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Monday, November 01, 2010
Attack of the Quack
When you go after a beloved NCAA institution in Oregon, well, batten down the hatches. I learned this lesson the hard way a fortnight back when I dared sling some internet mud at the Oregon Ducks. I've been writing this blog since 2003 and never before have so many people been angry about something that I've posted here.
Nine readers (NINE!), on the blog's feedback forum and on Twitter, wrote in to, more or less, tell me I was being an idiot. A good ol' fashioned troll-fest ensued for a few days. I'd like to think that we all came out the experience a little wiser and a little more tolerant but, eh, who am I fooling? Ok, let me rephrase this. I'd like to think that everyone had a good time bickering over what is, at the end of the day, a silly, little game.
A silly little game that people in this state take waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too seriously. I was dubbed a douche, a dick, a hater and worse. Even the three students behind the "I Love My Ducks" campaign chimed in to run circles around me in a Twitter flame war. That was the most humiliating part of this experience: the trio that penned "Return of the Quack" schooled me on a level worthy of Wesley vs. Vizzini in The Princess Bride. Thank God the internet isn't capable of transmitting iocane powder.
Worse yet, they're probably too young to understand this reference. $%@#!@! kids.
Despite it all, I spent the following weekend in Eugene, a strange, magical place where cartoon Ducks are worshiped like the gods of olde and golden O's cover every available surface. Take a stroll through Rennie's Landing, a bar across the street from the University of Oregon campus, and you'll discover the O-logo plastered across the floors in a patterned carpet.
A friend, currently studying at U of O for a degree in Computer Science, would not shut up about my terrible, no good, inconceivable actions. And then he downed a can of Four Loko, turned into the Hulk and, well, you probably saw the footage on CNN the next day. The National Guard is still looking for survivors in the West Campus neighborhood.
Americans? Taking sports too seriously? No way! Get out!
While my nagging conscience won't allow me to be a Ducks fan any longer, at least I'm not alone. The Ducks are quickly becoming the bullies of the Pac-10- the Evil Empire of the NCAA. They've got plenty of filthy lucre at their disposal, top talent, a thuggish reputation, an indifferent school administration willing to let them run rampant and an entire city with nothing better to do between the months of September and December but worry about every nuance of the local university's football program.
Myself, I think I'll stick with the NBA. Where nothing bad ever happens. Ever.