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Stuff and Shenanigans: Roast Duck Redux (Re-ducks, if you will)

What a clever title, right?

2023 Pac-12 Championship - Oregon v Washington Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images

Now more than ever, we need no intro.

A 0% Sober and 100% Accurate Rundown of Absolutely Everything

Now that is the complete game I was harping on.

Because we knew they could do it; we’d seen it before. A lot. We knew this team certifiably kicked ass. We knew if they got all their shit together at the same time it ruled. We knew if every one of them at every facet of the game paid attention to the details that most of them do at most facets, that it could go like this.

That was the version of this team that we were all waiting on to return and hooooo boy did they just in time.

Really I don’t know where to start (positive) just like I didn’t know where to start (negative) at this time last week.

Is it Jalen McMillan and Kamren Fabiculanen and Asa Turner and Tuli Letuligasenoa* getting back in the nick of time, Gandalf At Helm’s Deep-style? Is it the offensive line crushing Oregon ft. Sam Taimani? Is it Dillon Johnson playing one of the most complete games from a running back I’ve ever seen? (No seriously, is it one of DJ’s half-a-dozen-plus crucially elite blitz pickups?) Is it Mike being neeeearly at his best?

To paraphrase the Reynholm Industry IT Department’s Maurice Moss: Yes.

*Yes I know he’s been playing a bit lately, but that barely counts seeing as he had a clear snap limit for his health

Combine that with the the mental resilience they’ve had to get familiar with since before Halloween (even in games they shouldn’t have had to *coughASUcoughStanfordcough*), and, well, yeah — I suppose that’ll prepare you pretty well for a game like this.

All of this just makes me really excited to see in a month what, logic would tell us, will be the healthiest, most complete version of this team. In fact, as deranged as it sounds to say this, I’m really more excited to just see that team play than I am about the thing they’re playing for. Ya know, a national title? What does that matter anyway.

Typing that out, it feels like I may as well be saying “I’m more excited about drinking the stadium concession stand’s $16 Bud Lights than playing for a national title.” But — for me anyway — I think that’s what’s made this so fun. Er, the team itself, not stadium beer.

Because as much as I want them to go all the way, my lizard brain really just lacks the capacity to think that far ahead — and for what it’s worth I prefer it that way. Why should I want a national championship more than I want to watch this team play two more times? If if they win it all, then we’ll live in this weird little blip of a moment where they’ve achieved everything we ever wanted but now it’s all over. So... I don’t want it to be over.

Don’t get me wrong, as we’ve made it quite clear I’m slowly detaching myself from *gestures at college football emotional investment in general* but these are two different, non-competing vibes. I want college football power brokers and the arms race and general terribleness of ineptitude and more money than God to explode and die — and the more they not only don’t do that but tighten their vice grip around things the more detached I get.

There’s really only one antidote to that detachment, and it just so happens that it’s “having a really really really really really really really fun team.” Note that a fun team does not have to be a good team. Buuuut it certainly doesn’t hurt. And it just so happens that this team is both. And this performance was the funnest and goodest of them all, last minute long touchdown pass by Bo Nix notwithstanding, which was the only real thing that felt reminiscent of the last month+ of stupid flipping brain farts that were neither fun nor good.

Personally, though, back to the actual on-the-field-non-crappy-philosophy part of this with the thought that Fabiculanen, Dillon Johnson, and the offensive line — not to mention the receivers’ blocking — were integral to this win. KamFab, for starters, had multiple critical open-field tackles to keep Oregon behind schedule or at least prevent a first down, all of which lesser players would’ve missed. The kind that made my crotchety rugby-ass heart full. The kind that Husky defenders were — and I’m putting this diplomatically — almost never making for the last six weeks and more.

Then Dillon Johnson meanwhile hasn’t gotten enough credit for being an absolute monster blocking for Michael Penix, and in turn the offensive line hasn’t gotten enough credit for being absolute monsters blocking for Dillon Johnson. And that’s saying something, because the last couple of days they’ve gotten quite a bit of credit. But good lord, it was just a magnificent circle of blockage. (Title of your colonoscopy video *air horn*)

I’ll leave it there for now. See ya on New Year’s Day.

Lines of the Week

THERE IS ONLY ONE LINE OF THE WEEK, AND IT IS THIS:

You: But Gabey, “line” implies there are words involved. This isn’t a line. Me: Bitch shut the fu—

Okay actually I lied, one more, for all of us and everyone who took the field and everyone with a soul:

Do good things, don’t do bad things, and bow down to Washington.