Opinion: In The Hands of Man
“Everything is good as it leaves the hands of the Author of things; everything degenerates in the hands of man.” From a simple statement grows a strong opinion about the state of athletics and our places as fans. The pressure of winning is intense; more now than ever. Coaches are paid exorbitant amounts of money to do just that; win. And we cheer for them to win. We hope that whatever it takes to win is legitimate enough to not cause real trouble. And when we roll in the mud with hogs, we are bound to get some dirt under our nails. Everything degenerates in the hands of man.
Breaking Down Match-Ups
Each week during the season, I will take the time to break down the match-ups at each position group for both the Ducks and their opponent. A unique look at which team has the edge at each position as well as an overall preview of the match-ups.
Every week I will bring new feature articles for the reader to get to know the Duck Empire just a little better. The Duck Empire is vast and complex, these stories will bring you inside the lives of other Duck fans.
We are always working to bring you breaking news and exclusive stories. The Other Side of Duck was the only Oregon member to interview Lache Seastrunk after his transfer. We are working on future exclusive stories and will work non-stop to bring you the very latest news.
The Other Side Of Duck
We are here to bring you a side of Duck sports that no one else brings. There are two sides to every story, our goal is to bring you the side of the story less discussed. In addition, we will continue to provide more content than responses to other stories. Original content, exclusive interviews, strong opinions and feature articles.
Sunday, January 3, 2016
This morning yet another day is upon us. No cataclysmic refusal of a sun to rise, no ridicule followed the performance of young men in a game to my own personal nightmares. I am reminded that we are fans. Nothing more and nothing less.
Fans are a very important piece to the puzzle that is college athletics. There is a sort of tribal or territorial pride involved. We spend our money, we cheer, we revel in victory and agonize in defeat. But too often we put ourselves ahead of the truth - that which is most important. The players and coaches care more than do the fans. When we got up this morning, our future was not dependent upon the outcome of last night's game. Some of us will work today, most of us tomorrow.
But there are 11 full time coaches and 85 scholarship football players who are more distraught over the performance last night. They fought with their blood, sweat and tears to bring fans a moment of perceived joy, glory, happiness, which ever adjective best describes why we revel in victory. Rodney Hardrick has had eight major surgeries during his football career and faces a ninth this off-season. He is college football.
What is often lost after such a devastating defeat on the field is that wins and losses are only a small piece of the puzzle. Every year 25 or so young men arrive on a college campus having not really known what it is like to be an adult. Coaches take these young men and attempt to develop them into men who will bring positive to the world. The young men, while spending 20 hours per week in football related activities, also attend college full time attempting to not only develop into men of character, but educated men of character.
This, you see, is the primary objective of college football. Education. Character. Of course, coaches are measured by more than just graduation rates and character development. Wins matter. But as we wake up this morning, we have become Hemingway's expatriates.
“You're a fan. You've lost touch with the soil. You get precious. Fake SEC standards have ruined you. You drink yourself to death. You become obsessed with winning. You spend all your time talking, not working. You are a college football fan, see? You hang around message boards.”
These moments should be what they are for us. We are fans and we will feel upset, betrayed almost, when the team for whom we cheer somehow lets us down. But I can guarantee you that the players and coaches are considerably more ruminative about their troubles in San Antonio than any of us could hope to be.
I woke up today to snow. I hate snow. But my dog ran and played in the stuff and that brought joy to my wife and, consequently, myself. It is just a game. A game played by young men. At the end of the day, it was great joy to watch this season unfold at times, and painful at others.
My pain, though, is temporary. There is another season to come. A season which will begin with the same hope as all seasons.
Thursday, May 28, 2015
It is with this backdrop that I open the 2015 football coverage both from the standpoint of writing for a website, covering the team based on their standards, attempting to also juggle my own priorities and still finding a way to jot down the season as it unfolds, quite like keeping a football journal which takes us all through the season.