A former member of the Oregon football team returned to Autzen Stadium this past weekend to see the Ducks-Bruins game as a spectator for the first time. Can you believe he had numerous interactions with drunken idiots who thought they knew everything about football, and cursed at him when he tried to engage them?
This anonymous ex-player, who submitted his essay titled “I Love The Ducks. I Hate Ducks Fans.” to John Canzano of The Oregonian, said that he was looking forward to the typical football-game experience: tailgating, hanging with friends, etc. But he ended up getting more than he bargained for — which is to say, what we all have to go though every time we attend a football game.
Here are the most choice excerpts:
My friend and I took our seats where I soon became acquainted with the most ignorant people in all of college football. Directly behind me were a couple of drunk (expletive) who criticized Marcus’ ability to throw the football, DeAnthony’s ability to run the football, the lineman’s ability block, and the coach’s ability to analyze film and call plays.
Sounds par for the course.
I was then verbally attacked by other spectators saying, “you need to keep your (expletive) mouth shut, because you don’t know (expletive) about football.” They claimed that I didn’t know that they had coached college football, and that I had no idea what I was talking about.
Still, quite typical.
Not too long after, a woman a couple seats down yelled for 10 minutes straight about how the players were playing like “(expletive)”. The coaches were being “(expletive)”. The refs were being “(expletive)”. All during the time I was telling my friend how embarrassing it was to have her on our side. And then I started hearing laughter from the surrounding crowd and encouragement of that behavior. Is this really what goes on in the stands?
Yes. Of course. Every single game. On every level.
I remember walking in from fall camp practice and talking to my teammates about how similar our lives were to the TV series Spartacus. We were slaves… On the outside, spectators placed bets and objectified us. They put us on pedestals and worshipped us for a short time, but only as long as we were winning. In the end, we were just a bunch of dumbass (racial slur) for the owners to whip, and the rich to bet on.
Ah, now we’re getting down the heart of the matter
I will never attend a duck game as a spectator again. I am disgusted by duck fans and I will sit back and observe from afar with high hopes for the player’s success and understanding of their sacrifice, without having to hear the spoiled woes of ignorant fans.
I will always love the ducks: my coaches, my teammates, my brothers and family. The rest… Go (expletive) yourselves.
Mr. Ducks Player just described a typical college football game — I doubt that Ducks fans are much ruder than your typical college fanbase, so I’m sure this behavior is repeated more or less everywhere across the country — so on one hand, I want to say, “Duh, bro. Of course drunken idiots were drunk, and idiots, during the game. Football games are watering holes for drunken idiots, don’t you know that?”
But he also touches on an interesting point: Players feel like slaves not just to the university and NCAA, but to the fans — people who support you only when you’re performing well. Otherwise, you’re nothing to them, just a bum who let the school and fans and alumni down. For young guys (and older guys who were once young guys), that’s a tough concept to understand.
Also, the Ducks won that game, so I don’t know why everyone was bitching so much.