Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday morning with a pot of coffee and dancing with my wife in the kitchen

If you give over precious hours of your life to any activity, it inevitably invites you to consider the same essential lessons, beginning with perspective and the long view.  A fisherman learns to treasure the comradeship and time on the river over the hogs that slipped off the hook or flopped out of the boat.  A football fan subjects himself to panic and wringing of the hands as the off season news trickles in, but in time he learns that Chris Harper, Aaron Pflugrad, Tyrece Gaines and Diante Jackson were pale bit players to Jeff Maehl, DJ Davis, Lavasier Tuinei and Josh Huff.  Championships are won with the players who stay, and not the ones who got away.  Delvon Simmons and Jadaveon Clowney didn't come, but Taylor Hart and Michael Clay are busy in the weight room.

The ones who did  come give us plenty of reasons to be optimistic.  Stephen Alexander of The Portland Tribune ran a feature a couple of weeks ago I missed at the time, where he interviewed a few of the the incoming recruits and their high school coaches.  It's a thorough article, and a glimpse we rarely get, an invitation to free your imagination to consider the possibility that the dream is only beginning in Eugene, a tradition proud and stately and as yet unpoisoned by jealousy, misplaced fervency or greed.   We have no oaks or unfurled rolls of tissue here; our hopes reside in the quality of our people.  With a few terse words and a lot of consistent action Chip Kelly has built his program with athletes who compete fiercely and work hard.  A year ago in January  Darron Thomas had knee surgery; this year he's in the weight room and leading 7-on-7.  Expect big things from him, and they'll be no bigger than what he expects from himself.

Speaking of expectations, how low are the expectations at the Oregonian since Ken Goe got taken off the football beat?  The Ducks are the number one sports story in the state, but you'd never know after a visit to oregonlive.  While the Register-Guard  regularly gives us meaty commentary and analysis, and an inside look at the team's off season preparation and roster changes, the Big O limps in with a rehash of a three-year-old story of an agent who slipped Fenuki Tupou a hundred bucks (a violation long since reported and repaid) and what happens to old uniforms after the players who wore them graduate (they're sold for charity--good enough, but we're equally interested in the players who'll wear the new ones.)  In their Blazer/Timber myopia, the Oregonian drops the ball on Duck football, particularly from January through July.  Bob Rickert serving up lukewarm recruiting rumors just won't do.  That all you got?

Now if you'll excuse me, my wife is pouring her second cup, and I've got some twirling to do, and some light kisses to lay on her beautiful brow.  These are the moments of heaven we often ignore, failing to appreciate the comradeship and time on the river.


  1. I like your style Dale...good stuff.

  2. Why did Ken Goe get taken off of football? He was fantastic!

    What can we do to get him back on football?

  3. DS--

    Thank you. Really appreciate the support.


    Agree about Goe. He was thorough and professional and did a great job on Oregon and PAC-10 football, objective but never negative. Really liked his work and his effort. Not sure if the Oregonian Sports Editor is at all receptive to reader feedback, but Goe is definitely missed. The coverage has been paltry since he's been reassigned.

    Appreciate the comments, fellas.