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Why You Should Root for Oregon Football


This weekend begins another college football season. There are lots of you who hate college football. And there’s good reason to do so. The NCAA is a hopeless organization, measuring out punishments for violators with no rhyme or reason. The system exploits the labor of young men. Corruption runs at all levels of the sport. The off-season has seen at least 10 teams get dinged or are in danger of getting dinged for a variety of violations, including the Miami booster who paid for prostitutes and abortions for players. Football also causes head injuries. There’s no way to get around the horrors of the game.

But if you are a college football fan, might I suggest changing your rooting interests to the Oregon Ducks, i.e., the thinking person’s team. Not only does Oregon football team use genius marketing and fashion to promote their product in new and interesting ways, and not only does it run an offense that should engage any intellectually-minded individual, but its fans are far more liberal than the average college football fan. Before the national championship game last January, people noted the culture between Eugene and Auburn could not be any different. Indeed. Auburn, Baton Rouge, and other SEC cities are dominated by everything we don’t like about football–homophobia, rednecks, halfwits. Reading LSU blog sites lately (because of the huge Oregon-LSU game this Saturday) has been depressing–misspellings abound, anti-liberal sentiment is everywhere, it’s just generally awful. While SEC teams have their enlightened fans and some Oregon fans are also troglodytes, Oregon fan sites are generally much more interesting, with random digressions in comment threads on any number of interesting non-football related topics.

Perhaps this will be clearer with an example. Last year, I went down to Knoxville to see Oregon crush Tennessee, which indeed they did. In a bar before the game, I hanging out with a college friend who came down with his family. We were talking politics. One of his sisters worked for the National Education Association. Another was a staffer for Jeff Merkley. And then a guy at the next booth heard us and said he was working on Ted Strickland’s reelection campaign. This is Oregon football–an atmosphere where you can watch football while also discussing liberal politics and intellectual pursuits.

Feel good about yourself. Surround yourself with interesting people. Root for Oregon football. You know it’s the right thing to do. Rooting for other teams is like voting Republican. And rooting for Washington is like hugging Dick Cheney.

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  • firefall

    As someone who enjoys American football* and lacking any particular collegial allegiance, you make a persuasive case: I had been supporting Boise because of the underdog factor (and also, letting the poor buggers have excuses to get out of Boise seems the humanitarian point of view), but I will attempt to follow Oregon more closely.


    homophobia, rednecks, halfwits

    I challenge for repetition

    *altho still a poor substitute for southern hemisphere rugby!

  • Mrs Tilton

    I’m sure Oregon are very nice and Washington absolutely horrid. For all that, if it’s decent football you are looking for, there is one answer. 2 X 40 minutes, 15 men (each on the pitch the whole time), no forward passes.

    • Alan Tomlinson

      Had the misfortune of playing that sport in a match against Oregon. Oregon’s rugby team was then made up of football players who believe that breaking the rules is a part of the sport of rugby.

      More generally, since varsity sports to a great extent suck money out of academics; no, I won’t root for Oregon. Or any other team for that matter. Watching sports is truly the opiate of the masses. Playing sports is a great thing.


      Alan Tomlinson

      P.S. Anyone who disagrees with my comments but lacks the courage to use their real name will be ignored.

      • You suck, Tomlinson!

      • I like opiates.

      • dave3544

        I will not be ignored!

      • Geoff Ziemer

        Alan Tomlinson:

        Oregon Football makes money, doesn’t lose it.

        Phil Knight–a former athlete at UofO–is a huge booster for Oregon sports. However, without him sticking around to provide money donated to our athletic program, would there be money to remodel Oregon’s library, build the Oregon school of law, construct one of the greenest buildings in Oregon (Lillis, the school of business). Or you could ask Stanford what they think of Phil Knight’s money. If you want to whine about students being forced to chip in on incidental feeds that attribute to sports tickets, etc, you are millions of dollars away from the bigger picture. Sports are not the reason a bullshit class at Oregon costs $700 a term. There are higher powers to blame for the astronomical number kids have to pay to bring home an education nowadays.

        Opiate of the masses? Cute term, but I believe that has to do with religion. Either that, or I think you meant to say ‘America’s Got Talent’ or ‘Dancing with the Stars’. Good try, but you are way off.


        • todd.

          “Good try, but you are way off.”

          I believe we can have it both ways. The masses actually have a lot of opiates.

          Delicious, delicious opiates. Roll Tide.

        • Warren Terra

          A comment that meets the rules Mr. Tomlinson dictates, and is eligible for a reply!

          (But: how do we know this is really Geoff Ziemer?)

          Warren Terra
          (not, in case you were wondering, my real name).

      • wjts

        I agree with Alan Tomlinson, bravely euonymous rugby player of the internet, that college football – at least at the top levels – represents a waste of university resources that would better be directed elsewhere.

