. I am ashamed.

Quick tangent.

Is it just me or does everyone who works at Forever 21 and the like look exactly the same? It’s always a kinda-gangster looking Asian or Latina chick who wears clothes one size too small, too much make-up and jewelry (almost always huge hoop earrings), a small tattoo (most likely a tramp stamp) and might be cute if she lost 10 pounds.

I even saw one girl, who was almost cute, look in the mirror (while she was working) and remark to a co-worker, “all my blubber is showing.”

Yea, that’s because your shirt is one size too small, you eat McDonald’s on your break, the only exercise you get is walking to the stock room to check if that sparkly mini-skirt is in stock, and you read way too many fashion magazines that say if you want to get a guy you have to dress like it’s Halloween every single day.

Seriously. It’s the same girls at every store.

Don’t worry though, I’m earning my man card back tonight by watching Dennis Dixon make his first NFL start. Check my twitter if you don’t believe me.

It doesn’t matter that I’m only watching because my girlfriend is at the Kelly Clarkson concert, I’m still watching!

And the other weird thing this week?

I don’t think I’ve eaten a single healthy thing since Monday. And I’ve been a super health freak ever since I went from 205 to 145 on the scale since high school.

I fit in every single one of my San Mateo comfort-food favorite restaurants, along with a Thanksgiving feast and my mom’s birthday cake in a week. Pretty impressive, huh?

Burritos, teriyaki chicken, frozen yogurt, pumpkin pie, dim sum face-stuff fest, birthday cake. Not a good diet–even for a college student.

Yet somehow, I think my pants are actually looser on me now than they were last week. Now that’s impressive.

Gotta take advantage of the metabolism while I can.

Bubbling Across the Border with the UO Equestrian Team

Who knew there was even a video game?

Who knew there was even a video game?

Editors Note: Sometimes it’s good to take a break from football and give other sports a little spotlight. In honor of that, here’s a piece by Christina Barth about the University of Oregon’s equestrian team. I bet you didn’t even know they had one. Shame on you!

After a long show day, when all you want to do is shower and change out of uncomfortable clothes that are grimy, wet, muddy, somewhat musky, and covered in horse hair, the last thing you should expect to see is a bunch of girls in a La Quinta Inn Jacuzzi.

That is, unless you are a member of the University of Oregon’s Equestrian Team.

The University’s equestrian team is a conglomeration of girls, from freshman to graduate students, who have been trained in all styles of riding. We have Dressage riders, we have Eventers, we have Hunter-Jumpers, we have Reiners and we have people who just love to ride. Senior Martha Clay loves being a part of the team because “It is such a great way to meet people who share the same interests. It’s a fun, easy way to meet new friends.”

A usual show day starts off with the shrill sounds of someone’s phone alarm going off and the general mumble of “Please- just 5 more minutes.” Sounds like any other student’s day, right? Well, at 5:30 am, in an uncomfortable bed, in a strange hotel, those five extra minutes may mean the difference between a good ride and a bad one. So as the covers are thrown off, and the shuffling for long johns and breeches begins, our day grudgingly starts.

This time, we are waking up in Richmond, B.C. Instead of a 5:30 a.m. hustle to get our things together, we have a leisurely 9 a.m. call for a continental breakfast, before the mayhem of an IHSA (Interscholastic Horse Show Association)  show begins.

Our season opener started off on a gloomy morning, with promise of rain, and lack of a nearby Starbucks. Too bad its time for us to get on the road. Don’t believe that navigating a Motorpool truck and van, which only slightly resembles a DDS van, through narrow downtown Vancouver, to find a riding club set back in a residential neighborhood, is easy.

As we arrive at the show grounds, we are pleasantly surprised to see a facility complete with full racetrack and several indoor and outdoor arenas. Horses are warming up outside, and riders from 12 different teams scattered throughout the Pacific Northwest, look on in anticipation. The call for coaches meeting comes, and slowly, riders trickle to the clubhouse across the arena. Now, the day really has begun.

I definitely couldn't do that!

I definitely couldn't do that!

