NYTimes: Oregon’s Favorite Sons Keep Their Rivalry Alive

T.A. Barnhart

Clemens and Anderson in college
The New York Times has a nice feature on former two former high school and college quarterbacks from Oregon, Kellen Clemens (Burns, UO and NY Jets) and Derek Anderson (Scappoose, OSU and Cleveland). Both come from small rural Oregon towns, played each other in high school and college, and tomorrow they will play against each other in the NFL.

Their colleges play in a game called the Civil War, but their personal rivalry is a more civil war, as friendly as it gets between two competitive quarterbacks.

"A lot of it has to do with where we came from," Anderson said.

They marvel now at the unlikelihood of it all, two small towns from opposite ends of Oregon producing two rivals who have much in common.

Both used to ride with their grandfathers — Anderson in the supply truck; Clemens on the ranch — learning the family business. Both have four sisters (Anderson also has a brother). Both sustained injuries in college. Both began this season as backup quarterbacks.

They are also described the same way in their hometowns: hard-working, grounded, competitive, good with youngsters, maybe a bit goofy.

"I read about Kellen, and it sounds exactly like Derek," said Laurie Gobel, Anderson’s mother, who lives near Seattle.

A nice article, but I do have one quibble: For Ducks, at least, Joey is still the favorite son. It's not his fault he keeps getting stuck on teams that suck so bad. Seattle will probably need a backup next year; bring him close to home and give him a real chance for a change.

Anyway, read it all.

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    Would someone please explain for me why this game isn't being aired in Oregon?

    Are the people at KOIN morons? Or are they just following the dictates of some New York based programming genius who doesn't know that Clemens vs. Anderson might have some interest out here?

  • Pat Malach (unverified)

    When I worked Sundays at KOIN.com, one of the major duties was answering e-mails from people who complained about which NFL game the station was airing.

    I admit to being a Harrington fan when he was at the Ducks and had pretty high hopes for him in the NFL. But Joey's got more problems than just playing for crappy teams.

    Watch him drop back for a pass some time. He's got happy feet. His feet never stop moving. In the time that a QB like Tom Brady takes 5 to 7 steps, Harrington takes about 134. His poor footwork is reflected in his lack of accuracy with his passing game. The NFL moves too fast to forgive inaccurate passing.

    Joey's just not getting the job done. The reality is that Cleveland wasn't that good until they started getting consistent quality play at the QB position -- from one Derek Anderson. (Jimmy Johnson said that)

    Being on crappy teams may have destroyed Joey's confidence, but if you think his teammates are his only problem, you're wrong.

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    When I worked Sundays at KOIN.com, one of the major duties was answering e-mails from people who complained about which NFL game the station was airing.

    OK, Pat, but give us a little inside info. Why would they decide to air a game featuring QBs from Michigan and Miami of Ohio - instead of a game featuring QBs from Oregon and Oregon State?

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    Kari, as i've said before, if you have questions like this you have to go to the person who gets into these kinds of things more thoroughly and more accurately than any other tv journalist. my kid brother, Aaron Barnhart, at TVBarn.com. his latest piece explains why Comcast's switch from Passport to Navigator (the software that controls dvr's and other digital devices) has been so bad for so many people. Aaron has contacts galore and he's got a great reputation, so he gets the kind of access few journalists in any field seem able to generate these days.

    his story on MSNBC moving, which he did after your post on that and my query to him, was not only informative, it got him a lot of extra play around the country. nice to help famly now & then.

    anyway, i'll ask him about this. i know it's all in the way the NFL contracts games with the networks; just because most of Oregon wants to see Clemens & Anderson doesn't mean a lot. CBS & NFL think we should be watching two of the best teams &mash; nope, wrong, but we don't run the show.

    i'll let you know what Aaron has to say, but feel free to take your tv questions to him at any time. like NPR's Marketplace, among others, does.

  • Pat Malach (unverified)

    Maybe they figure the "NFL" Fan base for the much-hyped chance that the Steelers have to knock the Patriots off their undefeated pedestal is greater than the market for the "sentimental" favorites on the hapless Jets and mediocre Browns.

    Or maybe there is some kind of obscure and convoluted contractual regional obligation with the NFL that takes the decision out of KOIN's hands.

    They didn't let me in on these kinds of things. I just apologized and passed the message up the ladder.

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    Yeah, I'm sure there's contractual stuff going on here - but I remember that when Joey Harrington was starting for the Detroit Lions, we got LOTS of Detroit games... even crappy ones that were scheduled at the same time as other good games. It seemed then like the only thing that could knock the Lions off our local tube was a Seahawks game.

    Of course, no one expected at the top of the season that the kid from Burns would be starting in New York or the kid from Scappoose would be starting (and thriving) in Cleveland.

    A few years ago, I would have believed that the games were just scheduled in advance - but the NFL made a big deal how they were moving to flexible scheduling this year.

    In so many, many ways, the NFL seems to lack the desire to make money. It's so perverse that you can sit in Toronto or Mexico City or even Tehran and get just about any NFL game you want via free broadcast... but in Portland, you only get to choose from four Sunday games and one Monday game -- when there are sixteen games a weekend. Ugh.

  • Pat Malach (unverified)

    I believe this is where the NFL directs you to their cable package, for just a few dollars more ...

    Remember the packers/Cowboys game the previous week that was exclusively on their paid network.

    In so many, many ways, the NFL seems to lack the desire to make money.

    I think it's all about a desire for more money. If you don't have cable, you get four games a week. If you don't pay for the NFL package, you get, what, 5?

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
    <h2>There's very little choice unless you pay the NFL a few dollars more.</h2>

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