Oregon Ducks Fans Owe Vernon Adams A BIG Apology


Oct 17, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. (3) returns to the locker room following a 26-20 victory against the Washington Huskies at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

When Vernon Adams decided to transfer from Eastern Washington University to the University of Oregon for his last year of collegiate football eligibility, a swarm of unwarranted expectations followed him. The former FCS star was not only being asked to deliver another ten-plus win season to Eugene, but he was also expected to perform at the same level as his predecessor, Heisman winner Marcus Mariota.

Sounds fair, right?

Late in the season opener against his former team, Adams injured his right index finger. Right then and there, the Ducks’ season took a colossal turn for the worst. The following week Adams was to lead Oregon into Spartan Stadium to take on the Michigan State Spartans. Oh, and on top of the broken finger he’d have to play with, let’s not forget that he had been practicing with the Oregon program for less than a month. Can’t leave those details out.

The Michigan State game was a drawn-out, bloodbath between two powerhouse programs. Despite being overmatched, the Ducks had a chance to win the game late in the fourth with the clock rendering to mere seconds of time. In short, Vernon Adams missed a receiver for the go-ahead touchdown that would have won the game for Oregon. The drive ended in failure for Adams and the Ducks, and the downward spiral of the 2015 season began.

Talk to any Duck fan about the game against Michigan State, and all you will hear is what Adams could have done. Quick to ignore the circumstances, fans blamed the loss on the newly added quarterback. The piss-poor secondary? Shh.

The following week, Jeff Lockie was given the nod for his first ever start. After a competent enough performance, an outcry of support for Lockie grew in the masses. But #TeamLockie didn’t start solely out of support for Lockie, it was also a platform for Anti-Vernon Adams sentiments. The cruel and revolting comments from Oregon ‘fans’ continued (and still do to this day).

The hatred reached an all-time high in week four against Utah — you know, the game where Oregon was humiliated at home. Adams started the game and looked downright lost and scared; he was quickly pulled. After a brief moment of promise, Lockie stalled, and Oregon’s quarterback crisis was too prevalent. Support for Lockie however, was still strong. This was all due to the belief that Lockie’s knowledge of the system would triumph over his lack of talent, which is perhaps the most idiotic sports theory I’ve ever heard.

The next two games, Adams sat out, allowing Jeff Lockie and Taylor Alie to win the quarterback position for the remainder of the season. Following the embarrassing loss to Washington State at Autzen, it was clear that neither Lockie or Alie were Division 1 starting quarterbacks.

On Saturday, against archrival Washington, Vernon Adams was given another chance as the starter. I could ramble on and on about all the great things Adams’ did that night at Husky Stadium. But Adams’ first touchdown pass, on the first drive of the game, was all I needed to see to know that #3 gave the Ducks the best chance to win every week.

Still, the disdain for Adams continues. Ever since the former EWU Eagle arrived in Eugene, he was labeled an outsider. Absurd expectations fell on his back, and was virally beaten to a pulp by so-called ‘Oregon fans.’ Shocking revelation: Vernon Adams is not as good as Marcus Mariota. Fun fact: 99% of college quarterbacks this season aren’t near Mariota’s level. For a fanbase that loves to boast family values, such as “Once a Duck, always a Duck,” Duck fans have treated Vernon Adams like an unwanted step-child since he first arrived.

Adams has not had a run-in with the law nor is there any other palpable excuse to detest him. Maybe his biggest offense is that he struggles with math, or that he isn’t Marcus Mariota. Love him or hate him, the fact remains:

The fate of the Ducks’ season rests on the arm of an outsider.