We’ve had a lot of Juju-pleasing, self-induced pain this week. It’s a good remedy for the panic that we’re all feeling and it helps subdue the hubris that tends to creep in when your team is 11 – 0. Perspective is a good thing.
But enough of that! They call this game the Civil War, right? Unfortunately, Wikipedia doesn’t reveal anything about how this game earned such a label, and since I don’t know how to research anything outside of Wikipedia, I’m going to assume that no one knows. However, even though I can’t share the story of how the Oregon – OAC/OSU football game came to be named after the bloodiest conflict on American soil, I can make some comparisons between this rivalry matchup and the actual war that pitted brother versus brother. With apologies to benzduck (please feel free to correct any of these details, which I’m sure you remember vividly), here are some apt Civil War analogies:
Chip Kelly as Abraham Lincoln vs Mike Riley as Jefferson Davis: Lincoln stood for all that is good and proper. He had courage in the face of overwhelming opposition. He didn’t put up with media bullshit or deal in hypotheticals. If you paraphrase, you can basically sum up the Gettysburg Address as, "Win the Day." That’s right – put a beard and a top hat on Chip Kelly, and he’s the spitting image of ol’ honest Abe. Jefferson Davis? Well, he tried real hard with a couple good players and some walk-on recruits, but in the end, he just couldn’t get it done. It’s okay, Mike Riley. You too can be a footnote in history.
Oregon offense as Sherman’s March to the Sea vs. OSU Defense as Georgian countryside: This is the classic "irresistible force meets very movable object." Just like Sherman decimated everything in his path, I would expect Darron Thomas and LaMichael James to leave Baver defenders lying scorched in their wake.
OSU offense as Pickett’s Charge vs Oregon defense as Union soldiers on Cemetery Ridge in Gettysburg: Actual letter from one Union soldier to another in General Meade’s Army of the Potomac on July 3, 1863:
LOL! WTF R they doin?
Samuel McGinnery III
Oregon going to the BCS NCG as Emancipation vs OSU gaining bowl eligibility as Slavery: Look, anyone with a soul knew that slavery was wrong, just like anyone with any desire to see good football wants Oregon to be in the national championship game. The Ducks have an exciting offense, a big play defense, great special teams, and great coaching. Conversely, who in their right mind wants anything to do with watching a bad OSU team (minus one of its best players) get their butts handed to them by a MWC team in some crappy bowl in the middle of December?
As you can see, the historical record doesn’t paint a good picture for OSU. But we go into the 114th Civil War knowing that we, as Duck fans, can be confident in our support of the better team. It may take four quarters of hard football, but we know that Kelly will have these guys ready to play. Go Ducks!
Now back to your regularly scheduled panic.