29.May.2011 Reflection on the Baseball Season

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Today capped off one of the biggest collapses in Oregon State history.

And it caused me to wonder: is this really a bad thing?

Some will be offended I even ask the question. "You are not a true Beaver!" they will blindly balk. I suggest these people just stop reading the site, because I'm not going to waste time defending myself anymore.

So, back to the question. Is this a bad thing?

Well, on the surface, yes. It's terrible. The Beavs choked away the Pac-10 title. Think about it some more, though. What is the biggest underlying problem at Oregon State? In my opinion, it's that everyone, from the athletic department to the fans, hopes programs do well instead of expecting it. I don't think it can be expressed more succinctly than that. Think about that for a moment before you continue reading.

Okay, now I ask you: what do Beaver fans consider a successful season? This is more tricky. But, I read a lot of websites, forums, newspapers, blogs, etc with diverse opinions from all age groups, and it seems to me the only thing these people can agree upon is that beating the Ducks makes everything else okay. The football team could go 1-10, but if the victory is against the Ducks…hip hip hooray!

In other words, Beaver fans care more about the Ducks failures than their own team's success.

So, when fans sit back and say, "Bob DeCarolis is the problem" or "Mike Riley should be fired!" they aren't completely wrong, but the problem doesn't start with those guys. People at the top rarely lead; they cater to opinion and expectations at the bottom (follow politics cursorily, and you'll accept this as a truth). Therefore, the problem is the fan. That's right. The fan is the problem. You'll see me lash out at the old, dying guard often because they harp about "28 years of losing", and frankly it holds us back. Well, now I am dedicating an entire post to this topic because it really needs to be drilled home and engrained in your mind. The problem is not an individual at the top. The problem is a group of individuals at the bottom and it begins with you and people you know. By purchasing a ticket, Beaver gear, or a hot dog at the ballpark, you are saying, "I support this product." The dollar is your voting card, your chance to veto the current path, and to force change.

So, why is the collapse a good thing? I think it drills home the two points above:

1. The hope vs expectation paradigm.

2. (Jealous) obsession regarding the Ducks rather than self-improvement.

Until these things change, it will be the same ol'.

Players need to come into our programs knowing fans expect them to win. Right now, players come to Oregon State knowing it'll be nice to win, but since the fans are so agreeable and supportive, it's not a big deal if they lose. What needs to change is the culture. There needs to be a winning culture. When your school isn't naturally blessed with this, losing (especially to a rival), ironically, is what angers people enough to act and start down that path. The past decade has proved mediocrity or moderate success doesn't move the fan base. Even after two National Titles, our baseball team only hopes to win. That is flat out sad.

I think this latest (see gymnastics team) Beavers collapse at the hands of the Ducks will enrage fans. Someone in the comment area already mentioned he's handing in his season tickets and calling it a day. He is an empowered fan. People sometimes ask why I've only gone to two Beaver games ever. The answer is simple: the product isn't up to my standards so I don't support it. I don't want to hear excuses or strawmen or misplaced blame. Today's result is as much on the fan as it is on any administrator, coach, player, etc. Never again write, "I hope we win" or anything like that (there are a ton of comments like this on the Oregonian)…instead write, "we are going to win", "we should win", "we better win or else I'm not supporting this anymore", etc.

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  • billy says:
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    Fuckin’ A!!!

  • OStater says:
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    Amen brother!

  • osbeavs says:
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    While I agree that this should be a motivating factor for change, this isn’t rock bottom yet, that is usually what it takes to instigate change. Ironically, 28 years of losing is rock bottom and that barely did anything to force change. Also, I wholeheartedly agree that we need to expect to win, not just hope (both fans and athletes). Look no further than John Wooden, agruably the greatest coach ever, to illustrate your paradigm of self improvement. We should constantly be competeing to be the best we can be not just the winner of a competition. This baseball team should be trying to put together the best game of the season each day, not just eek out a win.

