…And Washington State is just the beginning of this dry spell.

By Andrew J. Pridgen

Oregon Ducks football, the 2016 version is really, really, really, really fucking bad.

Really bad.

Mark Helfrich trolling the sidelines now perma-looks as if he went out to get one thing, like milk, from the store and runs into a buddy in the parking lot and they decide to go get a few beers and catch up and watch the end of the game.

Then like an hour later, he remembers to text his wife, but his phone’s dead and the bartender won’t let him plug it in because “We’re a bar. Want a charge, go to one of those kiosks at the airport.” Figuring he’s already in trouble, Helfrich stays for like four more drinks and ends up getting out of an Uber three hours later and trying to sneak in but the neighbor’s effing motion sensor light goes on… and his wife, while not necessarily pissed is like, “Yeah, but where the fuck’s the milk?”

The Ducks’ recent strategy of hiring graduate transfer interns as quarterbacks instead of developing one is like seeing Journey present day. Whether it’s Arnel Pineda or Gregg Rolie or George Tickner or Aynsley Dunbar or Robert Fleischman or Randy Jackson or Steve Augeri or even Deen Castronovo — it’s not Steve Perry.

And what’s worse, you’re not the same you either as when you listened to Journey back in the day. And the whole thing may sound the same or maybe even make you feel the same for moments at a time. But even though you sing along and take a selfie and sway to Lights, you know it’s not. It’s not because it’s not because it’s not.

This year’s Ducks = this year’s Journey.

Brady Hoke is the one you hire after you’ve had like five good interviews for a marketing guy, dynamic, idea-filled, Warby Parker-wearing brotastic bros who have like 483 Insta followers but then something happens with your budget and you have to hold off on pulling the trigger to get someone in till next quarter.

You table it and then start calling your top choices back like two months later — one by one they’ve all moved on/found jobs/otherwise updated their LinkedIns with “Thought Leader” in their skills. Damn the luck! So you have to go all the way down to the bottom of the list and see who’s left… and it’s Brady Fucking Hoke.

Saturday night against Washington State, Oregon showed why this version of the Ducks may be the worst Ducks team since 1991. You might recall ’91 as the year Rich Brooks led the webbed ones to 9th in the PAC-10 at 3-8. During that moment, student tickets were used primarily for the free Mexi Fries at Taco Time printed on the back side…and U Dub won the national championship.

History repeating itself every quarter century ain’t so bad.

But how bad is it? Saturday, Oregon gave up 284 rushing yards to Wazzu which nobody has done since Reuben Mayes came screaming out of the backfield in ‘84. More than this, the game was officially out of the Ducks’ downy feathered hands early in the first quarter. Coug QB Luke Falk started the game 11-of-12 for 92 yards and led Washington State to 140 yards total offense in a quarter and a 14-7 Cougs lead.

Things got merciless in Pullman after that.

The Ducks this week wore white jerseys with green numbers, green pants and a green helmet. The cleats were a mix of white and green.

Beyond resembling the Taft High uniforms in the Robin Williams, Kurt Russell classic, The Best of Times (“I can get open!”)…

…The fan excitement over the week 5 unis (22 retweets! 78 likes!) was roughly the same as when someone named OTTG-DaniWali tweeted out to his 77 followers about how “paramount” the experience of Arby’s Jamoca Shake is:

So Oregon, here’s your punishment for being so ridiculous and such marketing-driven consumption-crazy jerkfaces for so many years: Pictured above are the 1991 uniforms. Wear them for the foreseeable future or until you start to resemble Oregon again, lovable underdogs who play with heart, pride, and even when things go all the way wrong, you shake it off your naturally wicking backs, or at least arrive at Rennie’s to drown it in pints of Mirror Pond.

In other words, Don’t Stop Believin’ Ducks — regardless of who or how bad your frontman is.

Andrew J. Pridgen is the author of “Burgundy Upholstery Sky” and has basically been wearing the same outfit since 1991.

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