BY Art Thiel 07:52AM 11/01/2011

Thiel: Ducks dominance mostly about the (Nike) shoes

Ducks have won seven in row over Washington and become a national power, thanks to a heavy investment in facilities, a race the Huskies will join after Saturday.

Husky Stadium 2.0, opening in 2013, will allow the Huskies to keep up with the Ducks in the college sports arms race. / University of Washington

Fitting that the final game in Husky Stadium 1.0 Saturday should be against Oregon. The decrepit, 90-year old relic is as big a reason for the Ducks’ domination of the Huskies as was Washington’s travails with the NCAA rulebook under Don James and Rick Neuheisel.

From 1974 to 1993, Washington won 17 of the 20 games against the Ducks. But Oregon has won 12 of the past 16, including the last seven in a row, by an average margin of 26 points. That’s a butt-kicking so relentless that Oregon probably has a special shoe for it.

Why not? Shoes made the Ducks.

In 2002, Oregon grad and Nike chairman Phil Knight paid for most of a $90 million expansion and renovation of Autzen Stadium in Eugene that made one of the nation’s premier places to play and watch college football.  With the building came locker, meeting and weight rooms that are about one chandelier shy of the Palace of Versailles, only with wi-fi.

As recruiting inducements go, the football facility is second only to women. The Huskies have been behind ever since (in buildings, not women).

When Husky Stadium 2.0 opens in 2013, the UW athletic department will have comparable facilities. But it a decade will have been lost when the Ducks ascended to Pac-12 and national eminence, as demonstrated by their appearance in the BCS national title game Jan. 10.

It’s hard to quantify just how facilities create atmosphere for winning. But anyone who doubts the power of bling on a teenager hasn’t been around much.

“I think it’s a real factor,” Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian said Monday.  “From a facilities standpoint Oregon has done a really nice job of staying at the front of the line with the things they are doing.

“Kids want to know  — whether it’s the weight room, the training room, the locker room — that they are at state-of-the-art facilities. It’s like being in the National Football League and you’re a free agent on a tour. You go somewhere like the VMAC (the Seahawks facility in Renton, an $80 milllion plant paid for by franchise owner Paul Allen)  and that’s why they’re able to sign free agents, because guys like those features.”

Oregon’s climb from stooge-ly to studly is not all about gold-plating. Sarkisian mentioned reasons such as recruiting in California, an early commitment to the spread, up-tempo offense and innovations in defensive motion and formation.

All probably true, but in college football, as with most things, it all starts with money, because there are no NCAA rules limiting spending on facilities, only on providing $20 to a player for dinner.

It’s estimated that Knight will have spent more than $300 million on facilities at Oregon, including a new basketball arena named after his late son. The Husky Stadium renovation has a budget of $200 million, all from private donors and ticket buyers, none of whom has emerged as knight-like as Knight.

The building envy became clear, as well as humorous, a year ago. Before the Washington game in Eugene, UW athletic director Scott Woodward told KJR radio during an interview that while the athletic facilities were wonderful, Oregon’s academic standards had fallen.

“It’s an embarrassment what [the University of Oregon] academic institution is, and what’s happened to them as far as their state funding has gone,” he said. “In my mind. it’s a wonderful athletic facility, but they’ve watched it at the expense of the university (going) really down.”

UW interim president Phyllis Wise didn’t care for the Duck diss, and ordered Woodward to apologize. When it read more like a clarification, she ordered him to do make a personal apology, which he did. Apparently the matter is finished, because Woodward has been seen at recess as well as after-school activities.

While it was wonderful to see that the traditional contempt between the schools has reached the level of the ADs, Woodward was trying to make a point about how state funding has undercut universities across the country. That’s true, but the last thing in these times a state legislature wants to do is use public money on a sports facility, no matter how needy.

Even though Husky Stadium is a public facility at a state university, and was in need of upgrades to meet safety codes, funding the renovation out of Olympia was an immediate non-starter. Sonics fans will testify to the difficulty. So after several years of futility, boosters and athletic department officials finally put the renovation in private hands,  selling bonds to cover $150 million, and private donations for the balance.