    Regarding the purchasing of products, remember that a boycott regarding OSU goods will substantially hurt our athletic department, further retarding its growth. So don’t just stop buying, write to those in power why you aren’t buying. If Bobby D doesn’t care, then write Ed Ray because he will care.

    Finally, how many Beaver fans are outspoken here and in real life? It certainly is easier to be contrarian online.

    • angry angry says:
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      write to those in power why you aren’t buying

      Yes.

      I might have to turn this blog over to someone else at some point, because I won’t continue to support this….if the Pac-12 money doesn’t eliminate the “we have no money!” argument and lead to clear improvement, I’m ghost.

      Fair weather or rational human? I’m not a fanatic about anything, I just support the school where I earned my degree because it’s a representation of self.

      • osbeavs says:
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        This blog supports OSU athletics currently by trying to force change, not by supporting the status quo. So while we are supporting OSU, we are also pushing for more. Someone once told me, “I can be a fan of a program and not like the direction of the program.” So please don’t turn it over anytime soon, we will lose our voice. This place will just start talking about the need for a POWERFUL brand….

        • Beavker Beavker says:
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          Agreed. As a new Nebraskan, I have seen what it is like for fans to not just expect but to DEMAND a quality product. I hope this team gets that chip back that led them to the top of the Pac when all the pundits put them near the bottom. My only fear is that hosting a regional will extend the recent lazy approach. It might not sink in as much seeing their name as a host even after the UO quarterly sports debacle. Having to lose the title, swallow a sweep at the hands of big brother. AND having to travel to play in a regional might have done the trick. We’ll see if this wil be enough. Or are they just not that good?

          • angry angry says:
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            Even Nebraska was down for many years, though.

            I might have over-reacted yesterday due to frustration (after reading Beaver fans’ pathetic justifications regarding the collapse), but I do believe the underlying sentiment was correct. That is, fans need to take responsibility in cultivating a winning culture. We can’t use words like “hope”…we have to learn how to expect to win. It’s a chicken/egg thing. Do we need to win big before that mentality sets in, or do we consciously change our cognition? I think it’s the latter, because even after two National Titles we’re not confident in our baseball program. We still hope to win, which suggests that we believe those great years of the past were just anomalies or aberrations.

  • tim says:
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    It’s a bitter pill to swallow to end the season. The team raised our expectations perhaps too much. They over-achieved all year. Does it seem like there is something with the chemistry right now (coincides with Susac’s return)? I think the pitching is burned out. Not enough depth in the bullpen and guys we thought would be there – Starr, Booser, etc. – still aren’t ready to be effective. Unfortunately, OSU will probably get rewarded for their swoon with a killer regional.

    I like winning, but I’m not a “win at all costs” fan. That would be schools like most SEC schools or Ohio St. You don’t hear about NCAA sanctions and the Beavers.

    • osbeavs says:
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      We aren’t asking for win at all costs (well at least I am not), but certainly a mindset change from the department, expecting to win rather than simply hoping. We don’t have to cheat to change our psychology. We don’t have to win all the time either, we just need to be really good every few years. Think the Cougs about a decade ago. They would have a dominant year filled with talented seniors only to be replaced by a “young” team that would not finish that well. That young team would develop into another talented senior group and make a high bowl game. Or the classic analogy of the Twins works just as well.

    • angry angry says:
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      Or, hire a psychologist to let us know they’re at least trying to fix the big, glaring problems.

      a. The gymnasts collapse on the big stage
      b. The baseball team collapses on the big stage
      c. The Rose Bowl contending football team collapses on the big stage (twice vs a rival)

      It’s hard to believe people in charge can’t see the connections. Bottom line is they cry “no money for anything” and the fans accept that. Then they blow thousands of dollars to paint the field blue and go out and lay an egg at Boise on National TV.

      Money isn’t an excuse anymore, so I’m really curious to see what the next one is…probably weather/location.

      • osbeavs says:
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        Wisconsin doesn’t seem to have too many weather or location issues…

      • sparkyd73 says:
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        “Or, hire a psychologist to let us know they’re at least trying to fix the big, glaring problems.”

        Both the baseball team and the gymnastics team had a sports psychologist to help them during the season.

