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/Oregonlive.com/whatever. 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.