Foie gras, or fattened duck livers, is a culinary delicacy. So too are the Oregon Ducks delicate. The Stanford Cardinal knew it, and after the defending Pac 12 champions consistently shoved the football down Oregon’s throats for 60 minutes in a 26-20 win, everybody in the college football world knows it.
But back to foie gras for a second. You may ask, why do people spend top dollar for fattened duck livers? Well, aside from the unparalleled taste, it’s unique and a symbol of success like champagne or caviar. So too have people been enamored by the esteemed football team from Eugene, Oregon. With its shiny, stylish uniform combinations and flamboyant style of play, the Ducks won many admirers through the first eight games.
But there was a dark side to this team, just as there is with the shiny cans of fattened French duck livers – the painful force-feeding.
To produce a two-pound duck liver, a foie gras farmer holds the duck under one arm, tilts its neck back with the other hand and quickly pushes the feeding tube down the bird’s throat. This process of stuffing the birds full of unhealthy amounts of food is repeated for about 12 to 14 days.
The controversial treatment is not so different from what Stanford did to Oregon Thursday night on “The Farm.” The Cardinal’s offense force-fed the Ducks a large amount of power football. To say the least, Stanford fattened the Ducks’ livers to the breaking point with 66 rushing attempts that gained 274 yards and kept Oregon’s offense in a stranglehold on the sideline. Senior Tyler Gaffney led the way, carrying the ball a school-record 45 times for 157 yards and a score.
In light of this force-feeding and with many other attractive choices on the championship menu, many college football consumers will likely be hesitant to buy the Ducks as a legitimate contender moving forward. Seeing a team suffer that kind of treatment has a lasting effect on people’s hearts and minds.
But no one feels sorry for these Ducks, the ones that brazenly popularized “We Want Bama” t-shirts in the days leading up to their slaughter. And Stanford, unlike foie gras farmers, won’t be criticized for doing the dirty work.