  • Orange Lantern says:
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    I totally agree with the theme of this thread. Right now I am by far the most excited and inspired by Laura Carlyle of women’s track. If all our athletes were alot more like her I know we would be brimming with winners. Her spirit to do her very best and keep pushing harder is awesome! Watch this video after she qualified for nationals and I am sure you will agree:

    http://www.runnerspace.com/eprofile.php?do=videos&year=2011&pg=1&event_id=3280&video_id=47543&folder_id=1930&offset=3#video

  • angry angry says:
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    Posted by CorVegasBeav in the baseball thread:

    Well friends. I am sorry to say I have decided to give up my football season tickets. I cannot continue to support the current regime. Doing so would be to continue to do the same things and expect different results. They very definition of insanity. Riley is in his 12th year and there has been plenty of time to deliver something or anything better than a Sun Bowl. He has peaked. It would be a big mistake to give another decade or more and be happy with the lowest bowls in better years. This year does not look promising and in general it is just time for a breath of fresh air, not to be looking at countless mediocrity.

    I will be watching at home and rooting for the school, but not this regime. BDC can continue to ignore fans like me all he wants but he will lose more supporters if he does. We are headed nowhere right now and need someone like a Leach who has been suggested.

    Peace out. OSU Atheltics has some serious organizational problems and as a true fan I can’t add to it anymore. When we are ready to get serious about the changes we need, I hope to return. I’m thinking it could be awhile but I am not going to grow old watching Riley flounder and unable to ever beat our rival and think it is OK. Its not.

    I really respect this guy. The comment about serious organizational problems is so spot on…can’t believe I didn’t think to write that!

  • Jackson says:
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    The Beavs aren’t a powerhouse sports program for the same reasons you aren’t a pro athlete, millionaire, or dating a super model. You really should have expected more of yourself considering your winning attitude. Really surprised you’re not a coach – wait..no I’m not.

    • angry angry says:
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      This isn’t about me and what I have or don’t have. I could have no house and one tooth, but what I wrote would still ring true. Your nasty response simply means I struck a chord.

      I deal with this argument all the time. The (ignorant) idea that you need to be in a profession to write about it/understand it. It’s so easy to point out the glaring flaws, but I’ll do it again: have you ever heard of Gene Siskel? Yeah, that guy didn’t make movies…

      • Jackson says:
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        First of all, you are not a journalist. You blog for free. Second, you don’t speak for the majority of Beaver fans. You are the Harold Camping of Beaver Nation. You have earned a small speckling of devoted and delusional “fans” who think like you do. Basically you run a chat room . You aren’t a pioneer or trailblazer in this regard either, Angry, there is a site like this for practically every school in the country. Most of them don’t get paid either. Sorry it just really irritates me that people are so ignorant to reality. Do me a favor. Get some perspective from fans from other schools and see where they think the Beavs should finish. WE (Beavs) have exceeded expectations in most sports over the last 12 years. Maybe not your (or the other 6 people in here) but people that aren’t so emotionally biased. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion and I apologize for taking a cheap shot at you personally, I was simply trying to you an analogy that might help clarify how difficult it is for Corvallis to compete with the LA schools. Recruiting to Corvallis is a chore and to win you need talent. Inner city kids don’t want to live and play in Corvallis or Pullman, so unless you plan on moving the university we will continue to fight an uphill battle. Sorry it hasn’t been good enough for you guys. Cue the negative 4 rating from 6 voters.

        • Jackson says:
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          P.S. Do yourself a favor and read Rick Reilly’s article on espn: I wrote, You wrote.
          It’s a really good thing you weren’t a Beav fan and writing this blog in the 90’s because people would have been falling out of their seats laughing at some of the statements in here. Thank God the internet wasn’t mainstream back then, I guess. Have fun guys and I’m out.

          • billy says:
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            Good. Pussys like you willing to accept mediocrity are those we don’t want on this blog. Bye!

        • JackBeav says:
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          “Get some perspective from fans from other schools and see where they think the Beavs should finish.”

