Saturday, September 5, 2015


January 12, 2015. End of National Championship
Sure, Mariota's gone. But Oregon is still Oregon. The Ducks are ready to reload and fire again.

Pac-12 North, Pac-12 Championship, Playoff Bowl, Championship Game. It's all still in reach.

Talent abounds everywhere. True Sophomore Royce Freeman is already the leading candidate for Pac-12 offensive player of the year. Thomas Tyner is out for the season after shoulder surgery. But big boy Kani Benoit, speedster Tony Brooks-James and true freshman Taj Griffin are ready to step up. Reports out of camp are exciting for all three.

The receivers are even better. Bralon Addison, Darren Carrington, Dwayne Stanford and Byron Marshall are all back. Charles Nelson switched to defense, but will be on hand if needed. Devon Allen is still nursing his injury from the National Championship. But the Ducks are deep enough that they can afford to rest him.

Our tight ends are ready to go as well. Evan Baylis will start. Johnny Mundt is back. And the most exciting comeback story belongs to Pharoah Brown. He will eventually play after suffering an injury last season that was so severe, they considered amputation.

The team is loaded; but like last year, all eyes will be on one player.

The day after that heartbreaking loss to Ohio State in the National Championship in January, Jeff Locke knew it was his turn. He worked hard from that day on. He looked great in the Spring Game. He worked out during the summer and looked great in fall camp. Teammates couldn't say enough about his leadership and command of the offense.

He's been holding the clipboard, holding his tongue and his breath for three years now. Always the #2, the place-kick holder, the janitor on mop up duty after the game is long won. There is no one more ready to take the keys of this Oregon hot rod than Jeff Locke.

And so last week, he stood on the field with his teammates, and showed every bit of his courage and character as the coach handed those keys to Vernon Adams.

"Everyone wants to be the guy," Lockie said. "I think we all know in life some things don't go your way, and I think the only response is have your head up and keep going because I think there's a lot of bigger things going on here than myself."
Jeff Locke is like the nice guy who drives the
girl of his dreams to the prom because he's
her best friend. And he watches and smiles and waves
as she runs across the floor to kiss her boyfriend.
After 3 years at Eastern Washington, Vernon Adams had been a Duck for just two weeks. But in that time, he lived up to all the hype and fanfare. In just two weeks, he proved to the men who had just coached Mariota, the greatest football player in the nation, that he was the next guy.

I have to tell you, I didn't think it was going to happen. I pictured Locke getting the nod, and then if Adams worked really hard maybe he could take over after a few games. How could he learn the playbook in two weeks when Locke had been playing it for three years? But apparently it's not only about knowledge of X's and O's. Coach Helfrich always talked about the 'it' or "X Factor" in a player. Apparently Adams, like Mariota, has that.

Vernon Adams: "Thanks for bringing my
girlfriend to the dance on time, Locke.
You're a really swell guy."

This Oregonian article talks about the decision to choose Adams over Locke.

Scott Frost said he's keeping the playbook simple for Adams in this first game against his former school Eastern Washington.

The Eastern Washington Eagles are respectable. They win. Period. They beat Oregon State and nearly beat Washington in the past two years.  Oregon's first task is to take out EW's quarterback in those games, Vernon Adams.

OK, check. They will still score. And even though they'll lose, they'll leave Autzen with their heads up. Here is a link to the Oregonian's matchup between these two teams.

Game time: Saturday 5pm Pacific on the Pac-12 Network.


Did anyone see Washington at Boise State? New Washington coach (former BS coach) Chris Peterson is bringing something back to Washington they haven't seen in years. . . .
The huddle.
Yep. Once again, the Huskies are huddlers, going backwards while the rest of the football world evolves. They lost to BS 16-13 in a frustrating game to watch as both teams played not to lose.

