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Former Oregon All-American Ahmad Rashad on the Ducks

Rashad, who began following the Ducks as a child in Tacoma, Wash., claims some credit for the team's success this season.

January 09, 2011|By Ahmad Rashad

It's all about Duck dignity and Duck power.

The Oregon Ducks have been the finest football team in America for the last year and have never quite gotten the credit for how good they are. Watching them play is like watching a video game — they score and score and score. Six quarters instead of four would be great.

Chip Kelly is a great head coach. The Ducks are able to recruit now and get the best athletes. When I was there, we had trouble getting the best athletes in the state to come to Oregon.

I grew up in Tacoma, Wash., but it was Ducks fever even then. I've been buying into the Ducks since I was 10. Everyone else was a Husky fan. I liked the uniforms and they had a cool offense with Bob Berry at quarterback, Mel Renfro at running back and Dave Wilcox on defense. Those were my guys.

When it came down to my decision, it was between Notre Dame and Oregon. I wanted to build them into something. When I was there with [quarterback] Dan Fouts, our big games were 'SC or UCLA. We took great pride in representing the Pacific Northwest and going down there and beating 'SC .

There isn't a day that goes by that somebody doesn't walk by me and say, "Go, Ducks." I was in Paris last year standing on the street, and people came up to me: "Go, Ducks."

I want Charles Barkley to explain what the difference is between War Eagles and Tigers, how that fits together for Auburn. All I know is when you say, "Go, Ducks,'" you know what I'm talking about.

When Oregon got to the big game in the Rose Bowl last season, they just didn't seize the day — and that's what Chip Kelly preaches.

I think that message has sunk in.

Last spring, Dan Fouts and I were [honorary] coaches for the spring game. We were dead serious. I've told Chip, 'I got them rolling. I got you going last spring.' "

I'll be on the sideline for the championship game. I think I have some eligibility left. If they need a quick out or a quick slant, I'll be right there.

Fear the O.

Ahmad Rashad, an Emmy Award-winning sports broadcaster, was a 1971 All-American at Oregon as Bobby Moore and became an All-Pro receiver in the NFL. He has served on Oregon's board of trustees and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2007.

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