          You are 100% spot on with this. The perspective of the fans from other schools is that they demand winners, and they get them through recruiting efforts and on the field. Many dreams are shattered over the course of the season, because someone has to lose. But there are no broken dreams if there were never any dreams in the first place.

          They all demand winners, and they are very vocal about it. Wazzu is the only other school in “hope” mode right now… except when they step on the turf at Reser apparently. Journalists hear about it constantly from these fans, and they make their analyses based on all that bile and chatter. Some go against the grain, and others appease the noise. They’re human, and that’s just human nature.

          I guess the tenet to be derived from angry’s post is that it’s better to have loved and lost than to just be a wallflower at the prom occasionally filling drink cups for the chaperones.

        • angry angry says:
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          Pat Casey and Craig Robinson sign top 25 recruiting classes. The idea that it’s hard to recruit to Corvallis is something Riley wants fans to believe so you forgive him when he picks low-hanging fruit and the team fails. Also, most college towns are rural and small. What you are doing is making excuses. Finally, if it is so hard to recruit to Corvallis, why has (football) recruiting picked up the past two years? It’s coincided with embracing change/technology and making changes to the staff. Explain that as well.

        • Beavocalypse says:
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          Kids want to play where they will win. Riley can’t even manage the players he does recruit, but apparently you have already rode in on your horse of judgement and told us how it is. Good work, Jack-Ass

    • osbeavs says:
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      As angry points out, this logic is totally flawed. Journalists are supposed to shed light on a matter. It is probably better that Angry isn’t a pro athlete, he doesn’t have the same bias. We all have bias but the outside perspective is supposed to be enlightening. This can force change when change is needed. For all the crap journalists get in this world, imagine if we had none.

      • angry angry says:
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        Who was the player that stopped by recently? Will Darkins I think…

        He wrote a long response about something, and I basically said, “yeah, but you are biased because you’re an athlete and too close to be objective” and he said, “Good point, I didn’t think of that.” lol

        Anyone who is “too close” to a situation has bias. Have you ever watched a 48 Hour Mystery where the mother of some slain daughter DIDN’T think the suspected killer WAS DEFINITELY THE KILLER!? lol

        • osbeavs says:
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          We also have bias as fans, it is also good to have full disclosure with that. I feel that full disclosure is important. That is something that ESPN seems (halfheartedly) trying to get better at.

          Many of the people, that they call “the talent”, seem to be bias when you step back. Things like Mel Kiper having personal friendships with NFL agents and dropping in for chats with athletes represented by those agents. I bet his big board is almost always composed of athletes who are represented by his friends. Also, did any know that Mel Kiper coached a national 7 on 7 high school team? That sure seems like a bias, borderline improper.

          Also, +1 to Darkins for reading the site and providing his insight. Nice to see people who are connected to the program may actually read the site and can provide thoughtful, rational conversation. The alternative is the rivals folk who are supposedly connected to the program troll the site with emotional comments. Sorry about the stream of consciousness, I lost the topic a little there.

          • angry angry says:
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            Luckily nobody has taken Mel Kiper seriously since the millennium.

            How is this blog biased? I don’t give enough credit for things they do right? I suppose. I feel like if I’m not criticizing a certain subject it’s implied that they’re doing it correctly. Plus, I do hand out Kudos to certain players, etc. But yeah, I try really hard to tell it like it is and nothing more/less.

          • osbeavs says:
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            Well my disclosure would be, if I didn’t think you were telling the truth I wouldn’t keep coming here. That said, our bias would be that of the frustrated fan. We might be more inclined to think things that happen to be negative and/or trending to the negative. We believe what we say is truth, but is it?

    • billy says:
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      to Jackson:

      just one of way too many beav fans{ I assume a beav fan) content with mediocrity. Sun Bowl and the CBI are quite satisfactory as far as they are concerned. These assholes are a big reason we will never get to the next level. They are quite content with the program as it is. Very sad for those of us wanting more than .500 or so every year.