Not as FAST. Not as HARD. But not FINISHED.
And now it's time to get personal. This will be the seventh season I've been doing this blog. Before that I wrote an email newsletter. And before that, I cut out newspaper clippings of the games and sent them to my brother or friends overseas, writing my comments in the margins.

All together, I have been enjoying myself with this hobby for . . . . I don't know . . . . over 30 years I think.

But over the past few years -- even these most exiting years -- it's been harder for me to dedicate the time to blogging.

Don't get me wrong, I still love our Ducks. I love watching the games. I love college football. And I love talking about them with each and every one of you. I guess I'm just going through the change.

Our lives naturally change. And I'm discovering new interests and getting into a new career and new routines. I may start a new and entirely different writing project -- perhaps a funny blog about the homeless.

Well . . . . not "HA HA" funny . . . . I'm still figuring it out.

Many of you have been good to offer advice. Some have suggested I stop. Others have said "Please stop". One person didn't seem to understand how things work. You can't put a restraining order on a blog.
"Mad Duck 2020? Terrible.
No seriously, it's sad. I hate to tell ya..."

Oregonian writer Ken Goe, who asked to remain anonymous, said, "The only thing you should be writing are apologies."

I appreciate all your feedback. But let me reassure you, I'm not quitting, at least not now. I'm just going to call this an 'occasional' instead of weekly blog. We still need to talk about the big games. I MUST talk about the Huskies and Beavers, the important games (Read that: Not Cal.). And of course, the post season.

So if a week goes by and you didn't see MAD DUCK in your mailbox, don't celebrate. I'm just thinking up something extra special for next week . . . . . or maybe the week after that.
"If I give you a gay marriage certificate
will you stop sending me your stupid blog?"


Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Dramatic Finish

One of the things I love about sports is when they take on the form of artful drama. A plotline develops to create suspense.

Ready for the Ducks to meet Alabama, I was so prepared to draw out the plot on top of subplot built around character development. Nick Saban, on record for not being a fan of the hurry up offense, would meet the fastest offense he had ever played against (Everyone can stop saying that Auburn is faster because they're not.) Saban and Alabama represented the SEC. The antichrist of college football, placed on their perch of power by the false prophet, the BCS.

We know today it was false because on December 7th when the four playoff teams were set, they ran the pseudo BCS matrix alongside the present program. The BCS had Florida State and Alabama ranked as the respective 1st and 2nd highest teams in the nation.

Those two teams are gone now. And it makes us wonder about every previous season dominated by the SEC. What if they were asked to play just one additional game before the championship?

Anyway, I digress. Where was I? Oh ya. Alabama. Saban. Antichrist.

I was more than ready to make a prediction of an Alabama/Oregon contest based on a highly technical X and O analysis.

(I like Hulk Duck. Think he might stay around awhile.)

But alas, Saban didn't have to face the Ducks speed. Ohio State's offense was plenty fast enough.

Now we have Oregon and the Buckeyes -- two teams that get each other, even appreciate each other. Urban Meyer liked and bought in to Chip Kelly's "Win the Day" mantra. He has his team training fast and hard. Unlike Saban, Meyer embraces the changes in college football. Where's the drama in that? 

The Bucks are good. Cardale Jones, their THIRD STRING quarterback, is scary good. This is only his third start. Yet, up to now he seems unflappable. His passes are deadeye perfect.

Ohio State has its routine roster of top level players. And these guys are all buying in to Meyer's version of Win The Day.

To pick apart this contest, I've arrived at the following:

They're going to score. (As the brilliant and wise Jameis Winston would say, "We all just need to sit down and be real with ourself about that right now.") They have the players. They can move the ball. Oregon's job will just be to make them score fewer points than their own offense.

One thing the Ducks definitely have in their favor is turnovers. D-coordinator Don Pellum's thing has been to up the number of take-aways. His team was doing well enough through the season, but they really came on in the post season.

Ohio State is down three in give-aways to take-aways. Oregon is plus 11, making them the best in the country.

