After Oregon beat UCLA 42-14 Saturday, John Canzano of The Oregonian received a letter
from an anonymous former Ducks player who attended the game and had a horrific experience with the fans. This player played in a recent BCS bowl game for Oregon. Here's the letter he received...
"I Love The Ducks. I Hate Duck Fans.
I, for the first time, attended a ducks game as spectator. I was excited to experience tailgating, cheering, and being with friends, rather than the seriousness that comes with preparing for a game. My buddy, whom I had given tickets to all throughout my time as a player, decided he wanted to pay me back and offer me tickets in corner end-zone seats as a regular fan. I accepted his offer with enthusiasm.
We enjoyed seeing friends, shaking hands, and sharing drinks with fellow supporters.
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. After hearing so much ignorant (expletive), I turned around to tell the "fans" to chill the (expletive) out. Marcus had overthrown a receiver on a tough play and the spectator made comment, "Hey, Marcus! Throw it inbounds, dumbass!" in, which I finally had enough, and turned around and asked if he would like to get down there and take Marcus' place. The man responded, "No". Then I asked if we were all still rooting for Oregon, in which he responded in an aggressive, irrelevant and incoherent manner and so I decided to discontinue the conversation I had started with him.
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. Ironic to say the least, considering my background and what you know of me, what my old teammates know of me, and what my old coaches know of me.
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? Is this really the type of people we attract???
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. We were paid enough to live, eat, and train... And nothing more. We went out on the field where we were broken down physically and mentally every day, only to wake up and do it again on the next. 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.
What I described is a business, I know. It's how it works, and it is something we understand as athletes entering the system, as (expletive) up as it is. For many people entering that system, it's better than what life has to offer elsewhere. So they take it. But having been on the outside now, to witness this disgusting display of "support", I know that I want no (expletive) part of it. 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."