Thursday, September 29, 2005
A gorgeous day.
A legendary crowd. Biggest of all time. I know, I know, those folks could have been back in their seats at halftime, but come on . . . I watched the OSN replay -- it was like a South American soccer crowd. There was one continuous roar for all of the first half and a decent part of the 3rd quarter, until they got their 2 TDs. I was at '94 Oregon-Arizona; '86 and '87 Oregon-Washington; 2000 Oregon-UCLA. This was as good or better a crowd. My 10-year old was wearing a green and yellow wig and screaming his guts out, and had to keep checking to be sure it was okay keep make raspberry noises toward the neighboring SC fans.
An opponent for the ages. Even if they lose this week this SC team is already in the history books. They could be on the cover before it's all done.
A game. I kept telling people all week; "well at least we'll get to yell before the game starts." I knew there was a very real possibility we'd get smoked from the outset. Well we didn't. We had hope. Winning would have been better, but it was still pretty cool. A comparable experience to the '95 Rose Bowl.
A future. We can go toe-to-toe with the big boys. For everybody here who thinks that every loss is the beginning of the end, consider the following. Think to yourself who you consider the elite college FB teams. See if I missed anybody, while I recap the worst of their last 10 seasons.
Alabama: 6-6, 4-9, 7-5, 3-8, 7-5, 4-7
Florida: 7-5, 8-5, 8-5
Florida State: 9-3, 10-3, 9-5, 8-4
Georgia: 8-4, 8-4, 8-4, 5-6, 6-6
Iowa: 7-5, 3-9, 1-10, 3-8, 7-5
LSU: 8-5, 8-4, 3-8, 4-7
Michigan: 9-3, 8-4, 8-4, 9-4
Nebraska: 5-6, 7-7
Tennessee: 8-5, 8-4
Notre Dame: 6-6, 5-7, 5-6, 5-7, 7-6
Ohio State: 8-4, 7-5, 8-4, 6-6
Oklahoma: 7-5, 5-6, 4-8, 3-8, 5-5-1
Penn State: 4-7, 3-9, 5-6, 5-7
Miami: 9-3, 9-4, 5-6
USC: 6-6, 5-7, 6-6, 8-5, 6-5, 6-6
Texas: 9-5, 4-7, 8-5
Texas A&M: 7-5, 4-8, 6-6, 7-5, 8-4, 6-6
Va. Tech: 8-5, 8-4, 7-5
Washington: 1-10, 6-6, 7-6, 8-4, 7-5, 6-6
Many Trojan fans think their current streak will continue indefinitely. It won't -- simple as that. The 5th year seniors on their current team played against our '01 team. The 5th year seniors on THAT team were completing their 31-29 run.
I like to wonder what the true freshman, mostly redshirts, will have to say about Saturday's game when they look back in 2009?
I distinctly remember Joey talking about he and the other true freshmen watching wide-eyed during the '97 Oregon-Arizona season-opener (a night game) and wanting to recreate that electricity for themselves. I suspect that the recruits in attendance and the true freshman on this year's team took something positive from the USC game.
I think Duktape said it all in his post, below about negativity in fans. What are you folks seeking? Even in the down years, those 45 hours or so of actual Duck gametime are right at the top of my list of favorite recreational activities. I work hard all week (except maybe while writing this) and I treasure my Duck games. I love my chance to second-guess the people who coach football for a living. I couldn't coach as well as they do, but the chance to MMQ them is cool.
I had a good time. My wife and son had a good time. I suspect most of the others there did, to"
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Monday, September 26, 2005
Charlie Weis doesn't usually let anyone else call plays on offense. He made an exception for 10-year-old Montana Mazurkiewicz.
The Notre Dame coach met last week with Montana, who had been told by doctors weeks earlier that there was nothing more they could do to stop the spread of his inoperable brain tumor.
"He was a big Notre Dame fan in general, but football especially," said his mother, Cathy Mazurkiewicz.
Weis showed up at the Mazurkiewicz home in Mishawaka, just east of South Bend, and talked with Montana about his tumor and about Weis' 10-year-old daughter, Hannah, who has global development delay, a rare disorder similar to autism.
He told Montana about some pranks he played on Joe Montana -- whom Montana was named after -- while they were roommates at Notre Dame.
