Rooting for UO goes against Rivalry Spirit

Editor’s note: Former Oregon State men’s basketball player Adam Masten (1998-2002) wanted to share his thoughts on the OSU/UO rivalry. Here’s what he has to say. From time to time, he’ll contribute OSU-related insight and thoughts here.

Some people really just don’t get it.

The author of this article is one of those individuals. His article floated around social media last week making the argument that UO and OSU fans should root for their rivals to do well. From the timing of the article, I’m led to believe that he’s got his finger pointed right at the Beaver faithful routing for the “other OSU” come Monday. His response to those wearing red next week: “Move to California” — the insult of all insults for any Oregonian.

My favorite Oregon Lottery billboard of all time is the image of a map of the west coast with California missing from it, proclaiming that luck happens. So those words a week later, still raise my blood pressure a notch.

Do I have it wrong? Is that author right, should I be rooting for the school to the south? After being insulted, I placed my anger aside to rethink my position and what resulted is all too natural for me. I’ve always had two favorite teams: The Beavs and whoever is playing the ducks.

I came to a quick conclusion. This guy is missing something. You can tell he comes from a well-meaning place, but I’m not sure fans of UO are in a position tell me and the rest of my OSU faithful that we should root for their team. There is a long tradition of intense rivalry in Oregon.

So is it possible to hope for the best for each other in a true rivalry? Batman and the Joker, Hatfield and McCoys, etc. . . and do you think Auburn was routing for Alabama against Ohio State? It goes against the grain to root for someone who wants to beat you. Our two schools always are competing, even when we are not playing. We are trying to outdo the ducks on and off the field when it comes to athletics. Consider some historical perspective.

In 1953, duck fans were caught burning an “O” on OSU campus lawns. Oregon State students stripped them down to their waist and painted them orange and black. In 1910, after Oregon won the Civil War, fans of both teams rioted, resulting in the cancellation of the 1911 game. In 1960, UO students “abducted” the OSU homecoming queen in front of her home. In 1954, OSU students held 25 UO students “prisoner” after they infiltrated OSU’s traditional bonfire. Those duckies heads were shaved, once again painted, and then they forced to do menial labor for the OSU frats. Certainly, the folks involved in these pranks weren’t rooting for their rivals.

Then there’s the question: How does the ducks’ success help OSU? Conference revenue dollars that all conference schools get, what else? I can’t think of any true advantage Oregon winning Monday night gives Oregon State. It would hurt recruiting, especially in state, and I can’t see how donors will be more excited to cut OSU checks. Oregon residents with no affiliation usually get behind a championship caliber team and spend dollars on jerseys and gear. So someone please tell me how them winning helps us.

Don’t get me wrong. From everything I’ve seen about number 8 (Ducks QB Marcus Mariota), I’d be happy to see my son turn out like him (Biggest compliment you can get out of me). He’s a humble leader with faith and determination, and by all accounts, a great guy. I wish him well, but not to detriment to my team.

I’m not sure duck fans should be telling me how I should support my school. We are adding to what we’ve built and we’ve still got work to do. We continuously have to hear the “little brother” jokes and they have gone on for way too long — but I don’t want them to stop until we start a streak or our own and get those bragging rights.

Because I’m looking forward to the day I get to sling athletic jabs at my duck friends with a football Civil War win streak behind us.  We know we are not where we need to be as a program (We are all excited about Gary Andersen, though!). And while the streak of losses on the football field to UO is tough to deal with, we’ve got something to prove and we are working hard toward getting there. That said, we need to take every advantage along the way and pray for some good luck. The ducks winning the “Ship” doesn’t get us closer to that goal.

So let me be clear on a couple things as I wrap up. My attitude is all about athletic competition. A former UO basketball great (my rival on the hardwood) now is a part of my family and he’s a great person, friend, and truly a brother. I also speak to a former UO wide receiver every week. Lately, we banter about me purchasing an Ohio State t-shirt for the game and then he pokes fun at me for only beating Oregon once during my career at OSU. That’s fun. I’ll buy him a beer and we’ll watch the game together. That’s what the rivalry is for me. The banter stops after athletics. Just because my brother-in-law’s team is playing a big game doesn’t mean I need to root along with him. In fact, the banter brings us closer.

Maybe the author of that FishDuck article isn’t missing something. Maybe I have it wrong. Or  maybe it’s my sports background and the competitive juices still flowing through my veins 12 years after hanging up the sneakers that makes me feel this way.

Still, Mike of FishDuck, I hope your team loses. I would love to buy you a beer after they do.


Adam Masten, 98-02 OSU Mens Basketball

21 thoughts on “Rooting for UO goes against Rivalry Spirit

    1. Roger

      Adam, I watched you very closely as a high school player, you were all class then. You are now an adult version of your high school self, something that does not surprise me at all. As to the rivalry, I am totally with you there – Go Buckeyes and Go Beavs!


  1. G

    Ridiculous. I’m a die hard UofO fan but you can believe I’d be cheering for OSU over Ohio St if the roles were reversed! Keep it in Oregon, keep it in the Pac 12 & to me a rivalry isn’t about hating the other team & but simply more about your own school spirit…

    1. D

      I would root for ANY PAC-12 team in this situation. I rooted for USC when they won it. The PAC-12 needs all the wins they can get to overcome the SEC and east coast biased images. GO PAC-12. When it comes to league play? I definitely root only for my Beavs and hope the rest lose, but only within our confrence. Outside? We ALL need to kick AZZ across the boards.