It would have been much easier and cheaper to have a rich Microsoftie come forward as Knight did. But for whatever reasons, it didn’t happen, so the collection plate is being passed among the many.

It’s a better way. Knight not only has bought the athletic department, with say-so over the hires and fires — and some say, a little play-calling during football games — most of the university is beholden to him.

But he also bought the school a national profile it would have never obtained any other way, and it gave the Ducks a big football recruiting advantage over the hated, formerly arrogant Huskies.

Most Ducks fans are happy to live with the compromise to integrity as long as the Huskies are thumped steadily. But change is underway, even though change is still a 14-point underdog Saturday.

Huskies sports sentiment will be given a loving airing this week.  Then it’s back to the college sports arms race, and the Huskies in 2013 will no longer bring a knife to a gunfight.


YourThoughts

  • cruddly

    Just keep Nike U from  ever winning a National Championship in football and most Husky fans will be happy campers.  The other thing is basketball  – the national media (ESPN) made such a big deal out of their new arena last year, as if that gave the Duck’s very ordinary basketball team relevancy.  It was as if the new arena was automatically going to turn their basketball program into something like what they had achieved in football.  This is a sickening thought for all true Husky supporters — the idea that money could trump everything a humble, honest and hard working coach Romar had accomplished with the Husky basketball program.  You almost expected the pac 12 sports writers to project the Ducks as contenders for the conference championship.  
    Hopefully, things will change for the better as far as Husky football is concerned.  As far as basketball goes, let’s keep it the same.

    • Rocklanw

      You better get Mr. blue collar Romar busy because the way we’re recruiting basketball we will be all over you Lil doggies just like football real soon. Keep chasin your tails cuz The Quack Attack ballin style is comin for ya!!!

                                                  GO DUCKS!!!!!!

      • WW Duck

        Rock on Rock!
        Give Matthew “KNIGHT” Arena & Dana Altman 3 more years of recruiting and Ol’ Mr. Romar may hoping the the Sonics……Oops, make that the Oklahoma City Thunder are looking for a new head coach!

        • cruddly

          I am surprised that you little Quacks failed to mention the Trail Blazers when attempting to rub it in about us losing the Sonics.  I mean it’s probably the only professional sports franchise the state of Oregon will ever have, other than the Timbers, your minor league soccer team.  Maybe Knight will buy you guys another sports franchise, unless he’s too tapped out paying all the bills for his Duck teams. 
          I have a feeling that Nike won’t have the same amount of success with basketball as they have had with football, in the Greater Eugene area.  Your new arena with the grotesque floor might knock the socks off a few recruits, but there will always be enough talent to go around in the Pac 12.   Rather than dreaming of eventually establishing something close to a rivalry with the Huskies, you and Knight  should worry more about getting past the Beavers.  Go Dawgs!

          • Pixel13

            Not only does Unca Phil have to pay the up-front bills, but he’s got to hire several busloads of lawyers for the dux.  Oh, and bribe the NCAA to look the other way.

            “Lack of institutional control”–well, with PK in control, the institution doesn’t have much say, does it?

          • cruddly

            I doubt if the NCAA will be dishing out program crippling penalties to any of the major college sports institutions for a while, if ever again.  Now that TV is calling the shots, the NCAA has to keep a low profile so that they, at the very least, can remain intact solely as a toothless policing agency.  
            As insignificant teams are weeded out, and new conferences are formed,  the NCAA will become a shadow of what it used to be.  Their only hope is to be allowed to become the Networks’ enforcer for the field they eventually create.  They might have the kind of authority that the commissioner of MLB has — to fine and suspend various players and coaches, but basically leave the owners, or in this case, the colleges, alone.To penalize a major player, like Nike U, with any big penalties at this point would only hasten their demise.

          • Godux97

            Um…The Timbers are major league, just like your Sounders.  And, we never worry about getting past the Beavers, it’s pretty much a given in this day and age.  The Huskies are and always be our biggest rival.  Go Ducks!

