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ATQ Staff Profiles: Tony Piraro

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You comment, we respond. Get to know me from the front office to your office...

I would like to thank you, the fans, first. Without your support and commitment to exploring Addicted To Quack, there would be no need for us. Your commentary only makes us, as a whole, better. You asked to know the writers, so I hope to help you with my personal response.

1. When did you join ATQ and why?

I joined ATQ in early August. My position handles covering Oregon football and men’s basketball.

I have been a Duck fan my entire life. Growing up in Chicago, Duck coverage was few and far between in my neck of the woods.

For years, I have been astonished by the lack of Duck support from mainstream media. It has long been a goal of mine to produce original, exclusive Oregon content. Not only for true Duck fans, but a national audience that needs to know Oregon.

So, I relocated to the Pacific Northwest to cover the Ducks on an internal level. On game day, you can find me in the press box at Autzen Stadium or Matthew Knight Arena.

As a former three-sport high school athlete and a two-sport collegiate athlete, I read the game as a player. As a former front office member, I watch the game differently from an athlete. I graduated from Columbia with a Broadcast Journalism degree. Therefore, I also have an understanding from the media’s perspective.

In my final semester, I accepted a play-by-play position within minor league baseball. While broadcasting, I had many positions such as writing for Bleacher Report. I was also an assistant sports information director at the junior college level.

I was a sports agent during a brief pause in my broadcasting career. After that, I became a license certified USA Basketball youth development coach.

As you can clearly see, I have an unhealthy obsession with sports. I am seeking help. For some odd reason, my wife doesn’t believe the answer is watching more sports. Weird.

Most recently, I pounced at my first opportunity to work within the Duck world this summer. This job is fulfilling a dream. I will always give you my best.

2. What's your favorite thing about ATQ?

My favorite thing about ATQ is fan feedback. I love discussing Oregon with passionate and knowledgeable fans. If I get something wrong, I can appreciate “constructive” criticism.

The fans voice is vital to the livelihood of sports. When the team wins, you want to enjoy it. When the team is underachieving, you want to vent. You need a voice to produce change or accountability from the coaching staff.

More times than not, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. The fans wanted a change at quarterback. A few postgame press conferences and mass questions about Dakota Prukop sparked the idea. Next thing you know, hello Justin Herbert.

Washington v Oregon
Whether we like to admit it or not, fans have a big influence on the game. Look no further than freshman starter Justin Herbert. Before the fans outcry for a change at QB, the true freshman was merely a blip on the Duck radar.
Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

You asked to know the writers you are reading, so here are our profiles. Your wish is our command. I can appreciate you wanting to know you’re reading a credible source. Trust me, I want the same thing from those I read.

3. Favorite Ducks sport:

Football and basketball. It is an absolute dead heat. Track and field, cross country aren’t far behind.

4. Favorite Ducks athlete, past or present:

LaMichael James. This was not an easy choice. Joey Harrington, Dennis Dixon, Marcus Mariota, Patrick Chung, J-Stew and De’Anthony Thomas will never forgive me.

Rushing for over 5,000 yards was one of the most impressive feats in college football history. It is impossible for me to overlook James’ dominance.

My favorite basketball player in Duck history was Aaron Brooks. The Chicagoan in me makes it tough to love most guards after you know who, but...Brooks was a walking highlight reel with a jumper that never seemed to slump.

Watching him play for my Chicago Bulls was a thrill. I met him in Chicago during his second season with the team. He couldn’t have been nicer. Let’s just say, it didn’t go unsaid that I was a lone Duck fan in a city full of Notre Dame, Illini and Northwestern mobs.

5. Favorite Oregon game you've been to or watched:

No. 7 Oregon vs Arizona State. October 28, 2000. I have never watched a game in my life like that one. Joey Harrington threw for six TD’s to lead the Ducks to victory over ASU, 56-55, in double overtime.

The most incredible part of that game was the balance between both teams. The scoring for each quarter was exactly the same for both teams, until the final second overtime.

The rollercoaster of emotions during this game has only been matched a handful of times in my life. It was the greatest Duck game I have ever watched.

My second favorite game was a 39-7 dismantling of Michigan in 2007 at The Big House in Ann Arbor. Dennis Dixon was unleashed for 386 total yards and four scores. Then offensive coordinator, Chip Kelly began to scratch the surface that day. His high-powered attack was the talk of college football following the program-changing victory.

Attending the 2012 Rose Bowl victory against Wisconsin was beyond memorable. As a gigantic De’Anthony Thomas fan, he played his best game on the biggest stage. I will explain the bittersweet ending to that game later in my profile.

6. Five Guys or In N Out?

In N Out. Dean Martin Drive, Las Vegas. Enough said.

7. Twizzlers or Red Vines?

Twizzlers.

8. Helfrich or Chip?

I am surprised this is a debate. Chip, by a wide margin. Kelly defined Oregon football and the current offensive attack we witness today. Chip began the revolutionary high-speed spread in a no huddle offense. He was an innovator. I don’t let his professional disasters sway my opinion.

9. Favorite Oregon quarterback of the last decade not named Mariota:

Dennis Dixon, no question about it. If it wasn’t for a guy named LaMichael, DD would be my favorite Oregon athlete of all-time, period.

10. One other thing you think everyone should know about you:

The Seahawks are my favorite NFL team. I currently work for them in a freelance capacity.

Besides Russell Wilson and Russell Westbrook, Lionel Messi is my favorite modern day athlete. I am also a lifetime supporter of the Wisconsin Badgers.

The 2012 Rose Bowl between the Ducks and Badgers was the most bittersweet moment of my life. De’Anthony Thomas led the Ducks past Russell Wilson and the Badgers, 45-38. I witnessed every play in-person from Pasadena, California.

I hope this helps you understand where I come from. I look forward to our open communication in the future. Thank you for reading!

Remember to follow ATQ on Twitter @AddictedToQuack for everything Ducks