Chris Anderson

After Outstanding 2012-2013, Oregon Athletics Has One More to Go

///

As hard as it may be to imagine, collegiate competition for the Oregon Ducks in the 2012-2013 athletic year is coming to an end. Like students gearing up for their finals, 28 athletic standouts are preparing to cap one of the best athletic years in University of Oregon history.

But before getting to the championship they will be competing in, let’s quickly run through the accomplishments that have defined Oregon athletics in the past year.

Let’s start with Oregon football.

The Ducks’ football team once again contended for a Pac-12 and BCS National Championship in 2012-2013, but unfortunately came one game short of reaching the title game. Boasting a top offense once again, the Ducks cruised through the early portion of their schedule, downing opponent after opponent while heading into their matchup against Stanford undefeated.

Billed as the Pac-12 game of the year and one that could potentially decide the Pac-12, the Stanford vs. Oregon game was a thrilling contest that saw both defenses impressively limit the opportunities of the other team. But as good as the Ducks’ defense played in that game, they would eventually see themselves lose a heart-breaker in overtime that gave the Cardinal an advantage in the Pac-12 North standings. Though they would miss out on the Pac-12 Championship and BCS National Championship as two-loss Stanford navigated the rest of their schedule flawlessly, Oregon still finished with an 11-1 regular season record and saw themselves selected to play the Kansas State Wildcats in the 2013 Tostito’s Fiesta Bowl.

(Alex Shoemaker)
Kenjon Barner and Marcus Mariota
(Alex Shoemaker/Eugene Daily News)

Their fourth-straight BCS Bowl appearance, the Ducks were pitted against an opponent that many thought they would meet in the national title game. The game had just about as much excitement, however, and did not disappoint, as Oregon jumped out of the gates quite literally, with De’Anthony Thomas taking the opening kick back for a touchdown. The Ducks would come out as victors in the game and finish No. 2 in the polls, an outstanding ranking that was merited by all their accomplishments throughout the season.

Not to be overlooked in the fall season was the Oregon volleyball team, who had what was arguably their greatest season in program history. Finishing second in the Pac-12, the Oregon volleyball team was ranked as high as No. 2 during the season and had a postseason run that was astonishing to watch develop.

Taking down Northern Colorado, Dayton, and No. 12 Brigham Young in the opening rounds of the NCAA tournament, the No. 5 Oregon Ducks then downed the No. 4 Nebraska Cornhuskers to advance to a semifinal against the No. 1 team in the nation, the Penn State Nittany Lions. And in front of over 13,000 fans, the Ducks pulled off the huge upset, vanquishing Penn State 3-1 while advancing to the National Championship. Their miraculous season would come up just short, however, as the No. 3 Texas Longhorns ousted the Ducks in straight sets (3-0) to take the national title for themselves.

Still, for any program, a runner-up finish isn’t exactly something to pout about.

Oregon’s women’s cross country team, meanwhile, solidified their place in the university’s athletic history, taking home their first national championship since 1987. Led by senior Jordan Hasay, the Duck women cruised to victory at the NCAA Championships. The men, meanwhile, finished 20th in their return to the championships after missing out in 2011.

Athletic success for Oregon didn’t stop after the fall seasons, either, as the Oregon men’s basketball team recorded one of its best seasons in recent history. Picked to finish seventh in the Pac-12 before the start of the season, the Ducks used a stable of new players along with talented veterans to become the surprise team of the year, contending for a Pac-12 regular season title all the way to the end of the season. They would come up just short on the regular season title but make up for it in the Pac-12 Tournament, ultimately defeating UCLA in the 2013 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament Championship Game.

Brenner (6) celebrates with teammates in 2012. (Ivar Vong, goducks.com)
Brenner (6) celebrates with teammates in 2012.
(Ivar Vong/GoDucks.com)

Selected as a twelve-seed heading into the 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, Oregon once again surprised the nation, downing five-seed Oklahoma State in the first round and four-seed St. Louis to advance to a Sweet 16 appearance against one-seed Louisville. Though the Ducks would mount a comeback towards the end of their game against the Cardinals, their early deficit proved too much to overcome, as they would end up losing to the eventual national champions.

Off the basketball court, the acrobatics and tumbling team took home yet another national title, making that three-in-a-row for one of the newer athletic programs at Oregon.

Another national title winner for the Ducks emerged in indoor track and field competition, as the Oregon women took home another indoor title while the men placed 6th, proving why the University of Oregon is a top destination for track and field athletes.

Spring brought more success to the Ducks, as both the Oregon softball and baseball teams put together their best seasons in recent history.

