sports desk

SportsDesk: Seahawks Will Restructure and Rebuild for 2015

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The Super Bowl was one of the best games I have ever seen. Regardless of who won or lost. Hands down, the best. Many in Seahawks Nation were sad with the outcome, but let me be one of the first to say – Seattle WILL be back next season. There are plenty of reasons to point this out.

Contract extensions being the first. Key players are due for big paydays in the coming months including Quarterback Russell Wilson and Running Back Marshawn Lynch. Defensive Star Bobby Wagner is also on the list to get a raise. Seattle has also found another way to add to their talented roster.

Pete Carroll will have a ton of selections in the upcoming National Football League Draft. The team will have eleven selections. If you add the conditional picks they will have fifteen. Fifteen spots to add to a roster that does not need much to get back to the top.

super-bowl-xlix-patriots-28-seahawks-24

Unfortunately the saying ‘One play does not make a season’ will no longer apply in the world of sports. I’m not sure why such a rookie move was made in the final minutes of the game on Sunday evening, considering the amazing play that Jermaine Kearse made off his chest just moments before in catching the ball before it hit the ground.

It was also clear to me that the Seattle Defense was not up to their usual speed and pace with injuries to star players including an elbow injury to Richard Sherman. With a bevy of draft picks in their back pocket Wilson will again lead the charge for the Seahawks, but the road will be tougher as each team looks to get better.

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The home schedule in 2015 appears favorable with San Francisco, St Louis and Arizona joining Carolina, Chicago and Cleveland coming to the home of the 12’s. Also making an appearance a Qwest Field will be Pittsburgh and Detroit. The away games seem to be a bigger challenge.

The usual suspects of San Francisco, St. Louis and Arizona will be joined by trips to Green Bay, Dallas and Baltimore. Seattle will also visit Minnesota as they transition to face teams in the NFC Central next season. Dates for any of these games have yet to be announced but I would expect the game with Green Bay to be front and center as it has been the last several seasons.

Now that I have wet your appetite, all we have to do now is wait. The next event for the NFL is the Draft in late April and May.

SportsDesk: Oregon Knows About ‘The Pick’, Does The Rest of the Country Care?

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Oregon Fans know of one specific part of Oregon Football History simply known as ‘The Pick’. Kenny Wheaton with an interception and runback for a touchdown against the rival Washington Huskies in October of 1994. The play sent shockwaves through the Oregon Ducks football program. It is the lead highlight on ‘Duck Vision’ before each Oregon home game leading the team onto the field.

Now, twenty years later the University of Oregon is celebrating the play that changed the face of the program. One play. Just one. If you break it down as just ‘one play’, one might think that it is silly to celebrate. At Oregon, we know the importance of the moment.

Many elements came together on that fateful day, including an incredible call by the Voice of the Oregon Ducks, Jerry Allen that we have watched and heard over and over. There is even an animated version of ‘The Pick’. However, outside of the State of Oregon do people know this play?

For some, ‘The Pick’ may be what Cleveland Browns Quaterback Johnny Manziel did with his nose before he threw a touchdown pass last week. Others may think it was an inteception and it is stupid to build a 20th Anniversary around the moment. It’s not like Oregon is going to pay homage to Cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Omolu for his interception at UCLA last weekend with the same fanfare.

Oregon has special uniforms for the weekend and they are selling retro jerseys to commemorate the day. For those that say, ‘Who Cares, it’s just dumb’ I say this:

If you take a more in depth look at this little moment in Oregon Ducks History, and this has been talked about this week, with that play there was a shift. One could say a monumental shift. Since that day the Oregon Ducks have a winning percentage over .700 – before it was under .500. ‘The Pick’ laid the foundation and paved the way for the Oregon Ducks to become a National Brand.