"I gave him a chance to hammer me on the Michigan State loss, which he did very well. He reminded me of my son," said Weis, whose son, Charlie Jr., is 12 years old.
Weis said the meeting was touching.
"He told me about his love for Notre Dame football and how he just wanted to make it through this game this week," Weis said. "He just wanted to be able to live through this game because he knew he wasn't going to live very much longer."
As Weis talked to the boy, Cathy Mazurkiewicz rubbed her son's shoulder trying to ease his pain. Weis said he could tell the boy was trying not to show he was in pain.
His mother told Montana, who had just become paralyzed from the waist down a day earlier because of the tumor, to toss her a football Weis had given him. Montana tried to throw the football, put could barely lift it. So Weis climbed into the reclining chair with him and helped him complete the pass to his mother.
Before leaving, Weis signed the football.
"He wrote, 'Live for today for tomorrow is always another day,"' Mazurkiewicz said.
"He told him: 'You can't worry about tomorrow. Just live today for everything it has and everything you can appreciate,'" she said. "He said: 'If you're (in pain) today you might not necessarily be in pain tomorrow, or it might be worse. But there's always another day.'"
Weis asked Montana if there was something he could do for him. He agreed to let Montana call the first play against Washington on Saturday. He called "pass right."
Montana never got to see the play. He died Friday at his home.
Weis heard about the death and called Mazurkiewicz on Friday night to assure her he would still call Montana's play.
"He said, 'This game is for Montana, and the play still stands,'" she said.
Weis said he told the team about the visit. He said it wasn't a "Win one for the Gipper" speech, because he doesn't believe in using individuals as inspiration. He just wanted the team to know people like Montana are out there.
"That they represent a lot of people that they don't even realize they're representing," Weis said.
When the Irish started on their own 1-yard-line following a fumble recovery, Mazurkiewicz wasn't sure Notre Dame would be able to throw a pass. Weis was concerned about that, too. So was quarterback Brady Quinn.
"He said 'What are we going to do?'" Weis said. "I said 'We have no choice. We're throwing it to the right.'"
Weis called a play where most of the Irish went left, Quinn ran right and looked for tight end Anthony Fasano on the right.
Mazurkiewicz watched with her family.
"I just closed my eyes. I thought, 'There's no way he's going to be able to make that pass. Not from where they're at. He's going to get sacked and Washington's going to get two points,'" she said.
Fasano caught the pass and leapt over a defender for a 13-yard gain.
"It's almost like Montana was willing him to beat that defender and take it to the house," Weis said.
Mazurkiewicz was happy.
"It was an amazing play. Montana would have been very pleased. I was very pleased," she said. "I was just so overwhelmed. I couldn't watch much more."
Weis called her again after the game, a 36-17 victory by the 13th-ranked Fighting Irish, and said he had a game ball signed by the team that he wanted to bring to the family on Sunday.
"He's a very neat man. Very compassionate," she said. "I just thanked him for using that play, no matter the circumstances."
Friday, September 23, 2005
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Monday, September 19, 2005
By the way, when is the NCAA going to ban the Trojans from tournament play. Isn't the name "Trojans" demeaning to people of Greek ancestry? Yes, I know Troy was in what is now Turkey. But it was a Greek city state. In any case why is it demeaning to have athletic teams named after American Indian tribes but my ancestors from Norway love the Minnesota Vikings. The NCAA is way out of line in their attempt to ban Indian team names.
Friday, September 16, 2005
GAME UPDATE: I am back from Eugene and the Ducks are now 3 an 0. The Ducks beat number 23 Fresno State before a sell out crowd of 58,201 at Autzen Stadium in Eugene Oregon.
The Bulldogs scored the first 17 points in the first half but then Oregon came back with a no huddle offense and in the 2nd quarter took a 20 to 17 point lead at half time. The Bulldogs tied it with a field goal to open the second half. Oregon then took a ten point lead but had to survive an on side kick by Fresno State to hold on to a 3 paint victory. Kellen Clemens passed for 332 yards for the Ducks. A very good college football game. A fun night in Eugene! Next game Number 1 ranked U$C at Oregon. GoDucks!
