Oregon State Beavers: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Oregon State Beavers1939.

Where were you in the year 1939? Chances are, you weren’t even you yet.  For some, your parents were just stepping foot on this planet or only part of a plan.

In 1939, Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz became motion pictures. Gas? Ten cents a gallon. A new car was $700 and the average price of a new home was $3,800. The World’s Fair opened in New York as did LaGuardia Airport. World War II started, Franklin Roosevelt was U.S. President, Hewlett Packard was formed and for us sporting minds, Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games streak ended at 2,130.

You know what else happened in the sports showground that year? The Oregon State football team started 5-0. Same as this year. Yes, it has been that long. Memories. Okay, hard to dig those up, but certainly nice to ponder. It would be quite the formidable task to ascertain why through the years, no other Oregon State team began so successfully. A wise historian would quickly note to learn from the past and apply toward the future. While teams don’t dwell on seasons long since forgotten, this year’s team has done well in remembering and forgetting last year’s disappointment.

No one outside the team itself expected this sort of happening. Game by game, now it is all explainable. Coach Mike Riley and his staff have combined youth and experience to connect all the pieces of the puzzle. Defense staggers, the offense picks it up. If the offense struggles, the defense clamps it down. One side or the other has kept the team from spiraling out of control. Last season, the team appeared to dwell on the mistakes and perhaps hindered the squad more than was necessary. Coaches or players, whoever holds responsibility for such matters, should have been irrelevant. Conversely this year, any mistakes made are put behind everyone immediately. Furthermore, learning from the mistakes keeps the team going in the right direction. Either within the game itself or with each passing week on the schedule.

As the season continues, at this point the only question appears to be, how long can it last? Getting in their own way would be their undoing. However, after five games, the Beavers have shown no signs of losing their grip on progress. In addition, these Beavers embody the notion of teamwork. There is no shortage of togetherness on the Oregon State sidelines. During games as well as in media reports, they all support each other. When starting quarterback Sean Mannion went down and backup Cody Vaz was handed the reins, no one wavered. No one. You couldn’t buy a quote for a million dollars from anyone associated with Beaver nation with any negative input about the quarterback swap. Loyalty and belief: priceless.

Over the years, during the course of a college football season, the Beavers would have it going. If all was well, strikingly the football demons would conspire and the foundation turned in to a tumbling house of cards. This year, not happening. This year is solid brick.

It is comforting to know my hope has subsided to the identical belief the team has captured. Better, stronger, faster and without a doubt more capable. I believe looking ahead at the schedule would be the natural course of action. Nonetheless, in honor of another redeeming quality in each and every Beaver where none of them look further than the task at hand, I too will focus only on this weekend. My past reviews have only been correct in one area. A Beaver victory. With such knowledge, I will learn from the error of my ways (sound familiar?), and suffice to only say another OSU win is imminent.  Yes, I do not hope, I believe it so.

About Arran Gimba