        • Duxfan

          The ducks beat the huskies in their first ever meeting at Matt Court. So far so good right?

          • Sara Orr

            Phil Knight attended the University of Oregon as an athlete.  He graduated and continued on with his education at Stanford.  He is generous with the money he has earned.  Both Stanford and Oregon have received large funds from him.  HIs dedication to the schools that helped him reach his professional goals is to be admired.  Nike money does flow into the Athletic department at the University of Oregon as many Nike employees graduated from that school.  How Phil Knight chooses to spend his money is his choice.  Many colleges in America have facilities named after large money donors.  The fact that Oregon has a former athlete contributing to the school is something to be proud of.  

          • Artthiel

            Never said he did anything wrong. But he is the unappointed, unelected, unpaid king of the university. Which is good and bad. Ask anyone from feudal Europe over the last 1,500 years. 

        • George

          Hilarious.  I love reading the delusions of Duck fans.  Your splash paint court is a laughing stock, and your freshman class is the best you’ve had in over a decade yet it’s still not as good as Washington’s.  Oregon can have all the flashy facilities they want, but UW has one asset they can’t match:  Lorenzo Romar.  As long as he’s here, Husky basketball isn’t going anywhere.

        • PortlandFan

          UW basketball has one built-in advantage the Ducks can never overcome…the Seattle high school area hoops talent. i live in Portland and have a healthy respect for UO and their program, but the Portland high school hoops scene (basically Jefferson High) is no match for Seattle area talent. UO may be able to recruit competitively against Romar on a national level, but the Huskies will always have superior basketball talent in their own backyard.

    • Artthiel

      The nation is full of admirers of shiny objects. Like the new UO arena. If UW had the money, they’d re-do Hec Ed a similar  way.

  • cruddly

    Just keep Nike U from  ever winning a National Championship in football and most Husky fans will be happy campers.  The other thing is basketball  – the national media (ESPN) made such a big deal out of their new arena last year, as if that gave the Duck’s very ordinary basketball team relevancy.  It was as if the new arena was automatically going to turn their basketball program into something like what they had achieved in football.  This is a sickening thought for all true Husky supporters — the idea that money could trump everything a humble, honest and hard working coach Romar had accomplished with the Husky basketball program.  You almost expected the pac 12 sports writers to project the Ducks as contenders for the conference championship.  
    Hopefully, things will change for the better as far as Husky football is concerned.  As far as basketball goes, let’s keep it the same.

    • Rocklanw

      You better get Mr. blue collar Romar busy because the way we’re recruiting basketball we will be all over you Lil doggies just like football real soon. Keep chasin your tails cuz The Quack Attack ballin style is comin for ya!!!

                                                  GO DUCKS!!!!!!

      • WW Duck

        Rock on Rock!
        Give Matthew “KNIGHT” Arena & Dana Altman 3 more years of recruiting and Ol’ Mr. Romar may hoping the the Sonics……Oops, make that the Oklahoma City Thunder are looking for a new head coach!

        • cruddly

          I am surprised that you little Quacks failed to mention the Trail Blazers when attempting to rub it in about us losing the Sonics.  I mean it’s probably the only professional sports franchise the state of Oregon will ever have, other than the Timbers, your minor league soccer team.  Maybe Knight will buy you guys another sports franchise, unless he’s too tapped out paying all the bills for his Duck teams. 
          I have a feeling that Nike won’t have the same amount of success with basketball as they have had with football, in the Greater Eugene area.  Your new arena with the grotesque floor might knock the socks off a few recruits, but there will always be enough talent to go around in the Pac 12.   Rather than dreaming of eventually establishing something close to a rivalry with the Huskies, you and Knight  should worry more about getting past the Beavers.  Go Dawgs!

          • Pixel13

            Not only does Unca Phil have to pay the up-front bills, but he’s got to hire several busloads of lawyers for the dux.  Oh, and bribe the NCAA to look the other way.

            “Lack of institutional control”–well, with PK in control, the institution doesn’t have much say, does it?