For the Oregon softball team, it was a historic season as they captured their first-ever Pac-12 regular season title and were consistently ranked in the top-5 in the nation. Though their season would be ended in the Super Regionals by Nebraska, the program recently capped their best year in program history.

The Oregon baseball team saw their season come to an end last night, as the Rice Owls took care of them in the Eugene Regional Championship Game by a score of 11-4. Despite that tough loss that ended the Ducks’ run a little earlier than expected, Oregon managed to contend for a Pac-12 regular season title while seeing itself ranked in the top-15 throughout the year.

With all the athletic success the University of Oregon has already seen this year, it’s hard to imagine that it could all be capped by two more national championships, as the Oregon track and field team will send 28 athletes to the NCAA Championships in the friendly confines of Hayward Field.

It’s been a remarkable year for Oregon athletics, but their is still one more competition left before anticipation begins. Here’s to hoping that the men and women of Oregon track and field can solidify this as the greatest athletic year in Oregon history.

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

Cain’s Performance Highlights Outstanding Prefontaine Classic

//

The Prefontaine Classic may have come to an end yesterday, but plenty around the nation are still buzzing about the performances that were turned out at the 2013 meet. One of the main highlights for the thousands in attendance was high school phenom Mary Cain‘s showing in the women’s 800 meters.

Competing in a field that included Francine Niyonsaba (BDI), Brenda Martinez (USA), Janeth Jepkosgei (KEN), and Alysia Montano (USA), Cain used a fast field to finish with a time of 1:59.51, a personal best for the budding track and field star that also saw her set the high school and U.S. Junior records in the event. Finishing up her junior year in high school, Cain has yet to announce where she will attend college, though there were plenty of fans encouraging her to bring her talents to Eugene, as they familiarized her with the “Come to Oregon!” chant.

The first high schooler to run the 800 meters in under two minutes, she bested the previous high school record of 2:02.04 that was set by Amy Weisenbach in 2011. Placing fifth overall, she finished right behind Montano, who edged Cain with a time of 1:59.43. After the race Montano gave her signature orchid to the high school phenom, signaling the emergence of a great track and field athlete.

Mary Cain astonished the Hayward faithful at the 2013 Prefontaine Classic | (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)
Mary Cain astonished the Hayward faithful at the 2013 Prefontaine Classic | (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

“I’m just so thrilled, I broke two minutes,” said Cain after the event. “Part of me was out there thinking today, no one has ever done this before. I’d be the first person to do it. That’s been my goal since eighth grade. I’m going to be that kid, I’m going to do it.”

Coming in first place in the women’s 800 meters was Niyonsaba, who finished with a time of 1:56.72 to set a new meet record while becoming the world leader in the event.

Aside from Cain’s astonishing finish and Niyonsaba’s world leading finish, plenty of other athletes set records and bests at the 2013 Prefontaine Classic, with one area record being set, 13 world leaders established, five meet records set, and three national records broken.

Setting the lone area record at the meet, Mutas Essa Barshim (QAT) cleared a height of 2.40 meters in the men’s high jump to overcome a strong field that included Erik Kynard (USA) and Derek Drouin (CAN). His clearance also made him the world leader in the event while also setting a new meet record and national record for his country. Drouin’s clearance of 2.36 meters set the new Canadian national record.

Silas Kiplagat (KEN), meanwhile, established a world leading time in the Bowerman Mile with a time of 3:49.48. He narrowly edged Asbel Kiprop (KEN), who finished right behind Kiplagat with a time of 3:49.53. Aman Wote of Ethiopia placed third in the event with a time of 3:49.88, a personal best for the 29-year-old.

Hansle Parchment (JAM) also established a world leading time in the 110 meter hurdles, finishing with a time of 13.05 seconds that also saw him set a new Jamaican national record.

Renad Lavillenie (FRA) finished just as he did at the Olympic Games, placing first in the men’s pole vault to once again overcome Bjorn Otto (GER) and Raphael Holzdeppe (GER), who also finished just as they did in the past Olympics. Lavillenie cleared a height of 5.95 meters to become the world leader in the event this year.

Aleksandr Menkov (RUS) took home first in the long jump, as he reached a distance of 8.39 meters to become the world leader in the event. Mauro Vinicius Da Silva (BRA) placed second in the event, reaching a distance of 8.22 meters.

The men’s discus was won by Robert Harting (GER), who also became a world leader, throwing a distance of 69.75 to overcome Piotr Malachowski‘s (POL) distance of 68.19, a seasonal best for the 29-year-old.

