Posted: Friday December 9, 2005 5:31PM; Updated: Saturday December 10, 2005 10:41AM
Demetrius Williams shows off Oregon's stylish (or is it garish?) uniform after scoring a touchdown against USC.
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
Have a comment for John? Submit it here.
The first job that I had that did not involve a snow shovel or a lawn mower was as a busboy at a Tempe, Ariz., restaurant named, What's Your Beef? I was 15-years-old. Come to think of it, so were some of the salad bar items.
Nearly 25 years later, I realize I still work at What's Your Beef? At least the college version of it. I may not have earned as much money as a bus boy as I do as a journalist (OK, sadly, it was nearly as much), but at least when my shift was over I could play the table-top Ms. Pac-Man at the bar, ogle the older women (25! Wow!) and I never received letters from customers that went:
... I'll get over my anger, but you'll be a dumb hack, with no apparent talent, no integrity, no clue, and no business with a public forum for the remainder of your worthless, pathetic life. -- Earl, Portland
Apparently, there are some people who feel my talents do not extend beyond bussing tables. And not all of them work here. Many, in fact, reside in one of the most beautiful states in the Union, Oregon (and I'm not just saying that: I've been to Mount Hood, Bend, Crater Lake and driven the coast. What a spectacular place. Now, please, do NOT move there).
So, in the interest of fair play, I've decided to let the readers slug it out. Here are actual letters from actual readers from the past four days. But, before we jump into the mailbag, I think the folks in Eugene would appreciate it if Fiesta Bowl czar John Junker and the rest of the nation were apprised of the following news, straight from the Ducks' Web site:
An overwhelming response for tickets for the University of Oregon's 2005 Holiday Bowl appearance vs. the University of Oklahoma Dec. 29 in San Diego has resulted in no tickets being available for purchase by the general public ... Oregon's original allotment of 11,000 tickets, as well as an additional 4,000 tickets secured from the bowl, were consumed by the university's football season-ticket holders and Duck Athletic Fund contributors who were issued priority to purchase tickets the past two weeks.
On to the letters, with an occasional comment from the busboy:
Rhetorical question for you: So the logic presented to the masses would allow Oregon into the BCS games if THEY had went 9-2 and the other teams (Notre Dame, Ohio State) had gone 10-1? --Doug, Yreka
If Oregon lost to USC by three at home and lost to Washington State, who would be 5-6 if they had beaten us, and if Notre Dame lost by 32 to USC (as their lone loss), would the Ducks be in? --Ben, Seattle
Doug, Ben: You're right. The double standard would exist and the Ducks would still be out. And that's not fair. Not that the non-BCS Championship game bowls have ever been about what's fair. Then again ...
Maybe Oregon's 10-1 record would be more attractive to bowl selection committees if they stopped scheduling Div. I-AA teams. (Montana? Really?) -- Jason, Dallas
Oregon does suck. They played ONE team who finished the season in the top 25 -- and got crushed by them. In the SEC they would have a losing record. There are 50 ways to leave your lover -- and 50 teams out there who would have swept through Arizona, ASU, Washington, WSU, Stanford, Cal and Oregon State. Oregon did nothing well, except one quarter against USC and frankly, almost everyone did at least that to USC. -- Matt, Kent, Wash.
I love it when the Paul Simon fans write.
When you look at the BCS, one could say that except for the first two years, the Pac-10 has gotten the shaft every year. This year, Oregon gets screwed in favor of two teams with worse records. Last year, Cal falls prey to Mack Brown's pandering. Apparently, being 10-1 with your only loss being to the No. 1 team in the country doesn't mean much. There is the tragedy of 2003 when USC, at No. 1 in both polls, got left out of the title game. There is 2001 when Oregon (then, too, 10-1) got shafted out of a chance at the national title. My favorite example, the one that no one in the media ever talks about, was this one in 2000: Florida State plays Oklahoma for the national title. "But Miami beat FSU," everyone says. "The Canes should've been in the title game." NO NO NO NO NO! There was a third team with the same record as Miami and FSU: Washington. And what did they do? They beat Miami ... -- Todd, Washington, D.C.
I'm guessing, based on his address and this note, that Todd is a lobbyist. And a damn successful one.
Advice to Oregon fans: Buck up, little campers in your Nike sweatsuits and ugly uniforms. Play (and win) a few tough non-conference games and keep winning 10 games a year for a few more years, and you'll start getting regular invites to the New Year's Day dance (no Birkenstocks allowed). Aspire to be the next Florida State. Thirty years ago they were just the former girls' college that got invited over for Homecoming dinner by the Nebraskas, Ohio States and Notre Dames of the world. A few upsets, one 14-year streak of Top 5 finishes and two national championships changed all that. So take heart, all you Duck fans. It can be done. All you need is some wins over a few historic programs and a little time (though a defense and some new unis might help, too). -- Chris, Sumter, S.C.
Suddenly, I SO want to see Florida State at Oregon next season.