          • cruddly

            I doubt if the NCAA will be dishing out program crippling penalties to any of the major college sports institutions for a while, if ever again.  Now that TV is calling the shots, the NCAA has to keep a low profile so that they, at the very least, can remain intact solely as a toothless policing agency.  
            As insignificant teams are weeded out, and new conferences are formed,  the NCAA will become a shadow of what it used to be.  Their only hope is to be allowed to become the Networks’ enforcer for the field they eventually create.  They might have the kind of authority that the commissioner of MLB has — to fine and suspend various players and coaches, but basically leave the owners, or in this case, the colleges, alone.To penalize a major player, like Nike U, with any big penalties at this point would only hasten their demise.

          • Godux97

            Um…The Timbers are major league, just like your Sounders.  And, we never worry about getting past the Beavers, it’s pretty much a given in this day and age.  The Huskies are and always be our biggest rival.  Go Ducks!

        • Duxfan

          The ducks beat the huskies in their first ever meeting at Matt Court. So far so good right?

        • George

          Hilarious.  I love reading the delusions of Duck fans.  Your splash paint court is a laughing stock, and your freshman class is the best you’ve had in over a decade yet it’s still not as good as Washington’s.  Oregon can have all the flashy facilities they want, but UW has one asset they can’t match:  Lorenzo Romar.  As long as he’s here, Husky basketball isn’t going anywhere.

        • PortlandFan

          UW basketball has one built-in advantage the Ducks can never overcome…the Seattle high school area hoops talent. i live in Portland and have a healthy respect for UO and their program, but the Portland high school hoops scene (basically Jefferson High) is no match for Seattle area talent. UO may be able to recruit competitively against Romar on a national level, but the Huskies will always have superior basketball talent in their own backyard.

    • Artthiel

      The nation is full of admirers of shiny objects. Like the new UO arena. If UW had the money, they’d re-do Hec Ed a similar  way.

  • http://twitter.com/kingwabbit Jeff Shope

    UW interim president Phyllis Wise didn’t care for the Duck diss, and ordered Woodward to apologize  Forgot to mention that wise as member of Nike board was instrumental in getting new nike contract for UW.  Interesting omission

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RO4YUS2CVK6D65W3N3XRZGMANI Hector C

      Art, Ive seen this story written a lot the last couple years, as Oregon has taken off. And I agree to an extent, it is a “competitive advantage” perse we here at Oregon have with Uncle Phil. However, I think its a little too easy and convinient to just say we are winning bc of him. Uncle Phil has been contributing to the school since the mid 90′s, with facilities and uniforms that have been cutting edge and are being copied across the nation the last couple years. But we didnt get to the status that we are now until the last couple years. How could that be, since as you say its all about Uncle Phils money? I have a different theory, and most Oregon fans will agree. Two words: Chip Kelly. Mike Bellotti did a great job building up the program, but 5-6 years ago when we had basically the same facilities, same cutting edge uniforms and the same type of athletes, and we were muddling around in the middle of the Pac 10. We had a great BCS run in 2001, but that was 10 years ago. The difference was the hire of Chip Kelly who has taken this program to a new level. And done so btw, without elite talent. We havent started to recruit at an elite level until the last couple years, since hes been the head coach and we have started to win (that means watch out Husky fan, Chip Kelly with elite NFL athletes as juniors and seniors all over the field is going to be scary). Last years Natty team only had one player drafted, in the 4th round. So while its convinient to put this all on Uncle Phil, saying we are to an extent buying our place in the upper echelon of college football, I think if you look closer it has a lot to do with the Chipper. All things have remained the same at Oregon for the last 15 years or so except for him, hes gotten us over the hump.

      WTD

      • Artthiel

        I wrote that it was “mostly” due to Knight, not all due. Sark mentioned some other reasons, and I pointed that out. Oregon began dominating Washington before Kelly was here. The stadium upgrade was in 02, but in the pipeline before that. Bellotti recruited to it in the 90s, which he should. The system and the players and the success are products of it. 

