"Alright fellas grab a knee..."

Gentleman. I want you all to understand a bit of history. Sports and sporting events are nothing more than an extension of battles played out through history. Many sports (individualized and team) mirror the images of battles where men showed their true spirit, passion, and the ability rise above adversity.

For those that choose the path of the warrior, they were judged on one thing and one thing only: CHARACTER!

Their CHARACTER in battle meant as much as life or death. CHARACTER in battle meant they would be remembered long after the fierce fights and long after disputes were settled. For many of the warriors, it was their CHARACTER that drove them to acts of heroism, feats that went well beyond expectations, and gave them the ability to look another man in the eye and go to WAR!

Gentleman it's OUR character that has been drawn into question. It's our character that is being challenged by the community we represent, by the media, and by those who ultimately support this program. Today gentlemen we MUST show OUR character as a team and as a program. We must show that we not only have that character, we intend to leave a positive imprint on Oregon State Football history. So to begin I bring to you this quote:

"Out of every 100 men faced with battle, eighty are nothing but targets, ten shouldn't even be there, nine are the real fighters and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back." Hericletus, c.500 BC

The way I see it men, it's simple. Be the ONE that rises above the others and takes this team on your back. Be the one that wants the ball, be the one that wants the call on their side of the line. Be the one that dares WSU to throw at them, run at them, or kick the ball to them. Be that one who makes the hit on special teams that jars the ball loose, makes that backside block that springs our return man, or gets us that extra yard to keep the drive going. Be the one that changes the course of events for this team based on their character to rise above the adversity!

Be the one that has the ability to walk away from excuses and finds reasons to win. Be the one who believes today is the day we begin to march towards a common goal. And that goal is VICTORY! Be the one who places the rest of the team on their back and leads them victory! This person can be anyone, but in order to be that guy you'll have to show the character of a warrior and the character of a winner!

In all honesty gentlemen it takes more than one person to win this game. But if all 11 of you on the field believe you are that one that will "bring the others back," then we'll have one helluva game. And regardless of the outcome, you can be proud and stand tall knowing the COUGS not only knew they were in a ball game, but they respect the hell out of you for the way it was played!

If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times...you are judged not only on the outcome, but how that outcome was reached. Don't be the "eighty who are simply targets." Challenge yourself to be better than the "nine who are truly fighters," and lets dig down deep inside ourselves and find that 1 who will rise above the rest and lead us to VICTORY!

Be proud, play fast, hit hard, and remember 60 minutes of sustained effort!

GO BEAVS!


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