From New Hampshire to Oregon, Chip Kelly brought with him an innovative offense, some flash, and three words that would go on to define a program, a school and a community. Win the Day – or, WTD as it is commonly abbreviated is the mantra that Kelly installed in the football program, turning a regular top-25 visitor into a perennial powerhouse. But if you thought that WTD was an Oregon thing, you have a lot left to learn.
Of course Chip is gone, and he’s sure to continue with this type of motivation in Philadelphia, but you have to believe the University of Oregon and head coach Mark Helfrich will continue with the mantra. I mean, have you seen Autzen lately? You can’t take two steps without having WTD permanently etched into your eyes.
Whether it’s along the side of the interior wall of the stadium, the tunnel leading into the stadium or any other one of the infinite number of open spaces, you’re sure to get a pretty clear picture of how this university is operated. Win The Day.
Those three words have gone beyond the scope of one man. In fact, if I remember correctly the University of Oregon was considering trademarking the phrase. Don’t quote me on that, but would it really be that surprising if it was true?
Listening to the players discus the new regime, you can tell this team is not going to skip a beat. These players, all of them 100% through the Kelly era with the last of Bellotti players graduated, don’t know any other way of operating.
Philly isn’t the only other WTD hotspot, by the way. How about Ole Miss? Yeah, you read that right. The University of Mississippi is adapting the WTD mantra as theirs and using it as they begin the new ear of football.
Props can be made to the crew at ESPN who highlighted this during National Signing Day when a look inside the Ole Miss war room showed a large “Win the Day!” sign inside. Success will bring the copycats out.
I imagine that, had Oregon trademarked the phrase, there would be more hoopla about Mississippi incorporating it. Then again, I imagine that the bigwigs inside the University of Oregon athletic department have bigger fish to fry than to deal with a stupid sign. Regardless, it’s interesting to see the transformation of Oregon football make its impact across the landscape of the sport. It’s not just on the football field, but even the simple wording used for motivation.
There is another program that has used the phrase too: the University of Indiana. The Hoosiers use the phrase as a motivational poster. But what’s interesting is that they quote it as the words of “Coach Wilson.” So… who was the first? Here’s a callout to the Hoosiers of the world to make your case for Mr. Wilson.
Let’s look at where we’re at:
Am I missing any? It seems that Oregon is just one part of a big picture of day winners. So sorry, but not sorry, to burst your bubble, Oregon fans.
The fact that Oregon might not be the first doesn’t take anything away from the importance and significance of it, does it? Absolutely not. I’m a firm believer of the “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it” wisdom. Oregon has seen unprecedented success, so why would they ever try to fix something so trivial as a team slogan?
Answer is, they wouldn’t. Oregon will continue to win the day and excel in all facets of the tasks ahead of them.