Last time the Wildcats and Ducks met...Oregon senior wide receiver Josh Huff (1) can't shake Arizona junior cornerback Jonathan McKnight (6) as Huff is brought down during the second quarter. | sportsoutwest.com
Last time the Wildcats and Ducks met…Oregon senior wide receiver Josh Huff (1) can’t shake Arizona junior cornerback Jonathan McKnight (6) as Huff is brought down during the second quarter. | sportsoutwest.com

Every football team around the country has a player or a play that made a year or a moment special. Since that moment in 1994 there have been several standout plays in recent memory for the Oregon Ducks. Of course today’s Oregon team was different than the one in 1994.

Last season, in the Civil War Josh Huff had the winning touchdown. I compare that moment to the ‘Pick’. Of course, earlier this season Quarterback Marcus Mariota had a dive into the end zone. That play could also be compared to ‘The Pick’. The Pick was special because of when it happened in the game. It was near the end where the drama was the highest.

If Oregon had the lead back in 1994 before the interception, would the play be remembered the same way? If it wasn’t, what play would be in it’s place to last for twenty years? I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

If ‘The Pick’ did not happen what play would we see on Duck Vision? Leave your thoughts in the Comments.

Oregon and Washington kickoff on Saturday at 5pm Pacific Time on Fox Sports 1.EDN will have Live Coverage of the game using #EDNSports and also on AutzenZoo.com

NCAA Championships: Knowledgeable Fans Bring Hayward Field Magic To All

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The 2014 NCAA Championships will invade Historic Hayward Field next weekend in Eugene, Oregon and the excitement for the event has been steadily building over the last few months. College Athletes from around the country will be here to compete for a National Championship and for fans of Oregon there is a distinct advantage. With thirty nine athletes competing on their home turf, the Oregon Ducks, in essence, will have a Home Championship Meet to end their season.

Hayward Field Track/KPNWSports
Hayward Field Track/KPNWSports

I have not been to Hayward Field since covering the 2012 Olympic Trials and then, the atmosphere was electric. One thing I learned then is that Track and Field fans don’t necessarily just cheer for their home team, but also for the competition. Of course, the stakes in 2012 were to go to London to compete in the Olympics. This time it is for a National Championship for your respective school. I would expect that the most knowledgeable fans in the country will be well heard at Hayward this weekend in either case.

Earlier this week there was a teleconference with several of the athletes competing next weekend including Oregon Ducks Senior Trevor Dunbar, who says there is no real pressure when it comes to competing in front of the home fans, “I think as a group its easier to do it together. I think all of us feel its a full group effort. Getting the help from the home crowd is going to have a huge impact and I think we’re all pretty excited for this opportunity.” Dunbar specifically is racing in the 5000 and 10,000 meters. Competing for a National Championship is something the Senior is excited about, “Its something we’ve been talking about all year. We have a great group representing in all the events.”

Hayward Field during the 2012 Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon
Hayward Field during the 2012 Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon

It has been another phenomenal year in Tracktown USA with the Prefontaine Classic last weekend and the return of Decathalon Record Holder Ashton Eaton running the hurdles to several other athletes who competed in the 2012 Olympic Trials looking for some of that Hayward Field magic. The biggest story of the weekend was the return of Galen Rupp who set a new American Record in the 10,000 meters.

This week will be very special for the University of Oregon Men’s and Women’s teams. The Oregon Men enter the NCAA Championships ranked number one in the country. The Oregon Women are within striking distance at number three and finishing the season at home should prove an advantage for both.

If there is anything we can take from this upcoming weekend it is this. Some of the athletes we see competing for National Titles this weekend will also likely be returning to Hayward for the 2016 Olympic Trials, where again the best and most knowledgable fans will reflect back to their performance in June of 2014 and smile, regardless of what College team they represent.

The 2014 NCAA Championships events kickoff starting on Tuesday night at Oakway Center in Eugene with Tracktown Tuesday at 7pm. The events begin at Hayward Field on June 11th and run through June 14th.

For the latest throughout the NCAA Championships you can check in with EugeneDailyNews and also follow live throughout the final two days on Friday and Saturday with #EDNSports on Facebook and Twitter.

