Sunday, August 3, 2008

30-Year Duck Fans

I recently received a comment on one of my posts from a person known to the Internet world as Anonymous. This individual was ballsy enough to brag that he/she was a 30-year Duck fan. It got me wondering: What the hell is the problem with 30-year Duck fans?

Whenever someone talks about Ducks sports (football and men's basketball) and expects them to be competitive every single year and finish near the top, not necessarily at the top, of the Pac-10 there are 30-year Duck fans throwing in their two cents. It seems more times than not their two cents are worth about .0001 cents because all they do is talk about how fortunate Ducks fans are today. A BCS bowl trip here and an NCAA tournament bid there.

Well you know what, that is a load of crap. I paid out-of-state tuition for 6 years (two of which for grad school so don't think I am some idiot that took forever to finish though having paid out-of-state for that long may qualify me as an idiot anyway) and I have been a fan for all of nine years so I have every right to have high expectations. I could care less if back in the 70s the football team sucked and if the basketball team was an embarrassment during the 80s. Since I have been around the athletic department has been flush with cash, the football team has been competitive nearly every year and the men's basketball team has been good about half of the time. It is amazing to think that because I think the men's team should be good more than half of the time that I am asking way too much of people paid millions of dollars.

Since it is obvious 30-year Duck fans have no idea what high expectations in sports are I will turn to something they likely consider themselves experts in: presidential politics. My assumption is that a vast majority of 30-year Duck fans are liberals (just a wild guess) and chomping at the bit to vote for Obama in November. I wonder why they are so excited. Could it be because they have high expectations that he will change what is going on? If I'm not mistaken, since 1980 (before I was born 30-year Duck fan) a Democrat has been in the Oval Office for eight years. Tell me if this sounds stupid. "Hey, 30-year Duck fan you are a moron for having high expectations that Obama will win. You are so greedy wanting a Democrat in power right now, just be happy with the eight years you have had in the last 28." As you read that you recognize that line of thinking is asinine. But when it comes to college sports, the last 50 years should be the barometer by which all things are compared. As an aside, if you think you should not change the expectations for a college sports team but you think a politician will alter the direction of an entire country then you are not very intelligent. My short history has shown me that most politicians are the same regardless of affiliation.

My parents must have dropped the ball because I was taught to try and be the best in whatever you do. If you fall short there is no need to make excuses just make sure you do better the next time. How did I ever make it through my childhood with such mean parents? My guess is that it is 30-year Duck fans that have persuaded a Little League in Ohio to cancel having an all-star team because it singles out the best players. They probably also instituted the "everyone gets a trophy no matter how bad you actually are" rule.

When all is said and done the coaches at Oregon do report to the 30-year Duck fans since they are the ones using their disposable income to get things done. My advice to the next generation of coaches is to make sure you are competitive at all times and moving forward. Before too long the 30-year Duck fans will be me, expecting Bellotti-type results in football and Kent-like success (the success his teams have every once in a while) nearly every year.

I admire 30-year Duck fans for constantly comparing things at the Casanova Center to times when no one cared a lick about Duck athletics. It takes someone special to be that stupid. Heaven forbid Duck athletics progress (there I go using a word that many progressive 30-year Duck fans love to throw around in other aspects of life) and have fans that expect the recent success all of the time.


Allison said...

Wow. I sure miss you when you are gone. Thank you for calling out this fan group.

I do not understand why medicority is OK simply because it used to be worse.

It's like being 300 pounds and seeing a 550 pound woman and thinking, "I'm not as big as her. So, I am OK being 300 pounds."

Matt said...

I agree. I also don't understand two other common myths. First being, "these bandwagon fans from the last 5-10 years are not going to stick around once we have a couple bad years." Just because you've been a hardcore fan for less time (many of us simply because we've only been alive for 30 years), doesn't necessarily mean you're less loyal.