  • BeaverBeliever20 says:
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    This weekend sucked. I attended the games and it was as bad as can be but I don’t believe they’re finished. It would have been nice to see them play well this weekend with the conference crown on the line but there is still plenty of baseball left headed towards the postseason, they’re capable of making a run they just gotta do it. I must say, this weekend the Beavers couldn’t catch a break to save their life. Hard hit balls by the Ducks were always falling in and hard hit balls by the Beavers were almost seemingly caught. They played badly but they also were very unlucky. I still believe they will get things figured in the regional and play well. It will help to play at home and who knows maybe they’ll go on a run.

    I would say it’s a little early to reflect on the season since they still have games to be played. As far as the rivalry goes, I care more about titles than beating the Ducks. It nice to beat them and sucks when they lose to them but I care more about the Beavers overall success than some games vs the Ducks. I’ve always hated the fans who made beating the Ducks the top priority.

    • Beavker Beavker says:
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      It actually is big to a lot of teams east of the rockies…especially if that rival is knocking you out of contention for those championship opportunities. Its a double whammy.

  • seaverbeaver says:
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    Fucking Duck shit. Rock on, dudes.

  • BeavGirl BeavGirl says:
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    angry i think you would like this article about optimism in Time.
    http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2074067,00.html
    While i was reading it i was like “htm who does this remind me of? OH YEAH every beav fan ever” (except for angry)

    • angry angry says:
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      This is a cool article…I could write a post about this. I’ve always felt like Pollyannas were delusional/mentally ill. This just strengthens that opinion.

      • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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        Angry — I agree that the Time article (“The Optimism Bias”) is cool, and worth the time to read and ponder. Most of us have a bias towards optimism. And that very much includes you!

        Your current post asks: “So, why is the collapse a good thing?” So, there you go — faced with a late-season collapse by the OSU baseball team, you are looking for positives. I’m the same way. So are most of the people who post on this blog.

        Why do we do this? Faced with a ton of past and present evidence of OSU mediocrity (or worse), we keep trying to envision a better future for OSU athletics. As the Time article explains, that’s the way most people function — and it’s probably a result of natural selection and evolution. The Optimism Bias keeps us going, as fans, and as people, in sports and in life.

        But that doesn’t mean one can’t be critical of OSU athletics, or demand change. On the contrary. People like you (and me, and most of the regular posters on this blog) demand change BECAUSE they are optimists — because they believe that OSU can do better (despite lots of past and present evidence to the contrary). The people who are NOT demanding change are actually the negative ones — the ones who don’t believe OSU’s future can be better than its past and its present.

        • osbeavs says:
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          So we are the ones that are mentally ill? jk

          Interesting spin, cool to think about.

        • JackBeav says:
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          Murphy’s Law: If anything can go wrong, it will.

          First Corollary to Murphy’s Law: Murphy was an optimist.

  • happy says:
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    First off, overall I think this season was a success but the fact that you think that getting swept by a less than mediocre team is a good thing is ridiculous. You are starting to sound like most beaver fans who try to rationalize the numerous chokings that occur in OSU athletics. You seem to think that this series loss was some kind of gut-check, but what about the loss to USC? You didn’t think that was the best thing ever to happen. I don’t think that you are not a “true beaver fan” because you are trying to find the positive in this loss, but you are wrong for thinking that this was anything but an atrocity. I hope for the sake of the school that you are right, that we will turn ourselves around and start winning again but a 5 game losing streak going into the playoffs is far beyond a “gut check”

    • angry angry says:
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      No, not a gut check…my post has little to do with the team. The sweep was good because fans need a wake up call. The hope needs to end and now. I wish every Beaver could live in NYC (or anywhere east/south), because then you’d know what it’s like to expect/demand results.

      The only reason it might be good for the team? Less pressure. But, I’m not sure avoiding pressure is the solution to overcoming it.

  • happy says:
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    not to mention this is the first conference team they swept since the 80s

  • AngryDouche says:
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    ahhahaha I fooled everyone. I wrote this blog and then invented most of the names of the people who replied. I made you all look like losers!

