Lou Brancaccio is The Columbian’s editor. Reach him at 360-735-4505, twitter.com/lounews or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nine months ago, I wrote a column questioning the fast-paced Oregon Ducks offense. Here was the lead:
"Come on guys, let's be honest. It's a gimmick. Oregon's football offense, that is."
Almost immediately, Ducks fans' heads began exploding.
Most of you have seen this offense by now. It's a quick-snapping, not-giving-the-defense-a-chance-to-get-set, frenetic style of play.
I concluded it wasn't really football. There was no mano-a-mano, let's-see-who-can-play-this-rugged-game going on.
Just zip, zip, zip, lickety split. Nothing to see here if you're looking for football.
The coach who perfected this "Who needs real football?" style was — indeed — Oregon's very own Chip Kelly.
Flash Gordon has now moved on to the pros and is coaching the Philadelphia Eagles.
Guess what? Yep, same high-speed gimmick. Guess what again? It's working. His quick-hit offense beat that D.C. team.
Needless to say, when I wrote that column, there were some jackrabbit responses. One of my favorites was from Dave Campbell, who, after taking the time to read it, said this:
"Well, there's 0:30 of my life I wish I could get back."
Hey, it went downhill for me from there.
Then this week I was reading a column by Ken Goe in The Oregonian. He traveled to the Eagles game and had a few observations. And the first of his observations, the actual lead of his column?
"It looks like Chip Kelly's college gimmick will fly."
I like this Goe guy already.
Look, I realize many other teams use a no-huddle offense. But it really is nothing like what Kelly does. And as the NFL gets a closer look at this, as some hulking defensive linemen get hurt — or worse — here's my prediction:
• Football will put rules into place to prevent the game from simply turning into a track meet.
You heard it here first.
More heads exploding
Last week, Professor Brancaccio was at it again, speaking to a virtual class of students on how to get rich without really having much talent.
One of my students brought up Republican state Sen. Don Benton and how he was able to back-door himself into a $100,000-a-year county environmental job, even though he doesn't know the difference between particulate matter and a pastrami sandwich.
This classroom conversation apparently made some of my conservative friends' heads explode.
I hate when that happens!
My bestie Carolyn Crain had this to say:
"Another ranting of hate mongering was served under the pretense of an editorial."
Others used this shaky defense:
How come you never write about those liberal losers?
There are two problems with the above statement:
• If the best defense you have is, "Yeah, my guy is dirty, but not any dirtier than some liberals," then heaven help us. You've just admitted that your guy is dirty.
• We do write about problems my liberal friends have. I've taken on the likes of Democratic state Rep. Jim Moeller and Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt. (Leavitt, by the way, doesn't claim to be a liberal. Sure, OK.) Unfortunately, some of my conservative friends play the victim card so often, they either don't see it or refuse to see it.
So, friends, just sit back, relax and enjoy it all. And keep your head screwed on tight! Otherwise, it just gets messy.