Bigger abortion masquerading as a sporting surface: Eastern Washington’s red field or Oregon’s hardwood in the woods


Remember the days when sports were about, you know, sports? When you were supposed to be entertained by the athletes competing at the highest levels on their chosen fields of competition?

Well, wake the fuck up, Beaver Cleaver, this here is the Twenty-teens and sports is about nothing but image, aesthetics, advertising, and overage rock stars selling out to appear with the boy band du jour so they can finally retire after snorting a few million album sales worth of coke. Sports marketers took over this game a long time ago, and no offender has done more to embarass the ghosts of Vince Lombardi, Bear Bryant, John Wooden and Joe Paterno than Nike, the perpetrators of this FUBU meets Project Runway first round loser atrocity.

But let’s leave Nike alone for a minute … Hold the phone, Joe Paterno is still alive? Really? How? I was watching Penn St. and Florida play in the Outback Bowl the other week and they clearly had his dead body displayed on the sideline for inspiration like they’ve done at every game the last decade.

Anyways, as I was saying, let’s leave Nike alone for a minute.  Boise St. is just as responsible for the latest trend in travesties to completely devalue the meaning of sport. In a sports landscape dominated by sports marketers who will do anything to convince themselves that their new fuzzy mascot can cover up a terrible product on the field, it was only a matter of time before these glorified used car salesmen felt compelled to one up Boise’s epilleptic seizure-inducing blue field.

They say the NFL is a copycat league. It’s true. But if that is the case, then sports marketing is a “If your friend jumped off a bridge, would you, too? OF FUCKING COURSE I WOULD” profession. So I don’t blame Boise for ruining the most pure and iconic image we have left in sports – the luscious green grass of a halloweed stadium or elegant natural tan of the hardwood. But I do blame them for planting the seed – a seed that now appears to be growing like mutant ninja kudzu across campuses throughout the great Northwest.

Let’s all just agree that all of Oregon and Eastern Washington’s administrators should be lined up and shot execution style for letting the sports marketers run the asylum…I mean, institution in designing their new sports surfaces so we can focus on the bigger debate: Which is more horrendous?

Oregon’s “Deep in the Woods” basketball court

Want to know when your sports marketing department has really fucked up? When the only thing people can talk about the day after the debut of your brand new $227 million basketball arena is how watching a game played on the new court made everyone feel an uncontrollable need to vomit.

Ok, so let’s be fair – conceptually, the idea for the court is really cool. The idea is that you’re looking from deep within the mighty Pacific Northwest forests that surround the University of Oregon. In theory, also known as some dude’s drawing, it would look like this. Hey, not bad! But for anyone who has been following the odyssey of would-be Broadway musical Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark, we all know that theory doesn’t always match up with the realities of execution.

Remember this picture, the one where, depending on how you look at it, you either see a lamp in the center or two faces looking at each other:

Well, Oregon’s court is like that. If you look at it one way, you are a creature roaming deep in the forest looking heavanward. If you look the other way, it appears an enormous giant threw up all over the court and it took the janitorial staff too long to clean up so the stain set in. That, or it’s an extreme close up of a young Eastern European “actress’s” chin after completing a scene “acting” with Ron Jeremy.

Either way, it’s time to blame Nike more. What the hell was Oregon doing giving some Nike douche, Tinker Hatfield, VP of Creative Design, full creative control over the most important piece of their university’s new flagship athletic facility? Oh, yeah, I forgot – Nike chairman Phil Knight paid for the whole thing and named the arena after his dead son. Not to speak ill of the dead, but the arena’s name is an apt metaphor – Oregon’s soul has long since departed this earthly realm. It was sold to Satan, purveyor of high performance sports fabrics, long ago.

Finally, arborists everywhere must be infuriated by the fact that the trees painted on Oregon’s hardwood appear to be firs, a soft pine. Honoring a soft wood on the hardwood? OUTRAGEOUS! … I’m just sayin’. Big ups to forestry.

Eastern Washington’s “Bathing in Blood” football field

Who wouldn’t want to compete on a field that feels like you’re playing in the unwashed remains of a massive animal sacrifice? The new red turf at Eastern Washington’s football stadium, which debuted just a few months before Oregon’s atrocity, looks like it was colored by allowing a hundred menstruating cows to graze on the field the night before the season started.

