Voicing a Frustration

Okay, University of Oregon.  Now that I am well adjusted to the school routine for this year, it’s time to write a blog post.  To you.

Please revamp the student football ticket distribution system.

Is it too much to ask to divide the distribution up by class, like you did last year?  This season, we all log on at once, each of us dutifully sitting at the computer once 6 pm rolls around.  All 16,000 or so of us.  Last year was much simpler: freshmen at 10, sophomores at noon, and so on…

Now, some of us who actually appreciate football and understand the importance of this game will be left at home.  Many who have no idea what “quarterback” even means will be sitting in the bleachers.  This is not to say that every student who did get a ticket cares nothing about football: quite the opposite.  But many of us who really do care have been to far fewer games this year than we did last year.  Something’s up.

I don’t want to sound extremely bitter.  I’m not too bitter.  Just frustrated: who thought having the entire student body log on to get tickets at the same time would be a good idea?  Who thought the server could handle that?  Who thought the seniors would be happy about losing their final opportunity to see a huge Pac-10 rival?

Life isn’t fair, and I understand that.  But, I wish you would consider changing the system: even people who did manage to get tickets still think something needs to happen.

I’m not here to offer you grand solutions to your problem (my mom suggested tying the opportunity to receive tickets to your GPA).  But, I am here to let you know that a lot of students are upset.  I’m one of them.

We’ll still be cheering for the Ducks this Saturday.  We’ll still stand outside on Saturday morning and wait to see Lee Corso don the Duck head.  But we won’t be happy about it.  We won’t be feeling appreciated as fans.  We won’t be eager to try and get tickets the next time; if the server has stopped working the last two times, why am I to believe its even worth it to try again?  If the University doesn’t want dedicated fans in the stands, why should I be a fan?

That’s all I have to say.  It’s not much, but maybe it will get the UO thinking: how do we put the most dedicated fans in the stands?  I’m probably not going to be fan of the year, but I’ll always tell stories about I got to see the Ducks crush the Trojans on Halloween.  I’ll be grateful to have been a Duck.

Frustrations aside, I’m still pretty excited about the fact that ESPN’s College GameDay is going to be at Autzen on Saturday.  I’ll be the one waving the sign that says something to the effect of “Change the Ticket System.”  Hopefully I’ll come up with something cleverer than that before Saturday.

The plan now is to camp out on Friday night in order ensure a semi-decent spot to view GameDay (ESPN will let me watch quality entertainment without the hassle of an online ticket distributor), but I’m sure I’ll wimp out later this week.  If all goes as planned, I’ll be seeing a scene similar to this one on Saturday:

May we be as loud about changing our ticket distribution policy as we are about winning a football game.

Boomer and Steve

Have you ever come across anything totally strange and absurd?  Something that made you double-take?  I’m sure the answer is yes (and if you have any humorous ones, please share).  A prime example would be this photo:


One of the most influential musicians of the last fifty years paired with a bubblegum-pop boy band?  What?

That is how I felt when I saw Boomer Esiason as a judge on the Food Network’s “Iron Chef” last night.  What?  Is he selling out?  Just having fun?

This is obviously not earth-shattering news, but just something I found confusing/amusing.  As if seeing one of my musical heroes paired with a barely tolerable band isn’t enough, I have to see Boomer on the Food Network.  It’s weird seeing a football player/analyst discussing the texture and taste of pig brains (seriously).

“Iron Chef” judges always seem so holier-than-thou, discussing the blending of different flavors and rattling off the names of strange ingredients, so it surprised me to see Boomer talking the gourmet language.

At present, there is no image to accompany Boomer’s Food Network appearance, but I’m on the lookout.

On a more relevant note, iTunes 9 has been downloaded on this here MacBook.  And it’s pretty dang awesome.  Steve Jobs has done it again.

The “Genius” feature in iTunes 8 was pretty cool, but I never became a regular user.  However, iTunes 9 gives us “Genius Mixes.”  With Mixes, iTunes generates groups of mixes that are basically personal Pandora channels.  It presents you with twelve channels of music that are grouped together based on genre, artist, etc.

As I write, I’m listening to the “Rock” channel (actually, 6 of the channels were dubbed “Rock”: Rock, Rock 2, etc., but they’re all unique).  If you like Pandora, you’ll like Genius Mixes.  Right now, I’d even say I like it better, because I’m more familiar with all of the songs and I can skip as many as I like.

Plus, it just looks cool:

iTunes Mixes

At the time of this screen cap, I was enjoying the R&B/Soul Mix; feeding my Motown obsession.

Have you downloaded iTunes 9?  What do you think of the changes?  (There are also some new features regarding shared libraries and iTunes store layout.)  Also, if you’ve tried the Genius Mixes feature, I’d be interested in hearing about what mixes it generated for you and whether or not you enjoyed those mixes.