James Kiplagat Magut (KEN), who did not finish in the Bowerman Mile, made up for his performance in the men’s international mile, becoming the world leader with a time of 3:55.24.

Edwin Sheruiyot Soi (KEN) became the world leader in the men’s 5,000 meters, finishing with a time of 13:04.75 while Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) finished with a time of 27:12.08 to become the world leader in the men’s 10,000 meters.

Several women’s records fell at the 2013 Prefontaine Classic as well, with Niyonsaba’s impressive performance leading the way. Aside from her effort, meet records in the women’s javelin and 1,500 meters were also set, as Christina Obergfoll (GER) threw for a distance of 67.70 in the javelin and Hellen Obiri (KEN) ran a 3:58.58 in the 1,500 to set the new meet records.

Tirunesh Dibaba (ETH), meanwhile, became the world leader in the women’s 5,000, finishing with a time of 14:42.01 to pace the field. A new world leader was also established in the women’s 400 meter hurdles, as Zusana Hejnova (CZE) finished with a time of 53.70 to see herself finish in first.

Olha Saladikha (UKR) rounded out the new world leaders at the Pre Classic, as she reached a distance of 14.85 in the women’s triple jump for the leading distance.

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

Details Emerging on Oregon’s 2013 TV Schedule

/

Still three months and two days away from the start of the season (not that anybody is counting), more details have begun to emerge as to when the Oregon Ducks will be playing and on what channel you can find them. As per a release by the Pac-12, seven of Oregon’s 12 regular season contests have been assigned to a network, with five of those having a start time determined as well.

With their game at Virginia against the Cavaliers already determined to be broadcast on ABC/ESPN2 at 12:30 pm, here’s a look at the other games that have been assigned to a network, a start time, or both.

  • August 31 – vs. Nicholls State (Eugene, Oregon) – 1:00 pm/FOX Sports 1
  • September 7 – at Virginia (Charlottesville, Virginia) – 12:30 pm/ABC/ESPN2
  • September 14 – vs. Tennessee (Eugene, Oregon) – 12:30 pm/ABC/ESPN/ESPN2
  • September 28 – vs. California (Eugene, Oregon) – TBA/Pac-12 Networks
  • October 5 – at Colorado (Boulder, Colorado) – TBA/Pac-12 Networks
  • November 7 – at Stanford (Stanford, California) – 6:00 pm/ESPN
  • November 29 – vs. Oregon State (Eugene, Oregon) – 4:00 pm/ FOX Sports 1

While there are still games against Washington, Washington State, UCLA, Utah, and Arizona that still need to be assigned a start time and network, the Pac-12 Networks guaranteed that all football games would receive television coverage this year. Of those games, it would not be surprising to see ESPN or a FOX affiliate to televise the games against Washington, UCLA, or Arizona.

Autzen Stadium
Autzen Stadium

Of interesting note are the assigned start times so far. Last season many complained about five of Oregon’s nationally televised games being assigned a start time of 7:30 pm. Though the Ducks walked away with easy wins in just about every one of those games, the time slot wasn’t ideal for people along the east coast to watch Oregon play.

Perhaps taking complaints from last year into consideration, Oregon has just one game scheduled after 5:00 pm so far, their already-hyped Pac-12 North contest against Stanford, which is slated for a 6:00 pm kick on ESPN. The Ducks’ latest start other than that game is their 4:00 pm start on November 29 against the Oregon State Beavers, allowing the program to each a potentially broader national audience.

FOX Sports 1 is a new channel that is set to launch in August and will replace the channel location that is currently SPEED. For more information about the channel, click here.

[yop_poll id=”24″]

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

Oregon Ranked No. 8 in SportingNews Preseason Top 25

/

College football fans, brace yourselves, the preseason polls are beginning to flourish.

Still three months and three days away from the Oregon Ducks kicking off their season against Nicholls State at Autzen Stadium, the Ducks and new head coach Mark Helfrich have been picked apart by many analysts in an attempt to give them a number before the season even starts.

The latest ranking, and one that has received a bit of flak, is Matt Hayes’ Preseason Top 25 for Sporting News that places the Ducks in the No. 8 position.

Said Hayes of the Ducks:

[gn_quote style=”1″]”We don’t really know what Mark Helfrich will be like in his first season making every call that matters. We do know, however, that the Ducks have plenty of talent on their roster. That alone should put Oregon in a position to win every time it steps on the field.”[/gn_quote]

Still a great ranking heading into the season, some may have issue with a team returning most of its offense and key defensive players coming off a 12-1 record and No. 2 finish last year. That being said, there are some questions Oregon will have to answer if they want to prove themselves better than their No. 8 ranking by Hayes.

