Is there such a thing as a breach of contract to a sports fan?
Sadly, this is a dubious legal concept. But if it existed, the Oregon football team would owe me big time after their hugely disappointing 38-10 loss to Utah tonight in the Pac-12 championship game.
So disappointing, even the Oregon mascot looked like they couldn't wait until the final sad minutes ticked away.
But at least snapping this photo of my TV screen gave me something to do other than curse my bad luck for having more than three hours of my remaining life span wasted by watching one of the worst Oregon football games in my memory.
Oh, except for the Oregon-Utah game two weeks ago that was just as bad: a 38-7 loss for the Ducks.
The reason I feel like I'm entitled to win a breach of contract complaint against the team is that: (1) the advance stories in Oregonian and Statesman Journal sports sections had copious quotes from Oregon players and coaches about how the 38-7 loss to Utah was an aberration and wouldn't be repeated, and (2) all of the predictions I saw for the result of the Pac-12 championship game showed a very tight final score, typically no more than a three point difference between Oregon and Utah. Maybe seven, at most.
Yet... (according to tonight's Oregonian story)
LAS VEGAS — With a chance at a redemption on the biggest stage the Pac-12 offers in the regular season, Oregon had déjà vu against Utah and the only question that matters in both the short and long term is whether Mario Cristobal is staying in Eugene or leaving for Miami.
Just as was the case 13 days ago in Salt Lake City, the No. 10 Ducks didn’t establish their run game early, allowed game-breaking plays by Utah’s tight ends, committed a bevy of self-inflicted mistakes, couldn’t get off the field on third down, missed a field goal and were poor covering kicks in a 38-10 blowout loss to the No. 17 Utes in the Pac-12 championship game Friday night at Allegiant Stadium.
It was a season-low in yards (221) for the Ducks (10-3), who are likely bound for the Alamo Bowl after spending much of the season in the top 5 and among the contenders to reach the College Football Playoff.
Once again, Oregon lost to Utah, and for the very same reasons. Even though tonight's game was played on a neutral field, Utah had more energy, made fewer mistakes, competed harder for all 60 minutes, and looked better coached.
Aside from that, there were a few bright spots for Oregon. They're just really hard to identify. I guess the Oregonian story did that for me.
Travis Dye carried 15 times for 82 yards and a touchdown and caught four passes for 27 yards. Noah Sewell had 12 tackles and an interception.
The dark spots are much easier for me to remember, since there were so many of them.
A couple of my "favorites," if that's the right word, was Oregon quarterback Anthony Brown inexplicably attempting a pass near the end of the first half while falling out of bounds, which was intercepted and gifted Utah a field goal.
And the Oregon center hiking the ball just as a player in motion went behind him. The ball then eluded Brown and almost led to a touchback. It definitely put a crimp in Oregon's attempt for a second half comeback. Not than anything was going to make that possible given how crappy the Ducks played.