EUGENE, Ore. — Speed wins–that’s the name of the game on this week’s Sports Illustrated cover. The Ducks’ speedy running back De’Anthony Thomas is front and center.
Many Ducks fans feel confident no SI cover curse will touch them this weekend or through the rest of the season. But as many fans know, the curse has struck the Ducks a couple times before.
“It’s great to get the recognition. I really think we deserve it. We’re not a flash in the pan,” said Duck football alum Hugh Woodward.
De’Anthony Thomas is featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week in three different poses under the header “Speed Wins”.
The Ducks are no stranger to the cover of Sports Illustrated or the so-called curse.
Players have donned a number of covers over the years: the pre-season cover in 2009 with Jeremiah Masoli was followed by a loss to Boise and that famous punch. In 2010, LaMichael James was featured right before the national championship. The Ducks lost against Auburn. But perhaps the most notable was Jason Fife’s September 2003 issue. The Ducks started with a 4-0 season and a upset win over Michigan. Post SI cover, they lost their next four games.
Most fans though are sticking to their guns going into gameday this weekend.
“Don’t believe in it, I think the program has really come a long way since I played back in the ’70s. I don’t think it will affect the way Oregon plays or the way De’Anthony Thomas plays,” Woodward said.
“I don’t think this is gonna go to their heads. I’m pretty confident in us,” said Duck football fan Francis Howitt.
If there’s one thing fans believe in, it’s that speed will win and De’Anthony will outrun the so-called curse.
“Oregon’s for real and it’s gonna continue, and I think we’re just scratching the surface,” Woodward said.
Most fans said this weekend’s match-up against Arizona will be a challenge, being the first Pac-12 team, but they say not even a curse will get in the way of a win.