In an IHSA show, a team hosts the show; in this case the hosting team is University of British Columbia. The hosting team is responsible for supplying the facility, the prizes, the judges, and of course, the horses. The visiting teams drive from their university to compete on horses that not only have been graciously donated to be used throughout the day, but also, horses that they will not have the chance to ride, or get to know, before going in the arena to be judged.

Basically, you’re a rider, in a strange place, on a strange horse, with equal footing as the riders you are competing against. This really is a display of the riders’ ability. The coaches have a meeting prior to the show, primarily to draw numbers, which are indicative of a specific horse, out of a bucket to assign them randomly to members of every team. There is a horse description to get a brief idea of who you will be riding, but no photos, and definitely, no practice time.

On this particular Saturday, the first rider of the day is senior, Brittany Kelley. Kelly, who is one of three Open division riders for the University’s equestrian team, has drawn a horse that is proving to be a true test of her riding abilities–and her patience. Stopping mid-canter to attempt to exit the arena, the horse shows no signs that he is willing to cooperate with his rider. Other riders will share Kelley’s lack of amusement at her horse’s behavior over the course of the day. Though her horse was not the most cooperative of sorts, Kelley completes the round gracefully.

When asked, what was running through her head during her ride with a horse who wouldn’t stay put in the arena, Kelley simply said, “Well, what am I supposed to do now?”

And that- is the way the cookie crumbles in the world of IHSA showing. Junior, Ashlee Branham pointed out “In IHSA it’s always a challenge but it feels good when it goes our way.” Ashlee, who is primarily a Western rider, has flourished in the English flatwork, and represented the UO, along with three other members from last year, at Regionals 2009.

This would never happen to the U of O equestrian team!

This would never happen to the U of O equestrian team!

Sophomore, and also new to the Equestrian team, Katy George, who is also a Duck Football fan said about the unexpected loss to Stanford, “Well, the Ducks may have sucked tonight, but at least one UO Team rocked it today!”

As the 13 UO riders who participated in this competition packed into the vehicles, we added to our load, a colorful array of ribbons, a box of individual boot polish kits, and a team high-point ribbon. All in all, it was a pretty successful weekend in the realm of horseback riding. As a team, we walked away with three firsts, a four seconds, a third, two fourths, five fifths, and lastly, four sixths.

Two Dudes on E. 13th

In the spirit of the Civil War, here’s a funny video from rbdog, original posted on Addicted to Quack.

If you are pressed for time, skip ahead to the 55 second left mark for the best part. Enjoy!

http://www.xtranormal.com/site_media/players/jwplayer.swf

Pac-10 Preview Week 13: A Week Off Before the Only Game That Matters

Monistat: USC's first choice for effective yeast infection relief.

Monistat: USC's first choice for effective yeast infection relief. courtesy: http://duckvoodoo.com

Normally I would be angry about the Ducks having a week off, but to tell you the truth, I could use a break. I am completely spent from that down to the wire, pulling out my hair, covering my eyes, instant classic, comeback win down in Arizona.

I was so nervous in the fourth quarter it felt like I had just drunk 17 cups of coffee. And then when Jeremiah Masoli found Ed Dickson in the back of the end zone on that beautiful post route, it was like I had a Starbucks double-shot to account for the giddiness.

To sum up, I was shaking more than a Shakira music video.

But now we get to look ahead to a game even more important and nerve-wrecking than last Saturday: the 113th Civil War.

And just so we can properly hype up this game to the mammoth proportions it deserves, there will be a Super Bowl-esque break beforehand.

With how much attention the game is drawing already, it will take about seven overtimes for this game to live up to the hype.

But that’s enough about that, for now.

With Thanksgiving on Thursday, I’m making my picks for the rest of the Pac-10 early.

Stanford 38, Notre Dame 24: The Fighting Irish have taken a beating this year, figuratively and literally. If the media hasn’t been hard enough on Charlie Weis and his team this year, fans are going above and beyond to get the message across that 6-5 just doesn’t cut it in South Bend.

After last week’s devastating home loss to Connecticut, quarterback Jimmy Clausen was punched in the face by a disappointed fan. And much like Notre Dame this season, Clausen did not fight back and left.