For a different take on the Oregon Ducks, visit AutzenZoo.com

Oregon Just Seems Like The Only Team Struggling Right Now

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We have reached a point in the Basketball season for the Oregon Ducks Men’s Basketball team where every game is important. However Dana Altman’s team is not the only one in the country working toward playing with a sense of urgency. Some of the top teams in the nation have had their struggles over the last few weeks. It just so happens that two of them are in the Big 10 Conference.

Oregon vs Point Loma basketball 347
Photo – Gary Breedlove

The Ohio State Buckeyes have been hovering in the Top 5 of the AP poll for much of the season, until last week and the beginning of a four game losing streak that for them ended with a win over Illinois on Thursday night. Another Big 10 team looking for a Championship is Wisconsin. The Badgers had won sixteen in a row until they hit their three game skid that ended in Minnesota with a win. On the other hand there are also teams that are extremely hot right now.

arizona logo Arizona is 20-0 on the season and ranked #1 in the country. They took care of business against Colorado. One of the bigger surprises is Florida who are 5-0 in the SEC after beating Alabama. The Gators currently hold a 10 game winning streak. So, Duck fans all is not completely lost for this season.

Last year Oregon hit a skid in the Mountains and bounced back with a five game winning streak, but from what I’ve seen this is a different team and when opportunities are given they are not taking advantage. Last year they had players on Defense who could rebound and guard the rim in Arsalan Kazemi and Tony Woods. This year it is a mix of everyone on the floor trying to make it work. At times it looks great, at others not so much.

The biggest issue of this five game losing streak for Oregon that I have seen is they are not finishing. The main reason why? They can’t keep up or catch up to finish. They had two solid looks at the end of the game vs Stanford a few weeks ago and neither shot fell their way. Oregon Head Coach Dana Altman knows his team is aware of the issue, but I’m not even sure that he can fix the issues that plague this Ducks team. Sure, next year will be better, according to a Eugene Daily News article published last week.

Oregon went 1-1 on the road trip in Washington. Opportunities went the Huskies way Thursday night in the final minutes. Oregon found a way to get the win with solid rebounding a defense. They even managed to hold onto a lead, making it a 20 point advantage just after halftime in a win over Washington State Sunday 71-44.

calliste
Photo – Fishduck.com

Several weeks ago Transfer Mike Moser spoke of the situation of getting a win being almost dire. Now, the Ducks look to build on what they have. If they can put a string of victories together now they will have a shot at the NCAA’s, if they continue to not finish it will likely be the NIT or CBI. For those that are saying, but Justin – it’s only the end of January. This I realize, but in a conference like the Pac-12 every loss is harder to come back from and considering the Ducks don’t see Colorado or Cal again in the Regular season the losing momentum needs to change now.

Oregon takes on UCLA Thursday night at Matthew Knight Arena. Gametime is set for 6pm for a National Broadcast on ESPN2.

Young Ducks Set to Fly at Alamo Bowl

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There is something weird about writing this story from where I currently am. Right now I am sitting, being warmed by the fireplace inside the  Jaqua Center at the University of Oregon. Over the last few weeks two Oregon football players have gotten in trouble, in one way or another.

Pharaoh Brown
Pharaoh Brown
(Geoff Thurner/GoDucks)

Starting Tight End Pharoah Brown was suspended for his role in a snowball fight and late last week Backup Cornerback Troy Hill was suspended after an arrest for assault, which according to the report included strangulation. I will not talk about anything here, but will let the facts come out in the case of Hill. This is also the stance that Oregon Head Football Coach Mark Helfrich is taking with his young cornerback. Hill is suspended from the team until the legal process has a chance to work itself out.

So, where does that leave the Oregon Ducks come December 30th when they have to face Texas in the Valero Alamo Bowl? For starters, they are down two solid players, but their backups, especially Tight End Johnny Mundt will be up to the challenge. Mundt likely takes the place of Brown as the starter. He showed this season against Tennessee that he can handle the responsibility. The area that is a little less clear is on the Defensive side of the ball.

