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Joe Giansante Will be Missed, and Deserves Some Respect

He has been called many things, most notably on this blog "homer" and "asshat." In fact, if you Google "Joe Giansante is an asshat," it returns three search results; all three are comments made by ATQ users, one of them by me (the other two are from JShufelt). He left something to be desired as a sports announcer, and the fact that he was a part of every televised UO sport put him at the front of Duck fans' ire. But the contributions he made to the UO athletic department are immense, and will be felt for decades. And there may be no bigger Duck fan around. 

Joe's father Ray Giansante played football for the Ducks in 1953, and Joe grew up in Forest Grove, OR a die-hard Duck fan. He graduated from UO in 1989, and spent a year as our beloved Duck mascot while a student. He came back to his alma mater in the 90's, and became the TV voice of the Ducks in 2000. In 2007, he was named UO Athletics' Director of Community Relations and Special Programs, and soon after earned the title of Senior Associate Athletic Director. He is a favorite of former AD Pat Kilkenny, who is an investor in the surety firm that hired Giansante.

Perhaps his most important contribution to the landscape of Oregon athletics is his role in bringing back the baseball program. The idea to resurrect the program began with his passion for the sport. He was the point man in the athletic department, and was instrumental in the construction of PK Park and the hiring of George Horton as head coach. His hard work and determination is partially responsible for the early success of the UO baseball team.

Ultimately, it was the new Pac-12 Network contract that led to the end of the Giansante Era of Oregon Athletics. A new, all-encompassing network renders OSN obsolete, and eliminates the majority of Giansante's job description, and it was the smart career move to leave the athletic department. Giansante has expressed interest in freelancing for the new Pac-12 network, most likely in sports like track & field or baseball. 

So no matter how you may feel about how Joe Giansante called a sporting event, or his objectivity when it comes to sports commentary, there shouldn't be a Duck fan whose first reaction to Giansante's departure is "Thank God" or "Good Riddance." He is a birth-to-earth Duck who landed the job we would kill to have, and did it the best he could for over a decade. If you're happy he's leaving, it's because you're jealous of how great he has it.