Below is a highlight video of the Sugar Bowl. I invite you to see it and see if you see what I'm seeing.  In this and other Buckeye videos I have seen, I've noticed that when the opposing quarterback goes back, Ohio State's defensive ends seem to get real eager for a sack.

They will press inward and collapse hard on the pocket. And what you'll see is a lot of green pasture on the outside. I look at that and I say, "Hmmmmm. . . . . I wonder if Mariota is noticing that same thing when he's studying film?"

Ohio State can watch all the film they want of Mariota. But until it happens, they have no idea of the third degree scorching MM will give them on second and five or fourth and one when he pulls the ball out of the RB's hands and swings outside.

Be watching for that.

Getting back to my enjoyment of a dramatic plot. I was having trouble finding one . . .

Oregon WR Carrington fails drug test, ineligible for title game vs. OSU
Say it with me. STU-PID...STU-PID...STU-PID...STU-PID
These are teenagers, mind you. And teenagers are often stupid -- not that adults are much smarter. It's just a shame that it ended up being the most successful receiver in the Rose Bowl.

Combine the loss of Carrington with the loss of Devon Allen in the Rose Bowl, TE Pharoah Brown, Heisman winner Marcus Mariota suddenly has fewer targets to throw to. His brilliant throwing ability is only as good as his capable corps on the receiving end.

But if you were to ask the Ducks about the loss of Carrington, like so many reporters did at the latest press conference, you'd find that they don't even blink.

A couple of excerpts from this Oregonian article. . . .
"Nothing in our preparation has really changed because of the tempo of our practices, we probably rep eight guys each practice,"[Receivers Coach Matt] Lubick said. "A lot of guys who are redshirting even take reps with the ones and twos just because the tempo and the number of plays we get."

In some ways, the limited depth at receiver has helped Oregon because it's developed a need for versatility. Every receiver knows how to play each position, freshman Charles Nelson said, enabling a seamless season of plug-and-play.

"There are parts and pieces that everyone can put together to do what (Carrington) does and has done," Nelson said. "With him out we're just going to throw somebody else in there and make plays as always."

Oregon has Keanon Lowe and Dwayne Stanford back from injuries, add Nelson, BJ Kelly, Chance Allen, Jonathan Loyd and Bryon Marshall -- all of these guys are playmakers. Nelson isn't kidding when he says they can just throw somebody else in there.

Meanwhile, back in the land of nuts, this headline appeared from USA Today BEFORE news of Carrington was learned. . . .   
Ohio State secondary believes it's the first key to success vs. Oregon
In that story . . . .
Mariota also will be the third consecutive Heisman Trophy finalist that the Buckeyes have faced. They've shut down the other two (Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon in the Big Ten title game and Alabama's Amari Cooper in last week's Sugar Bowl) and now face the Heisman winner himself.
"Marcus Mariota, the man is smart," says Ohio State safety Tyvis Powell, who grabbed the interception against Alabama in the game's final seconds. "He makes the right throws. … I feel like the game will be won or lost in the secondary."

They were already planning to battle against Mariota's arm. But what of this glorious news of the moral weakness and failure of the will of one of Mariota's finest receivers?


To the Buckeyes credit, I believe they are entering this game eyes wide open. They respect Oregon, unlike Florida State ("We can handle Oregon. We played Georgia Tech.").

Even though they train in a similar style, they still know that Oregon's speed and pace is legendary. I laughed at this quote from Buckeye linebacker Raekwon McMillan about the irrelevancy of exactly which players are playing at Oregon's relentless pace.

"They like to run around you and make you tired and hit you when you're least thinking about it," McMillan said. "When your mind is going and you're thinking about your fatigue they'll hit you on deep balls and stuff like that. "We have to keep our composure and just not think about fatigue."

Hey McMillan, when you say "not think about fatigue", you're thinking about fatigue. The game hasn't even started yet and you're already thinking about fatigue. So don't think about fatigue. I said don't think about fatigue. You know fatgue? Ya, don't think about it . . . . . fatigue, I mean.

