Game Day: This Is Serious

It would be easy for you, I and anyone else associated with this game, either from a player, coach or fan perspective, to treat it as a minor bump in a road full of major elevation change.

This isn't a Pac-10 team, a team from a BCS conference or even a team playing at the same competitive level as the Ducks from an NCAA perspective…heck this isn't even the Huskies, but it is a team worthy of a legitimate effort. (At least for a quarter or two)

This is why I've accepted as my responsibility the role of lead-off-man for the aforementioned constituents. In an effort to mentor the various chess pieces responsible for the outcome Saturday afternoon, stifle potential complacency and ensure a genuine effort, I'm going to get the ball rolling.

I'm going to take this team seriously.

How you may ask?

Quite simply, by treating them as an equal. It would be easy for me to play Big Brother/Little Brother with the Vikings; you know, speak to their heightened level of effort, being on the "upward climb," and wishing them good luck and Godspeed in their journey towards respectability Saturday afternoon in Autzen Stadium, and under normal circumstances I would. After-all, they are local, I find their coach to be a likeable guy and they're competing for a different prize than you and your Ducks. But, there's too much at stake to risk the ill-effects of such an effort going south. Oregon can obviously ill-afford to lose this game, certainly don't need any backlash from a game of this nature being competitive, and shiver at the prospect of a serious injury resulting from a game with so little to gain.

So I'm hoping for the best…or the worst if you're from the Park Blocks.

I hope this game is out-of-hand at the end of the first quarter, embarrassing by the half and laughable at the final gun. I hope Nate Costa plays more minutes than Darron Thomas, and Daryle Hawkins more than that. I hope we see a lot of Remene Alston, a ton of Andres Reed and even endless amounts of anyone I've never heard of and hope to hear nothing from again (no offense boys). Most importantly, I hope I hear next to nothing about anything resulting from this game an hour, a day or more so a week after the final seconds tick off the clock.

Why you may ask? Because anything worth mentioning from a game worth so little, can only be bad.

If Kenjon Barner returns 2 kicks for scores…he was supposed to. If LaMichael James runs for 150 yards and 3 scores in the first 20 minutes…he was supposed to. And if Darron Thomas goes Denard Robinson and puts up 300 yards of total offense, contributes to 6 touchdowns and levitates and flies out of Autzen Stadium by the half…he was supposed to.

Catch my drift?

This game is a glorified scrimmage. A chance to grease the wheels, stay loose and fine-tune before Arizona State. It shouldn't be close, shouldn't be competitive and definitely shouldn't be of interest by 4 PM Saturday afternoon.

I have spoken, and it's the last I hope I have to say about this game…hold me to it Ducks.


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