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu 2On one end you have Ifo Ekpre Olomu, who will play in the game, but he has an important decision to make over the next few weeks. To stay or go. Olomu is a Junior and can elect to leave the Ducks for a chance at the next level. Oregon Quarterback Marcus Mariota and Center Hroniss Grasu have already given Duck fans a nice Christmas present and both stated their intent to return for 2014. Another player on Offense, Running Back De’Anthony Thomas is in a similar position to Olomu as he also has to make the same decision to play for Oregon next season or take a chance at the NFL

For the bowl game Oregon will likely rely on some young talent in the second string position, including Dior Mathis, Avery Patterson and some of the young Freshman talent including possibly the Robinson Twins. Next season will also bring some questions for Oregon Defensive Coordinator Nick Aliotti as Patterson, and Senior Brian Jackson are finishing their careers at Oregon following the bowl game on December 30th.

The one thing about the Ducks the last few years is their successful track record of being able to fill positions with younger talent from year to year without too much of a falloff. Oregon has quite a few players returning for the 2014 season. For the fans who have names the names of the 2013 squad in their heads we can assume that when 2014 comes around we will add some new names. Of course, having a Thomas and an Olomu in the mix could make things easier.

Oregon faces off against Texas in the Valero Alamo Bowl on December 30th(3:45pm PT, ESPN)

You can follow Justin here and also on Fansided’s AutzenZoo

 

Sports Desk: My Final Column Here at Eugene Daily News

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Even wordsmiths find themselves speechless once in awhile. I’ve scrapped attempt after attempt at writing my final goodbye, but can’t really figure out how I want to say it. There’s no right way or magic formula to this sort of thing.

After two years with Eugene Daily News, the last year and a half as Sports Editor, I’ve accepted a job with the Buffalo Bulletin in Buffalo, Wyoming. This column will be my last article with EDN.

But rather than lamenting, I’d like to take this final opportunity to reflect on my time with the site and thank all those who were with me along the way.

Fiesta Bowl Press Pass
Fiesta Bowl Press Pass

My Time With EDN:

I joined EDN in October 2011 as a prep reporter, wide-eyed and ripe with excitement. I watched and reported as the Sheldon Irish football team fall just short of state title, only to win it the next year.

Just a few months later in March of 2012, I officially took over as the site’s Sports Editor. With that came the added responsibilities of not only covering these great local teams, but overseeing an entire department.

While head of the section, I’ve worked with an incredible staff including past colleagues who have gone on to work full-time at major sports publications.

Craig Loper covers the Oregon State Beavers at KVAL. Mike Denevi is part of the breaking news team at Bleacher Report. And Taylor Gelbrich works for Fox Sports 1. Also many of our current staff have bright journalistic careers ahead of them.

As Sports Editor I covered a 12-1 Fiesta Bowl champion Oregon Football team. I reported on the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, the US Olympic Trials and so much more. Really when you look back at it, there has been some incredible sports action in Lane County for the past two years.

And it will only continue to improve. The entire University of Oregon athletic department is on the upswing, and with another Olympic Trial and the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships on the way TrackTown has never been so happening.

My Goodbye:

Lastly I want to thank everyone who has read my work over the past two years and found enjoyment in my writing. Without my readers, I’d just be an avid sports fanatic rambling about non-sensical sports happenings to myself.

I’ll also miss my coworkers and fellow sports team. Together we’ve watched EDN grow from a small up-and-starter to the best online-only news outlet in Lane County. I’m sure my replacement will not only take this incredible sports section even further, but the whole site as well.

Eugene has always, and will always be my home. I have no idea what the future holds for me, but I have faith in this organization I’m saying goodbye to and can’t wait to see what happens next.

Don’t be a stranger. To keep in touch, follow me on Twitter @MrAlexShoemaker

Sports Desk: Should Fans Worry About Sarkisian’s Marcus Mariota NFL Draft Comment?

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Oregon Ducks fans have known for a year-and-a-half just how talented Marcus Mariota is at playing the quarterback position. Through six games the Flyin’ Hawaiian has eyes turning and hardware talks blooming around the country.

