Its Happy I Hate Washington Week, and certainly Kenny Wheaton needs no introduction. 'The Pick' is the iconic play in Oregon football history, and 17 years later is still the last thing fans see on the scoreboard before the Ducks run onto the field. Every Duck fan, even the most recent convert, knows the significance of this play in turning the tide of Oregon football, and the phrase "Kenny Wheaton's Gonna Score" is etched into the memory of every Duck fan.
But for all we know about the Pick, most newer fans know very little about Wheaton's greatness as a Duck. How he overcame the loss of his little brother, set to join him on the UO football team, being the victim of a drive-by shooting. Few remember that Wheaton became an all-conference cornerback, so good that he became the first Duck to leave a year early for the NFL. His trophy case is filled with most of the awards that the U of O gives to its football players. He is in the UO athletic hall of fame.
Those accomplishments aside, real legends are remembered for what they do off the field, and Wheaton shines in this area as well. Although Wheaton makes his home in Dallas, he still returns to Eugene often. His time here made such an impact on him that he started the Kenny Wheaton Foundation, with the goal of helping underprivileged youth in Lane County. In the last couple of months alone, hundreds of backpacks, school supplies, and pairs of cleats have made their way to local kids in need.
Kenny Wheaton will be forever remembered for changing the course of Oregon football, but his most important contribution will always be the children that he has helped. It is this, more than anything, that makes me proud to call him a fellow Oregon Duck.
To see the rest of the Buick Human Highlight Reel, and even share a story of your own, go to ncaa.com/buick. This post is sponsored by Buick.