Game Day: Are they filming a movie today?

Something else is going on today. It has to be. I know there's a game and I know that Comcast is televising it, but I've never heard of Oregon's opponent before this week and am convinced that something's amok.

True, I don't follow FCS football all that closely. I follow the Portland State Vikings for obvious reasons and am familiar with much of the Big Sky Conference due to such, but Missouri State rings no bells, jogs no memories and strikes no historical chords with me. So this has to be a joke.

Okay yes, I know that this was supposed to be Utah and due to their recent membership into the conference Oregon was left scrambling for a September 17th opponent. Yes again, I've taken some time to familiarize myself with Missouri State and learned a thing or two about their school and their program:

  • Their mascot is the Bears

  • It's located in Springfield, Missouri which was named after James Wilson allegedly offered free whiskey to anyone who'd vote for his hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts as the name of the newly established town in Missouri.

  • Their Visitors Guide is sponsored by Mister Hotshine Car Wash and Lube Centers

And further yet, I'm fairly sure that the Ducks will make quick work of these Bears en route to preparations for their first conference game the following week at Arizona. But I can't help but feel as though there's something more to this.

Missouri State sounds like one of those fictitious sports movie teams filled with second-rate actors and crossover star cameos. Does Scott Bakula or Craig Sheffer play quarterback for the Bears? Does Kathy Ireland do the kicking? Do they run plays like the "Annexation of Puerto Rico?" I'm expecting cameras and cue cards, takes and retakes, and stunt doubles for some of our favorite Oregon players.

Is Dennis Quaid in town? How about Duane Davis, who can be seen in Summer School, The Program, Necessary Roughness, How I Got Into College and Beetlejuice where he played…that's right…a football player. Has anyone seen him? Oh wait, he actually played football at the University of Missouri…the one I have heard of.

I don't want to sound as though I'm trivializing this game, because I realize it's important to respect every opponent and to treat every game as an opportunity to get better, but the reality is this; Oregon is more-than-likely going to win this game and what's important is that they get better. This is another opportunity for the offensive line to gain experience, receivers to get reps and back-ups to see the field. Bryan Bennett needs time, freshmen and newcomers such as Colt Lyerla, Rahsaan Vaughn and Tra Carson need time, and I need as much time as possible to see DeAnthony Thomas on that field. It also provides players such as Kenjon Barner and Michael Clay to recover from injury, and Kiko Alonso and Cliff Harris to shake off any rust acquired during their well-publicized suspensions.

It does matter.

So I'll watch this game with interest. I want to see who and which units are getting better, what is working and what isn't, and what we can expect in future games opposed to what we may never see again. Contrary to my belief, there is a game this afternoon in Autzen Stadium, but I'm still skeptical of what may be going on behind the scenes.

Enjoy the game!

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