Following a seven-touchdown performance last week, which earned him Pac-12 Player of the Week honors, Mariota might have topped it going 24-of-31 for 366 yards and three touchdowns through the air, along with 86 yards and an additional score on the ground.

Marcus Mariota NFL Draft
Marcus Mariota | (Alex Shoemaker/Eugene Daily News)

One of those in awe of Mariota’s play was Huskies head coach Steve Sarkisian who praised the Duck signal-caller in his post-game press conference.

[gn_quote style=”1″]”I don’t have a Heisman vote, but I’d be hard pressed to say we’ll see a better quarterback this year. That guy is special. I don’t know when he is planning on going to the NFL, but when he does, I think he’ll be a top five draft pick. He’s a hell of a player. To contain him we had a couple of different plans depending on what their plan was and how we could play them. The general plan was to try to keep him in the pocket and then when he ran the ball to make sure we always had somebody with their eyes on him. He’s just a difficult match-up. And when we really tried to bring more people to keep him there and get more one-on-one match ups down the field, they’re spread in the slot against our safeties I thought was a real factor in the game and he just threw accurate ball after accurate ball.”[/gn_quote]

Uh oh… The last thing Oregon fans want to think about is players leaving early. There’s already Colt Lyerla who left for God knows what reason. People have their suspensions about De’Anthony Thomas, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and Terrance Mitchell amongst other draft eligible Ducks. But it seemed like a safe bet that at least Mariota would return for one more season. But that may not be the case.

In response to his dominant performance against the Huskies, Mariota remained as humble as ever, spreading praise and taking the team’s win as a sign of the team’s overall dominance.

[gn_quote style=”1″]”It’s a team sport, really. To be out there with the guys. They did a great job and I’m proud of them.”[/gn_quote]

Another person who has good things to say about Mariota is ESPN college football expert Kirk Herbstreit who took to Twitter following the Oregon blowout.

[tweet_embed id=389165824516186112]

I agree with coach Sark that Mariota will eventually be a top-5 pick, I just don’t know if it will happen after this season. But if it were I have my suspicions of where Mariota could go. Perhaps the Philadelphia Eagles?

It makes complete sense that Chip Kelly would want to re-unite with his prodigy. And with an aging, injury-prone Michael Vick at quarterback it’s time to look towards the future. Yes, the Eagles have Nick Foles at back-up, but Foles is hardly the athletic specimen of Mariota.

The most difficult part of this scenario is whether or not the Eagles finish as one of the five worst teams in the league. At 2-3 and in the NFC East, arguably the worst division in the NFL, it isn’t likely that the Eagles lose more than 10 games. They’ll be good enough to not be one of the five worst teams.

So how bad does Chip want Marcus as his quarterback?

Would he be willing to trade up to get him? Possibly. Maybe the Eagles trade away Foles to a team near the top needing a quarterback. A team like the New York Giants who want a long-term solution to the position as well. Yes I’m calling you out, Eli Manning. Or maybe the Pittsburgh Steelers who sit in the same boat with an aging Ben Roethlisberger.

Point is, Marcus’ days as Oregon’s quarterback are numbered. I’m not saying he leaves after this season, but with a Heisman trophy and BCS national title there won’t be much left for him to accomplish at the collegiate level. Except of getting a degree… but who needs those things?

[yop_poll id=”43″]

Comment below, vote, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @EDN_Sports

Sports Desk: How Long Can the Oregon Ducks Continue This Success?

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Oregon Ducks football has been one of the premiere programs in the country for the past half-decade. Four-consecutive BCS Bowl appearances, a national championship game appearance, a Heisman finalist and wins in two different BCS games have the Oregon Ducks finally where Uncle Phil had dreamed the program could be.

But Oregon isn’t too big to fall. We’ve seen that with Washington, Michigan, USC, Miami and most recently Penn State. Oregon is mortal and won’t make it to BCS games year-after-year forever. That’s just not plausible. Sooner or later the Ducks are going to stub their toe and miss out on a January bowl game. But when will that happen?

