Gather ye Rose Bowls while ye may, Ducks. Bound by his own words to remain for the moment in Eugene, Chip Kelly has nevertheless made it abundantly clear he doesn't intend to be Phil Knight's caged bird forever. Via the school's release:
“I am flattered by the interest of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ organization. I enjoyed meeting with the Glazer family and General Manager Mark Dominik, but after numerous discussions, I concluded that I have some unfinished business to complete at the University of Oregon.”
Unfinished business indeed, Chipper. You led Register-Guard columnist and SI regular George Schroeder and his beat-writing brethren on a merry chase Sunday night, culminating in a late-breaking stop-the-presses moment that left the Oregon faithful gasping with relief and me gaping with envy. Who gets to say "stop the presses" anymore? What a rare treat! And while you are wallowing, sir, Scrooge McDuck-style in your pool of well-gotten Nike dollars, here are a few more dramatic scenarios you can enable over the next eight months to speed our passage to September. Things I would like to say that you can make happen include:
• I'd like to thank the Academy ... Green-light, with your obscenely overstuffed war chest, How Green Was My Willamette Valley, a tale of unbreakable brotherly love between a man and his mascot, inspired by your Saturday Kiss Cam moment with the Duck. I will personally pen the screenplay. Peter Gerety can play you. Roland Emmerich to direct. At the end, the whole planet cracks in half.
• You can't fire me, I quit! I came perilously close, after the 2011 Civil War, to calling you "Chuckles" in your press conference. I don't know what I was thinking, but let me go through with it and you can have the pleasure of firing me. Although I do not work for you, we both know you need the catharsis. • [Stony silence while walking away from an exploding helicopter] Are we really that far away, with the use of fog machines on visiting recruits labeled a mere secondary violation, from mounting full-scale paramilitary operations in Autzen Stadium to woo waffling prospects? Just let me stand at midfield and photograph their awestruck upturned faces, the pilots ejecting safely from the spiraling flying machine only to open parachutes that spell out JUST DUCK IT, and stroll confidently away from the flaming apparatus as it slams into the turf, paying no heed to the gouts of flame and flying shrapnel. The NCAA will come down with studded cudgels on the Oregon football program, but there's every likelihood you won't be around to sniff the sanctions. What say you, Chuckles? We have a deal?