Look, we know the Oregon “O”, whether by itself or recreated using player gloves (pictured), looks like the evil Eye of Sauron from the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, but that doesn’t mean it should be discriminated against, does it?
Yet, that’s exactly what interim head of Pac-12 officiating Mike Pereira, who previously spent time in the NFL as VP of officiating, has done in his most recent video call via FOX Sports.
Void of all personality and antagonist of tomfoolery, Pereira says he will be contacting Oregon and coach Chip Kelly in the near future to discuss how forming the trademark “O” with the gloves after a touchdown or big play is bordering on the edge of unsportsmanlike conduct.
You can view the video HERE; the buzz kill comes at around 2:45.
Pereira explains that as far as celebrations are concerned, honoring God or saluting our armed forces are the only real acceptable forms of expression.
For the record, I’d love to see Pereira at his own surprise party, or when he discovers he has the winning lottery ticket.
I bet he’s just the life of the party.
From the video:
“I think that borderlines on being unsportsmanlike conduct. And really what you want to do is not do something like this, so that you can actually take the officials out of that. I would say this: I’ll go so far as to guarantee you that Chip Kelly and the Oregon Ducks will get a phone call this week and tell them that ‘You need to stop doing this.’
“Why do I guarantee it? Because I’ll be the one to make it.”
And since we’re throwing out guarantees, I can guarantee this: Pereira is pretentious.
I’m all for eliminating excessive celebrations. For every amazing individual performance, there were 10 other guys on the field who helped the 11th get it done. So, to the athlete, I say go celebrate with your team, and not with yourself.
At the same time, college football is about having fun. Nike created those uniforms so the players could make the “O”, just like they created the Pro Combat unis so that every team could make their logo with their gloves. It shows pride in who they play for and it’s great for the players.
Making the “O” by itself is not even in the same realm of excessive celebration or taunting. The fact that Pereira has to sound the alarm against using the gloves as “O’s” because of some judgement call an official might have to make indicates the Pac-12 has bigger officiating problems than he even realizes.
If I’m Chip Kelly and Pereira calls about this, I’m hanging up the phone after promptly telling him something that’s not suitable for this site.
UPDATED 7:37 p.m. ET And, of course, as soon as I hit the “publish” button, THIS comes out. It appears that Pereira is going to let the “O” stand, as the backlash (see above) has caused him to “rethink his position”.
“The “O” the Ducks flash is OK,” Pereira tweeted. “Talked to others and as long as it is not prolonged or directed at an opponent, it’s ok.”