Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Excuses Are Like…

When I astutely observed that the trip to Oregon was the easiest in the Pac-10 I didn’t think it was that easy. Again, it’s obvious the presence of Oregon State makes the trip one of the easiest in the country but I was not prepared for the happenings at Mac Court, the pathetic and embarrassing Pit Crew not withstanding. By Sunday a home team from Oregon will have a recent home win though. There is no doubt in my mind the Ducks will win. If at any point in time the outcome is in doubt someone will have a lot of explaining to do.

It sucks when the Ducks lose but being the ‘glass half full’ guy that I am there is one good thing that comes out of a loss: Excuses. I watch every minute of every game because I want to be able to guess what the excuse might be the next morning. Let’s see, the UW loss was because they were 0-3 and really needed a win, the WSU loss was a result of unlucky bounces and the inevitability of winning streaks coming to an end. Those excuses were weak but nothing compares to the last two games. We lost to UCLA because one of our seniors came down with cramps in the second half. Then the USC loss was attributed to a clock malfunction and a blown call on the overtime tipoff. Now you know why I am so confident the Ducks will beat OSU. These excuses keep getting more outrageous. There is no way the most ardent Duck fan will be able to believe the next one.

It is appropriate to quickly breakdown the clock malfunction and overtime tip excuse. As I see it, attributing a sluggish overtime start to Mac Court being older than God is stupid. If I remember correctly USC had to wait to play. They had to sit and stand around just like Oregon, and they had to do it in hostile territory.

Now, the tip excuse has a bit more merit but not much. If the result of a tip truly did decide the outcome of a game then a lot of 7-foot stiffs would be starters. So the refs appeared to blow the call on the tip, who cares? There were still 5 minutes remaining and the score was still tied. It’s not as if USC received 10-points for getting the ball. It is true that USC made some outrageous 3-pointers in OT but you have to give them credit. A freshman and sophomore suffering from cramps (Mayo took an IV after the game) hit some big shots on the road.

It is incredibly ironic that some Duck fans are blaming the refs for the loss. Short memories perhaps? Just over a year ago Duck fans went nuts claiming their intellectual superiority to Oklahoma fans for blaming refs for a loss There is no person that could argue the blown tip call was as crucial to the final outcome as the onside kick call. Thankfully I have not heard anyone suggesting a boycott of the Pac-10 but you get the point. Blaming the refs for a blown call at the start of overtime is asinine. The Ducks had plenty of time to overcome the ‘tragic’ call they just did not do it. Blame losses on the refs, clocks, the next day’s snow, consecutive Sundays on national TV and whatever else. Just know that the Pac-10 standings and NCAA bubble don’t buy any of it.


elmazz said...

Well JM I love your "glass half full" attitude! And your vivid commentary on how you see what you see. But damn man why didn't you just say it "assholes" That is what excuses are like, and just like the Ducks stink, so do all of their excuses. My Great Grandmother has more heart than they.

Anonymous said...

Let me say this first: Despite anything else, Oregon should have risen above it to win.

That being said, besides the blown tip and clock screw-up (that I DO believe cost the Ducks slight momentum after Taylor's game-tying shot and allowed USC to get slightly more re-composed-notice I did say slightly), there were a couple more badly blown calls against UO in the first minute and a half or so of OT that certainly didn't help Oregon. That's all I'm saying.

And yes, they should've found a way to win anyway.

ps-The Oklahoma thing-this drives me nuts. Yes it was a terrible call to give the onside kick to UO, but they blew SO many calls against us in the third quarter that lead directly to at least one OU TD-J stew fumble that was reviewed CLEARLY showed his knee was down but wasn't reversed--->OU drive-refs give OU extra 6 or so yards on an OB placement (put it on the WRONG 47 I think), missed numerous Delay of Game calls incl. a blatant one on the TD pass.
=7 pt swing at least, maybe 10-14 if Ducks keep ball and score.

It was a terribly ref'd game all around, but earlier terrible and key mistakes aren't noticed b/c the onside kick was at the end.