If the Fighting Irish can’t handle a single fan at a sports bar, imagine what Heisman candidate Toby Gerhart will do to them this Saturday. I don’t like their chances.

Arizona 34, Arizona State 17: This has let-down game written all over it for Arizona. It will be hard for the emotionally bruised Wildcats to bounce back from the disappointing loss to Oregon, especially on the road.

But luckily for them, the Sun Devils just aren’t a very good football team. And hey, they are still in the running for the Holiday Bowl, so don’t tell me they have nothing left to play for.

Washington 28, Washington State 17: As bad as these teams were last year, the Apple Cup was one of the more exciting (yet pathetic) games of the season.

Both of the Washington schools got off to relatively promising starts this season, so it is disappointing for these teams to have a mere combined two Pac-10 wins coming in to this year’s game.

If you have nothing better to do Saturday afternoon, it might be fun to watch these two teams battle for supremacy in the state of Washington. But then again, that’s like being the tallest midget or smartest retard. Even if you win, you still suck.


USC 24, UCLA 17: On the bright side, USC fans won’t have to complain about suffering through another Rose Bowl. With a win, the Trojans will make the execs over at the Holiday Bowl the happiest people alive. And the Bruins? Well, they would be happy with the Poinsettia Bowl.

Can you imagine that if USC loses this game it would fall to 4-4 in conference? I can’t even remember the last time that happened. I am going to attribute the fall of the Trojans to the beating Oregon put on them in Autzen on Halloween. Take that, Matt Barkley! Fear the Juju!

Thrilling Oregon-Arizona Finish Gets Overshadowed By Ugly Fan Behavior

Not this year, buddy.

Not this year, buddy.

Things started so well for the Arizona Wildcat faithful.

College Game Day announced they would be live in Tucson, the Athletic Department successfully orchestrated an almost frighteningly intimidating red-out, and Arizona Stadium was going completely bonkers Saturday evening in a way only Oregon fans could appreciate.

And when the Wildcats got a crucial stop with five minutes left in the fourth quarter, Arizona fans were almost certain they had locked up yet another heartbreaking defeat of the Oregon Ducks.

So sure of victory, in fact, that several rows in the student section prematurely spilled onto the field before Jeremiah Masoli ever had a chance to lead the Ducks on their game-tying drive.

And we all know what happened after that.

As a die-hard sports fan for more than 15 years, I can empathize with a team that gets their hopes up just in time for them to come crashing down harder and faster than they ever could imagine. Really, I do.

Being an Oakland A’s fan, I’ve struggled through three absolutely demoralizing American League Division Series defeats where I was positive victory was inevitable.

So I get it, Arizona fans were absolutely crushed when Masoli rumbled his way into the end zone in double overtime to hijack the first ever Wildcats Rose Bowl appearance.

I’m pretty sure I even heard the fans’ collective jaws drop to the floor as the stadium fell into an utter, frozen, stunned silence.

But there was no excuse for what they did next.

So angry about the loss, fans starting throwing water bottles—some still half full—and other debris onto the field. One bottle struck Oregon cheerleader Katelynn Johnson in the head, causing a concussion. She was taken to a local hospital for examination.

“That’s unacceptable,” Masoli said. “That’s just unacceptable behavior from fans, whether they’re Arizona fans or any fan across the nation.”

When you mix alcohol with emotional fans, it’s understandable to imagine how this might happen, and that’s why, like Oregon Athletic Director Mike Belotti said, it’s up to individual schools to police the conduct of their fans.

Sadly, these actions really shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody. There is a long history of unhappy fans at sporting events throwing projectiles onto the field. For example, in 2001 Cleveland Browns fans threw plastic beer bottles onto the field in protest of an overturned call by referees in the final minutes.

By no means should the fans receive a pass for their behavior. It’s truly despicable that spectators think throwing objects on the field is the best way to handle their emotions.

I’m guessing they wouldn’t be too thrilled if someone came to their office and hit them with a half-full water bottle every time they were late handing in a TPS report.

But with that being said, it is up to each school to educate their fans about appropriate behavior at sporting events.