Oregon Ducks
Oregon Ducks tight end Colt Lyerla will look to have a breakout through season. He leads a talented group that returns six of seven receiving targets
(Alex Shoemaker/Eugene Daily News)

Will the Oregon Ducks make a BCS Bowl in 2013?

Oregon runs an incredibly manageable schedule with cupcake match ups through the first five games. The only slight challenge comes against Tennessee in the third week, but with it being at Autzen the Ducks should role.

Oregon should have 20+ point wins at Virginia, Tennessee, California and at Colorado before heading north to Husky territory on October 12th.

Washington is the wildcard on the Oregon schedule. Keith Price will be the key to the Huskies’ season. Will the erratic signal caller perform like he did as a sophomore when he passed for 33 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions? Or will he be the Keith Price that threw two interceptions per game in three straight weeks? With the game being in Washington, there is the home field advantage factor. But even with it being a road game, the Ducks should emerge victorious.

The Ducks’ next two opponents are the Washington State Cougars and UCLA Bruins, both home games. Wazzu won’t poise a threat, but UCLA could a potential toe-stubber. The Bruins have arguably the best defensive player in the Pac-12 in Anthony Barr, as well as quarterback Brett Hundley who could challenge a certain webfoot for first-team All-Pac-12 quarterback. Even with the Bruins being primed for a big year, I see the Ducks continuing their winning ways.

And as fate would have it, following the Ducks’ second-most challenging game of the season comes the most challenging game. Oregon gets a bye week before taking on the Stanford Cardinal down at The Farm. Unfortunately for Oregon, Stanford has a bye week leading into as well. The Cardinal got the better of the Ducks in 2012, and you know there will be plenty of motivation heading in for both teams. Both will more than likely be ranked in the top-5 and in the driver’s seat to the Pac-12 championship game. With Oregon’s experience in the secondary and Stanford’s loss of its top receiving targets, I don’t see the Cardinals having any success moving the ball. Oregon moves on to 9-0.

Utah, at Arizona and home against Oregon State remain on the schedule. The Utes won’t poise a threat, but the Wildcats and Beavs will both be legitimate challenges. Oregon always has difficulties in the desert and you can never overlook a rivalry game. None the less, Oregon finds a way to pull out the W’s on way to a perfect season.

But say Oregon falls to a Stanford or UCLA, or maybe to someone else in a big upset, all Oregon needs to do is win 11 and possibly just 10 games to be granted a spot in a BCS game. There’s no way, barring injuries, Oregon drops two games in 2013. They are just too deep at too many positions for that to happen.

I see Oregon making a national championship run, and even in worst-case-situation, they absolutely make a BCS Bowl.

Oregon Ducks
Oregon will lose Josh Huff to graduation, but will Keanon Lowe and De’Anthony Thomas return for their respective senior seasons?
(Alex Shoemaker/Eugene Daily News)

How will the Oregon Ducks do in 2014?

The Ducks will be absolutely depleted on both offense and defense. With such a strong junior/redshirt sophomore class, Oregon could see up to 10 players declare early for the NFL.

That’d be guys like De’Anthony Thomas, Colt Lyerla, Hroniss Grasu, Jake Fisher, Tyler Johnstone, Terrance Mitchell, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and this guy named Marcus Mariota who I think plays QB. That’s not even including six other seniors who are starting.

Point is, even if half of those underclassmen listed return the Ducks are going to be incredibly thin and not nearly at the same level they’ve been at for so long.

Oregon will not make a BCS Bowl in 2014. That’s saying a lot, too, considering that 2014 will be the start of the College Football Playoff with the top-4 teams squaring off. That’s a lot of extra opportunities for teams to play in January. But Oregon will be in rebuild mode. A nine or ten-win season won’t be good enough for a BCS Bowl appearance.

Oregon Ducks Football
Oregon Ducks Football
(Alex Shoemaker/Eugene Daily News)

So when do the Oregon Ducks return to glory?

Fret not! It won’t be long! Oregon will be back to being a top-5 team in 2015 and may even make an appearance in the College Football Playoff.

