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Oregon Fans Are Rick Neuheisel Haters

The win for Oregon over UCLA must have been extra sweet for the fans who have all sorts of distaste for Bruins coach Rick Neuheisel. Apparently the hatred dates back to two events. The first was a fake punt run by Neuheisel’s team in the 4th quarter of the ’96 Cotton Bowl when his team already had a three touchdown lead. The second was when Slick Rick’s Washington team danced at the Oregon “O” at midfield following a 42-14 win. As a result, Oregon fans were fired up about giving it to Neuheisel this weekend:

A man outside the stadium Saturday was selling “Neuheisel [stinks]; Go Ducks” T-shirts. Fans, including kids, heckled Neuheisel the moment he popped his head out of the locker room for warmups.

“We just hate him,” said John Conrad, a resident of North Bend, Ore. “We never really hated Washington that much before Neuheisel coached there. It’s a long feud.”

“His expressions, his nerve, his ego, his attitude, I just don’t like him,” said Myrtle Brech, a 70-year-old grandmother from Creswell, Ore. “Just the look on his face, you can tell he thinks he’s better than everyone else.”

It’s incredible; I never knew that I could share the same thoughts as a 70-year-old grandmother! I think she summed up in words exactly what I don’t like about Neuheisel. At least she only deals with him once a year, but as my coach, I have to deal with that all year long. I guess the only thing I can hope for is some quick turnarounds with the program because nobody can argue with winning. And luckily for the Ducks their play on the field did the talking.

Video: Knowshon Moreno Hit by Tennessee’s Eric Berry, Ouch

Just as I went berserk over Knowshon Moreno’s amazing touchdown runs and hurdles over defenders, I feel like I must also pass along the times when he gets crushed by a defender. I was watching live when this hit happened and thought it sounded just as bad as it looked. Turn up the volume for this crack laid on Moreno by Tennessee’s Eric Berry. You might want to skip ahead to the :35 second mark.

What’s shocking is how good Georgia’s running game was even when Moreno was knocked out of the game. Caleb King finished up the drive and looked great on some of his runs (even if his final numbers indicate otherwise). Still, Moreno better get his head straightened out quickly — the Dogs have Vandy, LSU, and Auburn in the next three weeks. Any wonder why it’s nearly impossible to escape the SEC unscathed?

Andruw Jones Expects to Start and Have Big Season Next Year

If Andruw Jones hasn’t given us anything for his $18 million salary this season, at least he’s provided us with plenty of laughs. That seems to be the continuing trend with Mr. Jones, who recently spoke with the LA Times and provided some needless-to-say humorous answers. As passed along by commenter Anders(on) Varejao, who no doubt is in heaven right now with the Dodgers in the NLCS and the Lakers beginning pre-season games, according to Jones:

“I had a bad season and a terrible season back-to-back,” Jones said. “I have to have a great season and show people I have baseball left in me.”
..
Jones said he expects to be the everyday center fielder next season.

“I’m an everyday guy or I need to move out,” he said.

You can feast on that for a second. Another point is something my Uncle raised when we last spoke: Where are Andruw Jones and Brad Penny, and why aren’t they in the dugout cheering on the team? They’re still part of the team, aren’t they? Do they really need to be away to rehab their injuries? I would figure that they could still find it in themselves to support the squad, but that’s just me. As for Andruw, I assume he’ll start the season with the job; it will be up to him to perform well enough to keep it.

UPDATE: Ben Maller tells us exactly what Brad Penny’s been up to — partying it up in Las Vegas.

LSU Backs Off Tim Tebow Comment

For some reason or another, Tim Tebow seems to be the guy people love to hate. Maybe it’s cause he nails hot chicks. Maybe it’s because he kisses babies. Maybe it’s because he refuses honors from Playboy. He’s like what J.J. Redick was at Duke, but for college football. Anyway, after initially causing a stir with his words, LSU defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois backed off his Tim Tebow comments:

“If we get a good shot on [Tebow], we’re going to try our best to take him out of the game,” Jean-Francois said Monday. “With his size and his heart, it’s hard to get a clean shot.”

