Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The true origin of the UW/Oregon Border War

Our good friend Blazer Prophet popped in this week to give us some great analysis of the Ducks, and also to let us know that Washington is the team he dislikes most of all. That's great because if you asked most Washington fans who they dislike the most it would be Oregon. Oregon has become just as important, or even more important a rivalry game than WSU.

He was also right in stating that the dislike goes back farther than "The Pick". What "The Pick" signified was the beginning of the Oregon programs move into being a perennial Top 25 program which is recognized nationally for it's excellence. That of course is much to the chagrin of Husky fans. The actual hatred started well before most of us were born, maybe even PrrBrr who can still remember when the SOHO area was made up of stockyards.

"The Pick" is important because even though Oregon has always considered Washington a rival, the Huskies had always taken the attitude that the Duck's were beneath them, and were just another game. That was the famous Husky "arrogance" that Duck fans have always hated so much. Once Wheaton took that interception into the endzone, and Oregon started to beat UW (Oregon has won the last 5 out of 9), the game suddenly took on a lot of regional, and national importance.

Washington fans now regard Oregon as their most hated rival, even over WSU who takes great exception to that. Oregon fans of course pay us back by saying they expect to beat Washington, they have passed us by, and it is just another game. Well I disagree, I think the game has evolved into something more than that on both sides.

Malamute has chronicled it all for us at his website, here are a few excerpts on the reasons the Duck's, and the Dawg's hate each other.

As the series between the Huskies, and Ducks evolved, the first shot in the feud occurred in 1948, when California, and Oregon tied for the Pacific Coast Conference crown.

To determine the Rose Bowl representative, a vote of the conference schools was taken to break the tie between Cal and Oregon. It was assumed that the four California schools would vote for California, and that the six northwest schools would vote for Oregon. Washington voted for California, and encouraged Montana to go along with its vote. California went to the Rose Bowl, only to lose to Northwestern 20-14. Norm Van Brocklin, one of the greatest quarterbacks and coaches in NFL history, quarterbacked the Ducks that year, and Oregon fans, the older ones, feel it's a darned shame he never got to play in the Rose Bowl. The war escalated on the football field, when Oregon beat Washington 63-6 in 1951 and Washington beat Oregon 49-0 a year later.

Over the years there have been plenty of incidents between the two schools, for the full story visit Malamute's website which has plenty of historical information to pass down to the younger people on the origins, and legends of Husky football. I of course heard these stories from my father, and my uncles, but it is great that Malamute has enshrined them for eternity over at his website.


Once again thanks to Blazer Prophet for inspiration!

Just to remind everyone Washington leads the series 57-33-5!

One more note I have been trying to get hold of Bill Fleenor for permission to reprint his famous article entitled the "Oregon Myth". Bill may be out of town, so we will wait and see, don't want to republish it without his permission. Of course Oregon has established itself now and isn't exactly a johnny come lately anymore, but it is a classic read that always upsets our fine feathered friends to the South.


tdawg said...

Very good recap of the Border War

"The Pick" made Washington human in Duck eyes. and it made Oregon a worthy foe in Husky eyes.

Good luck saturday.

Health Insurance Expert said...

I have to agree Mr Poier, glad to see you have been hanging out with us! The recap is all from Malamute of course, he is the official online historian.

Washington, and California have had a very civil rivarly for many years. The two schools have much in common, and Washington has always looked up to UC Berkely academically.

Washington, and California also have the most storied Crew programs in the West. They have been rowing against each other for maybe as long as 100 years.
Most of California's great coaches were former Washington Crew members. Both schools have a great history of competition, and interdependence on each other in that sport.

In 1948 a former Husky Crew coach was the Athletic Director, and that relationship with California is what tipped the scales in favor of the Bear's over the Duck's.

The Duck's were reportedly better than the Bear's that year, hence the feud.

prrbrr said...

Still the hardest collision I have ever seen was between UW-Ore. Not sure of year but it was between Mel Renfro and I believe Charlie Browning at Multnomah stadium in Portland. Renfro was carried off the field and didn't play for another 2 or 3 games. Browning although woozy staggered off the field under his own power. Gosh, those Huskies of JO were really tough. I can still vividly recall (like the stockyards of Seattle) that tremendous clash of pads and helmets. HIE, I assume you were a Seattle Times carrier. The PI hired adults who were my competition when I delivered papers between 12th and 18th, Yesler to Weller. I am aslo assuming most of your customers paid on time. Like I said earlier, a great learning experience while growing up on who was trustwothy and who were unfortunate.

Health Insurance Expert said...

I was Seattle Times, and Magnolia isn't really level, so you have to climb lots of stairs to each individual house. I didn't have too many deadbeats, some late guys. Collecting was always a bummer, but you had to like the cash. Working for the Times pretty much got me started in sales.

Three Browning brothers played for UW under Owens, and James. Charlie, Dean, and Dave....nice legacy.

Michael Wines said...

Thanks for the great story and links John, very interesting read.


prrbrr said...

Didn't know about the other 2 Brownings. I had probably left by that time and was overseas. The internet is wonderful,(thank you Al Gore) for keeping in touch from wherever. I barely heard about Sixkiller and Moon except for an occasional paragraph in Stars and Stripes. On the other hand, being in the military meant I also got to see the Sun Bowl when we beat Texas, and the Orange Bowl and boomer schooner. Michael Wines, ventured over to your ite this week, nicely done, enjoyed it.

Michael Wines said...

I miss the "Around the Pac-10 Blogs" post you usually put up on Wednesday John. Were you going to do one this week?


Health Insurance Expert said...

Michael's site is great, we have a lot of fun figuring out the photo's.

Health Insurance Expert said...

I had some extra stuff I did today so I was delayed in getting it out. Will also have more stuff as we aproach the big game. By the way it is a big game for both schools.