Second myth, "all the wealthy fans with season tickets aren't true fans and are going to turn on the Ducks if they have a bad year." Who's to say fans with money are any less hardcore than those who may not have as much money? I know both hardcore and bandwagon fans in all tax brackets.

Sometimes I wonder if 30 year fan would actually enjoy a 3-8 season with a 0-0 tie in the Civil War just so they could say "told you so!" Are those really the good 'ol days??!!

matt said...

PS - are you going to write a blog on the new spirit tee slogan? Can't wait for that one!

Cory said...

First off, let me say I agree with you. Ok, having said that, I'm not quite a 30 year duck fan, but for some perspective I do remember in 1988 getting into a game for $8 because I was wearing a letterman's jacket from highschool and going to sit on the 40 yard line in the empty seats before kick-off. So, I've been around a while.
I love winning seasons, and will love to see more. At this point, I even expect seasons with three or less loses, because I think that is at least where the program should be with the history of the last 15 seasons.
More than wins or losses, though, I've grown to love seeing the effort and the just flat out gamesmanship from the players playing their guts out, and the coaches being innovative and just plain entertaining (even in losses). For example, Ludwig's last season here was pathetic in both of those regards. The offense was boring, and the players had given up by the end of the season. As a fan, I was very frustrated, and that went beyond the record. I've had my frustrated moments, but the last few years I've been a very happy fan. But that doesn't mean that I don't have the expectations.

SpiderDuck said...

Could not agree more! I however am a 31 year Duck Fan and could not care less as to how bad we were in the 70's or 80's. Nor do I care about the contributions of Mr. Knight and others. I'm simply thankful for the over publicized gifts and that we have sports programs and facilities to take pride in. To hell with beaver nation or UW's jealousy! By the way, I'm republican. GO DUCKS!!!

steve said...

Your not getting it. You should appreciate an 8-4 season with a bowl win. Not expect 10-1 seasons with national championships. It's. Not realistic and probably not gonna happen here at Oregon.

Anonymous said...

"It takes someone special to be that stupid." Well put. Like someone stupid enough to go to the U of O for 6 years, and never figure out how to qualify for in state tuition? And you actually brag about this? Your column was worthless.

J Smith said...

Again, Anonymous comes in strong. You have no idea how hard I tried to petition for in-state tuition. Since the state of Oregon is run by a bunch of whackos there is no money for higher ed (an entire post or blog on its own) they make it impossible without taking a year off of school.

Then again I am sure Anonymous is all too familiar with how things work now since he/she likely went to school 30-years ago and they let any Tom, Dick and Harry get residency just for having a pulse. There is something stupid about people that think the old days are the way it always is.

J Smith said...

steve brought up a good point. If I came across as thinking the football team needed to have 10 wins a year then I screwed up. As I see it, Eugene is what it is. I believe I mentioned that maintaining Bellotti-type success is my expectation. This means a 10-win season every couple of years and legitimately challenging for the top third of the conference in most seasons.

It is mainly the expectations some have for men's basketball that I find most pathetic. Making the tournament four or five times in 10 years is not all that impressive. The Pac-10 is a multiple bid conference. Perhaps the old-timers forget that the tournament has been expanded to 64 teams. Honest mistake I suppose.

Geebo said...

I graduated from Oregon in 1984 and have been a rabid fan for all that time. I traveled to the 1992 Independence Bowl in Shreveport (what a dump) because I didn't know if I'd ever get another chance. Fortunately, I attended the 1995 Rose Bowl and several others. My expectations are HIGH. I want a national championship for Oregon. I think we should fight for the Pac-10 title every year. I think we should be shopping for a new head coach at the end of this year if we don't get to a BCS game. We haven't been Pac-10 champs since 2001, people!! With all the support we get from Mr. Knight, anything less than than the highest expectations is defeatism. The Knight gravy-train won't run forever. Let's GO! Have you ever met an Oklahoma fan? Made a trip to Norman any time? If those people can expect to vie for a national championship every year, we can too! By the way, I'm a Republican.