Are the Ducks ready for another great run in 2013? | (Gary Breedlove)
Are the Ducks ready for another great run in 2013? | (Gary Breedlove)

Will Mark Helfrich forward the success of Mike Bellotti and Chip Kelly? How much will the losses of Dion Jordan, Kiko Alonso, and Michael Clay hurt the Ducks on defense? Will Byron Marshall be the next great back at Oregon?

Though those are just a few questions that will be answered once the season begins, it’s evident that the Ducks may have some potential weaknesses. However, when compared to other preseason polls, Oregon is a few spots lower than other polls. The Ducks are ranked third on Mark Schlabach’s poll on ESPN, third on Phil Steele’s Top 25, fifth on CBSsports.com’s Top 25, and sixth on Sports Illustrated’s Top 25.

Now when you’re in the top-10 rankings in the nation and in a power conference, you’re an elite program. Hayes’ rankings, however, place Oregon right on the edge of elite and “very good”. But more than the ranking, it’s the teams he has ahead of the Ducks that are a little baffling.

While Alabama is undoubtedly the top team to contend with in 2013 and coming off their second-straight BCS National Championship, the positioning of Stanford at No. 2, Florida at No. 4, and Oklahoma State at No. 6. The Cardinal should be an elite squad this year, but No. 2 in the nation? A ranking like that is usually reserved for teams that are loaded with much of the same talent they had in the previous year. And while returning quarterback Kevin Hogan will be primed for yet another great year, the losses of Stepfan Taylor, Drew Terrell, Sam Schwartzstein, Levine Toilolo, Zach Ertz, and Chase Thomas really hurts Stanford. They should still have a great offensive line and defensive front, but there are more than a few questions to be asked about this Cardinal squad.

Florida: Where you hallucinate so much Harry Potter flies by | (Twitter.com/jokerphillips)
Florida: Where you hallucinate so much Harry Potter flies by | (Twitter.com/jokerphillips)

Will Muschamp and Joker Phillips will apparently do anything to get recruits to become Florida Gators, and that is absolutely hilarious. But that does not really merit a position at No. 4 when they are coming off a loss to Louisville in the Sugar Bowl and still have to prove that their offense isn’t bound for yet another horrendous season in 2013. Florida went 11-2 last year and had impressive wins over LSU, South Carolina, and Florida State. However, a 9-17 loss to Georgia derailed their chances of making an appearance in the BCS National Championship.

Boasting a top defense, the Gators did struggle to create things on offense, narrowly escaping with wins against the likes of Missouri (14-7) and Louisiana Lafayette (27-20). The latter of the two required last-minute heroics to save them from being the laughing stock of college football. If you’re a top-5 program, you take care of teams like Missouri and Louisiana Lafayette and have a well put together team, not just an outstanding defense.

The final team I have an issue with that is ranked ahead of the Ducks is the Oklahoma State Cowboys. According to Hayes, this program will go from 8-5 overall to being the No. 6 team in the nation. What?

There can be many arguments for other teams ahead of Oregon, but this one truly baffles me. Mike Gundy is a good coach, but there are way too many questions about this team and their performance from last season. Factor in the fact that they are still trying to figure out their starting quarterback, and Oklahoma State should be in the 15-20 range, at best.

But then again, polls at this time of the year are really a waste of time. Coaches still need to draw their plans, foundations have to be built, and players still have to build their bodies and their minds as they prepare for the grueling season ahead. We’ll look at Hayes’ poll in amusement and just remember that his credibility was waived on slide one, where he said Alabama was the most talented team in the country in 2010, the year they went 10-3 while Auburn and Oregon went undefeated to reach the BCS National Championship.

Maybe Hayes was just trying to entertain himself?

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

Oregon Adds South Dakota, Southern Utah, and UC Davis to Schedule

/

The Oregon Ducks football program has added three new opponents to their schedule in the coming years in an attempt to iron out just who will be making treks to Autzen Stadium. South Dakota, Southern Utah, and UC Davis have all been announced by the Oregon Athletic Department to have agreed to play play in Eugene in the next few seasons.

Spring Game 2013 037
(Gary Breedlove/Eugene Daily News)

The scheduling of these three teams follows a pattern the Ducks have been following the past few years that is marked by an FCS team making a trip to Eugene for a sum of money. A practice that is followed by many other programs throughout the nation, these games are usually used as tune-up games before conference plays begins. Many receiving big payouts for the likely beating they will take, the money and exposure these programs can potentially get pays huge dividends for their teams and athletic departments.

