I never experience writer’s block. But, it funny how I find it much more difficult to come up with something to write when the Ducks play up to their talent and expectations and play, well, as they “should.”
When the Ducks play lousy it is easy for me to come up with a couple thousand words of criticism that I painfully cut down to less than a thousand in order to keep the reader’s interest… attention not being what it used to be and all.
For all his faults as a coach, Mario Cristobal sure as hell brought out the best in me. In fact, right now, I’m salivating at the thought of writing about the Hurricanes’ 45-21 loss to Duke. Heck, after I finish this post, I may just write about MC for pure enjoyment.
I guess I am some sort of a jerk. Like a stoic father from the 1950s (sans Ward Clever), I have plenty of words when things go badly, but very few when things go right.
Don’t worry, this isn’t a reflection of how I am in a relationship. My significant other, Jenn, interacts with the public all day, and when she comes home from work is generally in a cranky mood. Early in the relationship I quickly learned that asking her, “What the hell is up your butt?” was not the best way to handle the situation. I mean, after all, who likes to say good night to their loved one in bed while staring at their back?
But, now when she arrives in not the greatest of moods, an enlightened me, with flashbacks of a shot to my groin she had once delivered, simply nods in agreement to her day’s “protests.” I am now in total agreement with her complaints and am sure to include the occasional, and in my best interest, high-pitched voice, “That’s awful, honey; what a bunch of jerks!”
I’m no magician, but it does seem to work like magic. You see, life is not really that hard once you realize how stubborn you have been. Now, I just need to translate this “I learned it the hard way” relationship advice to my beloved Ducks.
Does this mean I’m a negative person? Do I need counseling? Am I just an A-hole?
Perhaps you are reading this right now and are just like me. When the Ducks do not play as they should you complain to no end. But, when they “do what they should” we are short on words. Perhaps I need to change my ways, and with Jenn, do it before the entire football team takes a shot at my, well, “mid-section.”
The imaginary therapist in my head is saying, “Instead of taking your Oregon Ducks for granted, think of three positive things they did on Saturday.”
OK, Doc, here it goes:
1) Oregon’s Offense: Bo Nix was highly efficient, passed and ran well, and the running game couldn’t be stopped. The “O” spoke for itself. The “coaching down” of Mario Cristobal is a now distant memory… unless you live in Miami. (Duke 45, Miami 21).
2) Troy Franklin: After years of lacking a “star receiver,” after about three decades of seemingly always having one, the Ducks have their pass-catching super stud. He’s been toying with that title, but, on Saturday he solidified it.
3) Good Coaching: Now there’s something long-time Oregon fans had definitely taken for granted until about midway through the 2016 season when it finally hit us like a 2×4 to the head that Mark Helfrich was definitely not an “it” coach. While it is too early to crown Lanning the next great coach, early returns are promising.
Well shoot, perhaps the Ducks didn’t leave me speechless after all. After analyzing my own selfish, underappreciating shortcomings, I believe that maybe I have made progress as a Duck fan. And, if I am ever to waver, the occasional PTSD flashback of the shot I took to my “peanuts” from Jenn reminds me to stay empathetic, understanding, and thankful.
Thank you, Ducks, I am appreciative of your fine victory over UCLA on Saturday.
Ah shucks, perhaps I did have something to say today after all.
Top photo credit: XXX
Darren Perkins is a sales professional and 1997 Oregon graduate. After finishing school, he escaped the rain and moved to sunny Southern California where he studied screenwriting for two years at UCLA. Darren grew up in Eugene and in 1980, at the tender age of five, he attended his first Oregon football game. His lasting memory from that experience was an enthusiastic Don Essig announcing to the crowd: “Reggie Ogburn, completes a pass to… Reggie Ogburn.” Captivated by such a thrilling play, Darren’s been hooked on Oregon football ever since. Currently living in Spokane, Darren enjoys flaunting his yellow and green superiority complex over friends and family in Cougar country.
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