    2. Beav2013

      Root for your own team, we don’t want you. I don’t get the whole “State of Oregon” cheering. Who cares if we are in the same state, I don’t see UCLA rooting for USC, Duke rooting for UNC in basketball, etc.. What is this nonsense?

      Go OSU!

    3. Beav2007

      With all due respect, that’s easy for you to say when the Beavs don’t currently pose much of a threat to your team. If you were TRULY in our position, you might feel differently. Not saying you would for sure as I don’t know you, but your current neutral feelings toward the Beavs may not be representative of how you would feel on the losing end of a 7 year Civil War streak. Does that make me bitter? I prefer to think it just makes me fired up! 😉

  2. JDuck

    It appears that this “rivalry” doesn’t really exist. A rivalry can’t be one-sided. Clearly the Beavers are jealous of what the Ducks have built. The Ducks, on the other hand, just see the Beavers yet another team to take on. Occasionally they win, occasionally they lose. Mostly, it’s just a game.

    1. beavs4life

      Haha that’s one sport….it’s a rivalry for all sports…just cause there are down years doesn’t mean it ends. So when Beavers won 8 in a row back in the day, it wasn’t a rivalry for us? Course not. Always a rivalry. Football bandwagoners shutup!

  3. Peeved Beaver Fan

    100% spot on correct. And as for “Mike” at fishduck? He can kiss my Orange and black butt for the move to Cali comment. Condescending prick SWOOSHBAGS telling me how I need to route are the ones who need to move to California, and take the university of California at Eugene with them. Go Ohio State!

  4. Jeff

    Sounds to me like Beaver fans are kinda sore. I’m a Duck fan but I will always root for the Beaves when they are playing anyone else. My reason: the better the Beaves play, the better that Civil War is going to be and what’s a rivalry without good competition. I also know alumni from OSU and think it’s a great scool. I would love to see both teams from Oregon in the top ten come Civil War 2015. Go Ducks and go Beaves.

    1. Jordan

      My thought exactly, Jeff. I’d love to see the day when the Civil War is a battle of unbeatens to decide the PAC-12 North.

      1. beavs4life

        Mmm…only 5 years ago they played for a winner take all civil war for the roses. Remember? It was a well played game where the Beavers made too many offensive redzone mistakes to win, at autzen no less. 37-33. Ducks go to rose bowl and take off from there. Imagine if that game went differently. Who knows? Or if Chip actually kept blount suspended and he didn’t score against us? But 5 years is not that long ago even though programs are in different spots now, Beavers will be back!

  5. Jordan

    I’ll always root for Oregon schools and the PAC-12, and I’ve done that since Oregon sucked and we were the PAC-10. Why you ask? Because I understand basic economics. With no pro football team, our college teams are what bring football fan money to Oregon. Further, when OSU does reach a place of dominance, they’re gonna get the same crap Oregon gets now because the PAC-12 doesn’t have a pedigree that can stand up to the SEC and B1G. Beaver fans are so disgruntled about being called “little brother” by Oregon fans that it seems to escape them that the whole PAC-12 is called little brother to the SEC. And the whole “bought success” argument is tired. That’s business folks. If you think for a second that OSU isn’t actively pursuing that business, your heads are buried in the sand.

    As a very reputable academic school, when OSU does get that funding, they will be a force to be reckoned with, and that’s good for all Oregonians. The author asks how a ‘Ship’ for UO helps OSU. First of all, how could it hurt? Second, it helps by bringing even more awareness to Oregon academic institutions. Say an aspiring engineer in NC sees UO on TV and googles the school’s engineering program only to find that OSU has one of the top engineering programs in the nation. Long shot, but possible.

    It’s just childish to blindly hate the other school. Applied on a bigger scale, childish turns to dangerous. The argument used by the author is that the illegal acts of a few justify hatred of all. Sound familiar? It’s an asinine ideology that most in the world are trying to vanquish. Food for thought.

  6. Kirk Hochstatter

    Well put Adam. My explanation would have had a lot more profanities so I’m glad it can be done with keeping the content PG.

  7. Dan P.

    Adam is spot on. The reason the Duckies want us to root for them is because we have something that can’t be bought…loyalty to our teams…And it is more than football. If our gymnasts win the national title anyone want to wager how long before there’s a UofO gymnastic team (just like baseball…)? And as an educational institution, OSU is the big brother and that’s the REAL reason the Universities exist anyway. GO BEAVS!

  8. Quinten

    I should start by saying I did not attend either school. (Neither offered my degree) I do come from a Duck family and my wife is from Beaver family so I enjoy the rivalry, however, I support the state of Oregon In this situation. As a Military guy I am familiar with all sorts of rivalry, one platoon hate the others but then all come together as a company to hate the companies. The infantry hates Cavalry but then come together as the Army to hate Marines but in the end all American Forces come together to fight the enemy as a team. I see it much the same in sports. But that’s just me…


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