The first of the three teams to make the trip to Autzen will be the University of South Dakota, with the Coyotes scheduled to open Oregon’s 2014 season on August 30. Receiving $525,000 for the trek to Eugene, the addition of South Dakota rounds out Oregon’s 2014 non-conference schedule. After opening the season against the Coyotes, the Ducks will host Wyoming on September 6 and Michigan State on September 13.

UC Davis, meanwhile, has been added to Oregon’s 2016 schedule. The Aggies will play in Autzen on September 3, 2016 and are coached by former Duck Ron Gould. Gould came to Oregon in 1987 for his senior year after the Wichita State football program disbanded. He was a defensive backs coach for the Ducks and a graduate assistant after his tenure as a player. Gould eventually took a position as the running backs coach at California before taking over the head coaching position at UC Davis in 2012.

Southern Utah has been added to the Ducks’ 2017 schedule and will make the trip to Eugene on September 2nd of that year. They are still looking for an FBS opponent to play in both 2016 and 2017.

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

Ducks and Emeralds to Honor MIA/POW Soldiers

/

Continuing the tradition of honoring fallen, former, and active military personnel, the Eugene Emeralds and Oregon Ducks baseball team have installed a tribute at PK Park that will remind all in attendance about the sacrifice of thousands. Recognizing MIA and POW soldiers and sailors from all wars, the Oregon baseball and Eugene Emeralds organizations have decided to paint one seat in PK Park black with the POW/MIA logo.

The seat will be section 11, row 14, seat 1 and will remain unoccupied for all future contests. The official announcement of the seat will be made at Oregon’s contest against Oregon State on Friday night. The Ducks and Beavers are currently in the midst of a three-game series that will determine the Pac-12 Title. Oregon took game one last night by a score of 3-0, and both teams currently boast a record of 20-5 in conference play.

The Ducks and Emeralds will pay a tribute to MIA/POW soldiers | (Chris Anderson/Eugene Daily News)
The Ducks and Emeralds will pay a tribute to MIA/POW soldiers this season by designating one seat | (Chris Anderson/Eugene Daily News)

Honoring the true heroes who have given their lives for our country is something we should do more often,” said Oregon baseball head coach George Horton in a statement on Goducks.com. “Hopefully this tribute at PK Park will serve as a reminder to our players and our fans that others have given the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf.

The Oregon athletic facilities department bought and eventually installed the chair, the UO ticketing office identified where the seat would be located, and the Eugene Emeralds’ organization took care of the plaque.

The Defense Prisoner of War Missing Personnel Office lists 83,358 former military personnel as “Unaccounted for from Past Conflicts“. 73,661 soldiers are missing from World War II, 7,918 are missing from the Korean War, 126 are missing from the Cold War, 1,647 are missing from the Vietnam War, and six are missing from Iraq as well as other conflicts.

Master Sgt. Olen B. Williams, Pfc. James L. Constant, and 1st Lt. Robert G. Fenstermacher were recently identified and buried with full military honors. Williams was in the U.S. Army, Company K, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division and lost in North Korea in 1950. Constant was in the U.S. Army, Company A, 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division and lost in South Korea in 1950. Fenstermacher was in the U.S. Army Air Force, 506th Fighter Squadron, 404th Fighter Group and was lost in Belgium in 1944.

[tweet_embed id=335138795370450944]

In POWs and MIAs: Status and Accounting Issues (June, 2005) by Robert L. Goldich, numbers show that 142,233 military personnel have been classified as a POW. Of the 142,233, 125,208 were returned to U.S. Military control, 21 refused repatriation, and 17,004 died while they were still a POW.

Comment below if you think this is a nice gesture by the Ducks and Emeralds. Make sure to like our official EDN Sports Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @EDN_Sports

Kiko Alonso Gets a Deal With the Buffalo Bills

//

Kiko Alonso may have had to wait his time to really make an impact for the Oregon Ducks, but once he got on the field, he did more than enough to prove himself as one of the better defensive players in the Pac-12.

An inside linebacker who boasted a 6’3″, 238 pound frame, Alsonso was a versatile athlete for the Ducks, using his speed and strength to become a tenacious defender and a high draft pick. Racking up 81 tackles in his final year at Oregon, he overcame off-field issues and was subsequently drafted by the Buffalo Bills with the 46th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Figuring to make an immediate impact with the Bills, the former Duck has officially been signed by Buffalo, tentatively establishing his home for the next few years. Though terms of the deal were not officially disclosed, it’s been reported that Alsonso signed with the Bills for $4.3 million with around a $1.7 million signing bonus.

