Tuesday, 27. October 2009
I suck at life.
That was a little dramatic.
I suck at the Q&As this year. I’m trying to be better, and it’s much easier when I have someone like Josh Frankel to work with.
When I went back to Eugene for the Cal game, I saw so many different people that would have been great for a Q&A. If I wasn’t 17 Coronas deep all weekend, I would have asked 10 different people a question and posted all the responses.
I did run into Josh Frankel, however, and we got caught up. We both recently got married and also have very fond memories of being at Oregon. I told him about the blog and how I do the Q&As and mentioned that Jared Siegel had done one.
His response was somewhere along the lines of, “Dude. I have had way more game winners than Jared. I need to be on the blog.”
He might not have said Dude, but it was something along those lines.
How fitting is it that I finally motivate to do another Q&A during SC week where Josh is a hero in his own right?
Seriously…from third-string walk-on to hero in 2 seconds. Against USC.
1. Introduce yourself:
My name is Josh Frankel and I was a field goal kicker for the Ducks from 1996-2000. I finished my career in the University’s Top 10 in terms of career field goal percentage, and earned ALL-PAC 10 Honorable Mention as a junior. Most people remember me for that dramatic triple OT game-winning kick against USC in 1999. At the time, I was a third-string walk on kicker and figured to have as much to do with that game as anyone in the stands. By the end of the game, I was on my way to earning a scholarship and making my dreams of being a 1st-string PAC-10 kicker a reality.
Since college, I have worked for the EJ Gallo Winery, General Motors R*Works. I returned to Eugene for my MBA from 2004-2006. Currently, I work for Merrill Lynch in Portland helping a finite number of families with their financial planning. And best of all, I am a newlywed! I married Amy Swerdlin Frankel on May 9, 2009. No kids, but we have a dog, Rocky. I’m always open to communicating with fellow Ducks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. You seem to have a good track record in USC games. Can you explain what that feels like?
Every win in the PAC-10 is important. But, being from LA, as are many guys on the team, it’s always awesome to beat USC and UCLA. I don’t recall our overall record versus USC during my playing years, but I definitely remember 1999! Even ten years after that crazy triple OT game, I still enjoy going home to LA and chatting with high school buddies who attended USC. I also had the honor of being a game captain for the game at USC in 2000. It was truly special to be in front of my entire family and call the coin toss! Being on the field against USC and UCLA is incredible, but beating them is something else!
3. What are your thoughts on this week’s game and what Oregon needs to do to come away with a win?
I like our chances. We’re playing at a very high level right now and I think we present a lot of problems for USC. I’m hardly a coach, but here are my keys to success:
Defense: Eliminate the big play. Make USC earn its points. No 50+ yard plays. Be plus 2 on turnovers. No personal foul penalties.
Offense: Run the ball and be aggressive. Take time of the clock to make sure hte defense is well rested. Capitalize on turnovers. Limit penalties.
Special teams: Be Special! Win the field position game, kick 2-3 field goals and put kickoffs and punts into corners to limit big returns.
Autzen: Fans be loud!! Get in mind of the USC QB. He’s never heard anything like the magic of Autzen! The fans have a chance to win this game for the Ducks!
4. Do you make it back to Autzen for a lot of games? How is it different being in the stands than on the field.
Yes, I try to get back at least once or twice a season – and was in Seattle last weekend.
Being a fan is definitely much more fun! It’s obviously different being in the stands as you don’t have the same level of responsibility as those on the field. But it’s still a lot of work to be a Ducks fan. The players on the field rely on the people in the stands to be loud and relentless! It’s what makes playing at Autzen stadium the most intimidating stadium in NCAA. At this point in my life I truly enjoy being in the stands, but there was a time being on the field was the greatest thing in the world.
5. If my memory is correct, you had 3-game winning field goals while at Oregon. Can you describe the feeling from the time you know you will probably have to kick a game-deciding field goal until the time you’re off the field and in the locker room?
Good memory! Yes, had three game-winning kicks. But who’s counting….USC, Arizona and WSU. The best part of a game is you don’t know what’s going to happen. You don’t know if you’re going to win big, lose big, or be in an all-out war until the final whistle. That’s what makes sports so great and why people chew off their fingers when watching. It’s the ultimate reality TV.
