The Beaver Beat (October 4, 2006)

What happens when your intrepid TBB reporter decides to go to the Bay Area instead of a Beaver game? Mostly a lot of making stuff up - WITH PIZAZZ!

This week, your intrepid reporter was absent from Reser Stadium, opting instead to travel to the Bay Area for a weekend of frivolity in the most flamboyant place on Earth. But never fear, TBB readers – though I traded in the excruciating pain of another Beaver loss for the excruciating pain of submissiveness and fuzzy handcuffs, I'm still able to walk (bowleggedly) to my computer to provide my precious weekly musings for the masses.

Folks, this week the hits are going to be coming as faster than a Mark Foley email to a congressional page. We're going to start with my expert analysis of a game I didn't see, move into my prediction for the next week (which will continue to be unrealistically optimistic until we put the final nail into a 2-11 season), take a quick look around the Pac, see what people about complain…er, saying about TBB and finish with the Pole of Power.

It's going to be super, folks, I promise.

PASS THE LITHIUM

TBB's top reporter wasn't able to make it to the game against Cal this weekend, but his poofy-shirted surrogate did give me a full report. My man on the ground, who goes by the codename "Soul Patrol", had this to say about the game:

"Well, right when I got into the stadium I knew we were in for trouble. They were playing my favorite Air Supply song over the PA system, which was great for me, but the players weren't feeling it at all. Mike Riley only made it worth when, in lieu of a pregame workout, he opted instead of a group hug, followed by lots of praying to that same non-denominational God (god?) that you talked about last week. I appreciated that he didn't want to offend anyone, but I thought that him asking the players to pray quietly so that the Cal players could keep their concentration was a bit much.

"What's more, MR seemed to be completely out of sorts. It's one thing to accidentally put on your pants inside-out (who hasn't done that at least once?), but to forget to wear them to the stadium is a reflection on just how poor of a coach we have here in Beaver Nation. His t-shirt from the new Portland Hooters was a nice touch, though.

"Anyway, sometime in the second quarter, when Mike appeared to take a phone call from his wife on the sidelines (I CAN RELATE, MIKE, TRUST ME), things really started getting ugly. Matt Moore called timeout to get the right play called, only for Yvenson Bernard to remind him that Cal had the ball. The secondary played patty-cake in between plays and Mark Banker appeared to be giving jump rope lessons to Derrick Doggett.

"I am somewhat worried about the prospects of the team this year.

"In defense of Oregon State, though, this Cal team looked good. I mean GOOD. When you have an offensive line that averages 6'5", 350 pounds, you know you have something going for you.

"Their offense is good, too. When the Bears were walking over to the stadium from Gill, Nate Longshore happened to run into an old lady that had gotten caught in between the ropes that they put up for security. He was kind enough to pick her up and throw her into her seat clear over in Section 12. What's more, she got there in a perfect spiral! Gee!

"Anyway, Cal might not just be the best team we've faced this year, they may be the best team I've ever seen. Imagine the 1985 Chicago Bears on defense and the 2000 St. Louis Rams on offense. Then pump them full of the best steroids the Bay Area has to offer and throw in a superpower or two to boot. Then put them on crack. That hypothetical team would still get the crap kicked out of it by this team. I fully expect them to qualify for the BCS championship game, only to decline the invitation, since only the winner of the Super Bowl would be a suitable opponent for the supersquad.

"The Cal Bears are so good, they took the poof out of my shirt. That guy from Aptos that I talked to before the game was as smart as he said he was. I am enrolling at Berkeley tomorrow, if they are kind enough to let me in."

Thanks, Soul Patrol, for that riveting postgame report.

TIME FOR MORE UNQUALIFIED OPTIMISM

Sometimes I really do think that being a Beaver fan is like being an addict. All of the signs are there. Every Monday, I think to myself, "Hey, a win this week would turn it all around." Every Tuesday, I think, "Maybe the team will come out and fire and shock the world." Every Wednesday, I think, "Those SOB's are going DOWN!" Every Thursday, I think, "The Beavs are -36 this week? EASY MONEY!" Every Friday, I think, "WOOO! TWENTY-FOUR HOURS UNTIL WE TURN IT ALL AROUND!" Every Saturday night, I start screaming belligerently at the people around Eugene for being so damned uppity about their damned stupid football team that's so "flashy" and "good" and "better than mine". Every Sunday I act like football doesn't exist. My football pool turns into just a list of games that I keep losing.

Heartbreak. Anger. Apathy. Remorse. Deception. Excitement. Heartbreak. Just another week in the life of a Beaver fan. It's the only way we can trick ourselves into watching the games the next week.

And damn it, I'm doing it again this week. I see a Beaver team that has a .500 record (and the two losses were to really good, ranked teams!). I see a Wazzu team that has a history of Couging it. I see a series that has the home team winning the last five games. I see the same Reser that slew the mighty Cougars last year with a flourish of fan participation. I see it all and I think: "Maybe this week…"

Certainly Oregon State has outperformed its abilities in the past. We beat Cal last year, in addition to giving LSU and USC a run for their money in big-time games within the past few seasons. Bowl game victories are now expected.

The problem seems to be that we've lost our swagger. We're not just losing – we're not even showing up to games. The problem isn't that we're 2-2; it's that we're 2-2 without really showing any reason why we shouldn't be. In 2004, when OSU started their season 1-4, with losses to LSU and BSU in the first two weeks fans weren't reaching for the razors nearly as much as they are right now.

Beaver Nation doesn't care if Matt Moore completes 80%-90% of his passes if they're all too short to get a first down. I would rather see Matt Moore be 4-27 if it meant that the four passes were all touchdowns.

We're not lovable losers – we're just losers. Most of us can take losses, but what we can't take is not even being competitive.

Still, it's Tuesday. Time for me to put my optimism hat back on. Maybe this is the week OSU puts it all together. Maybe this is the week we regain that fire.

For sanity's sake, I'm going to predict that it is.

THE PAC-10 IN FIFTY WORDS OR LESS

Cal and Oregon battle for the right to challenge USC for dominance, Stanford sucks, Washington is leading the Pac (gulp), zero wins in the state of Arizona makes TBB happy and USC needs to keep Football Hell from freezing over by winning this weekend.

NO HATE MAIL FOR TWO WEEKS IN A ROW. I'M DOING SOMETHING WRONG

Best. Scout.com article. Ever.

- HillsboroDawg, from the BF.com boards


When someone declares your article to be the best Scout.com article ever, you know you're doing something right. Unless that person is just a Husky fan too cheap to pay for a premium subscription. Call it a scratch.

POLE. POWER.

1. USC
2. Cal
3. Oregon
4. Washington
5. UCLA
6. Washington State
7. Oregon State
8. Arizona State
9. Arizona

(The Beaver Beat is published every Tuesday. Have something to say? Contact "Maf54" on AOL Instant Messenger. Be prepared to give the customary "a/s/l". Specifically "a".

thebeaverbeat@beaverfootball.com)

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