Alonso has reached a deal with the Bills | (Buffalobills.com)
Alonso has reached a deal with the Bills | (Buffalobills.com)

“I was definitely spending my focus on football, but it’s good to get it done with,” said Alonso in an interview with Buffalobills.com.

Aside from signing a contract with the Bills, Alonso has also participated in the rookie minicamp and some OTAs for Buffalo.

“It’s been awesome,” mentioned Alonso about his experience with the Bills. “I think I’m a very aggressive player and that’s what they want here so I should be a fit.”

Though he has been reportedly spending most of his time with the second unit, Alonso figures to be a starter in the near future and has been lining up at the ‘mike’ linebacker position for Buffalo. His defensive versatility figures to help out the Bills, whose run defense was 31st in the league last year, surrendering 145.8 yards per game. Another former Duck, Jairus Byrd, helped Buffalo have a solid pass defense, as the team surrendered just 217.1 yards per game through the air (10th).

Alonso finished his career at Oregon with 143 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, nine passes defended, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, six interceptions, and 3.5 sacks. 

Night on the Town – Friday

High School football playoffs are officially in full swing and those of us into football (that’s everyone yes?) we are ready to celebrate the kickoff with a great night out.  That’s after watching the squad from Sheldon High School take on David Douglas that is.

What, you don’t particularly care about Sheldon High School’s football team (they are, after all, just one high school in the Eugene area)?  Well, if you like football, you should start.  They are the statewide poll favorites for the State Championship this year. Besides, one of them may just be the next De’Anthony Thomas, Colt Lyerla, or even Marcus Mariota; can you say Connor Strahm?

For those of you not going to the game, you can join the rest of us; we have decided we are in the social mood and will be hitting up the Barmuda Triangle. Last time we were there was on Halloween and we found no excuse to leave the area all night.

Members of the Dropkick Murphys

Though we wouldn’t mind spending the rest of the night in this area, there is way to much action elsewhere tonight. That action will take place at one of two venues:

First is the WOW Hall.  Can you say “The Dropkick Murphy’s”? Admittedly this will be a tough ticket to get if you don’t already have one. These guys are a nationally renowned band and tickets went fast. For those of us who will be fortunate enough to check these guys out, this concert is going to kick some butt. If you’re unfamiliar with TDMs, they have a unique Irish sound melded with modern rock. The WOW Hall will be packed.

If you didn’t score a ticket for the Dropkick Murphy’s, then you’ll want to find your way to the Granary on 5th Street. Here you will get the opportunity to check out GRRRLZ Rock. Don’t worry, they’re not some hip-hop, pop, teenage band who classify themselves as Bieber believers. Now you have two choices for the set you would like to watch. While there will be plenty of great artists performing before 9pm, the 21 and over showcase starts at 9pm and is the reason we will be heading over to 5th. At this time we’ll kick out all the young kids and be able to listen to the music of Engraved and The Great Hiatum while checking out what the women of Eugene have to offer.

See you out there.

Original Music

Timothy Patrick: Acoustic: Amici Restaurant 5pm
Surviving Lillian: Rock: Goodfellas 9:30pm
(Sold Out) Dropkick Murphys w/Teenage Bottlerockets & The Mahones: McDonald Theatre 8pm
Forget One Thing, The Barger Boys, Mike Surber & the Long Con: Rock: Oak St. Speakeasy 9pm
Crag Sorseth & Tom West: Saginaw Vineyard 6pm
Peter Giri & Lloyd Tolbert: Acoustinc: Sam’s Place 8pm
(Donation) Ananya & The Big Small: Electric Rock: Tiny Taverrn 9pm
Monolith Unplugged: Village Green 9pm
$5-$7 donation GRRRLZ Rock: Multiple artists: Granary 6pm
$5 James Apollo, Murzik, The Horde & the Harem: Folk/indie: Axe & Fiddle 8:30pm
$5 Poor Man’s Poison, Sockeye Sawtooth: Americana: Luckey’s 10pm
$12 The Shook Twins, Daniel Rodriguez of Elephant Revival: Americana: Sam Bond’s 9:30pm
$12 Advance ($15 door) Jolie Holland w/Old Light: Americana: WOW Hall 9pm

