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April 1, 2017

Several former Duck football players returned to Eugene for the Oregon’s annual Pro Day on Thursday, only to find their once state-of-the-art facilities in shambles.

Players were horrified as they walked through the wreckage of the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex, Oregon’s $95-million football office building that opened just four years ago.

March 1, 2017

We burst out of the trees, gallop up to a log and jump into a pond of water, then we leap up over the bank before hurtling on to the next obstacle. My horse, Queen of Cairo, flicks her small brown ears back at me, then pricks them forward as she hunts for the next jump.

When I tell people my hobby is competing my horse, I think they picture suit-jacketed velvet-capped champagne-sipping equestrians cantering across manicured lawns. 

March 1, 2017

Sweat dripping off his scruffy beard, Zane Sandborg hops over logs on the choker course at Oregon State University’s logging sports arena in the otherwise serene Peavy Arboretum. Teammates Robin Wortman and Calvin Kerr compete to see who can balance longest on a slippery log that revolves a few inches off the ground on a sturdy metal spit. Meanwhile, Morgan Kawakami sends a heavy axe cartwheeling through the air as she refines her axe throw technique.

March 1, 2017

People collapse. Toenails are turning black and falling off all the time.

And still, long-distance relay races attract enough runners to sell out in Oregon.

In my early relay race outings I’ve tripped, rolled ankles, blacked out, nearly puked and slept like a corpse propped up against walls and in open fields. At one point, after running 11 miles uphill in the sand, my mind left my body; I somehow found myself back in the team van without any recollection of how I got there.

November 23, 2016

I’ve occasionally questioned the adage that patience is a virtue, but Brian Rowe has proven its wisdom — at least in the context of pursuing a professional soccer career as a goalkeeper. The route Rowe took from playing youth soccer here in Eugene to playing at the highest level of professional soccer in North America was somewhat slow and sinuous, but his patience and perseverance have paid off.  

June 9, 2016

Don’t get me wrong — I’m absolutely thrilled that Autzen Stadium will host a July 24 soccer match between two very high-level European clubs with some of the world’s most talented players at the 2016 International Champions Cup. I definitely will be going to the match. 

May 27, 2016


“Jesse Shofner: Good as Hell” Edited by Jay Clark, highlights cut by Ella Hansen


December 10, 2015

Despite much wishful thinking since the U.S. hosted the 1994 World Cup, soccer fans remain marginalized in this country. Soccer rarely receives the attention and accommodation given to the three (or four) hegemonic sports in the U.S. — American football, basketball, baseball and ice hockey (what Andrei Markovits and Steven Hellerman refer to as the “big three and one-half”).

November 12, 2015

Article 24 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes that every person has the right to leisure. For many people, leisure consists of playing soccer, especially with goals, referees, out-of-bounds lines and other standard conditions — including opponents. These things are not so easy to get at the Oregon State Penitentiary (OSP), I discovered when I came to play there as an outsider in a prison soccer match.

August 27, 2015

The goalkeeper didn’t even have time to lift her hands in the air. The shot by Oregon’s Marlo Sweatman from outside the 18-yard box was that fast. After the defensive midfielder’s first shot rebounded off a Louisiana State defender, all Sweatman had to do was put her foot through the ball and keep moving forward during the UO women’s soccer match against the LSU Tigers at Papé Field Aug. 21.

May 21, 2015

If you spend enough time around folks who play frisbee golf, the phrase “growing the sport” eventually comes up. 

Frisbee golf has blossomed in popularity over the past few years — with new courses and tournaments emerging in Eugene and across the country. The 2015 Lynx Tournament, presented May 22-24 by Dynamic Discs, provides participants an opportunity to play the gargantuan 18-hole Middlefield Golf Course in Cottage Grove. The 13,000-foot course is known as one of the top five distance courses in the world. 

April 30, 2015

When Lane United soccer club returns to Willamalane Center to kick off their sophomore season with an exhibition game on May 8, expect the team to build off the momentum they created in 2014.

During the inaugural season for Lane’s local soccer club last year, the team secured a home venue at Willamalane, a title sponsor with Oakshire Brewing, a developing fan base as well as a devoted supporter’s group in the Red Aces. 

