Editorial: ‘An Open Letter to the Men of Oregon’

An Open Letter to the Men of Oregon // @UODUCKGIRL

Dear Men of Oregon,
I need you.
I need you to be a team, a brotherhood, a unit. I need that more than I need another win this season, and that is the truth.
I am not important to you but you are important to me.
My need has nothing to do with Wins or Rankings or Bowl Games or National Championships. I need you to be an Oregon Duck which means more than what happens on that field. It means more than any Win. Maybe you came for the uniforms, the Nike shoes, the Brazilian hard wood and the Ferrari leather – and that’s OK – that’s why it’s there. But stay for the opportunity to be a better man than the boy you were when you arrived.
I am not from Oregon but it is where I say I am from when asked. It is the place I refer to as going home.  And being on the east coast I am always far from home. But in the fall, for those four hours, I am right back in my happiest place. On home game days, I can imagine that walk over the footbridge & the religious moment when Autzen first comes into view. I can smell that clean fall Oregon air and recall getting to say “Go Ducks!” to people in green and yellow whom I have never met but don’t consider strangers.
Over the past 23 years, before Chip, before Marcus, there were plenty of losses but the Men of Oregon were intact. I could feel their bond over the television 3,000 miles away so while there were plenty of games they didn’t win, they still were not losing.
Do you know the best part about a winning season for me? The extra games. The Pac-12 Championship game, a Playoff Game, a Bowl Game. That’s extra time I get to be connected to home before that dreaded after season sadness kicks in. I get to see the Seniors who I have watched and cheered for the previous 4 years put on that jersey one, two or three more extra times before they go.
Do you know why Marcus Mariota is so revered? Do you know why Duck Nation calls him the Greatest of All-Time? If you think it’s purely based on stats and talent than you haven’t spoken to anyone who knew him, met him or understood what he was about. Marcus is the greatest Duck of all time because of his integrity, his humility, his sportsmanship & his kindness.
I am just an Oregon Alumna & a Duck football fanatic. I am not a coach or a football expert. I don’t know what goes on in a locker room… except between Donald Trump and Billy Bush.
I don’t know what exactly is going on down there in the Emerald Valley but I know it’s broken. I have known from game one of this season.  I don’t know how to fix it but I know that the fix has to start with you. It has to start with the players, the team, the Men of Oregon.
You came to Oregon to be faster than fast. But now it’s time to slow down. Stop even. Stop and make a decision of the kind of Duck you want to be, the kind of teammate, the kind of brother. And if you only came for the uniforms and you only want to stay for the uniforms than I am sure Under Armour and the University of Maryland would be happy to have you. But that’s not what I want.
Please come back together, I know it’s not easy to do especially this year. But try, please try. Because, I need you.
Go Ducks,

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