Covers

DLC Roadhouse Band: Rock/Blues: Dexter Lake Club 9pm
Lost Highway: Country/Rock & Roll: Happy Hours 8pm
McKenzie Express: Springfield VFW 7pm
$10 Blue Skies Band w/ Jewel Tones: Swing: Springfield Elks Club 6:30pm

Blues, Jazz, and Country

Aftermath: Jazz: Hilton Hotel 7pm
Breakers Yard: Blues/Jazz: Meridian 5pm
$5 Country Backroads: Country: Whiskey River Ranch 9pm
$5 ($4 members) Chris Orsinger: Soul Jazz: Jazz Station 8pm
$6 Soulicious: Fuck/R&B/Soul: Mac’s 9pm
$15 ($10 Students) Little Black Train: Jazz/Folk: House Concert 7:30pm

Dance, DJ, Hip-hop, & Other

Audio Schizophrenic: Electro: Cowfish 9pm
DJ Food Stamp: Level Up 9pm
DJ Scoot & DJ Pheonix: Dance party hits: The Rok 10pm
Karaoke: El Dorado 9pm
Karaoke: Harleys & Horses 9pm
Karaoke: The Keg 9pm
Karaoke: The O Bar 9:30pm
Karaoke: O’Donnell’s 9pm
Karaoke: Porky’s Palace 8pm
Karaoke: Raven A Pub 9pm
Karaoke: Red Lion Inn 9pm
Karaoke: Side Bar 9pm
Karaoke: Strike City 8pm
Karaoke: Tapatio 9pm

Cirque du Soleil Defines World Class

//

There come times in every life when they witness something so powerful, so beautiful, and so intoxicating that they immediately understand that they are in the presence of the world’s greatest. And, for the next few days, residents of Eugene can treat themselves to some of the greatest acrobats and performers in the world as Cirque du Soleil continues its world-renowned production, “Quidam”, at Matthew Knight Arena.

Yet, make sure to realize that once you set foot inside of Matthew Knight Arena, you will step into a completely different world. Sure, there may be other people around you watching the show, but the second the lights dim and John (Mark Ward), the ecstatic and tasteful ringmaster, takes the stage, Eugene and the rest of the world will be far behind you as you embark on “Quidam”.

John (Mark Ward) and Zoé (Alessandra Gonzalez) combine to form one of the most intoxicating pairs in Cirque du Soleil’s production, “Quidam”. Photo by Chris Anderson

On the surface “Quidam” is yet another outstanding and breathtaking acrobatic production put on by Cirque du Soleil. Featuring ten performances (Cyr Wheel, Dioabolos, Aerial Contortion in Silk, Skipping Ropes, Aerial Hoops, Spanish Webs, Manipulation Juggling, Statue, Cloud Swing, and the Banquine) that showcase the wonders of the human physique, “Quidam” does not miss in terms of dazzling the audience with the acts that Cirque du Soleil has become so famous for.

Unlike other productions put on by Cirque du Soleil, however, “Quidam” is unique in the way it seeks to connect to every individual human on a personal level. While the pageantry and mystique behind other Cirque du Soleil productions are what the world class company prides itself on, “Quidam” takes Cirque to a level that it has never been before; that of the individual.

“Quidam” is as much an exploration of the soul and reflection of society as it is an acrobatic marvel. 

The back-story of “Quidam” follows the tale of Zoé (Allesandra Gonzalez), a girl who feels neglected by and apart from her parents who are too infatuated with their newspaper and the distractions of every day life to tend to the young and imaginative Zoé. Unable to find solace with her parents, Zoé embarks on one of the greatest quests any one of us could take when she departs into a world of dreams and imagination with John and a lively character known as The Target (Ardee Dionisio).

Tanya Burka performs the Aerial Contortion in Silk as part of Cirque du Soleil’s production, “Quidam”. Photo by Chris Anderson

And it is in this dream/world of imagination that we discover the meaning, message, and inspiration behind “Quidam”. For, as was mentioned previously, “Quidam” distinguishes itself among other Cirque du Soleil productions as it explores the human condition.

In a society that is as fast-paced and demanding like ours, it is sometimes very easy to get lost in the thick of it all and become just another part of a greater machine in which you are just another piece of the puzzle. While you may be there and doing your part to contribute, there is no way to distinguish yourself among all of the others who are trying to accomplish the same exact goals as you. It is in these moments that we lose ourselves and lose hold of the true potential inside each and every human being. It is in these moments that we become “normal”.

“Quidam”, however, wants to remind us that we are all different and that we must let our own quidam explore every now and then. No matter who you are, where you come from, and what you do in your life, we all have a little bit of Zoé inside of us. Though there may be times when we feel as if we are just another anonymous player in this world, we must remember that, if we take hold of our imagination and let our minds be free, we can discover things nobody else could ever have dreamed of.