Sure, University of Arizona president Robert Shelton issued an apology on behalf of his schools’ fans, but that doesn’t make up for Johnson’s concussion or the endangered safety of each person that was on the field Saturday evening.

The University of Oregon has made it a point to promote their “Code of ConDUCKt” to encourage good sportsmanship among fans in Autzen Stadium.

Along with providing a conDUCKt hotline (541-346-6148) for fans to report any irresponsible behavior, there has been an increased visual presence of the code in the Moshofsky Center, inside the stadium, and even a video public service announcement on the scoreboard during games.

Hopefully University of Arizona will learn from this tragic situation and follow suit to do their best in putting an end to disruptive fan behavior.

“It was disturbing when you think about that. It can hurt somebody—kill somebody, actually—when people are throwing something like that from the stands,” Arizona coach Mike Stoops said. “It’s definitely something that we’ll continue to look at, security-wise, I’m sure.”

It’s a shame when a game this good gets overshadowed by such horribly irresponsible fan behavior.

Here is the horrific video of the incident:

One Step Closer to Roses: Oregon Tames Wildcats in Instant Classic

(singing from American Pie) How sweet it is to be loved by you!

(singing from American Pie) How sweet it is to be loved by you!

I’m usually a pretty confident guy, arrogant even, you could say. But coming into the Arizona game this weekend, I was more nervous than any other Saturday this season–and it had absolutely nothing to do with the players on the field.

It didn’t matter that we were playing on the road in front of a raucous red-out, or that our Rose Bowl hopes had crashed and burned in our last two trips to Tucson’s house of horrors, or even that Sunshine-look-alike Nick Foles had a ridiculous 69 percent completion and might tear up the depleted secondary.

You could throw that all out that window.

Why?

I had to watch this game with my girlfriend.

On the outside, that sounds like a nice Saturday evening. We go to different schools and live in different states, so any time I could spend with her sounds like a good thing, right?

Well, not when it comes to Oregon Ducks football.

I have watched two games with her this season, and guess which ones they are. You got it–Boise State and Stanford.

So the thought of watching my beloved Ducks’ Rose Bowl hopes vanish right before my eyes while cuddling with my almost-as beloved girlfriend would have been remarkably bittersweet.

I almost threw her out of the house after Oregon didn’t convert on the late fourth down conversion, but when I imagined the following month-long silent treatment punishment, I decided against it.

Fortunately, that never had to happen, as the Ducks emerged victorious in one of the greatest games I’ve ever seen, even though I was watching the entire game-tying drive and overtimes through the cracks in-between my fingers.

Hopefully my girlfriend doesn’t read this.

Here are my thoughts on the game:

  • Hands down, the best game of the year. It had every element you could want. College Game Day, tons of points, a fourth-quarter comeback, two overtimes and a Ducks victory. I’m still giddy.
  • What the hell got into Jeff Maehl? Was he drinking the “special stuff” that Bugs Bunny created in Space Jam? Seriously. I take back and apologize for everything bad I’ve ever said about Jeff Maehl (which is a lot).  He absolutely came to play today and we won because of it.
  • The end of the game couldn’t have been scripted better if it were a movie. The second those Arizona students started hopping onto the field, I knew we had a chance. The football Gods love irony.
  • Jeremiah Masoli’s reaction: “I saw it and I actually smirked,” Masoli said. “It was kind of funny. I wasn’t really worried about it.”
  • And when the cameras found Masoli smirking, I knew we were all about to witness greatness.
  • The only thing greater than that drive was watching the student section slink their way back up into the stands after Ed Dickson came down with the catch of the year. Absolutely priceless.
  • But then an Arizona student had to go and throw a water bottle at an Oregon cheerleader. Not cool, bro.
  • I’m pretty sure my heart stopped when Morgan Flint’s field goal attempt ricocheted off and through the goal posts.
  • Congrats to my ever-growing man crush, LaMichael James, for breaking Jaquizz Rodger’s Pac-10 freshman rushing record.
  • Sneakiest play of the night: the fourth-quarter draw to LMJ on a second and eleven. Big Balls Chip at his finest.
  • Speaking of Chip Kelly, I think the abilities of his half-time speeches might have become a little exaggerated, especially when the idiot kicker (the kicker!) decided to taunt Oregon’s sideline right before half. If that doesn’t fire you up, I don’t know what will.  Not too impressive the past couple weeks.
  • But then again, who needs coaching when you have Masoli’s six touchdowns?
  • I’ve said it before, but I have to say it again, Nick Foles is a dead ringer of Sunshine from Remember the Titans. I don’t think I have ever seen two people look more alike in my entire life.
  • Did anyone else see Brent Musberger’s suit last night? That image will be burned into my retinas forever.
  • Could there be a more perfect set-up for the 113th Civil War next Thursday?
  • Rose Bowl on the line, vengeance looming, rivalry game, ahhhh I’m excited.
  • One more reason to hate Oregon State: The Beavers were caught blasting Miley Cirus after the game. And there goes the man cards for the entire team.
  • And I’m obligated by every Oregon fan out there to end this column with “I Love My Ducks.” There I said it! Now let’s go get that Rose Bowl!!

