Tag Archives: Mark Helfrich

Still waiting on explanation for Seminoles' departure

The media have reported — as they should — on the crummy conduct of three University of Oregon football players who chanted “No means no” while celebrating the Ducks’ win over Florida State in the semifinal game of the college football playoffs.

The chant was aimed at FSU quarterback Jameis Winston’s alleged sexual assault a couple of years ago.

Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich has said the players will be disciplined for their demonstration.

Good.

Now … what about the Seminoles’ conduct at the end of the game? Three-fourths of the team left the field before the final gun sounded to end the game, which ended with a 59-20 score in favor of the Ducks.

It’s customary for the coaches to meet at midfield, hug each other’s neck, shake hands and congratulate each other for a great game. The players do it, too.

It didn’t happen that way New Year’s Night in the Rose Bowl. The Ducks took congrats from a few FSU players. One of them was Jameis Winston, the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner, who hugged the 2014 Heisman winner, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. The two young men exchanged kind words.

Not a word — that I’ve heard, at least — has come from FSU head coach¬†Jimbo Fisher about the conduct of his players.

Isn’t there a code of sportsmanship and decorum that’s supposed to be followed here? Has that code been lost on players who got walloped on the field, but who then haven’t learned how to take their defeat like grown men?

And what kind of leadership are they getting when their head coach doesn’t own up to his players’ disrespectful behavior?

 

Sportsmanship lacking on both sides

Collegiate student-athletes must lose with class and they must win with it, too.

The Oregon-Florida State college football playoff semifinal game was fun to watch — particularly if you’re an Oregon Ducks fan, as I am. The Ducks blew out the Seminoles 59-20, ending FSU’s 29-game winning streak and dispelling the notion that the Ducks aren’t tough enough to play at this level of collegiate football.

The end of the game, though, produced some decidedly unattractive behavior.

With about a half-minute to go in the game, about two-thirds of the Seminoles walked off the field toward their locker room. They didn’t stay to shake the Ducks players’ hands, wish them well, congratulation them on the game they played. They skulked off the field, shaken by the battering they had taken.

You need to lose with class, yes?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/02/oregon-jameis-winston-no-chant_n_6405182.html

Then came the Ducks’ display of bad manners. About three Oregon players began some kind of chant about “No means no,” referring to FSU quarterback Jameis Winston’s off-the-field¬†trouble involving a woman who accused him of raping her. Winston was never charged with a crime.

Second-year Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich said the players would be “disciplined internally,” adding that their conduct reflects poorly on the school and the football program.

Yes, you also need to win with class.

 

Yes, we're Texans now … but, go Ducks!

My wife and I moved to Texas more than 30 years ago to allow me to advance my career in journalism.

It worked out pretty well for us since we landed in Beaumont, where we lived for nearly 11 years before moving to Amarillo just shy of 20 years ago.

Even though we now call Texas home, I remain of Oregon, the state of my birth, land of tall trees and mountains, a rugged coastline, a major city with a glorious downtown district — and from time to time, college football teams that capture the nation’s attention.

This year, the Oregon Ducks are front and center.

They have a Heisman Trophy recipient, Marcus Mariota,¬†calling plays as their quarterback. They have a talented corps of receivers who catch Mariota’s bullet passes, some fleet running backs who can pick ’em up and lay ’em down, a defensive front line that has emerged as one of the best in the nation and a homegrown head coach, Mark Helfrich, who is working the job of his dreams.

In a few hours, the Ducks are going to play Florida State in the Rose Bowl. The Ducks have been to the Granddaddy of Bowl Games three times since 1995. The game Thursday marks No. 4. They have a chance not only to win the game, but to advance to one more game. The Big Game. The one that determines the national champion of all of college football.

The Ducks played for the championship in 2011, losing to Auburn in a thriller.

This time, it feels a bit different. They enter the game as the favorites, although that doesn’t mean squat. As the saying might go: You play the game anyway. FSU is undefeated and has escaped its share of close scrapes this season.

And that makes me modestly — and cautiously — confident about the Ducks’ chances against the Seminoles. They’ve got a Heisman winner, too, last year’s pick Jameis Winston at QB. He’s a good one as well. They’ve got a stout defense and a freshman running back with tremendous balance.

I won’t make any predictions here. I’m not smart enough to pretend to know the ins and outs of a complicated sport.

The next big game will be against either Ohio State or Alabama, who will play later Thursday in the Sugar Bowl.

So, with that I plan to watch a little college football Thursday, starting around 4 p.m. Texas Panhandle time.

The Oregon Ducks need some love. I’m just one transplanted Oregonian sending all the love I can muster. Any additional love and good karma would be much appreciated.

 

Mack Brown shows class in final defeat

My interest in the 2013 college football season ended when the Oregon-Texas game at the Alamo Bowl concluded on Dec. 30.

The Ducks won big, 30-7, which made me — a native Oregonian — quite happy indeed.

But the moments after the game left me feeling sad that Mack Brown had coached his final game for the University of Texas Longhorns.

I’ve lived in Texas for nearly 30 years now, but never have become a big fan of college football here. Then came Mack Brown to the Lone Star State 16 years ago. He ran up some big numbers while rescuing a football program that had hit the skids. He won a national championship. His teams won about 75 percent of all the games they played during his time in Austin.

It wasn’t good enough, though, to suit many Texas boosters, alumni and the faithful who insist that they win every time they take the field.

The end of the Alamo Bowl showed why Coach Brown is such a classy individual and a gentleman.

He embraced Oregon coach Mark Helfrich in the middle of the field. He then whispered something into Helfrich’s ear and I was struck by the way he held a folder in front of his mouth to shield whatever he was telling the opposing coach from the TV camera’s prying eyes. Whatever it was, it must have been intensely personal.

Then the defeated coach talked to many of the Oregon players, congratulating them, patting them on the back, the shoulders, the head — maybe even a few backsides.

Coach Brown could have skulked off the field. He could have reacted differently. He left the field with his head held high — and his reputation as a gentleman burnished to a fine shine.