This is the true beauty behind “Quidam”.

Not trying to detract at all from the marvelous acrobatics that are performed during the show, “Quidam” tears at the heart of every individual in the building with its powerful music, deep story line and plot that is unique to the show, and vibrant colors and costumes.  It is a showcase of the limits of the human body, an exploration of the soul, and a reflection of modern day society.

All too often do we forget to step outside of the box and find out that we are much more than we could have ever expected. “Quidam” reminds us that we are each in our own right, unique. 

No audience member is safe with The Clown (Toto Castineiras) roaming free. Photo by Chris Anderson

But don’t think that “Quidam” is a complete departure from everything Cirque du Soleil. Like other Cirque productions, “Quidam” brings a mix of entertainment and comedy to the table as well. Largely funnelled through the character, The Clown (Toto Castineiras), any audience member close enough to the stage better shake off their stage fright before entering Matthew Knight as The Clown loves to bring the crowd on stage in what is always bound to end up in a good set of laughs.

No matter what your reason is for visiting “Quidam” this weekend, this Cirque du Soleil production will have you on the edge of your seat the entire time. It will amaze you with feats that just about no other human being can accomplish, evoke emotions such as happiness, sadness and fear, and teach you that it is perfectly fine to break away from the stream every now and then in order to rediscover who you truly are.

“Quidam” is certainly a world class production, it would be an absolute shame to miss it.

To find out more about Quidam and the history of the show, go to http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/home.aspx#/en/home/americas/usa.aspx. To purchase tickets for one of the remaining Eugene performances, go here: http://bit.ly/P0zsv7 (Ticket City).

And, as always, check back in with Eugene Daily News as we continue to add further coverage of Cirque du Soleil’s production, “Quidam”.

 

Cliff Harris Released by the Philadelphia Eagles

//

Cliff Harris, once a standout for the University of Oregon football program at cornerback, has been cut by the Philadelphia Eagles.

A tweet from the Philadelphia Eagles confirmed his release:

[tweet_embed id=239713655523008512]

Harris, who was part of the Oregon football program from 2009-2011, made headlines on and off the field. As a cornerback and kick/punt returner for the Ducks, Cliff Harris was one of the best in college football.

Cliff Harris was released by the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday morning.

Due to injuries in the Ducks’ secondary in 2009, Harris’ redshirt was taken off and immediately began to contribute for the Ducks. Though he only appeared in eight games that season, Harris recorded a total of 19 tackles, broke up eight passes, and recorded one interception.

A much more significant contributor in 2010, Harris used his big play ability to stifle opposing air attacks while racking up the yards in returning the ball. An All-America return man selection by the Football Writers Association of America, Sporting News, ESPN.com, and SI.com, Harris used his speed and deceptive ability to return four punt returns for touchdowns while also racking up 546 punt return yards.

Harris was also an outstanding cornerback, earning a second-team All-America selection by the Associated Press and SI.com. He finished the year with 23 passes defended and six interceptions.

Unfortunately for Cliff Harris and the Ducks’ football program, his success on the field did not translate to success off of the field. Harris was numerously in opposition to rules and never could put his act together away from the football program. After numerous traffic violations and a citation for marijuana possession, one of the more publicized issues at the time, Cliff Harris was dismissed from the Oregon football program on December 5, 2011 after not playing a single snap during the season.

His dismissal ended what was more of the tumultuous tenures by a player at the University of Oregon.

After being dismissed by Oregon, Harris would go on to focus on NFL preparations. Though many knocked him for being a little undersized for the NFL, the Philadelphia Eagles signed Harris as an undrafted free agent this past April.

And, from all indications, Harris was performed well in his first few days despite not being able to join the Eagles for OTA’s. He outshined other cornerbacks the first few days of training camp before suffering an ankle injury that would ultimately result in a deterioration of play.

Harris began to fall behind other cornerbacks and could never get back to the exciting player that he was earlier in training camp and at the University of Oregon. The playmaker and ball-hawk who was once one of the best in college football could not translate his skills to the NFL, cited for being fairly undersized and lacking the strength required to go toe-to-toe with NFL receivers.

Despite his release by the Eagles, Harris figures to find a home relatively quickly as many NFL teams have depth issues at their cornerback position.

According to NBC Philadelphia, Harris was one of many players cut by the Eagles as they must trim their roster from 90 to 75 by 4 p.m. EST on Monday.

1 2 3