Over the years, I have often found and posted a motivating video with images of hard hitting, charging Ducks to the tune of some pulse pounding music.

Now the Ducks have arrived at this first true and legitimate National Championship. And this time, they're not just happy-go-lucky and glad to be here. This time, Oregon is the team of destiny. We can see how every victory and defeat of the past has led to this moment. Dan Fouts, Chris Miller, Bill Musgrave, Danny O'neal, Joey Harrington, Kellen Clemens, Dennis Dixon, Darrin Thomas . . . . They all gave their lives for this moment. . . . . . .

What? . . . . Oh sorry. I was watching a movie about medieval knights attacking a castle while writing this.* Too much drama perhaps.

Where was I? Oh ya, the perfect song. I found this.

NCAA National Football Championship. Oregon vs. Ohio State
Monday, January 12, 2015. 5:30 Pacific. ESPN

Go Ducks. Let's do this. Get the championship.
We'll talk on the other side.


*I know what you're thinking, and you're wrong. The movie was NOT Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Back to Where It All Began

For a handful of Oregon players, this trip to Arlington, Texas for the National Championship brings them full circle. Here's are two excerpts from the article, "Return to the Title Game ..."
The Ducks can avenge a Rose Bowl loss to the Buckeyes after the 2009 season, a loss in their last national championship game appearance, to cap the 2010 season, and their loss in Arlington to open 2011. “We’re not new to anything we’re stepping into,” Malone said. “We’ve got some business to take care of.” . . . . . . .

On the current roster, 13 players made the trip to Glendale, Ariz., for Oregon’s previous national championship game experience. Of that group, 11 were among the 16 current players who were on the travel squad for the LSU game in 2011 (receiver Keanon Lowe and running back Kenny Bassett were on the BCS trip but didn’t travel to the LSU game).
2010 Natty. Oh, those socks!
“We’re just used to playing in big games,” Hill said. “Every game at Oregon is honestly a big game, because you’re always competing for something. That’s what it really prepared us for, was playing in big games and understanding the atmosphere and things like that. I’m sure this Rose Bowl prepared everybody for that, so we should be used to it and just come out and play now.”

So how does this team compare to those earlier Duck teams? Much better, I think. Those Oregon teams struggled against the bigger, cornfed meatheads of the Midwest and South. This 2014 team mastered traditionally meaty teams like Michigan State, Stanford, and Florida State.

Avenging those big losses of the past in this one game would be so epic.

The city of Oregon, Ohio, that is. Did you hear about this?
There's a city in Ohio called Oregon. That got a local resident itchy. He's not even an Ohio State fan, but he publicized his wish for Oregon's city council to change it's name on the day of the championship.

At first, the mayor refused. But then, according to this story, he compromised . . .

Oregon, Ohio, mayor changes city name to show support for Buckeyes
Jan. 5 Update:
The mayor of Oregon, Ohio, stopped short of changing the city's name to Buckeye Town but did officially amend it Monday in support of Ohio State.
Mayor Mike Seferian said the city will be known as “Oregon, Ohio Buckeyes on the Bay, City of Duck Hunters” for the next week - until Ohio State and Oregon play for the national championship Monday night.
It’s a play on the city’s motto: “Oregon on the Bay, City of Opportunity.”
The proclamation also declares this week “The Ohio State Buckeye Week” in the city.

Original Story:
At least one of the nearly 21,000 people who live in Oregon, Ohio, a suburb of Toledo, doesn’t want to be associated with their namesake on game day, so he has decided to do something about it.
For a day anyhow.
Matt Squibb started a petition on the website to have the name of the city changed until after OSU and Oregon battle on Jan. 12. He created it Jan. 2, hours after Ohio State dismantled Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, setting up the championship showdown.
“I grew up in Oregon, Ohio and love the city, but for the day of the ‘Big Game’ I am asking the city council to make a proclamation to change the name of the city for one day. Call it Buckeye Town, Ohio City, Brutusville, whatever, you get the point."
[Matt Squibb added that he also happens to own a pair of green and yellow shorts. On that day he plans to squat a dump into those shorts to show his Ohio pride.]

