September 22, 2009
Oregon's '09 debut at Boise State didn't go well. This is an understatement: The prolific Duck offense was held without a single first down in the first half, turned the ball over twice and finished with only a fraction of his staggering 2008 averages in yards and points. LeGarrette Blount punched a guy on the field and tried to take the fight into the stands. Local writers called out new coach Chip Kelly for his team's general lack of discipline, on-field and off, throughout his first game in charge. All on national television, wrapping up one of the most inauspicious debuts imaginable to repeated ad nauseum by the all-seeing eye of ESPN.
A few Oregon fans actually paid for this, for tickets and travel -- you could recognize them by their dismayed faces every time the camera scanned the crowd for reaction shots. For most of them, that's just part of being a fan: You travel, you cheer, sometimes you lose. Sometimes you lose spectacularly, in surprising and painful fashion. It goes with the territory.
As chronicled by Everyday Should Be Saturday, Oregon alum Tony Seminary is well aware of the protocol: Travel, cheer, take what comes. But what came was so bad, Seminary decided to fire off a pointed e-mail to Kelly, anyway, complete with an invoice from his IT company, even though he never expected a response:
I was so angry with the game (even before the post-game melee) I am sending you an invoice for my trip to Boise. The product on the field Thursday night is not something I was at all proud of, and I feel as though I’m entitled to my money back for the trip. Please see my invoice attached in this email. I will happily send along receipts if need be.
Witty, polite, to the point -- as fine an angry message as you can send or receive, especially when the recipient can hardly argue that his performance was worth the dough. Kelly was obviously impressed by Seminary's , as well, if his reply is any indication:
Read it and weep: A cathartic lark good for $439, signed by the boss himself (signature distorted here, for obvious reasons) and confirmed with Seminary. Who will not be cashing it, of course; this kind of unique novelty is worth 10 times the face value in party conversation, fleeting Internet notoriety and old-fashioned personal pride. And if the Ducks have too many more games like that one, Kelly might need the cash, anyway.
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Hat tip: EDSBS again, for unearthing a great story and approving use of the image of the check.
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