Why Arizona Has No Chance Against Oregon This Weekend

Remember Sunshine, the gay quarterback from Remember the Titans?

Remember Sunshine, the gay quarterback from Remember the Titans?

See the resemblance?

See the resemblance?

I don’t even need to write anything else.   No matter how good Nick Foles’ stats are, I can’t take this team seriously when Sunshine is their quarterback.

Prediction: Oregon 42, Arizona 24

Highlight Reel From Bill Simmons’ Portland Book Signing

Normally, highlight videos are reserved for athletes. Very rarely will you see one for a pudgy 40-year-old, with graying hair and a nasally voice that resembles a cross between Fran Drescher and SpongeBob SquarePants.

But then there’s Bill Simmons, the man who became famous by writing two columns a month relating sports to pop culture and recording an  hour-long conversations with his friends three times a week.

When Bill Simmons announced he was coming to Portland as a stop on the tour for the release of his latest book, “The Book of Basketball”, I knew I had to go. There was no question. It’s kinda like if you’re an aspiring comedian who lives in the South and Larry the Cable Guy came to perform in Pine Bluff, Arkansas: you need to go. Plane, train or automobile, it didn’t matter.

Bill Simmons’ rise to unparalleled popularity has had a massive impact on the world of sports media. Mainly, leading several thousand people who think they are funnier than they really are into starting their own comedically-slanted sports blogs. I can admit I am one of those people, although I like to think that I am actually pretty witty and clever.

Fortunately, I was able to convince three buddies to accompany me (read: drive me) and be there for sadly, one of the most thrilling moments of my life. I mean, honestly, how often can you have an awkward ten-second conversation with your idol, while three plainclothes body guards at a signing desk are trying to vehemently get rid of you as quickly as possible? Not everyday, that’s for damn sure.

So after driving two hours to Portland, and waiting another two hours in line, I finally got to speak with the man who’s columns have now forced me into spending twice as much time trying to be half as funny as Bill Simmons than studying for my classes. I can only imagine my dad’s head exploding into smoke after reading that sentence, when he pays nearly $3,000 a month for my out-of-state tuition.

More nervous than a Los Angeles Clipper fan during an inevitable fourth quarter breakdown, I managed to sputter out some jumbled jargon about how he was my inspiration and then go on to massively fumble my way through telling him about my website as I threw a uosportsdude.com t-shirt into his lap.

Upon seeing the not-so-clever attempt of imitation in the name of my site, along with an amusing logo of a cariciture of me resting upon the body of a duck, he actually seemed relatively interested in it, and quote said: “I like the shirt and I’ll check out your site.”

I felt like a 12-year-old school girl in 2001 at an N’sync concert, except I wasn’t holding an “I Love Justin” sign and I didn’t have a pigtail.

Fingers crossed that he actually checks out my site.

With that being said, I promised a highlight video of the signing, and thanks to Tim Brown from OregonLive.com, I can deliver. Enjoy!

ESPN’s Bill Simmons talks Portland, his book and the Trail Blazers
And here’s just another funny Bill Simmons Video