        I also believe that Alan Tomlinson, bravely euonymous rugby player of the internet, is a sanctimonious dingleberry.

        P.S. Anyone who disagrees with my comments but lacks the imagination to come up with even the most basic of pseudonyms will be ignored.

  • wsn

    In this light Texas A&M’s aspirations to perpetual mediocrity make a lot more sense.

  • Warren Terra

    Given how destructive a force college professional sport is to our education system and to society in general, reasons to prefer the Ducks instead of one of the other excrescences are rather weak tea.

    • dave3544

      Go Big Green!

      • dave3544

        I meant to put that at the bottom. Don’t know how it got here. FJSKIT.

        • Hogan

          I thought you were cheering for green tea.

  • Thlayli

    You sound like Franklin Foer explaining why liberals should be Barcelona fans.

  • Njorl

    The only game I watch is The Rock (Slippery Rock) vs Shippensburg State Teachers College Fightin’ Schoolmarms.

    • efgoldman

      Shippensburg State Teachers College Fightin’ Schoolmarms.
      If its real (or even if it isn’t), greatest team nickname ever.

      • steelpenny

        I like the Fighting Quakers.

        • catclub

          And the Fighting Quakers cheer is of course: “Kill, Quakers, Kill!”

          • CapnMidnight

            Fight, fight for the Inner Light
            Kill, Little Quakers, kill!

            /20-something miles ESE of Penn, and less preppy.

  • CJColucci

    Last year I was rooting for a TCU-Boise State title game, even though I had no interest in either team. I suppose Oregon is the least corrupt of the projected title contenders, so if I can’t have my BCS-Buster Bowl I’ll root for Oregon if it plays any of the usual suspects.

    • Sherri

      If you want to keep an eye on corruptness, legal variety as opposed to NCAA variety, you should check out the Fulmer Cup. Oregon finished tied for 5th last year:

      • Adam

        They finished tied for 6th this year. Auburn captured the title this year.

      • The Fulmer Cup is really about criminal behavior, not corruptness.

        • Hogan

          In fact it’s kind of the opposite, since paying off cops and DAs to leave your players alone would keep you out of the running.

  • FashionablyEvil

    the Miami booster who paid for prostitutes and abortions for players

    To be fair, I think there was only one abortion.

    • rea

      To be further fair, no player actually had an abortion–it was a player’s girlfriend.

      • Actually, I think it was one of the strippers that the player got pregnant.

  • TT

    College football is sort of politics writ small–despite the corruption, skullduggery, and villiany, despite the more-than-occasional bouts of hopelessness that things will keep sliding downhill, and despite the continuing dominance of the sport’s Republican Party (the SEC), there are some small but great moments here and there that make life a little happier and more enjoyable. Plus, going to a college game (ACC in my case) is a whole hell of a lot more fun than going to an NFL game. No contest.

  • MikeJake

    But if you are a college football fan, might I suggest changing your rooting interests to the Oregon Ducks, i.e., the thinking person’s team.

    Pfft, whatever.

  • Rob

    A University of Oregon post without mentioning that the athletics department is basically just an offshoot of Nike?

    • todd.

      I think that’s the “genius marketing” part.

    • Col Bat Guano

      I guess he also forgot to mention the multiple felonies committed by Oregon players in recent years as well as the recruiting scandal.

  • Armando

    That Phil Knight slave labor money just warms the cockles of a liberal’s heart.

    • Meh; it’s no different than any of the other shoe companies. All of college football is evil. So given that, what is less evil? These are the compromises one must make to like the greatest game ever invented.

      • Armando

        Heh. Nice rationalization.

        I get that this is just for fun – I did the same type of thing when Joakim Noah was the Florida Gators star.

        Just thought I’d give some back.

        • If Florida would ever agree to play a non-conference game outside of the state, I’d be awesome to see Oregon and the Gators match up for a couple of games.

          • Armando

            Have to have 7 home games to make the budget, and playing Georgia on a neutral field and FSU as a yearly OOC opponent, makes scheduling that type of game hard.

            They have Miami a few more times in the upcoming years as well.

            But an early cross sectional game would be pretty cool. Maybe do the neutral field JerryWorld thingies ORe is doing with LSU now. That way you don’t have to worry about home and homes.

          • Gator90

            As you may have noticed, the Gators play in a pretty decent conference. They also have a yearly non-conference opponent that has won two national titles and is currently in the preseason top 10. And I can assure Mr. Loomis that, although Gainesville was recently notorious for the antics of a redneck lunatic, there are plenty of liberals there.

    • And to be clear, I know I am taking a hypocritical and completely indefensible position here. But I’ve been rooting for Oregon football since at least 1984 so what can I do?