Later, LSU’s Web site carried what it termed a clarification from Jean-Francois.

“We never go into any football game trying to hurt a player from the other team,” Jean-Francois was quoted as saying. “My comments in regard to Florida quarterback Tim Tebow were misinterpreted and were intended to reflect the style of football that we play at LSU. We have great respect for Tim as [a] player and a competitor. By taking him out of the game, I meant as a defense we are going to try to make him ineffective. I’m sorry that my initial comments were interpreted another way.”

I really do think it’s unsportsmanlike to try and intentionally knock a player after a game. Going for a sack or trying to stick a player with a tackle is understandable — that’s the intent of the job. But you’re not out there trying to injure a player even if it helps you win. Either way, this sure has added some extra fire to Saturday’s big game between the teams in Gainesville. Now Jean-Francois needs to back up his words Joey Porter-style.

UCLA Discouraging Home Field Advantage vs. Fresno St at Rose Bowl

Once again, UCLA’s sports marketing department has dropped the ball, rather, taken the ball and run the opposite direction to create a score for the opposing team. The first step in this season-long process was baiting USC to run up the score against the Bruins, proclaiming the football monopoly in LA was over. Yeah, real smart. Well, apparently not shaken by back-to-back blowout losses to BYU and Arizona, the marketing department has taken out an ad in the Fresno Bee, all but begging Fresno State fans to come fill up the Rose Bowl when the two teams meet on Saturday. If that wasn’t enough, they’ve also taken out a radio ad as well. And check out this explanation:

UCLA assistant athletic director of marketing Scott Mitchell said advertising in the Central San Joaquin Valley was a necessity because it is his job to fill the Rose Bowl. He added the campaign was targeted toward UCLA and Fresno State fans, but acknowledged “if we weren’t playing Fresno State, we wouldn’t run the ad.”

“We’d prefer that UCLA fans attend en masse and we were selling out and that would be the best way, but it isn’t,” Mitchell said. “We’ve got availability and we need to let people know there still are tickets available.”

I believe the whole “I’m just doing my job” line was pretty much discounted at Nuremburg. That’s not going to fly with me. If you want to let people know there are tickets available, advertise towards your target audience — UCLA fans. Why don’t you try ramping that up a bit rather than reaching out to the opponent? Even still, I’d much rather have fewer fans in the stands than have an athletic department personally reaching out to the opposition. Do we even care about winning? Is Mitchell so shortsighted as to not realize that winning is what sells tickets and creates a buzz? Does he not understand that the chance of winning decreases when there is less support from the crowd??

Mike Leach Gives Dating Advices

I might not have wanted the man around when he was being discussed as a potential UCLA coach, but there’s no doubt he’s worked wonders with the Texas Tech program. He’s got a gimmick offense that spreads the ball around with a crazy passing game and produces results. Apparently Mike Leach isn’t just an offensive guru, he also has valuable dating advice. From The Wiz of Odds:

I like his line about taking a chick to the steakhouse where they don’t serve salad. He’s right on about that. Who knew that Leach was a suavecito?

Video: Knowshon Moreno Goes Airborne in Touchdown Run vs. Arizona State

I’ll be quick to admit that I’m not a huge college football fan and that my knowledge and enjoyment of teams and players is far more limited compared to my level of enthusiasm for other sports. That being said, I’m a huge fan of Knowshon Moreno and began to notice his brilliance last year during his freshman campaign. The guy is big, strong, runs fast, runs hard, can juke, can hurdle, can run you over — he’s the whole package. He’s a fantastic collegian and I expect him to be an incredible pro. If you don’t see what I’m talking about, then you need to check out the video of him hurdling the Central Michigan defender in the middle of a run. Well Knowshon just about performed an encore, scoring the first touchdown of the game against Arizona State, a nine-yard touchdown run in the 2nd quarter. Check it:

That dude was parallel to the ground he was so horizontal. He got like four or five feet of air on that one. Was he trying to score a touchdown or was he trying to set an Olympics record in the high jump? Moreno could probably give Adrian Wilson and Joey Gathright a run for their money. Interesting little tid bit: Moreno means “Brown” in Spanish. I think we’re distant cousins.