Monday, March 19, 2007

chips on shoulders and history

First thing's first: the Ducks take their two games in slightly more-dramatic-than-necessary style in Spokane, and march on to meet UNLV (quoth Billups, "RUNNIN' REBS KEEP RUNNIN'") in the Sweetness that is Sixteen.

so there's the nuts and bolts. Two issues to tackle, though, and both deal with my neurotic fandom of the Ducks (and, really, sports in general).

you know, I'm amazed he can jump so high with his teammates on his back. AB rising up in Spokane. Photo: John Givot, Daily Emerald

when it comes to sports analysis, there is only one real rule I try and take seriously: Less is more. Hyper overanalysis of trends and history can only produce so many positive results. You can’t take historic trends too seriously, because those are not the teams on the field right now and I’d wager many of those players don’t give a crap about who did what 14 years ago. Rivalries are one thing - banking on Team A losing to Team B because they’ve lost on the road to Team A 14 of the last 16 meetings, including seven in a row, is asinine. I try and avoid it at all costs.

At the same time, though, as a sports fan I have a healthy streak of militant superstition.

imagine how torn I am seeing a post like this, which is from sports blog Just Call Me Juice and was blogrolled this morning by Deadspin. Click through and find the similarities shocking.

how the hell am I supposed to reconcile that? History repeats, yes, but the Ducks don’t have the major size and assured lock-down defense Florida had (and still has); however, the signs are there…but for the Ducks to get to the Final Four the Gators would have to lose, either to Butler or Oregon in an Elite Eight matchup.

If anything can save my sanity, it's this:

Don't believe the hype...OR the Pac-10.

Digger, Pat Forde, and most any other mother fucker with a suit and an ESPN paycheck has pulled against us against Winthrop and now against those Runnin' Rebs. minus Andy Katz, who loves him some Oregon basketball for one reason or another, but still: how is it that only one guy (who might or might not be a homer) is taking the HIGH seed in this game? Since when did a higher seed get so disrespected?

Fuck, I tried to not do that but did you SEE WHAT I JUST DID THERE? Yeah, evoking ghosts of last season. Re-insert some above paragraphs on mind-fucks and fandom as you will.

However, here's the crazy thing: I don't care that the talking heads don't like what we're doing, because you know what? The Ducks *need* that pressure, or otherwise they'll become like my lazy, pot-smoking roommate: enough talent to do whatever he damn well pleases, but no motivation. Right or wrong, the Ducks' motivation comes from being underdogs, and I'll be damned how a team that was at one time No. 7 in all the land can be regarded as an underdog against a Mountain West powerhouse, but hey, if that's what gets a W on Friday, that's what matters.

now back to what apparently really matters: digging myself so far into Japanese studying I'm dreaming of kanji radicals in my sleep.

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