I probably should not admit that I have probably gone too far in showing my support for the University of Oregon over the past few years. I frequently wear Duck clothing; have a number of Duck mementos in my office; have multiple University of Oregon certificates, diplomas, and awards on my walls; and even have been known to wear green tennis shoes on occasion. My only defense is that most of the stuff I wear or display was a gift and therefore can’t be just left in a closet. The other problem is that I have so much Duck apparel that I don’t have much else to wear.
I have noticed in recent years that Albany is much friendlier to Duck boosters now than it was when I first came here. It seems that people like success and, by any standard, Duck football has been very successful over the past few years. I also know that what goes up inevitably comes down.
The price of my excessive loyalty to my alma mater has been some rather petulant behavior by a few City employees, the nerviest of whom showed up wearing a Kansas State sweatshirt on the day of the Fiesta Bowl. We are a tolerant organization, and the employee is still working here; but one fellow Duck suggested shunning as an appropriate strategy to deal with this outrageous conduct. I believe in being magnanimous in victory, however, and generally avoid petty or vindictive retaliation unless the Ducks lose. Fortunately, we don’t appear to have many Stanford supporters in our ranks.
Recently, I have become so magnanimous that I have been hiring and promoting Oregon State (OS) graduates in record numbers. Finance, Public Works, Community Development, Economic Development, and IT are all headed by OS directors I have appointed. Our Parks & Recreation and Human Resource Directors were Beavers in place when I arrived here. Not surprisingly, the HR Director tells me it is not permissible to require a degree from the U of O for our new police chief.
I think I will resolve this year to be less partisan and more tolerant of the various points of view among us. We have a couple of USC fans, and I think I can even force myself to be nice to them in the months ahead. Of course, one of them works in payroll, so we all have to be nice to her.