There are a few things we should never forget about the Oregon Ducks, stuff that should remain on USC’s proverbial locker room bulletin board for years to come. Over the last few seasons, the Ducks have disrespected USC perhaps more than any other team in the Pac-10.
I don’t mean stupid stuff that players say before games or even vulgar, classless things I’ve heard from Duck fans. I’m talking about obnoxious, insulting, garish actions that have shown Oregon’s complete lack of respect for USC Football.
One example is the fact that Duck coach Mike Bellotti turned down Mike Garrett’s offer to become Head Coach at USC. Perhaps he simply lacks the ambition necessary to take on one of the premier jobs in all of football, or maybe Bellotti is just an idiot. Either way it was something to which we should take offense.
Of course, after one “glorious” season in which the Ducks were cheated out of a spot in the national championship game (partly because Bellotti doesn’t know how to whine like Mack Brown), Oregon has done nothing on the national scene. That is, unless you want to give the Ducks credit for a referee-induced semi-win over a less-than-standard Oklahoma.
To Bellotti's credit, he seems embarrassed when asked about stupid stuff like his team’s uniforms. I saw him on TV actually say that he thought the “innovative” costumes … I mean, uniforms … help with recruiting. It was funny because you could see him struggle to keep a straight face, but in his eyes was he saying: “I can’t believe my players have to wear this crap.”
Actually, we’ll cut Bellotti a break here. Maybe he isn’t such a bad guy. He’s just lacking enough manhood to tell his sugar daddy to get some fashion sense. In hindsight, Bellotti is not worthy of being the head coach at USC anyway.
Still, the best (or worst) billboard material coming from the Ducks was, in fact, a huge billboard. In 2002 Oregon spent some of its money from the best owner in college sports to extend its failed ’01 Heisman campaign for Joey Harrington (the centerpiece of which was a huge billboard of the future NFL failure in Times Square) by painting a 150-foot mural of its three “star” receivers on the Hotel Figueroa in downtown Los Angeles.
The mural was right in our back yard, there for anyone heading north on the 110 to see, facing the USC campus … the most audacious diss in the history of college football, at least from a USC Trojan’s perspective.
Of course, in true Carroll-era style, USC took exception to the insult, and used it to fuel a 44-33 Duck spanking in Eugene that season. It was a game that marked the beginning of Carson Palmer’s Heisman-winning run and a belief that we could actually beat anyone anywhere. The best part was Mike Williams, Keary Kolbert and Kareem Kelly accentuating the win by mimicking the Oregon billboard to the Duck fans. (above)
Actually, when you think about it, perhaps we should thank Oregon for their disrespect. Maybe we should ask them to insult us, to offend us, to call us “Southern Cal.” In fact, I would love it if Oregon put up another Duck billboard in Los Angeles … so we could put it up on our billboard in Heritage Hall.
Fight On! Beat the Ducks!
east coast bias