In a related story . . . .
Toledo, Oregon will change its name
to Eat Me, Ohio.
Complete with a parade . . .
More later,

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Could That Have Been Any Better?

Tony Washington
IS The Hulk!

Mariota and the rest of the Ducks refuted
the popular myth among the FSU Rank that
Oregon was soft.
"Hello Mr. Winston. My name is Chris Seisay.
I'm the redshirt freshman cornerback you
were planning to pick on today."
From the Oregonian: No Florida State receiver eclipsed 100 yards. [Top FSU receiver Rashaad] Greene, mostly covered by [Tony] Hill but occasionally Seisay, had six catches for 59 yards. The longest Florida State completion was 29 yards. 

Winston crushed.

Running Back Thomas Tyner had a phenomenal game.
He came back from injuries to run for 124 yards and 2 TD's.
He and . . . . .
4th string RB Keni Benoit, who mopped up
in the fourth quarter, both wore Florida State
players like capes as they showcased Oregon's speed.

Ahh, that's a shame.
Charles Nelson's cape fell off.

There is so much to say about this game, one could write volumes. Yet all that comes to my mind is,

"Holy Moly".
"Did you see that?!?"

I'm wanting to get into Florida State's mind, a sad and scary place indeed. In the weeks before the game, Coach Jimbo, Jameis and the rest of the gang all kept yammerin' and yakkin'.  "29 points" this, "Undefeated" that, and "We've been here before."

I got the feeling they were hoping someone would say, "OK you've done enough already. Here's your Rose Bowl trophy."

While they were puffing their chests and saying all the right things at Disneyland and leading up to the game, I just had this feeling that they looked across at Oregon, thought about how they had been pulling rabbits out all season to preserve their win streak. And . . . .

They knew.

They knew it in the back of their minds.

It was over. All over.

They weren't facing the second and third best ACC teams. This wasn't a paper Notre Dame. This was a stratosphere of a next level. A heavyweight. A killer of giant killers.

Victory cigars on
the SI cover to
counteract its
After the game, I lit my victory cigar (Thank you, big brother, for sending them.), rounded up my posse and headed out through the neighborhood to wave the colors, play the fight song via iTunes through a bluetooth speaker and shout "GO DUCKS!" to anyone listening.

We stopped at Oregonian sports writer Ken Goe's house. And Goe made an interesting observation as he was hooking up his garden hose to spray us out of his yard. 
The grandboys with
Ken Goe, who refused
to sign a release for
this picture.

He said, "At halftime, Florida State had Oregon right where they wanted them." Down by only 5. They had just picked Mariota for only his third time. They would receive the ball first in the second half. Momentum was clearly on their side.

It was time for the Seminoles to take charge and pull out another trademark comeback win. They must have felt really good coming out of the tunnel for the second half.

What was different this time? Oregon's defense is a truly unheralded juggernaut in the second half of games. Also, Oregon's offensive pace routinely has a devastating effect on opposing defenses as the game goes on.

As the game went on, Florida State saw what they couldn't believe; felt what they couldn't admit. Not only was the game slipping away from them, it was free falling.

This was a score off of FSU's second turnover in the third quarter. What was fascinating was it was Oregon's second play of that series. The time from the
whistle ending the first play to the snap on this play? 12 seconds. FSU, to a man,
insisted after the game that Oregon's super fast pace had no impact on them. But on this play, they thought it was going to be another screen pass to the wideout. Oregon made it look that way and had been doing that play all day. But just as importantly,
they did not give FSU time to think and plan for other options. They had no time to communicate. 