Thanks, Steve Jobs.

Also, as you already know, it’s September 11.  One of those days that’s permanently burned on your brain, one of those days that becomes one of the defining moments in a nation’s history.  I’d like to take this space to honor those who lost their lives on that day, and to thank those who work to preserve our freedom today.  I’ll know I’ll never understand the depth of your sacrifice, so thank you.

“News” Update

In recent news:

First: ESPN has canned the LeGarrette Blount video from my previous post.  My apologies…you can watch this instead.  Totally unrelated, but much more lighthearted.

Second: I’ve realized that I can see the future: it’s quite possible that my life will turn out to be a mashup of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “30 Rock.”  If this is true, I’ll work for a TV show or station and live in Minneapolis or New York (or maybe in the middle: Cleveland?) and still be single at 35 or so.  I’ll probably have Liz Lemon’s passion for food and Mary Richards’ work ethic.  Only time will tell, but I won’t complain if I somehow end up like Liz and Mary.

Third: This New York Times article should have been on the front page of every newspaper in the country, if you want my opinion.  It described a reporter’s findings of what New Yorkers read while they ride on the subway.   Of course, most people wouldn’t have cared, and it’s not really that important, but if you like big cities and/or books and/or people watching, give it a go.  I was fascinated.  If you read it, let me know your thoughts; what would you read?

Fourth: Speaking of New York, the US Open tennis tournament is happening right now.  I know college football opened its season this weekend, but you should take the rest of the week to watch some tennis: 17-year-old American Melanie Oudin is kicking some major butt.

Melanie Oudin

She has beaten 4-seed Elena Dementieva, 29-seed Maria Sharapova, and 9-seed Nadia Petrova en route to the quarterfinals.  Oudin is from Georgia, and she seems to be extremely motivated, well-spoken and gracious.  She plays again on Wednesday, and I’ll be watching; the future of American tennis is looking bright.  Do you think a sparkling new player like Oudin might make the sport more relevant in America today?  Aside from Venus, Serena, and Andy Roddick, we haven’t got much.   I’m hoping Oudin’s amazing US Open performance signals a changing of the guard in American tennis.

If any more pressing news items appear today, I’ll be sure to let you know about them.  Until then, I’m off to deal with this weird feeling that comes knowing the rest of my family is at at work or school while I still enjoy summer.

Taking Charge

*UPDATE*: LeGarrette Blount has been suspended for the rest of the football season, and deservedly so.  Read about it here: http://bit.ly/jBnN8.

Some people may think that Oregon Duck fans should automatically be ashamed of their team because of the team’s obscene number of possible uniform combinations.

But thanks to running back LeGarrette Blount, Duck fans have a legitimate reason for embarrassment.  As if the game wasn’t devastating enough (the Ducks didn’t have a single first down in the entire first half), Blount had to go act like a baby after the game.  Watch the video and be horrified (I don’t get why this guy added the Apollo Creed quote at the end, but the rest of the video is good quality):

I know this is not going to be read by huge amounts of people (hey, Hope!), but I want to apologize on behalf of my school.  I’m not sure what the school will do to punish Blount, but if he’s thrown off the team, he deserves it.  Ever since Blount’s punch was thrown, we Duck fans have been publicly displaying our disgust on Facebook.  It’s ridiculous, and we can only hope that our season can be salvaged and that we are forgiven by the rest of the football world.

This punch will probably be analyzed to death in the coming days.  Lots of sports commentators will have lots of questions, but mine is: Where was Oregon head coach Chip Kelly in all of this?  Chip, I know it was your first game as head coach and that you had to endure a tough loss, but you’ve got to get the guy under control.

Boise State’s head coach, Chris Petersen, will emerge as the hero here.  His player, Byron Hout, said something to Blount that prompted him to thrown the punch, and Petersen immediately pulled Hout aside and dealt with him.  Whatever he was saying, he was saying it vehemently.  Chris Petersen took charge.

Without making this a grand, flourishing post about the need for more effective leadership in the world today, I do want to say one thing: everybody’s watching.  How many times do you think that punch has been viewed since it was thrown?  How many people are talking about it this very second?  It made “Oregon” the number one trending Twitter topic for a time last night.

Today, everybody’s watching everything.  Our lives may not be the opening segment of SportsCenter, but people are still affected by what we say, do and think.  I’m sure glad that some of the things I have said to or thought about others did not become viral YouTube videos mere hours after they were spoken or thought.

This was not said to make you feel like a terrible person.  I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer.  It just made me think.  Here’s to hoping next Saturday brings some redemption for the Ducks.