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
"The Senate Judiciary Committee began its hearing on the confirmation of
Judge John Roberts to be Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court on Monday.
Like so many other things in Washington, the word "hearing" in the US Senate
has absolutely nothing to do with the act of listening. It has everything to do
(to read the entire column click on the heading above "There's No Hearing Here" above.)
Monday, September 12, 2005
Each year my video production company is hired to go to Washington, D.C. with the eighth grade class from Clinton, Wisconsin where I grew up, to videotape their trip. I greatly enjoy visiting our nation's capitol, and each year I take some special memories back with me. This fall's trip was especially memorable.
On the last night of our trip, we stopped at the Iwo Jima memorial. This memorial is the largest bronze statue in the world and depicts one of the most famous photographs in history-that of the six brave men raising the American flag at the top of Mount Surabachi on the Island of Iwo Jima, Japan during WW II. Over one hundred students and chaperones piled off the buses and headed towards the memorial. I noticed a solitary figure at the base of the statue, and as I got closer he asked, "What's your name and where are you guys from?
I told him that my name was Michael Powers and that we were from Clinton, Wisconsin.
"Hey, I'm a Cheesehead, too! Come gather around Cheeseheads, and I will tell you a story."
James Bradley just happened to be in Washington, D.C. to speak at the memorial the following day. He was there that night to say good-night to his dad, who had previously passed away, but whose image is part of the statue. He was just about to leave when he saw the buses pull up. I videotaped him as he spoke to us, and received his permission to share what he said from my videotape. It is one thing to tour the incredible monuments filled with history in Washington, D.C. but it is quite another to get the kind of insight we received that night. When all had gathered around he reverently began to speak. Here are his words from that night:
"My name is James Bradley and I'm from Antigo, Wisconsin. My dad is on that statue, and I just wrote a book called Flags of Our Fathers which is #5 on the New York Times Best Seller list right now. It is the story of the six boys you see behind me. Six boys raised the flag. The first guy putting the pole in the ground is Harlon Block. Harlon was an all-state football player. He enlisted in the Marine Corps with all the senior members of his football team. They were off to play another type of game, a game called "War." But it didn't turn out to be a game. Harlon, at the age of twenty-one, died with his intestines in his hands. I don't say that to gross you out; I say that because there are generals who stand in front of this statue and talk about the glory of war. You guys need to know that most of the boys in Iwo Jima were seventeen, eighteen, and nineteen years old.
(He pointed to the statue)
You see this next guy? That's Rene Gagnon from New Hampshire. If you took Rene's helmet off at the moment this photo was taken, and looked in the webbing of that helmet, you would find a photograph. A photograph of his girlfriend. Rene put that in there for protection, because he was scared. He was eighteen years old. Boys won the battle of Iwo Jima. Boys. Not old men.
The next guy here, the third guy in this tableau, was Sergeant Mike Strank. Mike is my hero. He was the hero of all these guys. They called him the "old man" because he was so old. He was already twenty-four. When Mike would motivate his boys in training camp, he didn't say, "Let's go kill the enemy" or "Let's die for our country." He knew he was talking to little boys. Instead he would say, "You do what I say, and I'll get you home to your mothers."
The last guy on this side of the statue is Ira Hayes, a Pima Indian from Arizona. Ira Hayes walked off Iwo Jima. He went into the White House with my dad. President Truman told him, "You're a hero." He told reporters, "How can I feel like a hero when 250 of my buddies hit the island with me and only twenty-seven of us walked off alive?"
So you take your class at school. 250 of you spending a year together having fun, doing everything together. Then all 250 of you hit the beach, but only twenty-seven of your classmates walk off alive. That was Ira Hayes. He had images of horror in his mind. Ira Hayes died dead drunk, face down at the age of thirty-two, ten years after this picture was taken.
The next guy, going around the statue, is Franklin Sousley from Hilltop, Kentucky, a fun-lovin' hillbilly boy. His best friend, who is now 70, told me, "Yeah, you know, we took two cows up on the porch of the Hilltop General Store. Then we strung wire across the stairs so the cows couldn't get down. Then we fed them Epson salts. Those cows crapped all night."
