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CFB 2007 Blogger Awards: Best Pac-10 Blog

So here we go.

As the winner of the "Best Pac-10 Blog" of 2006, it falls upon us to announce the winner and runner up of "Best Pac-10 Blog" of 2007.

The nominees for this year' award was Addicted Quack (Oregon), Building The Dam (Oregon St), California Golden Blogs (California), Conquest Chronicles (Southern Cal), and Washington Husky Sports (Washington).

We will start with the Runner Up. For the second straight year the "Runner Up" for this award is Building The Dam from Oregon State. Our good friend Jake just keeps chipping away day after day. Yes, I imagine its gotta be tough to be a Beaver fan this time of the year. But Jake to his credit is always graceful despite having to deal with Beaver hoops. Then again don't feel too bad for him. He has a terrific baseball program, which he does an incredible job covering, and he does have a decent football program to root for, which holds its own again its well financed rival, and represents the Pac-10 well during the Bowl season. So congrats to Jake and all his friends at BTD.

That brings me to the winner of 2007 "Best Pac-10 Blog." Come find out after the jump ...

Ladies and gentleman the award goes to:

Congrats to Addicted to Quack from Oregon. I know it has been a little tough for Dave to keep his site updated in recent days. However, to me it doesn't matter. I make a point to do my best to keep up with Dave's thoughts on the Ducks and the Pac-10 in general.

I don't agree with Dave all the time. However, I deeply respect the fact that he is one of the few college fanatics who is capable of being intellectually honest.

He is not shy about being opinionated, however he offers his thoughts based on reason, sound analysis, and with clarity.

Back in August he offered up one of his best posts in defense of Phill Knight's donation of $100 million to University of Oregon for its new hoops gym.

Dave's defense provided some of the best big picture arguments I have read online on why spending on athletics and academics is not a "zero-sum game" for a high profile university:

I am a sports blogger with a M.Ed.  I know for a fact that we have bloggers on our networks with MAs, JDs, and MBAs.  Sports have hardly led to us being "dumbed down."  In fact, quite the opposite.  The strategy involved in sports is almost like an academic field in and of its own.  Critical thinking about sport--the same kind that you find in academia--have revolutionized sports.  Take baseball, for instance, where, with Sabermetrics becoming more and more a part of the baseball landscape, fans are becoming comfortable in theories of mathematics, economics, and statistics simply by thinking critically about a baseball game.  Just because you do not understand the strategy element of sports does not mean that it is responsible for dumbing down of society.  Perhaps you should get away from your research for a moment and take a few minutes to observe the real world.

What sports are are an immense source of civic pride.  They bring people together who may have little in common, except that they are a fan of their team.  You see the flags hanging around Eugene on gameday because it does matter.  Its why 55K fill Autzen every Saturday.  Its why people tune in on television.  And its not just "dumb" people.  Its doctors and lawyers.  Waiters and janitors.  Teachers and bankers.  And on and on.  And while precious few things bring together the rich and the poor, the Republicans and the Democrats, or the or the young and the old, you better believe that a game of "dead cow bouncing" has the power to do that.

Moreover, I didn't hear this kind of outrage when the UO was getting donations for expanding the art museum.  To the class of intellectual snobs who bash sport while talking about the societal wonders that are Dance, Art, and Theatre, take notes about the truth of the subject.  Those three subjects are merely forms of entertainment, exactly like sport.  And when talking about what is really the best for all of society, when is the last time you saw a discussion of fine art at the trailer park?  And don't give me some hogwash about those people needing to be "enlightened."  Sports appeals to more people, period.  And don't try to lecture me.  I grew up on welfare, something that I'm sure Mr. Physics professor knows little about.

Now, I think that we all agree that a University's mission is on education.  I'm not exactly sure how we got where we are regarding athletics being as big a part of colleges as they are.  In high school, it is because of the life lessons learned--teamwork, responsibility, dedication, etc., by being on a team, and the same applies to college athletes as well.  In any case, athletic success does many things to help University academics.  Athletic success improves the school's profile and exposes the school to better and better students.  Moreover, because of the level of donor support the UO receives, it is one of the few athletic departments that are self sufficient.  Meaning it takes no money from the University's general fund.  Meaning more money for academics.
Those arguments should sound familiar because we have made them over and over here on BN, laying out why our university needs to invest in our major revenue programs (and thankfully there are signs that people may be listening).

So congrats to Dave and his crew at ADQ : the Best Pac-10 Blog of 2007.

For the next award now head back to Rocky Top Talk, where Joe will be presenting "the Jury Prize: Concept" award. Again from BN congrats to ADQ, BTD and rest of the nominees for this year's award.