      • Armando

        Have fun with it, as you are doing.

        Here’s why you should root for Oregon, besides being a fan, they are the most inventive and creative team in the country.

        Incredibly entertaining team. Plus I hate USC and Lane Kiffin, so Go Ducks! in the Pac 10.

        • dave3544

          Pac 12!

      • Cheap Jim


  • Richard

    As I’ve been saying ever since 1964, without my wishes coming through even once, Go Golden Bears!

  • I’m assuming you’re all a bunch of liberal wussies overcompensating by pretending to like manlybrutally violent sports.

    P.S. Anyone who disagrees with my comments but lacks the courage to use their real name will be ignored.

    This is my real name! (Not necessarily my legal name, but absolutely real.)

    In conclusion, Go University of Spoiled Children!

    (Not the one in South Carolina.)

  • Steven Donegal

    A Duck?! Geez, that explains almost everything (and not in a good way). And they have without question the ugliest unis ever created.

    Go Dawgs!

    • No–the uniforms are awesome. This is what they are wearing on Saturday. These are amazing uniforms.


      Keep wishing it was 1987 Husky fans!

      • The Shaggy DA


        Go Dawgs.

      • Jonas

        Of course the uniforms help them win. They are going to wearing uniforms that make them look like evil robots intent on wiping out the human race. How’d you like to line up against that?

        • Hogan

          Ducks, Daleks, whatever.

      • Craig

        Worst superhero costume ever.

      • Njorl

        C’mon. Penn State has the best unis, though I think they should take that line off their helmets. It’s a bit gaudy.

      • Holy crap, it’s the Oregon Sardaukar!

      • UberMitch

        I like the Goatse gloves

      • Col Bat Guano

        How about 1991 National Champions? Or maybe even 2001 Rose Bowl winners? Don’t worry Duck fans, one day you might win another Rose Bowl.

    • dave3544

      I was surprised Erik didn’t link to the recent article that argues that Oregon is good because of the uniforms.

      How Does Oregon Football Keep Winning?

      • Yeah, I saw that It is an interesting argument. It definitely helps. It’s not all of it though. At this point, they have marketed themselves into the national conversation but are building on it by winning and having an exciting and innovative offense and placing a lot of defensive players in the NFL.

        • dave3544

          The investment in facilities surely had a lot to do with it as well. I guess that could count as “flash,” but I think the Mo Center had more to do with keeping the rain off than making a statement.

  • The Shaggy DA

    I think the fact that Oregon fans are by far the most reviled west of the Mississippi and the allegations of serious recruiting violations being investigated by the NCAA weigh against your argument.

    • dave3544

      I think the fact that Oregon fans are by far the most reviled west of the Mississippi

      You got anything to back that up? Anything that predates our winning a whole heck of a lot of Pac-10 titles?

      Although, come to think of it, if we’re counting basketball, the students at Mac Court have a lot to answer for.

      • Col Bat Guano

        Are all those Rose Bowl trophies getting in the way in Eugene? What, they haven’t won a Rose Bowl in almost 100 years? Never mind.

  • I have to stand up for Arizona here. Bear Down!

    • Fighting Words

      Go Bears!!!


  • CanadianFoitball

    Does the name Willie Lyles mean nothing to you?

  • Mike

    Fighting Irish, all the way. But I’ll cheer for anyone who’s playing an SEC team.

  • Stag Party Palin

    I root for the Ducks because they are just one letter away from being the most awesomeness mascots evah!

    Especially because my school nickname is a freakin’ color. Blargh. Nevertheless, on November 12th we are going to beat your feathered asses into tiny hemorrhoid pillows and in gratitude the regents will allow us to change our nickname to the Robber Barons, as God is my witness.

    Tomorrow is another day!

  • SEK

    While SEC teams have their enlightened fans

    There are a few of us, I assure you. Geaux Tigers!

    • Davis

      Me too. Shouldn’t it be Geaux Tigres?

      Anyway Hot Boudin, cold Cush Cush!

      • dp

        Come on, Tigers, poosh, poosh, poosh!

  • Jim Lynch

    Go Bears. Of course, they never go very far.

    Then, Go Thunder Chickens*. Why not? Stanford undergrads have yet to morph into the rich prick establishment types most are fated to become.

    Then, and only then, Go Oregon. Either Ducks or Beavers, it doesn’t matter.

    *(When the school axed the name ‘Indians’ in the early ’70’s, the student body voted to rename their teams the Thunder Chickens. It was an inspired moniker, one regrettably if inevitably overruled by rich prick establishment types.

  • Marek

    Fuck a duck. Until Miami is banned, forever, I’m rooting for You Dub. Mush!