    • PulitzerBeav says:
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      I represent the Pulitzer Prize search committee. We are awarding you with best blog comment of 2011. Your writing is reminiscent of a young William Faulkner with some shades of Joyce. Congratulations on your fine achievement, we look forward to many fruitful years of your output.

    • JackBeav says:
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      You forgot to add me, silly person. You’re so knowing, yet you’re swimming in a sea without any boat, any flotation. The sea, the snotgreen sea, the scrotumtightening sea.

      Faulkner sucked eggs.

  • BeaverBeliever20 says:
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    Beavers get a fairly easy regional. They face a 24-32 Arkansas-Little Rock in the first game and would face either Creighton who is solid or Georgia who is barely over .500 and is just average. Creighton didn’t really beat anyone this year, so they padded the win column by beating up on inferior competition. Record of 44-14 is deceiving. This could be the regional that gets the Beavers back on track and get it rolling again. ‘

    Could be a Oregon State-Vanderbilt regional which I wouldn’t mind. A lot like 2007, they were matched up but Michigan upset Vandy. I will root for Oklahoma State to win though, so Oregon State would host a super regional.

    I’m surprised with the west coast regionals. They aren’t nearly as tough as I thought they would be. Very unlike the committee.

    • BeaverBeliever20 says:
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      Excuse me, Oregon State-Vanderbilt super regional

  • Castornation says:
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    An interesting concept. Myself, I became a fan the season we went to the Fiesta bowl. Not because I “jumped on the wagon” but because I was aware of what Erikson did in Miami. I watched that entire season. I didn’t suffer through the “28 years” and as most people had very high expectations for the following year. Which was a big disappointment. We haven’t been nearly as successful since, but I felt the guys gave it their all, until last football season. Great analysis is between the USC and WSU games. They had to hold Riley back against USC , I never have seen him so pumped. At the WSU game if he didn’t move you would have thought he was sleeping. Generally fan outrage translates into a new coach, but if you have a lifetime contract, what pressure can be exerted. Fans have overwhelmingly called for Langsdorf’s head on a platter, but if Riley has no pressure on himself, he can cover his guys. And how much would it cost to buy Riley out? So at the present time hope is all we have, unless their is a little known clause that all extensions are void if you have a string of losing seasons. I had heard somewhere, that the State of Oregon has historically had a spirit of apathy. Apathy + life contract = 5 & 7

    • spectator says:
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      I know this is going to be unpopular, but here goes. As someone who came from a State school jn another state, I have seen this. OSU is trying to be something they are not. They don’t have the money to compete. They don’t get the horses.
      The school I went to tried to be all things to all people, and ended up excelling at nothing. Finally they ended up dropping football. OSU will not drop football, but having attended many sporting events at many venues, I am amazed at how bad the event staff treats attendees here. At Oregon/Stanford/UCLA/ ASU, etc., they welcome fans and attempt to make your day as good as possible. At OSU they treat you like they are doing you a favor by letting you attend. The heavy handed security and penny pinching makes me not want to attend much less donate.
      I have writtien to both the AD and the President, and needless to say, my opinion is not a popular one. It gets old always being asked for money. People would do more if they were happy. The University should attempt to improve the entire campus, instead of just the athletic facilities. While I am ranting: What is with the attitude at the ticket office? Get some people who smile and enjoy their jobs. Just my opinion, thanks for listening.

      • angry angry says:
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        Regarding the lack of friendly staff…I always experienced that in Portland, too, and just assumed it’s an Oregon thing. Does the staff at Autzen great people with a smile? My experience with born and raised Oregonians is that they’re very standoffish…as you go toward Portland, they become both standoffish and affected (I actually had a waiter in Portland tell me if I didn’t share my food with the people I was eating with, I wasn’t exactly welcome in the restaurant). Californians are a little more friendly, but there’s still something missing. I’ve never lived in the south, but the Midwest and East are waaay more friendly than the West. Sort of counter intuitive, since the East (especially NYC) has a reputation for being jerks. I hear Southerners are friendliest…but, like I said, never lived there.

