It was an amazing game. At times played brilliantly. At other times a bona fide three-ring circus by both teams. This morning, I have a real appreciation for the fight in the Wildcats, their offensive game plan, Nick Foles' abilities and the speed of their defense. Their fans, however, clearly are not ready for the big stage.
Let's start with a sign that we saw at ESPN's Game Day set on the UA campus. A Duck QB injury checklist? Seriously? It read something like, "Kellen Clemens - check, Dennis Dixon - check, Jeremiah Masoli - you're next." What an amazing display of stupidity. To the douchebag who made and displayed that sign, I hope you're enjoying your karma breakfast this morning. That taste in your mouth is Masoli's...well, you know.
Should we be surprised about someone from UA celebrating opposing players suffering severe, career-impacting injuries? No. As Joe Giansante reminded me during the CSN rebroadcast late last night, it was UA students who taunted a visibly-crushed Dennis Dixon after a blown knee ended his Oregon career, his national title hopes and his shot at the Heisman Trophy.
'Nough said about that. Let's move on to the Arizona students pouring onto the field with more than six minutes to play. Oregon had two time outs and the Wildcats were going into a shell. It was obvious Oregon was going to get the ball back and an educated fan would understand the Ducks don't need much time to score. Nice job by the UA student section. You just looked like idiots during the national game of the week. Even worse, you collectively chose to watch the best finish in college this season from a terrible vantage point. What is it that Guinness guy says? Brilliant!
My last complaint is the worst of the bunch.
We learned this morning that Oregon senior cheerleader Katelynn Johnson was carted off the field and taken to the hospital after being hit in the head by a full bottled water. According to the Associated Press, Johnson was pelted just off the side of the field while celebrating the Ducks' dramatic win with other Oregon cheerleaders and personnel. Mike Bellotti said, "There were many things -- water and other things -- being thrown down there." Jeremiah Masoli added, "That's just unacceptable behavior from fans, whether it was an Arizona fan or any fan across the nation."
Arizona folks, Bellotti is coming after you. And you may not like Mike when he's mad. Bellotti evidently has had enough of this bullshit on Arizona's field, and vows to "address" the issue with UA administrators. For what it's worth, Bellotti and Giansante did their TV broadcast at field level due to lack of space in UA's press box area. So it's a sure bet Bellotti got a good look at UA's lack of security.
So that's my rant.
In all fairness, we all know Oregon fans have been voted the rudest in the Pac-10. I have seen a full water bottle thrown in Autzen - at a foolish Husky fan who decided to stand, with a purple cape on, in the middle of the UO student section with arms raised at halftime of a game the Huskies were trailing by two touchdowns. The thrower missed his target. Earlier this season I watched about two dozen idiot Duck fans gather in front a collection of Utah fans to chant "o-ver-rated" a good 15 minutes after the game was over.
Congratulations to Arizona fans, a handful of jerks - and hundreds of presumptuous students - have given you a nice juicy black eye. After all that transpired, off the field, it makes what happened on the field all that much sweeter. Like I said, UA fans - at least some of them - clearly aren't ready for the big stage. Enjoy your trip back to the Las Vegas Bowl after USC feeds you the rest of your bad-karma buffet.