  • efgoldman

    I love collitch f’bawl, watch it every weekend.
    But hate myself afterwards.
    (My school dropped it in the early 90s).
    Hoops is just as corrupt, of course. We’ll talk about that more around Thanksgiving, I’m sure.

    • Craig

      Nobody talks about college hoops until Valentine’s Day at the earliest.

      • Njorl

        College hoops will be much more popular this year.

  • lige

    “We smoked it all.”

    Go Ducks!!

    • Njorl

      Mmmmmmmmm … smoked duck.

  • bobbyp

    “We smoked it all.”

    We drank it all.

    Go Cougs!!!!

  • Raised Eyebrow

    You lost points with me with your characterization of Oregon’s offensive schemes as “intellectually-minded”. The offense is not, in fact, that complex – it is a series of fairly standard base and constraint plays run out of multiple looks and at breakneck speed. Brutally effective and visually exciting, yes – intellectually stimulating, no. I suggest that you look for stimulation with former Boise State coordinator Bryan Harsin and his new offensive schemes at Texas, Gary Patterson’s reactive 4-2-5 defense at TCU, Nick Saban’s pattern-matching zone defense at Alabama, or Urban Meyer’s shotgun formation adaptations of old counter-trey principles.

    • win.

    • SeanH

      You all sure don’t make being an expat here easy…

  • Desert Rat

    Meh. I have no idea why anybody outside of Eugene would give a rat’s a** about Oregon football. Your main booster is despicable, your coach cheats, and you’re about six months from losing scholarships, vacating all those 2010 wins, and winding up on probation for a couple of years.

    • A lot of smoke with the violations, very little fire. Unless they obstructed the NCAA investigation, expect a couple of lost scholarships and very little else.

      • Col Bat Guano

        Famous last words of every team before going on two year probation.

  • I’m hoping my new (geographically convenient) adopted team wins more than one game this year.

    Go Lobos! (I guess, and stuff. At least tickets are cheap and plentiful.)

    Alas, my first two schools were too small to have football programs. Although back in the 80s the New England Conservatory reportedly had a hockey team (and was regularly roundly defeated by Julliard’s squad). Go Penguins! (Tuxedos, you see…)

  • charles pierce

    If I have to root for a college football team, I’ll pick one that has good barbecue and that red-shirts Miss Americas for its cheer squad, and not a wholly owned subsidiary of the Nike World Sweatshop LLC. Not to mention the fact that they dress like the X-Men franchise in Arena Football.

  • Gozer

    Go Jayhawks!

    Yeah…I got nuthin’.

  • rea

    As aan alumnus of Oklahoma University, I can only revel in the corruption.

  • Pith Helmet

    As aan alumnus of Oklahoma Universitymost any major college football program, I can only revel in the corruption.

  • Oregon’s Ducks quack loudly on the field, but they are an assemblage of broken wings in the classroom. Its 41-percent African-American player graduation success rate is the sixth-lowest of the 70 bowl teams and 35 percentage points behind that of Oregon’s white players.

    I root for BC: This year, 53 of the 70 teams, a record 76 percent, scored either a “Touchdown’’ or “First Down’’ in the Gap Bowl. That progress is led by the continued excellence of such schools as Boston College, which tied for the third-best African-American player graduation rate

  • Linnaeus

    Given that my MA alma mater is Oregon’s biggest traditional rival and my (at some point) PhD alma mater is Oregon’s next biggest traditional rival, it will be very, very hard for me to cheer for Oregon football.

  • Bruce Webb

    You must be kidding. The only reason Oregon fans don’t score at the top of the “Most Obnoxious Fans in America” list is because they share a conference with the Wahington Huskies and the USC Trojans. Which establish pretty high Privileged Assholery standards. But in general Oregon over the last decade is just a vanity project of Phil Knight and Nike.

    If pushed to the wall I will defend any West Coast team or even Mountain team against the likes of the SEC and Big East in any sport you can name. But Oregon Football makes the case tough, and theirnfans even more so.

    • The Shaggy DA

      Spoken like a true Cougar.

  • cpinva

    in fairness (and i am by no means an SEC fan), if it’s a football blog/website, it’s hardly surprising that the vast majority of posts/comments might have to do with…………..football! your comment is analagous to kvetching that a political blog/site has mostly posts/comments about, well, politics. go figure.

    all that said, i actually kind of appreciate the ducks. for a school that lacks (realistically) the recruiting panache of a USC or UCLA, they do a pretty decent job. plus, they do have some intriguing uniforms.

  • Gilbert

    Coming out with a different uniform for every game is not what I would consider to be “innovative marketing” – more like preening and showing off, somewhat like your casual identification of “interesting” and “intellectual” with “liberal.”

  • I’ve seen enough of Oregon now to agree that they are truly the liberal’s team: Once they get knocked off their game plan by a bunch of obstinate rednecks, they can never recover.

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