The last few days have seen a flurry of terrible writing regarding the University of Oregon. Many pieces have lacked logic, journalism, and objectivity. While we have some great writers like Rob Moseley, who have covered this situation as a journalist should, we have also seen writers like John Hunt insert opinion into what should be news articles. And we've endured some terrible opinion pieces, like one written by Dwight Jaynes. The long time columnist from Portland has taken to the net, and in the past two days has written some of the most nonfactual, illogical and, in the end, immature posts I've ever read.
We talked a bit about this in the comments of the Roper post yesterday, but Jaynes turned in a stunningly bad piece that seemed to have almost no grasp on college football. Jaynes started his column out by talking about Masoli, and the continued with this warning:
But what makes it a little scary is that Coach Chip Kelly’s offense burns through quarterbacks the way an Indy car goes through tires on a hot day.
Oooh boy! Who cares about logic when you can create hilarious metaphors like that. But in all seriousness, I can understand people that would be concerned about QB depth. It could potentially become an issue. But when you burn through 4-5 QBs, as we did in 2007, it really makes very little difference how many QBs you have. Because when you get that far down the depth chart, you're dealing with quarterbacks who haven't even gotten many snaps in practice. So when you get to that point, you'll be starting from scratch anyway. He then continues:
Justin Roper was the real loss here. He was a proven quarterback with a big arm who might someday play on Sundays. He was a quality backup who could have started at some other Pac-10 schools.
First of all, this statement is so absurd I really wonder if Jaynes has ever seen Roper play. In what way did he prove himsef on the field? His below-mediocre 117 QB rating? Furthermore, Roper does not have a "big arm," and he has almost no shot at playing in the NFL. He has not shown anything on the field that would make any scout think he could play in the NFL. Beyond that, Roper would have a shot at starting at a lower tier Pac-10 school. But even that would not be guaranteed. Roper was a backup with experience that knew his limitations and worked from that, admirably. But to overstate that is simply false.
But then we get to the bread and butter of the article....
Jayne's real concern is that Kelly said this, "I didn’t want any of them to transfer, but if they’re not happy not being the No. 1 guy at that position, then I can’t predict how that’s going to happen. [...] The one thing we can’t do is we can’t move Eugene, Oregon, closer to Kansas." Jaynes counters:
So, in other words, you want the guys who aren’t No. 1 to be happy about it? Obviously, they never will. Your job as a coach is to keep them around, anyway — either through a realization that they’ll probably eventually get a chance to play due to injury, graduation or whatever reason. That’s what coaches do, you know — they keep the 40 kids who aren’t starters around somehow, so that they have depth.
And as far as moving Eugene closer to Kansas, come on, pal, if distance from home is going to start becoming a problem — as is being said about both departing signal callers, Chris Harper and Roper — then you better stop recruiting players from outside the Pacific Northwest, which you’re obviously not going to do.
This is unfair to Chip Kelly on a number of levels. According to this logic, Kelly should have done whatever necesssary to keep this kids around. But, what if a kid doesn't want to be there anymore? Do you want a coach that will level with that kid, or one who will hem and haw and create a divisive environment. Chip Kelly runs a specifiic offense and has created an attitude of competition. If you have a player who doesn't want to have to deal with those two things, what in the world are you supposed to do? Are we really supposed to believe that Roper would have stuck around if Mike Bellotti were in charge, in which the offense would have been exactly the same and he would have been #2? Are we supposed to think that Harper would have stuck around in the exact same position? Of course not. But James claims otherwise, without any evidence or logic behind his statements, simply rumors that are the opposite of how a good college football program should be run.
Alright, so Jaynes wrote a bad article, what of it? Well, it received a number of comments, mostly from Duck fans, some reasoned and full of depth, and some not so much. That's the way the internet goes.
But, instead of responding to these criticisms head-on, Jaynes instead wrote a completely immature piece, which included the following:
I have to tell you, Oregon Duck fans, you’re a different breed. Most fans of teams can, at least once in a while, take an objective look at their favorite team.
They can see the bad things with the good. See the potential problems. Even make constructive criticism when merited because, really, all of that is part of being a fan. Overall, they’re capable of participating in objective discussions about their favorite team.
I find these statement one of the most ironic, considering that Jaynes could not discuss his own piece objectively. Instead of responding to rational criticism, he decided to lash out at an entire fan base.
Maybe Jaynes doesn't like his pieces getting called out as they should, but his first piece was terrible. His response was simply juvenile. If you don't want responses on your blog, don't open up comments. Furthermore, if you don't like the comments, don't belittle a large group of people.
And that's why the blogosphere in general will succeed. Because, at least around here, we foster cogent and constructive arguments. Heck, most know how often and dvieira and I argue about all sorts of things. We have had very forceful disagreements many times, but that's not a bad thing. Alas, much of the old guard is still entrenched in their ways, and will treat fans accordingly. They do not want their opinions challenged. They are stuck in a world where they are important because of their connections, and they still think that they are the gateway to our sports information, so how dare we question them.
Well, the pillars of old media are crumbling. We have the ability to choose what information sources we want, and have the ability to demand the best from the media. But Jaynes and the media he represents refuse to admit that. And that's why they are failing, and blogs and other new media sources will win the day.