Every Duck knows that what goes up ...Byline: George Schroeder The Register-Guard
The process is natural, and unavoidable. The hypothalamus hypothalamus (hī'pəthăl`əməs), an important supervisory center in the brain, rich in ganglia, nerve fibers, and synaptic connections. It is composed of several sections called nuclei, each of which controls a specific function. releases a hormone, and the pituitary gland pituitary gland, small oval endocrine gland that lies at the base of the brain. It is sometimes called the master gland of the body because all the other endocrine glands depend on its secretions for stimulation (see endocrine system). releases another, and beta-endorphins kick in, and ...
Ah, who are we kidding?
Basically, a big victory prompts a bunch of chemicals to mix up in your brain. The result: "You are humming," says Dr. Scott Pengelly.
This is what happened to the Oregon Ducks The Oregon Ducks refers to the mascot and sports teams of the University of Oregon, located in Eugene, Oregon, United States. The Oregon Ducks are part of the Pacific 10 (Pac-10) conference. Donald Duck is the mascot of the University of Oregon under an agreement with Disney. last Saturday. When they brought down the Big House, they were humming. Dancing and singing, too.
The high was inevitable.
But this next part is also natural and unavoidable and inevitable: The chemicals stop percolating. You come down in a hurry.
"The juice is time-limited," Pengelly says. "You get the blahs."
It's like the afternoon crash after your morning coffee. And it's not necessarily a bad thing.
Not unless the letdown lingers through the weekend.
This has been Mike Bellotti's task: Bring the Ducks safely down from the mountaintop moun·tain·top
The summit of a mountain. . And prevent a crash around 4 p.m. Saturday.
It won't come as a surprise, but after last week, Fresno State is a classic trap game. Last week? Heck, the last few years. How often have the Ducks etched a big win and then fallen flat the next time out?
As an example, we take you back to the last time the Ducks beat Michigan.
"A big, big, big, big win," says senior guard Josh Tschirgi, who was a redshirting freshman in 2003. "A monstrous win."
But this was followed by a monstrous loss, 55-16 to Washington State. At Autzen. Complete with a season's worth of turnovers and blocked punts and dropped passes and lost tempers and just about every other misfortune you could imagine.
"Terrible," Tschirgi says of the experience - which was followed, you might recall, by two more losses, and three in four games (thank goodness for Stanford).
The point is, it's something no one wants to relive. Which is why we consulted a clinical psychologist.
Dr. Pengelly, who practices in Eugene and specializes in sports psychology, started our session with Plato and Aristotle and Freud and Pat Riley For the American guitarist, see .
Patrick James "Pat" Riley (born March 20, 1945) is an American National Basketball Association head coach and team president of the Miami Heat. and Mike Krzyzewski Michael William Krzyzewski (ʃəʃɛfˈskiˌ; in American English transliteration "shuh-shef-skee"; born February 13, 1947 in Chicago, Illinois), often referred to as Coach "K" .
Then he began using those big words like ACTH ACTH: see adrenocorticotropic hormone.
in full adrenocorticotropic hormone
Polypeptide hormone made in the pituitary gland. and beta-endorphins and cortisol cortisol (kôr`tĭsôl') or hydrocortisone, steroid hormone that in humans is the major circulating hormone of the cortex, or outer layer, of the adrenal gland. and hypothalamuses and pituitary glands.
By the time he was finished, I wondered if some of those chemicals had let loose in my brain. But as it turns out, you don't need to understand the physiology to apply the cure.
The antidote to a letdown is simple, though not necessarily easy. And the good news is, it sounds like the Ducks are following the doctor's orders "Doctor's Orders" is the title of an episode from the third season of the television series . Its episode number is 068, and it first aired on 18 February 2004. Plot summary
This is a summary of the beginning portion of the episode. .
It starts with admitting the letdown is inevitable. This seems elementary, but for some reason, many football coaches insist there's no such phenomenon. No high, either. It's as though they're afraid we'll learn their players are human rather than mindless automatons.
Bellotti, to his credit, isn't playing that game. Perhaps because he's seen enough letdowns. The 2003 Washington State game, he says, "was like we got caught in a vortex of the Bermuda Triangle Bermuda Triangle, area in the Atlantic Ocean off Florida where a number of ships and aircraft have vanished. Also known as the Devil's Triangle, it is bounded at its points by Melbourne, Fla.; Bermuda; and Puerto Rico. ."
Could have been the Sports Illustrated cover jinx The Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx is a myth that states that individuals or teams who appear on the cover of the Sports Illustrated magazine will experience bad luck at varying lengths into the future. , of course. More likely, it was the crash that occurs when you try to cling to Verb 1. cling to - hold firmly, usually with one's hands; "She clutched my arm when she got scared"
hold close, hold tight, clutch
hold, take hold - have or hold in one's hands or grip; "Hold this bowl for a moment, please"; "A crazy idea took hold of the mountaintop. Which is why UO coaches have tried to keep the Ducks from paying attention to all the atta-boys they've heard all week.
But there's more. If the Ducks don't want to relive history, they'd better revisit it.
This is why 2003 remains pertinent, even though only a handful of Ducks are still around - and none played. More important, according to Pengelly, is connecting players' personal histories to current events. So Bellotti has made sure the Ducks remember how 2006 started, and how it finished.
Also following Pengelly's prescription, Bellotti has tossed in any other tidbit that might help motivate the troops.
Glossing over the fact UO has won five straight over Fresno, coaches have emphasized that the combined margin was 20 points. They've made sure the Ducks know they're Fresno's Michigan.
They've also noted Fresno's recent history: Texas A&M 47, Fresno State 45, triple-overtime. After the near-miss, the Bulldogs shouldn't have any trouble getting motivated, right?
Strange, but Pengelly says they might. Because at least physiologically, the valley turns out to be the mountaintop.
"Having fun or getting your (butt) kicked, it's the same thing," Pengelly says.
How will they react to the chemicals? In the end, maybe it comes down to this: First one to forget last Saturday wins this Saturday.