Worrying About Something that Didn't Happen

eDuck's Sunday Night Chat started early on Sunday night, because of a report that indicated Oregon's Chip Kelly was close to reaching an agreement to coach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As eDuck subscribers awaited behind their keyboards for any breaking news, a classic three-phase meltdown over an internet rumor/event took place.

Phase I: Shock and Denial. At approximately 6 p.m. on Sunday evening, KGW.com reported that sources indicated Chip Kelly and the owners of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were close to reaching an agreement in which Kelly would leave Oregon and rejoin LaGarrette Blunt in the NFL. Generally eDuckers dismissed the news though were shocked that KGW would report such a thing.

However, KGW's breaking news caused a jump in eDuck chat from two lonely souls to about 115 in less than sixty seconds. As more random alerts of jet aircraft tail numbers and other reports of what someone's neighbor's cousin who knows a guy said, chat went into Phase II: Anger and Frustration.

During Phase II, eDuck Sports, LLC officials tried valiantly to maintain order but old grudges and feuds festered as emotions boiled that Kelly might leave the Ducks for $7 million a year, until someone started mentioning possible replacements for Kelly, the man who has directed Oregon to three straight conference championships, three straight BCS Bowl games and the 2012 Rose Bowl Championship Trophy. Could it be Boise State's Chris Petersen, the former Duck assistant with family connections in Eugene? Or how about Gary Patterson, the TCU coach who also mentors a spread offense like Kelly? Maybe the Ducks could rely on Nike connections to pull in someone like Bob Stoops? That idea got boo'd down considering Stoops left Autzen Stadium a few years ago with a bad taste in his mouth over Pac-10(12) officiating.

Anyway, it was clear that the chat room had reached Phase III: Hope and Resolution. By this time the mood of the chat had greatly improved. Perhaps it was because reports of Kelly cancelling in-home visits in Sacramento had already came out during Phase II, but as names of potential replacements popped up, there was nearly an audible cheer coming through the monitor -- if Petersen or Patterson or Mark Helfrich or Steve Sarkasian or Jeff Tedford or (fill in the blank) comes, it might work out all right. After all, the Ducks have the greatest facilities in college football. The Ducks have great talent and an extremely close connection to the most powerful name in sports marketing.

Maybe there is light at the end of this tunnel.

Around 2 a.m. on Monday morning, George Schroeder of The Eugene Register-Guard reported that Kelly had confided to a highly placed source that he was turning down the job in Tampa Bay and would stay at Oregon.

The remaining 45 logged in chat were overjoyed.

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