And, seriously, what the fuck is going on in the Pacific Northwest? Boise’s Smurf Turf, Oregon’s forest court, Eastern Washington’s used tampon turf? You guys really need to get off the reefers. No, really, LND may be an East Coast-based operation, but we know yall grow bud out there like the south grows obese people. And it seems clear yall are smoking that shit up as fast as fat southern people are sucking down 10 piece buckets of the Colonel’s original recipe.

I’ve got to be honest – I’m getting mad just looking at that field. No, not because I’m upset at the dumb sports marketers again, and not because Eastern Washington has submitted to copycatting a school attended by a bunch of inbred potato growers. And, no, not even because someone thought that last season of Scrubs was a good idea. It’s all that red…it just makes me so Goddamn ANGRY!

Well, at least when EWU fans start subconsciously filling with rage due to the psychological effects of the period bowl, the field crew won’t have much work to do when someone finally snaps and starts bashing skulls in with a smuggled baseball bat.

The Verdict

It’s Oregon. Eastern Washington knew their field was going to look like a failed abortion, knew they were going to look like Boise’s annoying little brother begging for attention, and they still did it. Know why? Because they’re Eastern Washington and they didn’t care because they were begging for attention.

Oregon, on the other hand, has no excuse for failure. Money is literally no object for the Oregon Athletics Department, which is kind of like the Atlantic City mayor’s office in Boardwalk Empire (hint: Nike is the mob). That means if Oregon wants a forest for a court, they better get a court made out of mother fucking crysal clear LED 1080i high definition 3D television panels with a composite video of the mother fucking great Northwest forest swaying in the mother fucking breeze with looping narration performed by mother fucking Oprah.

Fuck, that court is ugly. Glad I got that off my chest.

The best rivalry in college football


Auburn-Alabama: Hate, rednecks, barbecue, $200,000 RVs, hottie southern girls. Now that's LND's kind of party.

College football presents the greatest experience in the world of sport. We know this, without debate, because it’s the only game where 60,000 strangers will join you in a giant parking lot for eight hours to get wasted and throw bags of corn at a piece of wood with a hole in it; where you can ogle 19-year-old undergrad females in various levels of skanky regional gameday garb from the sun dress to the tiny team T; and where you live for the most inane and half-retarded traditions mankind could possibly come up with — be that throwing toilet paper at a giant tree after a win down on The Plains, singing to the world your team plays “where all is bright and gay” while holding the two nearest fans, even if they’re dudes, in The Hook, or just shouting out some overly intricate cheer that was composed back in 1897 and doesn’t even use words that are relevant to the modern English language. (Seriously: Solarex, Solari?)

It’s also the greatest experience in the world of sport because of the rivalries. Rivalries are made from hate, and no sport – save MAYBE English Premier League soccer – can compete with the hate derived in a good college football rivalry. Sure, Raiders-Chiefs might be a decent NFL rivalry, Yankees-Red Sox is a heated MLB rivalry, but when it comes down to it the professional players just don’t really care. If they did, Johnny Damon and Wadey Boggs never would have donned the pinstripes. Can you imagine Colt McCoy in an Oklahoma Sooners uniform? Hell no. I can imagine him enjoying passionate anal sex with Sam Bradford, but he’d treat that wounded man hole with a sodering iron before he ever bled Sooner red. You see, college hate derives from real differences. Big State U versus Small Pretentious College, public versus private, Smart Kid U versus Dumb Fuck Tech. Every college develops a reputation, traditions and habits that are utterly unique and undeniably annoying to the nearest neighboring school. It starts out with some innocent ragging of your rival, and the next thing you know you’re wasted at an ESPN roast shouting “FUCK TOUCHDOWN JESUS” at the head coach of Notre Dame.

And the most genius thing college football does is ball all that hate up almost entirely into one glorious weekend – Rivalry Weekend. The Iron Bowl, the Egg Bowl, the Apple Cup, the Commonwealth Cup, the CIVIL WAR, for godsakes. Awesome! I want to eat a Virginia Tech undergrad and shit him out in the shape of Virginia’s V-Sabres right now.