Yes, he was a fun-lovin' hillbilly boy. Franklin died on Iwo Jima at the age of nineteen. When the telegram came to tell his mother that he was dead, it went to the Hilltop General Store. A barefoot boy ran that telegram up to his mother's farm. The neighbors could hear her scream all night and into the morning. The neighbors lived a quarter of a mile away.
The next guy, as we continue to go around the statue, is my dad, John Bradley from Antigo, Wisconsin, where I was raised. My dad lived until 1994, but he would never give interviews. When Walter Cronkite's producers, or the New York Times would call, we were trained as little kids to say, "No, I'm sorry sir, my dad's not here. He is in Canada fishing. No, there is no phone there, sir. No, we don't know when he is coming back."
My dad never fished or even went to Canada. Usually he was sitting right there at the table eating his Campbell's soup, but we had to tell the press that he was out fishing. He didn't want to talk to the press. You see, my dad didn't see himself as a hero. Everyone thinks these guys are heroes, 'cause they are in a photo and a monument. My dad knew better. He was a medic. John Bradley from Wisconsin was a caregiver. In Iwo Jima he probably held over 200 boys as they died, and when boys died in Iwo Jima, they writhed and screamed in pain.
When I was a little boy, my third grade teacher told me that my dad was a hero. When I went home and told my dad that, he looked at me and said, "I want you always to remember that the heroes of Iwo Jima are the guys who did not come back. DID NOT come back."
So that's the story about six nice young boys. Three died on Iwo Jima, and three came back as national heroes. Overall, 7000 boys died on Iwo Jima in the worst battle in the history of the Marine Corps. My voice is giving out, so I will end here. Thank you for your time."
Suddenly the monument wasn't just a big old piece of metal with a flag sticking out of the top. It came to life before our eyes with the heartfelt words of a son who did indeed have a father who was a hero. Maybe not a hero in his own eyes, but a hero nonetheless.
To read more read James Bradley's book Flags of Our Fathers... a very good read! Clint Eastwood is now turning the book into a movie for release in 2006
On a personal note my children and I visited the Iwo Jima Memorial, at night, last summer and as always it is very moving. I try to go there every time I go to DC.
The book starts with the American siege of Boston. The British after Concord and Lexington were bottled up in Boston. The American Army could not get in and the British Army could not get out except by sea. Washington was given command of the army. Henry Knox, a former Boston book store owner, came up with idea of bringing the cannons from Fort Ticonderoga in upstate New York to Boston to help the American Army. Knox selected 58 mortars and cannon. Three of the mortars weighed a ton each and the 24 pound cannon more than 5000 pounds. Altogether he move 120,000 pounds of cannon and mortars in the dead of winter from Ticonderoga to Boston. (No Mac trucks and few roads ) The Americans then placed the cannon on Dorchester Heights overlooking Boston and forced the British to evacuate from Boston by sea. So far so good. However the British were expected to next attack New York City and Washington moved his "rag tag" army from Boston to New York (to be continued in part II)
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Kinda like George W Bush!
He was not a brilliant strategist or tactician, not a gifted orator, not an
intellectual. As several crucial moments he had shown marked
indecisiveness. He had made serious mistakes in judgment. but
had been his great teacher from boyhood and in this his greatest
learned steadily from experience. Above all, Washington
never forgot what
was at stake and he never gave up
"A dragon lives forever; but not so little boys. Painted wings and giant's
rings make way for other toys"
(For the full column click on the headline above "Back-To-School")
Friday, September 09, 2005
POST GAME UPDATE
Click on headline above for AP report on game. Ducks are now 2 and 0 , next up Fresno State in Eugene next Saturday , Go Ducks!
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat and the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, issued an appeal Thursday urging people to sign an online petition to fire the
Federal Emergency Management Agency's director over his handling of the Katrina response.
After an inquiry from the Associated Press, the DSCC quickly pulled down the page and said they would give the Red Cross any money raised by the anti-FEMA petition.
When recipients clicked on a link to the petition, the top center of the screen — above the call to "Fire the FEMA director" — had asked for a donation to the DSCC" (Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee)
Have they no shame! (click on heading above for link to full AP news report)
"No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun _ for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax _ This won't hurt."
"Hunter left the note for his wife, Anita. He shot himself four days later at his home in Aspen, Colo., after weeks of pain from a host of physical problems that included a broken leg and a hip replacement. "
"Written in black marker, the note was titled, "Football Season Is Over."
