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win the day

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If you Win The Day, this is the day, not tomorrow.

Former Oregon Duck Football Coach Chip Kelly coined ‘Win The Day’ and that’s what his Ducks did.

They won the day, day after day, season after season. It almost felt like they really wanted Alabama.

Current coach, and former Marshfield Pirate, Mark Helfrich, says the Ducks he inherited are winning a majority of their days.

That sounds okay as long as one of those days is game day, Coach Helfrich.

2-4 on the year explains the problem.

If things aren’t clear enough, your friend John Canzano is winning the day by writing a post on you not winning yours. Okay, maybe he’s not your friend, but he needs you.

Maybe you need him, too.

I ran into Helfrich away from the football once last spring. He was in Spokane for the NCAA Tournament on vacation with his family. They were there watching the Ducks basketball team.

I was walking from the hotel to a diner early one morning and saw a guy coming down the block toward me with two young children in tow. It was Helfrich. He was on the telephone, mid-call, and his son was trying to climb up him, dangling off his extended arm. Helfrich struggled to walk along, holding the phone with one hand and his son with the other. The Ducks football coach passed, looked at me, smiled, and shook his head.

Helfrich’s expression said, “You’re a dad. You know what this is like.”

Mark, you’re a big time, big college, been to the mountain top, football coach. The biggest in the state.

Were you shaking your head at John Canzano to share the daddness of the moment, or to say, “What are you doing here? Just ignore me.”

You didn’t win that day, Coach. In a PR dream, you had the most influential sports columnist in the state right in your sights, and you eased up.

Next time, win the day this way:

“Hey John, good to see you. You know, I’m having a little trouble here. The kids won’t let me talk to you, and this is such a perfect time.

“So my a favor, would you, and grab this young tiger while I finish my phone interview. Then we can get something down. Here you go. Be easy on him, son.”

No one wants to miss the dad on dad moment, where both walk away knowing their a better dad than the other one.

Who would you put your money one, the parenting skills of a football coach, or the parenting skills of a sports writer?

Chip Kelly coined “Win The Day” for Oregon, but I’ll bet he got it from Saul Bellow and his unsung influence on college football.

The Nobel Prize winning novelist had plenty of influence, but college football?

His fourth novel, Seize The Day, has Duck Football all over it, just not in name.

One big loser of a guy tries to make something of himself and fails. One attempt after another to rise up and meet his problems leaves him lower for the effort.

His turmoil reaches bottom when he finds himself at a funeral for a stranger and feels more emotion for the dead man than he does for the living.

Tommy finds himself before the body of a dead stranger, unable to break away and he begins to cry and weep. He releases pools of emotion and “crie[s] with all his heart.” It is here that the book ends. Other people at the funeral are confused as to who he is, wondering how close he had been to the deceased. The deceased is a stranger but Tommy, however, is left in this “happy oblivion of tears.”

Coach Helfrich, we know who you are. You’re no stranger. We’ve all been crying that oblivion of tears the last four games. It’s all in the family, Coach.

Now that we’ve had a good sniffle, go ahead an Seize The Day with your team. Give them the fire you’ve got, the stuff that turns football players into a football team.

Win the day today, as many as you can during the week, and put that big X on Saturday.

Win The Day on Saturdays and the rest takes care of itself.

About David Gillaspie


  1. Robert William O'Gorman says:

    Prefer “be the ball, Danny, just be the ball” chevy chase line in “Caddyshack” movie.

    • David Gillaspie says:

      That might be the problem in Eugene, they forgot how to be the Ducks that did things that landed them in the top two, top ten, top twenty, top twenty five, and finally in the top? Okay I couldn’t find them in the national rankings but did find them at the bottom of the PAC12 North rankings, and second to last in all the PAC12.

      To commemorate the moment I bought a new DUCKS t shirt like all good fans ought to. No one wears their Duck gear to the gym anymore except people who say they found this old rag in the corner and wore it because it didn’t stink.

      So that’s one sign.

      Thanks for coming in, RO

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