Much like when USC had its dip in 2009 and 2010, it was one season later they were back to a top-5 finish. Although, I think Oregon won’t have the immediate drop USC had after its huge season.

With the new facilities and all the assets at head coach Mark Helfrich‘s disposal, there’s no reason this team won’t continue to excel for years to come. They will, however, have a hiccup in 2014.

Comment below, like EDN Sports on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @EDN_Sports

Sports Desk: Oregon Sports Media Musical Chairs… Where Am I Going?

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Oregon sports media members have been playing a giant game of musical chairs. And boy it’s getting difficult to remember who the heck is where anymore…

Adam JudeAdam Jude Leaves Oregonian for Seattle Times

Jude is no stranger to hoping around. After his time with the Register Guard, Jude had an incredibly brief stint with the Oregonian and is now closer to his roots at the Seattle Times.

Jude’s move to cover the Washington Huskies is probably the strangest on this list, for the obvious reason that he leaves the Ducks beat to cover arguably their biggest rival.

Since leaving earlier in the summer, Jude has been hard at work with the Times covering practices and the Husky Stadium expansion.

Rob MoseleyRob Moseley Leaves Register Guard for Oregon Athletic Department

I take it back… this is probably the strangest move of media members this summer. Moseley had been with RG for what felt like 3,000 years – actually since 2001 – and was the face of that sports department. Now he’s made the transition to editor of GoDucks.com, a role that just seems to be the perfect fit.

The move makes sense for both sides. Moseley now has insider access like never before and a job working for his Alma matter’s athletic department, something that only happens in fairy tales and Eugene media. The University of Oregon now has a journalist working on the inside to break every story and cover topics no other media outlet can touch. I mean, what good are the rest of us media members now?

They have the power to close out anyone they want. It’s not like there’s a shortage of Ducks press out there. And now they can create their own press in-house. It’s a brilliant move that is sure to drive tons of traffic to the department.

Aaron FentressAaron Fentress Leaves Oregonian for CSNNW

Once again, I take it back… this was the biggest shocker of them all. After 21 years working with the Oregonian, Fentress is now with cross town rival Comcast SportsNet Northwest.

I had a pretty good sense that Fentress wasn’t with the Oregonian anymore after not seeing him at media day and his unusual absence from Twitter, eventually reemerging from his nesting spot to brighten the feed of his followers once again. But I didn’t expect he’d go over to a major competitor.

Now with CSNNW, Fentress will help on their web content as well as with some television appearances.

Andrew GreifAndrew Greif Leaves Register Guard for Oregonian

Finally we have a move that wasn’t a total head scratcher. Greif was hired over from the Register Guard to take Jude’s old position, a move that also makes quite a bit of sense. Moving from the copy desk to the press box at Autzen isn’t exactly a downgrade.

Greif will be part of the Oregonian’s new Ducks coverage tandem that has to replace the one-two punch of Fentress and Jude. With his partner in crime joining him in Ducks coverage, the O-Live Ducks team is set. And it’s a familiar name for Blazers fans.

Jason QuickJason Quick Re-Assigned at Oregonian From Blazers to Ducks

Quick will no longer be the Oregonian’s Blazers beat writer, instead moving over to cover the Ducks. And he wasn’t quiet about how the move made him feel. Blazers players had mixed reactions to his rant.

“I heard about it,” Blazers forward Nicolas Batum said. “I don’t really care about that. If he wants to talk about us like that… I don’t really care, I don’t focus on that. He’s just a guy who left and got a job somewhere else. He’s not with the team, I don’t really care what he says about this. It’s not my problem.”

Quick was at Oregon Media Day and has been covering the Ducks since.

Anymore Oregon Sports Media Changes? 

How about Curtis Anderson leaving the Register Guard for TrackTown? There are several others that could be mentioned, but for time sake I’ll leave it to Ducks football changes.

Well I’m here with Eugene Daily News still and quite excited for our upcoming coverage. With our team of Isaac Rosenthal, Corey Buchanan and Gary Breedlove, we’re just as ready for football to be back as you are. Continue to check in for more updated Ducks coverage all year.