      • helmsley says:
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        Re: ticket office – at least in Gill. This is the 2nd time I’ve posted this, which makes it a nag. I was baffled that I couldn’t buy a ticket to the men’s bb game – at the door – with a debit/credit card. There was an ATM machine – not my bank – so fees on both ends. I’m not an electronic guru, so maybe it doesn’t follow that if the bank can set up an ATM machine, the ticket office should be able to process plastic. I wouldn’t have minded paying a processing fee to OSU, but I’m not keen on banks.

        • jasonthebeaver jasonthebeaver says:
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          Am I understanding that you’re saying you wouldn’t mind paying an extra processing fee to OSU for being able to use your credit card, but you don’t like paying the fee (via ATM) directly to the bank?
          If that is indeed what you’re saying then you should understand that OSU would have to collect that fee from you, then hand it over to the bank anyway. Either way no matter what, if you use a credit card then a bank (or more specifically a merchant processing company) gets 2-5%.
          Just an FYI.

          • helmsley says:
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            Of course you’re right. I would probably be willing, however, to pay a slightly higher price for the ticket if I thought it would go to OSU for the convenience and what seems like a more sophisticated means of purchasing a ticket at the door.

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    I agree that we should vote with our dollars. I reduced my BASF donation by $800 this year due to my feelings toward the football program, and I emailed BDC about it too.
    Being swept by the ducks this weekend just made me sick all over again, like the last 3 football civil wars.

    • angry angry says:
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      Did he write you back?

      • jasonthebeaver jasonthebeaver says:
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        Yes he did write me back. He said something along the lines of understanding my frustration and that he was “hoping for some of that late season Beaver magic.” (This was right after the UCLA and WSU debacles).
        I replied that “hoping” didn’t instill a lot of confidence.

  • Spectator says:
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    As a matter of fact, they do treat you better at U of O. I have never had a bad staff experience. I live close to Corvallis, but I have Ducks baseball season tickets.
    I will never forget, being at a OSU WBB game. . . might have been a couple of hundred people there, a couple of years ago. I was seated on the second floor and an usher insisted I move five feet across an aisle or leave. I guess he was just following orders, but there has to be room for common sense.

  • FatDog says:
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    This goes against a lot of grain but a few weeks ago I was parking in the Reser lot to go to a conference at LaSells. That huge facility is used 6 times a year. All the resources go into football. I know this is impossible but what if we just dropped it and put the resources into basketball, baseball, track, etc. We only need 6 really good basketball players instead of 25 really good football players. That is 19 fewer guys to get tattoos for free.

  • Orange Lantern says:
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    FatDog,

    Are you for real?. Being in the Pac-12 with atleast 30 million coming per year per team when the Pac-12 Network is included is going to be great. Myself and others are just complaining because we expect the effort to be raised. We would be fine if Riley could get it together and start getting atleast 8 wins every year. We just aren’t there right now so we have to work harder. Alot can be done when you try your very best and I don’t feel the actors involved are currently doing that. But I do expect Oregon St. will get better again, whether with Riley or not. This conference is going to be great and we will get our chances. Football is by far our #1 sport and the most exciting sport in college athletics that often drives entire Athletic Dept’s and lets us enjoy a bunch of other sports as well.

    I agree we also want basketball to improve and I expect it can as we rise with the Pac-12. I suggest BDC try to host one of these NCAA tourneys in Portland instead of letting the Ducks always take the lion’s share of the limelight. Keep your head up.

    Truth and time tells all.

    • JackBeav says:
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      I think the context is correct. OSU gets hammered by impatient fans who want it to pour more money into a structure which is already the most expensive on campus and is rarely used. It’s used more than six or seven times a year, but those times are the only ones that justify its relative opulence. While the revenue aspect of football may be important in today’s society, it makes the sport no more exciting than any voyeur sport. There are moments within each game which electrify a crowd, but all in all it’s actually a pretty boring sport for the casual observer. Like boxing, unless you’re a knowledgeable fan of the sport you’re simply cheering for moments of dominance followed by a win. And even the knowledgeable fan can’t really claim anything more than the same moments on a more detailed level.