Army-Navy

You know, I’m tired of national broadcasters telling us we have to respect how great this rivalry is. Grambling-Southern is a great rivalry, too, but it’s still shitty football I don’t feel like watching. And before anyone goes on a “respect the troops” kick, I do respect the troops. I appreciate that they fight for my freedoms, and now I’m going to exorcise my freedom to throw Army-Navy in the same basket as the WNBA – terrible sporting events not on my TV.

Virginia-Virginia Tech

In the ’80s and ’90s, these guys , two of the best coaches in the game, made the Commonwealth Cup great. The game frequently matched two top 25 teams and the intensity was fierce. Then UVA’s guy got too old and this ass face decided to come along, play some chess, stick his face in a fan and lose 8 out of 9 to the Hokies. Not to mention, this problem drinker apparently drove drunk to every head coach interview he ever had because no coordinator that good would ever sit around as No. 2 to a guy with half a face for three decades with no good reason. Anyways, one of the most underrated rivalries in college football turned into Texas-Baylor and now no one cares. But now UVA has this guy. Give it about three years.

USC-Notre Dame

Like Notre Dame football, the importance of this rivalry is nothing more than an illusion propogated by TV. As I mentioned, passion makes a rivalry, and if the dudes and babes of sunny SoCal don’t give a shit about their team, neither should you.

Oregon-Oregon St.

Well, if anything, the Civil War has to have the best name of all rivalry games, and the Ducks versus the Beavers has to be best rivalry matchup of ridiculous mascots.

Ohio St.-Michigan

For years, ESPN had you fooled into thinking this was an amazing game played between elite teams for the highest of stakes. Then Ohio St. kept losing BCS bowl games by 20. Now Michigan is looking like their Smart Kid U brethren and this rivalry is pretty much like me when I’m watching it – in a coma.

Cal-Stanford

The Nerd Bowl! This series has lacked memorable games in recent years, most people hate these schools as the elitist institutions they are, and 95% of the college football fan population would rather fuck a dead pig than watch California football (Seriously, that’s not even a joke. Southerners and Midwesterners are mildly disapproving of fucking dead livestock. But they hate football from California). Alas, The Play (“The Band is on the Field!!!”) is as memorable as it gets and earns this rivalry some points.

Syracuse-UConn

Yes, I’m just fucking with you now

Maryland-Virginia

Sorry, Maryland. No one in Virginia considers you a rival. In fact, no one cares about Maryland. Go bother West Virginia. They’ll burn couches with you.

West Virginia-Pittsburgh

When it comes to pure ignorant, nasty hatefulness among fans, this rivalry is the winner. The Backyard Brawl also generally determines the winner of the Big East. Congratulations! Your rivalry game gets to decide which team gets to embarass the BCS again this year!

Florida St.-Miami

This rivalry is just tantalizing. It was the most dramatic in college football for years and it still feels like these teams should be elite, but the fact is it’s closer to the level of UNC-N.C. State than it is to the glory days of this rivalry in the ’80s and ’90s.

Oklahoma-Texas

Great game, great tradition, but with the crazy intensity of so many Texas games (Texas A&M and Nebraska, for starters), one begins to realize that Longhorn fans are just sick in their heads, think everyone is a rival and would probably sacrifice more than a couple of Mexican illegals for a win over East Texas Tech-El Paso, much less the Sooners.

Auburn-Alabama

For my money, this one takes the cake both historically and right now. Who cares that both teams have hedge funds and law firms running their recruiting slush funds, these teams are basically combining NFL quality play with the immeasurable passion of uneducated, backwoods rednecks that are told from before they can walk that they are, under all circumstances and with no exceptions, to hate anyone wearing the wrong team’s colors. In most rivalries where a family’s two children go to each school, the parents get some cute flag with half of one school’s colors and half of the others. In Alabama, if a son or daughter goes against family tradition, they’re not invited back for Christmas. Carrying some “Family Divided” flag with mixed team colors will make you the victim of a hate crime faster than a black guy wearing a gay pride shirt walking into an Alabama KA frat house.

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