Defending Duck Fans From " A Former Player"

Congratulations John Canzano and The Oregonian, you’ve officially slapped Duck fans in the face and now you’ve done gone and made me mad, too. I really don’t like to talk negatively about other media outlets, but in this case I just can’t help it. Sure, you were just publishing a “letter” from a “former player” blasting Duck fans. It wasn’t your opinion right? Well, now you’ve opened up a can of worms and I hope you’re ready for some “feedback”. Allow me to start.

First of all, I’ll preface with this: I never studied journalism, I’m new to the media world and my audience is nowhere near that of the Oregonian/ I will also say this, however: It’s not hard to figure out why you would publish something so ridiculous. Yes, this “former player” had a right to send in his opinion but to publish it as some sort of news story was irresponsible and quite honestly, disrespectful to the Oregon fan base. A letter of that nature, especially with all its bleeps has no business being published as anything other than in the Letter to the Editor or better yet, the Comments section.

Although I have my reservations about the authenticity of the letter, for the purposes of this response, we can go ahead and assume it’s legit. That being said, if you’re going to publish such a strong opinion, presenting it as a news story, it should at least be authenticated. By not attaching a name, all you’ve done is stirred the pot- perhaps that was your intent. Again, bad journalism. It’s like me writing an article about players doing drugs because people write in telling me they were at a party with a few of them where the weed was flowing (No, that’s not true, I’m just making a point).  I’m sure that kind of headline would get a lot of reads but come on. People write in to gridirongirl all the time giving us what appears to be insider information but without authenticating it or going straight to the source, I wouldn’t dream of publishing it- no matter how much attention it might get.

Now on to the letter itself.

To the “former player” who wrote this ridiculousness: Really? Comparing athletes to slaves? Are you kidding me? I know enough current and former Ducks to know there are many sacrifices that go into being a student athlete. I also recognize the payback doesn’t always seem fair (when others are making a lot of money off of their talent, etc.). But most I know also understand they are blessed in many ways-getting a free degree, getting an opportunity to possibly go on to the next level and yes, playing the game they love. I seriously doubt they feel like slaves.

I’m sorry you had a bad experience in the stands, but it really isn’t fair to judge an entire fan base from one game and one experience. There are going to be morons everywhere. Everywhere. Do you think the stands would be packed week after week if all people heard was other fans talking smack about the team? Give me a break. I’ve spent years, going to every game and sitting in multiple seats across the stadium. I have never experienced what you supposedly did. Sure, there’s always some drunk idiot, who everyone ignores while they continue cheering for the team and throwing up their “O’s”. For every one of those drunk idiots, there are hundreds of dedicated, normal fans from all walks of life that pack that stadium and support the Ducks with class. And by the way, when they aren’t at Autzen, those same fans work hard to make the hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to pay for those tickets and all the Duck gear they can. Shame on you for disrespecting those fans by putting them in the same boat as the idiots you encountered.

To The Oregonian: Is it really your plan to publish “stories” like this or solid ones like Jason Quick’s latest on Josh Huff and Bralon Addison? Are you a reputable news outlet or TMZ? I’m not sure you can be both.

To Duck Fans: Stay classy. Be who you are- a dedicated bunch who brings it every week- rain or shine…or monsoon. The real players, old and new, respect you, as do the coaches. Anyone else who says otherwise is well….anonymous.


9 Comments on Defending Duck Fans From " A Former Player"

  1. Agreed that it was irresponsible for the O to print it…low class. I also am frustrated that the former player wants all fans to F off….I’m a fan, I don’t act like the people in his letter, and I am offended.

    All that said, I’ve seen the same behavior that the player writes about and it is pretty disgusting. Lets get some class and not act like the SEC.

  2. Spot On!!! Stay Classy Eugene.

  3. Could not have said it better myself!!! Great writing 🙂 BTW, I really doubt this letter is authentic… just does not even sound true! I am betting it was a Husky fan lol !

  4. So well said. I am frankly very offended by the “letter” that Canzano published and find it, if true, sour grapes by this ‘ex-player’ for some reason. I have never heard an ex-player have anything but good things to say about the Ducks and Duck fans. The fact that we pack the stadium game after game, year after year, have a huge fan base that travels to away games (including bowl games), and have caused the NATION to take note, creating Duck fans all over the country hardly reflects what what I’ve heard (from fans of ‘other’ universities) referred to as bandwagon followers. I call BS. Having been a ticket holder for 20+ years, sitting through game after game at Autzen (and away from Autzen) I have witnessed very few unpleasant acts by Duck fans. There are always ‘those people’ in any stadium, from every team, but to send out a blanket statement that “Duck Fans” are terrible fans is, as you said, flat out wrong and irresponsible journalism. I’m with ya, sister. It’s crap.

  5. I share your opinion. There are always going to be idiots in large crowds. I always thought it was bad “juju” to bad mouth “my” team. I have spent years sitting in my seat until the clock is at double zeros, giving up $$ and time off to travel to away games ( I try for one per season), and I am sad on senior day when they play for the last time at Autzen. I would think that, “a former player”, who is intelligent enough to have gotten a college degree, would have enough sense to know that every crowd has idiots, and that the entire fan base cannot be judged by a few rotten apples. Thank you for speaking up for us.

  6. Way to go, Nicole! That was, at the very least, shoddy journalism. Canzano isn’t really selling journalism. He’s selling Canzano. Eventually, he’ll leave and, he hopes, goes on to higher places. I’m not going to elaborate on those higher places, but, I know several people who can give him hints.

    I would imagine every Ducks fan, has some similar tale of boorish behavior from other “fans.” My worst encounter was at the 1996(?) Las Vegas Bowl when the Ducks blew out Air Force. The couple of guys in front of us were kissing cousins of the guy the “player” in the column described. And, actually. a lot of fans at that game were guilty of chanting “Bull S**t!” at the referees over allegedly bad calls.

    But, not all Duck fans are like this. Where I sit, we have a lot of very knowledgeable fans who are very supportive. Like most any fan, we dislike some of the officials calls. But, on that note, I’ve long proclaimed that while most fans don’t really know the rules, the can agree on one thing. The Ducks didn’t do it!

  7. go get em, i thought that was pretty weak on their part, looks like they need to increase sales!!!!

  8. Come on … the guy continuously cheats on wife! If he believes it’s OK to lie to his wife, I bet he thinks it’s OK to lie to the public. The “anonymous” letter is fake. A publicity stunt. Nothing more.

  9. Seeing that there was this kind of backlash by duck fans, it makes sense to omit the authors name. Duck “fans” would very likely have outcasted this individual in response to the comments he made about his experience.
    “Disrespectful to the Oregon fan base”? You realize Oregon’s fan base is consistently one of the most rude and disrespectful fan bases in the entire country right? Take the green and yellow shaded glasses off.
    I have been to a handful of duck games, and can’t say that my experience differs when at Autzen. A bunch of classless pricks for the most part. Sure, there are fans that are great people, I know quite a few of them. But the Oregon fanbase tends to live up to their putrid reputation, inside and outside of Autzen.
    Fight on.

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