In terms of the emotions and feelings that you experience leading up to a game winning kick – The three games that we won on a field goal, I remember feeling incredibly calm and 100% in the moment. I didn’t worry about making the kick or missing it – I just kicked the ball. Sounds simple in theory, but it’s about having confidence and faith in your teammates that everything is going to go according to plan. Even 10 years later, I can vividly feel and experience the moments leading to the kick, to the kick itself and being in the locker room after the kick. I can still hear the pop of the ball going off my foot. Every kick was a powerful and wonderful memory, but the game winning kicks will stay with me forever.
6. What do you remember most about playing in Autzen stadium?
The rules are different now, but I used to love when the fans rushed the field after every game. I loved signing autographs and giving kids my wristbands. Made the experience much more meaningful to share it with the fans.
7. Who were your funniest teammates?
I think most guys would say Eric Nicolaisen. He is truly hilarious. Keep your eyes open for him on various commercials…
8. Can you recall a funny on-the-field moment?
Kickers were always up to something funny (or odd) during games and at practice. We kept ourselves entertained at practice by playing practical jokes on each other. One of the jokes was to throw a football in the direction of a porta-potty whenever someone entered the restroom. One day a couple of us kickers saw Coach Bellotti enter the porta-potty. We told fellow kicker Dan Katz (who didn’t see Coach go in) that he could get revenge against another player who got him earlier. Dan started to slowly approach the pot and his left arm cocked and ready to fire. And all of a sudden Coach Bellotti walked out of the porta-potty. Dan had to quickly abort mission and when he turned around we were all on the ground laughing. Still brings a smile to my face to think of that.
9. What do you miss most about playing collegiate football?
Two things: First, the comradery was unbelievably special and I am who I am today in large part for being on the Oregon team. Second, there’s a line that says “football is life,” and I assure you that this is an astute observation! The life lessons learned from football are plentiful. For instance I learned something about all of the following: handling competition, overcoming obstacles, team work, hard work, persistence, dedication, patience, poise, ambition, managing others expectations, success, responsibility, community, reliability, consistency…the list could go on and on. To say the least, I learned a lot about life from being a collegiate football player and I use these lessons everyday.
10. What do you miss least?
The weight room squats! Sorry Coach Rad! I had three knee surgeries during school from squatting and I still pay the price from those. However, my 410 squat was 5th all time among kickers/QBs, good enough for the record book! So the surgeries were well worth it, but I don’t squat much anymore.
11. What were your thoughts after the Boise State game and how do you feel about how the team has rallied since then?
Like most Duck fans, I was embarrassed after the game. Not so much by the loss, but by the melee that followed. One of the most important elements of being a competitive athlete is self-control. You must practice self-discipline and keep emotions under control at all times. Good judgment and common sense are essential on and off the field. Unfortunately, in a moment of weakness that was captured on national television, the Ducks and the University were exposed – and negatively portrayed in the media.
However, I gained a lot of respect for Coach Kelly for his quick and decisive actions, and his ability to keep the team moving forward. And I thought keeping Blount on the team and letting him practice was a genuine sign that Kelly truly cared about Blount as a person. He knew Blount needed the team, even if the team didn’t need Blount. I am very proud of how the whole situation has been handled and I look forward to Blount’s return in a couple weeks. I am sure Blount is grateful for this second chance and let’s all hope that he makes the most of it.
The team as a whole also deserves a ton of respect for their poise since the Boise State game. All teams experience hardships, but great ones find ways to overcome the adversity. From what I have seen since Boise State, the Ducks are flying together and representing UO alumni with pride.
12. Will you be at the game on Saturday?
Unfortunately I won’t be at the game. Amy and I are going on our honeymoon this week. We’re off to Belize on Friday night!! But I’ll be thinking of the game and sending positive vibes from the beach in Belize!
13. Seriously. How good is Morgan Flint?
He’s Mr. reliable! I think he’s going to knock me out of #10 on career field goal %!!!