      While some may think the spread offense is something innovative, it really isn’t. Nikegon plays the speed game, and that’s what helps them win more than any scheme. The misdirection of the scheme simply aids in a lot of official rule breaking missed by actual officials. They’re too busy watching the misdirection to see the constant holding done by Nikegon’s line (and especially receivers). They’re too busy watching the hustle to the next snap to notice that their WR’s don’t come inside the numbers half the time. And opposing coaches are so flustered by the speed that they rarely take advantage of Nikegon substitutions to amble in their defensive packages as they have a right to do.

      A knowledgeable fan should be irritated that the substance of the game, the rules, are changed simply because nobody knows what the hell is going on. But the casual fan sees lots of scoring and cheering. The lazy coach complains about unnoticed holding calls and counters the hectic pace with fake injuries instead of actual procedural rules. And the refs just seem to be along for the ride. If I were to watch a hoops game where a team played like Loyola Marymount did in the late 80’s, but two of their guys would just grab potential transition defenders when the refs turned to run down court, THAT would be the irritation I feel when I watch the speed game Nikegon runs.

      It’s funny that Chip Kelly was quoted in a recent article about Pac 10 refs and their inconsistency. If Mike Pereira (or whomever will be permanent) institutes NFL-like consistency within Pac 12 officiating, his offense suffers the most. The holding calls that are ALWAYS made in the NFL are prevalent in Nikegon’s offense. Procedural penalties like not coming inside the numbers, allowing time for substitutions and set linemen shifting out of postion (which did become less prevalent late last season) are almost never missed. NFL refs do have a certain pride in their jobs, and part of that is being the most knowledgeable person in the stadium. They are the protectors of the game itself, and that game is one of rules in the end.

      Which brings us back to the actual excitement of the game. I like the sport to a degree. I like the details of every position when they play well. Like baseball, I like it most when the game hangs on a single play… on every play. I actually loved our 3-0 bowl win a couple years ago. I think that was the ultimate expression of what football can be within the “chess game” metaphor. You take what you have, and you use it to exploit the opponent’s weaknesses enough to just win the game. But if you make a single mistake, you immediately lose the game. Playing on an edge is what excites me about any sport. If you try to beat the sport itself by just playing with the rules enough to jack the stat column, then you’re just drugging all involved and telling them it’s what they want.

      In the end, a last second field goal, a bottom of the ninth sacrifice fly or a last second free throw to win it all are all some of the “most boring” aspects of their respective games. But they are always important. And the casual fan can only ride that edge if they have that specific context.

      When we’re talking about a structure that costs hundreds of millions of dollars, are those specific moments worth the cost? One could argue that spending that money to make society less ignorant would lessen the dependence on that drug called contextual need.

      So in the end I think we put up with football only for the money and the peer pressure. What’s turning out to be a game which disables players in ways we’re just beginning to understand is not really as exciting as the machoistic posturing of some fans would have you believe. Its true excitement comes from the game day itself, the camaraderie with like minds, the traditions of school rituals combined with some romantic notion of self-importance derived from victory in sport. Football is as boring to international spectators as soccer is to Americans. Well, it’s moreso. Soccer is constant action, but Americans tire of a lack of voyeuristic violence. The ignorant’s contextual need in that sport comes when the action stops and set pieces are in play.

      To end this too-long rant, i guess I can see what FatDog is talking about. We hang our hats on winning in the end. And taking that opportunity away from one group of a hundred in order to give it to five groups of twenty seems like a more worthwhile distribution schedule. What do we have to show for expanding Reser? Or what will we have when we eventually do again?

      The answer is we have two NCAA championships in baseball.

      In the end, that game day experience, camaraderie and tradition would all be sought by fans through some other sport if football never existed. So we would likely have a large stadium with all these same arguments in an alternate society. And that sport would likely also devolve from sport to business.

      But what feels better, making money or winning?

  • FatDog says:
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    JackBeav:

    Good rant!

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