April 23, 2015

For the first time ever, the United States is sending a women’s team to the “touch rugby” world championships. 

UO club rugby player and Eugene resident Erika Farias is one of the women who will represent the nation at the Federation of International Touch’s 8th annual World Cup in Coffs Harbour, Australia. In the past, the U.S. has sent only men’s and mixed teams to the world championship. 

April 16, 2015

The Oregon Ducks softball team has earned the right to call its squad the best in the nation, even if that title ebbs and flows ever so slightly.

While UO secured the top spot in the joint ESPN.com/USA Softball poll as well as the USA Today/NFCA coaches’ poll on March 31, they slipped to number two when the weekly polls were released again on April 7. 

January 22, 2015

Like many UO graduates, Marcus Mariota needs a job. But Marcus won’t be reading Eugene Weekly’s help wanted ads. He will wait for the National Football League draft to learn where he will be working.

December 11, 2014

A good friend of mine in Seattle — an Eritrean immigrant who helped pen that country’s as yet unratified constitution — once pointed out that, should I really want to understand the collision of race and politics in the U.S., read the sports pages. I figured he was being coy, but the more I think about it, the more I comprehend sports as a microcosm of society, where all sorts of racial and social tensions play out, often in the subterranean codes of privilege, ability and competition.

December 4, 2014

Sports are funny. If folks in this country cared half as much about the political process as they do about football, we’d all be living in some elegant utopia right now. Even casual sports fans can hold a civil, intelligent discussion about the pros and cons of the nickel defense, but bring up Obamacare and most of us degenerate into retrograde morons, hurling incoherent epithets at each other. Politics these days have become a nightmare, but football — it’s our religion. And that’s sad.

November 26, 2014

What a difference a weekend makes in the fickle, fanatical world of college football, where the panic and pandemonium of winning and losing wreck havoc with all cool reckonings. It’s all so hard to grasp, much less parse and parlay. A single game can overthrow the whole shebang, sending the number-crunchers scrambling for a new paradigm.

Not all that far back, for instance, the wily bookmakers in Vegas suddenly scooted the Oregon Ducks to odds-on favorites for a national title, deeming UO’s chances at 9-2 (22 percent), just above Alabama’s 5-1 (20 percent).

July 16, 2014

A Copa das surpresas (“the [World] Cup of surprises”) was a phrase I remember hearing several times during the first weeks of the 2014 World Cup. Holland had crushed the 2010 World Cup champion, Spain, 5-1. Germany beat Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal, 4-0. Costa Rica went undefeated in its first three games to become the leader of one of the most difficult groups of the cup. Top-ranked teams like Spain, Italy, Portugal and England didn’t even make it to the round of 16.

July 9, 2014

I consider myself a fairly transparent person, but there’s something I’ve been reluctant to share: I would not be upset or disappointed if the albiceleste (the Argentine team — nicknamed after the white and sky-blue stripes of their flag and jerseys) wins the World Cup. I was passionately supporting other teams but they’ve all been eliminated. 

June 26, 2014

While soccer has been exploited by some with malicious intentions (recently evidenced by the horrific suicide bombing that took 14 lives of World Cup-viewers in Nigeria), soccer has tremendous potential for promoting and facilitating peaceful intercultural exchanges and fraternal international relations. 

June 19, 2014

My travel experience has convinced me that the best plan is to make no plans — or at least to keep plans as flexible as possible — and my experience of watching Brazil’s first match in this hubristically hopeful host nation has confirmed my conclusion that spontaneity and flexibility bear the sweetest of fruits. 

June 12, 2014

After Charles Miller brought two soccer balls with him from Scotland to Brazil in 1894, the game caught on like wildfire. Soccer has become a defining characteristic of this young, diverse nation, which often identifies itself as o país do futebol (“the country of soccer”). Alex Bellos, former South America correspondent for The Guardian, concluded that “football gives Brazilians a feeling of national identity — citizenship, even — much more than anything else.” 

June 5, 2014

From June 12 to July 13, billions of people will watch the world’s most popular sports event: the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup. The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be the 20th such tournament — and the second to be held in Brazil. Of the 203 national teams that competed in regional tournaments in order to qualify, only 31 teams will travel to Brazil to join the host nation for the 2014 cup.