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RO4YUS2CVK6D65W3N3XRZGMANI Hector C

          Agreed Art, but again to an extent. 5-6-7 years ago we were kind of a laughing stock, a team that was all flash, but lacked substance. We didnt win a bowl game in my 4 years (didnt make it once and lost the defunct Seattle/Emerald bowl, Sun bowl and Holiday bowl). This was all happening 7-10 years after Uncle Phil got initially involved with the progam during the mid-90′s. Again, Chip has changed things completely and taken us to that next level. From a good program that had good to great teams every couple of years, to a potentially great program challenging for BCS bowl games yearly. And as far as us dominating you Husky’s before Kelly got here, you have to look into the mirror on that one. You had some awful, awful teams there for a while, a lot of teams dominated you Husky’s. Continuing with my theme, that probably had more to due with Keith Gilbertson and Tyrone Willingham than the ”futility” in fundraising for a new stadium.

          WTD

      • Michp

        You are correct about Chip. Once all the cheating finally comes out and clarified that will be the end of that story. Cause running backs from Texas want to go to tree hugging Eugene ??? For installments of 25K , I guess it make more sense.

    • Art Thiel

      Good point, but a different one.  All schools with Nike apparel deals end up supporting, at least indirectly, the Ducks’ rise. Woodward’s point was about dwindling state support, and his reckless blurt. Conflicts of interests abound on college campuses. How about ESPN’s position as power broker in the conference affiliation mayhem? 

  • http://twitter.com/kingwabbit Jeff Shope

    UW interim president Phyllis Wise didn’t care for the Duck diss, and ordered Woodward to apologize  Forgot to mention that wise as member of Nike board was instrumental in getting new nike contract for UW.  Interesting omission

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RO4YUS2CVK6D65W3N3XRZGMANI Hector C

      Art, Ive seen this story written a lot the last couple years, as Oregon has taken off. And I agree to an extent, it is a “competitive advantage” perse we here at Oregon have with Uncle Phil. However, I think its a little too easy and convinient to just say we are winning bc of him. Uncle Phil has been contributing to the school since the mid 90′s, with facilities and uniforms that have been cutting edge and are being copied across the nation the last couple years. But we didnt get to the status that we are now until the last couple years. How could that be, since as you say its all about Uncle Phils money? I have a different theory, and most Oregon fans will agree. Two words: Chip Kelly. Mike Bellotti did a great job building up the program, but 5-6 years ago when we had basically the same facilities, same cutting edge uniforms and the same type of athletes, and we were muddling around in the middle of the Pac 10. We had a great BCS run in 2001, but that was 10 years ago. The difference was the hire of Chip Kelly who has taken this program to a new level. And done so btw, without elite talent. We havent started to recruit at an elite level until the last couple years, since hes been the head coach and we have started to win (that means watch out Husky fan, Chip Kelly with elite NFL athletes as juniors and seniors all over the field is going to be scary). Last years Natty team only had one player drafted, in the 4th round. So while its convinient to put this all on Uncle Phil, saying we are to an extent buying our place in the upper echelon of college football, I think if you look closer it has a lot to do with the Chipper. All things have remained the same at Oregon for the last 15 years or so except for him, hes gotten us over the hump.

      WTD

      • Artthiel

        I wrote that it was “mostly” due to Knight, not all due. Sark mentioned some other reasons, and I pointed that out. Oregon began dominating Washington before Kelly was here. The stadium upgrade was in 02, but in the pipeline before that. Bellotti recruited to it in the 90s, which he should. The system and the players and the success are products of it. 

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RO4YUS2CVK6D65W3N3XRZGMANI Hector C

          Agreed Art, but again to an extent. 5-6-7 years ago we were kind of a laughing stock, a team that was all flash, but lacked substance. We didnt win a bowl game in my 4 years (didnt make it once and lost the defunct Seattle/Emerald bowl, Sun bowl and Holiday bowl). This was all happening 7-10 years after Uncle Phil got initially involved with the progam during the mid-90′s. Again, Chip has changed things completely and taken us to that next level. From a good program that had good to great teams every couple of years, to a potentially great program challenging for BCS bowl games yearly. And as far as us dominating you Husky’s before Kelly got here, you have to look into the mirror on that one. You had some awful, awful teams there for a while, a lot of teams dominated you Husky’s. Continuing with my theme, that probably had more to due with Keith Gilbertson and Tyrone Willingham than the ”futility” in fundraising for a new stadium.