"Brinkley writes in the magazine, on newsstands Friday, "February was always the cruelest month for Hunter S. Thompson. An avid NFL fan, Hunter traditionally embraced the Super Bowl in January as the high- water mark of his year. February, by contrast, was doldrums time"
I was never a fan of Thompson but understand his depression after the Super Bowl. I have the same feeling every year. Don't worry friends I will not be committing suicide. There is always next season! Plus, there is always Oregon's Spring Game in May. And my wife wonders why I drive three hours to a glorified inter squad scrimmage. Hay , consider the alternatives.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
"It was announced at a news conference by the Mayor Ray Nagin on Sunday 28
August,less than 24 hours before the hurricane struck early the next
The question has to be asked: Why was it not ordered earlier?
The Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco said at the same news conference
that President Bush had called and personally appealed for a mandatory
The night before, National Hurricane Director Max Mayfield
had called Mayor Nagin to tell him that an evacuation was needed.
Why were these calls necesssary?"
For the full BBC report click on the heading "Bush Personaly Appealed for a Mandatory Evacuation" above for a link to the news story.
"George W. finally gets it -- in more ways than one. The tardy president was back on the Gulf Coast yesterday, bucking up the spirits of the damned and stiffening the resolve of the slackers"
"He's getting it as well from his critics, many of whom can't believe their great good luck, that a hurricane, of all things, finally gives them the opening they've been waiting for to heap calumny and scorn on him for something that might get a little traction. Cindy Sheehan is yesterday's news; she couldn't attract a camera crew this morning if she stripped down to her step-ins for a march on Prairie Chapel Ranch...."
"The race hustlers waited for three days to inflame a tense situation, but then set
to work with their usual dedication. The Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, our self-appointed twin ambassadors of ill will, made the scene as soon as they could, taking up the coded cry that Katrina was the work of white folks, that a shortage of white looters and snipers made looting and sniping look like black crime..."
"The first polls, no surprise, show the libels are not working. A Washington Post-ABC survey found that the president is not seen as the villain the nutcake left is trying to make him out to be. Americans, skeptical as ever, are believing their own eyes. "
Read the entire column at:
Monday, September 05, 2005
In her review she states: "the Constant Gardener is so thinly disguises as a love story only the most pseudo of intellectuals could take it seriously.....the.... moralizing is so heavy-handed it negates its own stunning cinematography and a truly inspired inspired performance by Rachel Weisz..... Director Fernando Meirelles (City of God) makes certain his characters swing at every blame-America-first straw dog like they expect candy to come pouring out....Sound a bit radical? Not nearly as radical as some of Meirelles own statements, such as when he told a University of Texas campus paper about filming in Kenya, 'It was a great experience. Like an al-Qaeda training camp'......"
Don't go to the movie until you have read the review that's linked above.
Sunday, September 04, 2005
Friday, September 02, 2005
A Soldier tells about an incident in the grocery store he stopped at yesterday, on his way home from the base. He said that ahead of several people in front of him stood a woman dressed in a burkha. He said when she got to the cashier she loudly remarked about the US flag lapel pin the cashier wore on her smock.The cashier reached up and touched the pin, and said proudly,"Yes, I always wear it and I probably always will." The woman in the burkha then asked the cashier when she was going to stop bombing her countrymen, explaining that she was Iraqi. A gentleman standing behind the soldier stepped forward, putting his arm around his shoulders, and nodding towards the soldier, said in a calm and gentle voice to the Iraqi woman: "Lady, hundreds of thousands of men and women like this young man have fought and died so that YOU could stand here, in MY country and accuse a check-out cashier of bombing YOUR countrymen. It is my belief that had you been this outspoken in YOUR own country, we wouldn't need to be there today. But, hey, if you have now learned how to speak out so loudly and clearly, I'll gladly buy you a ticket and pay your way back to Iraq so you can straighten out the mess in YOUR country that you are obviously here in MY country to avoid.Everyone within hearing distance cheered.Pass this on to all your proud Americans .
I don't know if this email is a true story but as was said at the end of the Man Who Shot Libery Valance, a John Ford Western, when legend becomes fact print the legend.