Oregon's defense forced a turnover. Oregon's offense scored. Winston yelled at his teammates. Oregon forced another turnover. Oregon scored. Winston yelled at his coach. Jimbo refuted whether it was actual "yelling". But we know this, whatever it was, Winston was losing it, emotionally, literally, every way.

Winston: "Oh my! Oh Dear! Auntie Em, it's a twister, it's a TWISTER! Help. Help. 


Is it still Christmas? Because Florida State just keeps giving us gifts!!!

Then came the after-party. The Oregonian's John Canzano wrote a great piece that measured the difference between the two Heisman quarterbacks. I got tired of hearing people say how they were "similar". They couldn't be more different.

That was obvious enough in the game. It became crystal clear in the post-game interviews. The following is an excerpt from the article showing Jameis Winston in total denial that Oregon had "honestly" beaten them.

 But here's what Winston said: "This game could have went either way, if you want to be -- if everybody in this room just want to be real with themselves, this game could have went either way. We turned the ball over a lot. We beat ourself. Just be real with yourself right now. We beat ourself."

"Tonight was unfortunate," Winston said. "It wasn't just they were stopping us. Their offense did great. Their defense was great. But we were never stopped at all." [I'm . . . . . I'm speechless.]
"It was never over," he said. "Honestly, it was never over. We just got beat, turned the ball over too many times. But it still ain't over. We can go play again, honest."
[And then when Winston looked at the crowd and noticed everybody just slack jawed and staring at him, he added, "29 WINS!"]

Here is the video of the post game interview if you can't believe he actually said that, or his grammar was that poor. In this video they cut to Coach Gumbo and asked him one question about whether or not Oregon's pace had any impact on his team. Again, total denial. I highly suggest he reviews the film and sees it for himself. They were not making plays on the Ducks because they were not given enough time to read and react.

You've probably seen this already as it has gone viral. Because he was busy beating Alabama, Ohio State's coach Urban Meyer hadn't yet heard the final score of Oregon's win over FSU . . .

This is the first true official NCAA top division playoff national football championship.
In 1939, the NCAA held it's first official national basketball championship.
The players: Ohio State vs. Oregon. Oregon won that game 46-33. Sounds like a pretty good football score too.

This is a new experience in college football. And the Ducks and Buckeyes have to figure out some new guidelines as they are the first teams to win a bowl to only prepare for another bowl.
Case in point. Did you see all the Duck players passing around the Rose Bowl trophy and kissing it like moms on a new baby?
Thomas Tyner
100 Rose Bowls before, who cared? But they got a bigger game in a week. And this is the cold and flu season!

Am I the only one who worried about them germing up that thing?

More important wisdom later.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

You all ready for this?

So what's going to happen New Years Day at 2pm Pacific on ESPN? Will the Ducks be ready? I've read a few articles that make me feel good about their chances.

We all know about Ifo Ekpre Olomu. (Editor's note: I have NEVER been able to type his name without looking it up first.) He screwed up his knee in practice a few weeks ago and will not be playing. He was easily Oregon's best pass defender. The thought of replacing him is scary.

But replace him they must. Now here's the bright side. Ifo didn't get good by his senior season. He was good from the first time he took the field when he was a freshman. The player to step into the rotation to replace him, Chris Seisay, is already impactful as a redshirt freshman. He says he's excited, motivated, and ready to show what he can do. Never underestimate the freshman.
Kenny Wheaton? The Pick? Freshman.
According to his bio, Seisay is a little taller than Ifo. He's already been playing; recording tackles, pass break ups, forced fumbles. Although he was a three star recruit to Ifo's four, he still received tons of player-of-the year accolades from his high school and town. He's got great hands -- he played both sides of the ball as cornerback and receiver; he was even punter with a 41-yard average! He's an athlete. 

That's Seisay mixing it up at UCLA.

Seisay is every bit the next man up. But he won't be manning the secondary alone. Here is an overall view of Oregon's backfield post-Ifo.