          WTD

      • Michp

        You are correct about Chip. Once all the cheating finally comes out and clarified that will be the end of that story. Cause running backs from Texas want to go to tree hugging Eugene ??? For installments of 25K , I guess it make more sense.

    • Art Thiel

      Good point, but a different one.  All schools with Nike apparel deals end up supporting, at least indirectly, the Ducks’ rise. Woodward’s point was about dwindling state support, and his reckless blurt. Conflicts of interests abound on college campuses. How about ESPN’s position as power broker in the conference affiliation mayhem? 

  • Soggyblogger

    Wow. Far out. Awesome, dude. I laughed out loud three or four times as I read this article. I was wondering if/when you would make the effort to write like that again after reading three or four of your barroom chats with friend Steve that you published for reasons I couldn’t fathom.

    You have restored my faith in you and this site. Write on. 

    • Artthiel

      As long as you love us, we’re here.
       

  • Soggyblogger

    Wow. Far out. Awesome, dude. I laughed out loud three or four times as I read this article. I was wondering if/when you would make the effort to write like that again after reading three or four of your barroom chats with friend Steve that you published for reasons I couldn’t fathom.

    You have restored my faith in you and this site. Write on. 

    • Artthiel

      As long as you love us, we’re here.
       

  • GoDucks

    “formerly arrogant Huskies.”

    Really?

    • Michp

      I’m still arrogant. :) Go Dawgs!

    • Artthiel

      0-12 does a lot for the rise of humility.

  • GoDucks

    “formerly arrogant Huskies.”

    Really?

    • Michp

      I’m still arrogant. :) Go Dawgs!

    • Artthiel

      0-12 does a lot for the rise of humility.

  • Sara Orr

    Phil Knight attended the University of Oregon as an athlete.  He graduated and continued on with his education at Stanford.  He is generous with the money he has earned.  Both Stanford and Oregon have received large funds from him.  HIs dedication to the schools that helped him reach his professional goals is to be admired.  Nike money does flow into the Athletic department at the University of Oregon as many Nike employees graduated from that school.  How Phil Knight chooses to spend his money is his choice.  Many colleges in America have facilities named after large money donors.  The fact that Oregon has a former athlete contributing to the school is something to be proud of.  

    • Artthiel

      Never said he did anything wrong. But he is the unappointed, unelected, unpaid king of the university. Which is good and bad. Ask anyone from feudal Europe over the last 1,500 years. 

  • Mssearch

    Art – Psst, Art…you spilled a little purple Kool Aid on your beard.  Phil Knight has supported his alma mater(s) as is his right, but he’s never caught, thrown, or shot a ball @ Autzen and or MattCourt…..swell that the Huskies dominated the rivalry in the early 90′s, but irrelevant to the current players who were infants at the time.  You sound very similar to the lost souls demonizing their plight as 99%ers, blaming others for one’s lack of achievement.

    • Artthiel

      Never said Knight did anything wrong. My point was that college ball is all about the money, and Oregon has it. So does Okla State with T Boone Pickens. Wouldn’t that be wonderfully underscored if they met in the BCS title game? 

  • Mssearch

    Art – Psst, Art…you spilled a little purple Kool Aid on your beard.  Phil Knight has supported his alma mater(s) as is his right, but he’s never caught, thrown, or shot a ball @ Autzen and or MattCourt…..swell that the Huskies dominated the rivalry in the early 90′s, but irrelevant to the current players who were infants at the time.  You sound very similar to the lost souls demonizing their plight as 99%ers, blaming others for one’s lack of achievement.

    • Artthiel

      Never said Knight did anything wrong. My point was that college ball is all about the money, and Oregon has it. So does Okla State with T Boone Pickens. Wouldn’t that be wonderfully underscored if they met in the BCS title game? 

