Sunday, January 17, 2016

January 17, 2016

From Wednesday through yesterday afternoon was a long time – it felt like three years not three days. So, I took some time away from the day to just do those regular things that tend to get neglected when a laser like focus on one topic consumes more time than anticipated. I cleaned house, played fetch with my dog, ran some errands, grocery shopping. I did those things we all do, but had felt neglected. I edited some from my latest novel. And today I slept in, something I had not done in a few days.

A full night sleep.

Last night I even had some beer, something I have only partaken twice since November. In short, I relaxed as only I can. Once again, though, I have learned something about myself. Balance. No, not the literal balance – more like Karate Kid balance. ‘Whole life’ balance.

The last two years have had their challenges, most of them my own doing. Sometimes I expect too much of myself and push myself to an edge from which it is difficult to avoid falling off. Perilously close to that edge in 2013, I am hoping I have found myself in better position to navigate around the edge of the cliff. Along the trip from then to now, I have learned something about myself. I hope the lesson learned will continue to help me evolve and do those things which I love while bringing better work to my writing. It has been two years of massive change.

In August of 2013, we moved. While the move was important for my wife and her son, it was a difficult thing for me because it involved a massive change. I had lived in the south metro area since moving north in 1997. I liked the Wilsonville area and felt it a part of me. To give that area up was difficult. Not long after moving, my long time lifting buddy moved to Colorado. Another change which drastically altered my daily life.

Power lifting requires a trusted spotter. I looked around, checked out some other gyms and nothing seemed to work for me. I continued lifting at the same gym I had been since 1997 – then last June, it closed. More change. At that point, I made the difficult decision to change my lifestyle. Essentially, I ‘retired’ as a power lifter. More change.

Along the way, especially over the course of this past football season, I began to learn some things about myself which I had been able to ignore for many years as I plodded along with my normal life. One of the most critical lessons was taking a step back from my normal response pattern right here at Duck Sports Authority to learn a little more.

Opinions are a strong thing. We all have them. Contrary to the old statement, opinions are not like armpits or assholes – they do not always stink. In fact, most opinions have merit and we have to understand that those opinions are a window into the heart and soul of their bearers. And so it was with mine. When I stepped back I recognized that my opinions come from my own unique history. As a middle child, there was always the need to be noticed. Some do it through loudness, or through rebellion. I had done both in my past. But it was the later focus of supporting opinions not through volume, but through fact supported logic.

But, you see, that is not always something which comes across well. And when I saw differing opinions, it was almost like a challenge to whatever facts I had gathered and believed. So the argument continued. But that was the point; it was not an argument. There was nothing to win by attempting to prevail at all costs. And it was off-putting. To many.

For that, I am humbled I was unable to see how my own style had become so internally toxic. Everyone will note that over the last year, my activity has slowly been increasing as I re-engage with the amazing group of subscribers we have here. I really enjoy what we do, and I enjoy bringing coverage.

I do not know everything – a fact I am always readily willing to admit. Sometimes I have strong opinions. Sometimes supported by what I construe as the facts. Along this path, I have made a conscious effort to not feel like I need to reiterate my point to prove the point. I still make my own mental errors, and I still have strong thoughts. I am just working at being restrained in my presentation of those thoughts.

Most importantly, over the last two years, I have really learned how to balance all of these endeavors which I have chosen to pursue without letting any of the negatives of over-extension put too much wear and tear on my mind or body. There have been the short term loss of balance scenarios like last year with the Rose Bowl and CFP National Championship. Or this year with the recently completed defensive coordinator search. But those are short term aberrations. In all, I am hoping that these things help what we all provide to each other.

I bear my soul not because I find myself better or smarter, but because I find myself just as flawed as every human being. Balance is king and I am lucky to have such opportunity in my life. I hope you all stay with us heading into the future. We are going to keep working to bring you a thorough and comprehensive look at the Oregon Ducks. We may not always get a ‘scoop’ first, but we do our best to provide the absolute best coverage we can.

Thank you all for your incredible support. An endeavor of love can never be a bad thing.


  1. Wow, honest and very"balanced" Scott. Because I value your knowledge, ability and reputation I pay attention to your writings closely. I have definitely noticed a change, not so much with substance, but in how you go about making your point. Is it better? Only you can truly answer that, because when I read your work, we both arrive at the same place. I think you have made it more user friendly? But I understood what you were writing, to give me information and not to make me feel all warm and fuzzy! I hope that made some kind of sense? If you feel better with your current writing style, that's awesome, but I will enjoy what every way you see fit to put it down. Granted, I'm sure it's gentler to those who take your information as emotional need and keeps the why are you so blunt crowed at bay, so maybe it's best with all the emotions that comes with a college football board... Well Scott, as you have already learned reading my posts and now this, I wasn't blessed with putting thoughts to paper and hope your not thinking, what the hell did he say! Keep up the good work, you are far and away my favorite Oregon Ducks writer! Tony (tsherman1)

  2. Thanks Tony. The thing is, for me, I want to get DSA to grow again. I have seen some commentary about my being a "know it all."

    I am not going to change much about my articles, only my posting. I tend to have a need to prove my point when I think statistics back it up, and that can come across to some as abrasive. I will always be willing to have my opinion and share it, but I hate to think that members would prefer another site simply because I sometimes go too far in defense of my views.

    There are some people who will never be pleased - those that dislike someone for illogical reasons - and that is okay. Sometimes I forget the role and act too much like a regular poster and not a mod... but I also have a solution for that!

    Thanks as always for your support. I know that there are many members who really enjoy the harsh reality I sometimes provide, so I will always be 'me.'