The winner of this game will have the better rushing stats. Simple fact: The first time Oregon played Arizona and lost? Didn't run well. The next time they scored 51 points, ran much better. (Look up the stats yourself if you don't believe me. I don't feel like digging them out.) 

 Here is an excellent article about how Oregon's philosophy on the run is successful and won't change for the playoffs. 

An excerpt from that article:
"When we run the ball well, we are hard to stop,'' offensive coordinator Scott Frost said. "One of the things Chip (Kelly) and Mark brought to this offense is balance. We want to make teams defend everything. We try to stay as close to 50-50 (run/pass) as we can while making teams defend sideline to sideline. For a defense, that's hard to do.''

The word is, as good as FSU's defensive players appear to be on paper, they are a little soft on the run, even straight up the middle. Oregon needs to test that.

It looks like Thomas Tyner will be in to help. He's had time to heal his shoulder and ankle and has been practicing. Starting center Hronis Grasu has been practicing too, after sitting out the last two games with a knee injury.

Oregon's receiving corps will be near full strength. Along with the great squadron of Charles Nelson, Darren Carrington, Devon Allen, Bryon Marshall, and tight ends Evan Baylis and Johnny "The Mundster" Mundt -- who are filling the shoes of the injured Pharoah Brown, Oregon is getting back veteran Keanon Lowe and 6'7" Dwayne Stanford from injuries.

All of these guys are playmakers. They are catching passes from Mr. Heisman, and they have the smartest group of fundamental X and O coaches anyone could ask for.

Here's an article that got me hard just reading it.

OK I've reached that moment before a game. I'm done talking about it. I'm done reading about it. It' GO time. Let's get it on.

So what's going to happen? How do I think the Ducks will do? I'm not a score prediction or points spread guy. I prefer imagery. Let me just show you in a picture.

Ducks are gonna rip off their arms, and then their legs;
then beat them over the head with their own arms and legs!


Monday, December 29, 2014

I know you are, but 29 . . . I know you are, but 29 . . .

I've got a new drinking game for y'all to play.
Google Florida State, Oregon, Rose Bowl, Jameis Winston, etc. Search through all the media -- blogs, articles, videos . . . Every time a player, coach, reporter or blogger from Florida State utters "29 wins", take a drink. They say "undefeated" less often, so take two drinks.

You'll be drunk in half an hour. A couple of lines I found . . .

"I really don't understand that," FSU sophomore cornerback Jalen Ramsey said [on being 9-point underdogs to the Ducks]. "We're the ones who won 29 in a row. What are we scared of?"
Take a drink.

"The only undefeated team in the country," [FSU Coach Jimbo Fisher] frequently reminds questioners.
Take two drinks.
The following article from the Orlando Sentinel explains how FSU is needing to reach deep to find some extra inspiration to prepare them for the Rose Bowl. False self-pity appears to be the go-to motivation.
FSU relaxed for Rose Bowl, using role as underdog and villain for motivation
By Brendan Sonnone
ANAHEIM, Calif. - Jameis Winston shook hands with Mickey Mouse, posed for a picture alongside Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota and then, as he has so many times before, found himself surrounded by dozens of reporters.