  • Chris

    I was a student at the UO in the early 80s.  During my 4 years in Eugene the football team won a total of 14 games, finishing 9th in the conference standing twice.  In those days sports writers from the big cities would write about how Oregon and Oregon State didn’t belong in the Pac-10, that they should leave for the WAC, because they simply were never going to be able to compete with the likes of Washington, USC and the other big schools.

    There’s an old saying in military circles about how generals from the winning side are always fighting the next war with their winning strategy from the previous war, and that losing generals have to come up with something new for the next war…or they’ll continue being the losing generals.

    With that analogy in mind, here in the NW it’s fairly clear that the Huskies have been stuck in 1991 for quite a while.  And it’s also clear that the Ducks have NOT been stuck there.  As long as Husky fans are complaining about Phil Knight, I guess that means the Ducks are winning.  Ouch!! 

    • Arttthiel

      Absolutely true that the Huskies were stuck in the 90s, from tactics to facilities. They’re playing catch-up. As a former Huskies coach once said, scoreboard, baby. But now they appear, with the investment in coaches and facilities, to be joining the arms race. 

  • Chris

    I was a student at the UO in the early 80s.  During my 4 years in Eugene the football team won a total of 14 games, finishing 9th in the conference standing twice.  In those days sports writers from the big cities would write about how Oregon and Oregon State didn’t belong in the Pac-10, that they should leave for the WAC, because they simply were never going to be able to compete with the likes of Washington, USC and the other big schools.

    There’s an old saying in military circles about how generals from the winning side are always fighting the next war with their winning strategy from the previous war, and that losing generals have to come up with something new for the next war…or they’ll continue being the losing generals.

    With that analogy in mind, here in the NW it’s fairly clear that the Huskies have been stuck in 1991 for quite a while.  And it’s also clear that the Ducks have NOT been stuck there.  As long as Husky fans are complaining about Phil Knight, I guess that means the Ducks are winning.  Ouch!! 

    • Arttthiel

      Absolutely true that the Huskies were stuck in the 90s, from tactics to facilities. They’re playing catch-up. As a former Huskies coach once said, scoreboard, baby. But now they appear, with the investment in coaches and facilities, to be joining the arms race. 

  • Michp

    Phil Knight owns Oregon and should not be long till we get the official Phil Knight U name change. Oregun has no tradition so they market with laughable uniforms. Enjoy your 15 seconds of fame Oregun, soon you will be back where you belong…chasing owls in trees. Washington has decades and decades of tradition and will never sell out to market a sneaker company. Go Dawgs!

  • Michp

    Phil Knight owns Oregon and should not be long till we get the official Phil Knight U name change. Oregun has no tradition so they market with laughable uniforms. Enjoy your 15 seconds of fame Oregun, soon you will be back where you belong…chasing owls in trees. Washington has decades and decades of tradition and will never sell out to market a sneaker company. Go Dawgs!

  • Cgerv25

    Great article Art, you nailed as you usually do!

  • Cgerv25

    Great article Art, you nailed as you usually do!

  • #7inarow

    Huck the Fuskies

  • #7inarow

    Huck the Fuskies

  • rangerduck

    Money does make the world go around. It was not an injustice when the Huskies had all the financial clout of corporate donors. For years the timber magnates, Boeing, and other corporations, combined with well-heeled alumni, to really support the UW program and the little WSU, UO and OSU programs could take the crumbs. Then one alumnus partners with the UO track coach to build a multi-billion dollar sports corporation and the world changes. Now its just darn unfair. Never mind that Phil Knight says he would not be where he is today without his time at UO , Bill Bowerman and leadership. And then trash the UO academics, even though Knight has matched his non-Athletic donations dollar for dollar with his donations to the athletic program. A university library, a law school, business school, and an endowed chair at every department of the university. I don’t think he has neglected the academic side of the support at all. I would want proof of this guy Woodward’s slanderous statements about UO.
    PS/3,265 days since UO lost a football game to the Huskies and counting.