Just look at the rest of you. You look like the forgotten meat unearthed from the back corner of the freezer. You look like you're running around with faded expiration dates. What unfashionable slobs.
For one thing, you're always huddling, huddling, huddling. Here numerous studies have shown the unhealthiness of sedentariness, and you're all the time sitting around in a cute little circle talking about things. You can't seem to get on with life unless you've stopped to have a deliberative chat. What do you do in there, anyway? Do you share your feelings? Do you express your fears about the next play and assist each other as to how you might overcome those fears?
No wonder your uniforms are all so plain, so drearily shy of Oregonian vividness. You probably stopped to huddle on the way to the uniform shop and wound up with what was left.
We don't know for sure, but just looking at you, it's clear that you access your stadiums by stagecoach. Clearly, you talk to each other on flip-up clam phones. If you do have Internet access, it's almost certainly dial-up. Your game films look like something in an old VCR that needs cleaning, with the gunk slowing down the tape. How do you all move that slowly without toppling over?
The rest of you conjure … the 20th century, and in the process, you conjure a voice from its long-gone closing in 1999, that of a young Haley Joel Osment: "I see dead people ... Walking around like regular people ... They don't even know they're dead ... They're everywhere."
Some other coaches, such as Nick Saban, have expressed a philosophical difference with Oregon's philosophies, but that's just more evidence of Oregonian vogue. Some people have always bemoaned progress, from smoking laws to bullet trains.
You're fretters, is what you are. Think of how much time you spend worrying: quarters upon quarters of worry, Alabamian worry in Baton Rouge, Notre Dame worry in South Bend, Kansas State worry that Bill Snyder one day might decide to start enjoying life. Well, here are the Oregon halftime scores in 2012: 50-10, 35-6, 35-7, 13-0 (en route to 49-0), 23-19 (en route to 51-26 after three quarters), 35-7, 43-7, 56-0 and 34-24 (but not that close).
Halftime should not be a time for worry. Halftime should be a time for gathering, enjoying friends and family, eating, drinking, merriment. Only at halftime should people huddle.
For decades, fanatics have dialed radio stations howling with their worries while wishing the head coach and the offensive coordinator would suddenly lapse into some streak of boldness. All that yelping, all those shows, all those years of yearning and slobbering and caterwauling, all of that has merged into one 21st-century cure known as Oregon. It wins. It thrills. It does what fans always wanted coaches to do. It reels off points that read like a fan's good dream: 57, 42, 63, 49, 51, 52, 43, 70, 62. It lends tranquil fourth quarters full of steady pulses and glimpses of backups.
It upgrades public health. Worry, like sedentariness, is shown to be bad for you.
Why don't you hear more around the country about the sublime experience of Autzen Stadium? Why not more lore and awareness of the gorgeous town, the smallish bowl, the routinely incredible noise that seems to have blared almost continuously since Kenny Wheaton's deafening 97-yard interception return against Washington in 1994?
Well, a country that started in the East remains forever tilted to the East. And Pacific Northwest people aren't as loud as the rest of the country. And Oregon has never sat around tethered to stodgy conventionalism. It long has been a bastion of freedom, and that includes the freedom to roam through your secondary like a stampede of gazelles. For a mascot, the University of Oregon has a big duck that looks like it wouldn't hurt if it bit. For a nod to the filthy, guilty pleasure of college football, it has its own brethren corporation in Nike, with its own indefensible, outsized luxuries that epitomize our national priorities: juice bar, tubs that call to mind some Dubai spa, light sensors that match the outside so eyes don't have to adjust, two stories so upstairs guys can listen to the coach off a veritable veranda, ventilated lockers with players' names and hometowns, photo of Phil Knight and, most crucially, a waterfall.
For style, it has its own.
Just look at that spectacle last Saturday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC had played football for 124 years and 1,154 games, yet had never encountered any such force. The 730 yards. The 62 points. The breathtaking four-play drive to start. The fact that a defense of highly tuned, highly recruited athletes, with one of the most lauded defensive coordinators of our lifetime, came to resemble a heap of hopeless chaos. The fact that you just plug in an innocent-looking redshirt freshman quarterback like Marcus Mariota and the whole thing still looks as if it just took off from Cape Canaveral. The fact that Kenjon Barner's 321 rushing yards did not include his 17-yard touchdown run that brought the away part of the scoreboard to 62, because it got called back for holding, except that Barner treated that like some minor inconvenience, rushed for five on the next play and 22 to the end zone on the play after that.
It looked like spaceship football. It looked like most everything else looks antique. It looked like the rest of you are too busy huddling.