Marcus Mariota poses with a silly cartoony character
and Mickey Mouse.
All the while, Winston could only think of one thing.
 "The main thing I'm trying to do is get me a smoked turkey leg, put some hot sauce on that bad boy and eat it," Winston said Saturday at Disney California Adventure Park. "I'm hungry."
[Are you gonna pay for it this time?]
No. 3 FSU (13-0) faces No. 2 Oregon (12-1) in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, with the winner advancing to the national championship. For some, the magnitude of this stage could spark nerve. But for Winston, along with his teammates, there is comfort in familiarity.
Winston, coach Jimbo Fisher and several other FSU players spoke to media members for the first time since arriving in California. While this is a different set of players, a different season and a different opponent, FSU is no stranger to playing big games in the Rose Bowl.
"Just being in California again, the kids knowing what to expect, how the routine of things is going to go, any time you can do something a second time definitively helps," said Fisher, who guided FSU to a win over Auburn in the Rose Bowl last season to claim the third national title in school history. "The more you're in those atmosphere and environments, it's critical."
Fisher points to last season's experience playing in the title game in Rose Bowl Stadium, as well as playing in the Orange Bowl the previous season, as reasons he expects his team to be unfazed by outside distractions this week.
"Learning on how to adapt to media on a media day, practice on a practice day, how to get ready for the game; the more often you're in those situations, the better you handle them," Fisher said. "And we've been in them quite a few times.
 [Oh by the way, Oregon has played in the Rose Bowl before. Nearly the entire coaching staff had the experience of playing in the National Championship. Half these players were in the BCS Fiesta Bowl. Nearly all of them played in last year's Holiday Bowl.
So ya, they also know how to follow the itinerary and set their alarm clocks, meet in the lobby at a certain time and remember where the buses are parked to go to Disneyland.  What exactly is the big deal, Jimbo?]
"It's business as usual. They're mature, they know what it takes, and they've proven it 29 games in a row." [Take a drink.]
However, two aspects of the Rose Bowl will be different for FSU this season. First, the Seminoles enter the game as the underdog, with some oddsmakers favoring Oregon by as much as 9.5 points when the betting line first came out. It is the first time FSU has been an underdog in 50 games, according to ESPN.
Second, FSU has become detested by what seems like a majority of college football fans. In the span of their 29-game win streak, [Just in case you didn't catch it the first time, this Orlando reporter mentioned it again. Take a drink.] the Seminoles have become villains in the eyes of numerous fan bases. Part of that is a product of winning.
Yes it's true. Haters are hating Florida State simply because they win.

And that is why the Indian cries.

But FSU has also been portrayed as a program that will win at all costs. Winston, who was accused of sexual assault but not charged, is the poster child for the criticism.

"Leave the poor kid alone.
He's a victim, just like me."
 "That's having a chip on our shoulder," Winston said. "When you haven't lost a game in a long time, you can get bored. The fact that so many people are motivating you to not get a loss, we need it."
Balancing fun - like spending the day at Disneyland - along with game preparation and media obligations can be a challenge. But FSU is in familiar territory and, as Winston puts it, has enough motivation to remain focused. [So playing Oregon isn't motivation enough for them? I must say, for the sake of sparing them from their boredom, these bastards really need a good beating.]
"Last year, I think we just shocked everybody with how we beat everybody and pulled off that national championship game," Winston said. "This year, everyone came prepared to put a [loss] in our column. We did it; another [undefeated] regular season, another ACC championship. [He apparently didn't actually say it, but it was implied. Split the difference, take one drink.]
"And we're not done yet." Ya. We'll see about that.

More later,

Saturday, December 27, 2014

And We Thought USC was Bad!

This is just a quick post to make you aware of another most excellent post. Dom Pruett of SB Nation's 'Addicted to Quack' tells us that of all the lame, disgusting things we may have heard about Florida State, they are even worse.

His story tells me that the Ducks have more than an opportunity, they have a downright duty to rid the nation of Winston and Florida State. The Bowl Selection Committee and the NCAA would owe Oregon a huge debt of gratitude to do what they were too weak to do -- knock these crimiNOLES out of the picture.

Here is the intro to his funny article, Why You Should Hate: Florida State Edition.
You could write a goddamn thesis paper on all the reasons Florida State deserves your hatred. I couldn't have dreamt up a better team to write one of these pieces for. This is the pinnacle right here, folks. There isn't an NFL team as dysfunctional and putrid as the Seminoles. They are the Floyd Mayweather of college football. Because of that, I say thank you to Florida State and their odious football program.

And here is the link to the whole article.
Even their horse, Renegade, appears to stink up the field.
What do they feed that poor animal?!?
More later,