Saturday, March 13, 2010

In Oregon, the O stands for "Oh, not again!"

To say the Ducks' ascension to national prominence has met some middair turbulence would be the understatement of the offseason.

Last year, the team's best player got benched for most of the year for a prime-time sucker punch of a Boise State player.

This year, two of the best players on a team deemed a national title contender were in court within an hour of each other. The verdict: No jail time. But coach Chip Kelly, who had gone to the mat defending his players, says they'll be no playing time either for quarterback Jeremiah Masoli. Kelly has suspended his star for the entire season for his part in the burglary of a frat house, the same sentence he doled out to running back LeGarrette Blount for his right-cross expression of sportsmanship last season in Idaho.

Kelly has also suspended Blount's replacement, LaMichael James (the latest in a line of the team's thuggish prefixes), for a physical altercation with an ex-girlfriend. The judge sentenced James to 10 days in jail, but the sentence was suspended because of a lack of jail space. (Maybe some of the convicts can be sentenced to fill some of the holes in Kelly's roster. A key qualification: Their 40 times must be lower than their years still to be served.)

You can read more here. In the meantime, consider how Oregon's woes add street cred to venerable football analyst Kermit the Frog.

It's not easy being green.