Comment below, like EDN Sports on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @EDN_Sports

Sports Desk: Oregon Sports Fans are Forced Into Ordering Comcast

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Comcast
Comcast

Simply put, Oregon sports fans are forced into ordering Comcast. If you want to watch everything Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers and Portland Trail Blazers, you really have no say in what provider to sign with.

This is in no way an endorsement for Comcast, in fact it’s quite the opposite. I hate that Comcast has a monopoly on Oregon sports coverage. I don’t think anyone likes monopolies. It’s a break in the system.

But in order to be a full-fledge, up-to-date, Ducks and/or Beaver/Blazers fan, you have to have Pac-12 Networks and CSNNW. There’s no two-ways about it. Both of these networks bring you analysis and insider information, but most importantly they’re bringing you actual games.

Multiple Oregon football games will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Network with the Cal and Colorado games. That’s not even including Spring Games (like last year’s) and mid-week previews/recaps.

The Pac-12 Network, along with Comcast also has deals with Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, and Bright House Networks. But that’s still hundreds of thousands of Oregon sports fans who are without this service. The main one, of course, being Direct TV.

Take a look at this campaign telling you to drop Direct TV:

Of course, the University of Oregon is just a pawn of a much bigger system. The Pac-12 Network has been on a crusade to disembowel Direct TV, and really any provider who hasn’t yet signed up with their network. Here’s a quote from their anti-Direct TV campaign:

[gn_quote style=”1″]“We realize this is affecting many of our fans, and we share their frustration,” said Pac-12 Networks President Lydia Murphy-Stephans. “We built the Pac-12 Networks to give fans unprecedented access to their favorite teams and sports on TV, and with just two weeks before the fall sports schedule begins DirecTV continues to deny them that access.”[/gn_quote]

You can read the full campaign HERE.

But the other part of this is CSNNW. I’m really not a fan of the network, and I really don’t put much value into their coverage team, but like the Pac-12 Network they offer live broadcasts that are too valuable not to have. And the only other cable provider with CSNNW is Charter Cable, who recently picked up CSNNW, but does not have Pac-12 Network.

CSNNW will air quite a few Ducks and Beavers basketball and baseball games over the upcoming calendar year. They’ll have the insight and analysis portions of it as well, including their daily deal with 1080 the Fan as they air Primetime With Isaac and Suke.

From the prospective of being a Ducks fan, you have to have Comcast.

Comcast
Blazers Coverage
(Click to enlarge)

And if you’re a Blazers fan, it’s even worse! CSNNW broadcasts the vast majority of Trail Blazers games, and have a deal that goes into the 2017 season. In fact, CSNNW broadcasts 60 of the team’s 82 (73%) regular season games. KGW broadcasts 16 and only a handful are picked up by national broadcasts. So the deal with Charter Cable is now even more important to Oregon sports fans.

“The agreement also means Charter subscribers will have access to Comcast SportsNet’s other programming, including Oregon and Oregon State pregame and postgame events,” Allan Brettman of the Oregonian wrote. “Comcast SportsNet will be available on expanded basic digital service on channel 427 and in HD on channel 827.

“But two key satellite companies in the region — Direct TV and Dish Network –remain out of the Comcast SportsNet network fold, meaning many customers still won’t have an option to see games.”

But still Direct TV is holding out on making any sort of deals with Comcast.

“It’s unlikely we would come to an agreement any time soon,” DirecTV spokesman Robert Mercer said about getting CSNNW coverage.

So Direct TV and Dish Network are obviously out of the question. You can sign up with Time Warner and miss out on a huge portion of coverage, but it seems pretty clear what Oregon sports fans should and will ultimately go with down the road.

Now… I’m not saying that Oregon sports fans should drop whatever provider they have and switch to Comcast. That’d be ludicrous. Many fans are in contracts for the foreseeable future with huge penalties for cancelation. It’s all dependent on how important all the coverage Comcast provides is to you.

But if you’re looking for a provider down the road, unfortunately your hands are tied. There’s only one option, and that’s really unfortunate.

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