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Advent of magic in Oregon sports

    I left this paper’s Sports section almost 20 years ago because Darwin Barney wasn’t around to make that flawless relay and cut down a North Carolina base runner at the plate. I moved on because Bryce Taylor never stepped up to knock down 11 straight shots and give the Oregon Ducks a 24-point victory in the Pacific-10 Conference tournament championship game.

    The NBA draft lottery? Sam Bowie might as well have been autographing the pingpong balls, for all the karma accorded the Portland Trail Blazers.

    In those days, there was precious little magic in Oregon sports, just a sullen, rain-soaked sameness. I lived in this state for 19 years before the Beaver football team slogged in with a winning record. From 1980 through 1992, OSU averaged less than two victories a year. In that same span, the Ducks were seven games under .500 and just coming out of a 26-year drought between bowl games.

     — Excerpt from Steve Duin’s column, The Oregonian, July 8, 2007


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