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Kelly shows class amid fan stupidity

If you are questioning why college football fans are some of the most overreacting bunch of people on the planet, look no further than the incident that happened in Eugene after the Ducks self-destructed against Boise State on Sept. 3.

Basically, one Tony Seminary — a 1996 graduate of the University of Oregon and season ticket holder — who made the trip to Boise e-mailed Duck head coach Chip Kelly and asked for a refund. He didn’t berate Kelly about LeGarrette Blount. He didn’t bemoan why the University would let thugs like Blount play football like others did. He just wanted his money back.

Here’s part of the e-mail, which can be found in its entirety at
“…The product on the field Thursday night is not something I was at all proud of, and I feel as though I’m entitled to my money back for the trip. Please see my invoice attached in this e-mail. I will happily send along receipts if need be.”

Just reading this makes me shake my head. Seminary says that e-mail was “definitely sent in jest.” But the fact that he actually pressed “send” and asked for his money back takes a big set of stones and also a little ignorance.

You’re the one who chose to go to the game and spend the money on a plane ticket, hotel room and a ticket to the game. No one made you. You could have stayed home and watched it on TV.

A part of the reason fans go to the games is because it’s the thrill of the competition and they don’t know what’s going to happen. No one could have predicted that the Ducks were going to fall flat on their faces. I can understand being upset about Oregon’s performance, but seriously? You want a refund? That’s like a fan of a baseball team e-mailing the manager after his team gets a perfect game thrown against them and saying they were embarrassed by the play and they want their money back. But the best part of the story is yet to come. Kelly e-mailed Seminary back one sentence: “What’s your address?” Seminary gave Kelly his mailing address and a few days later there was a check in the mail for $439.


Kelly called Seminary out on his e-mail. No one knows exactly what he was thinking when he decided to actually respond to the disgruntled fan (Kelly has been asked numerous times and replies with “no comment”), so we don’t know whether he was actually sorry for Seminary, or just being bold and calling him out. Maybe he did it to prove that Oregon didn’t need fans who abandoned the team after just one embarrassing loss. Who knows?
Whatever he thought, it shows how passionate of a coach Kelly is. A lot of times the media see the man as a little abrupt in press conferences, but there have been a few glimpses beyond the shroud he has in public. He said that he cried when he sat down and talked with Blount about his future. He also fought to hold back tears during the conference where he announced his decision to suspend Blount. Then there are the times during practice when he smiles and laughs and you can tell he’s where he wants to be.

We all must realize that he’s just human. Yes, he might be in the public eye a bit more than the next person, but at the end of the day he goes home to his family and has a personal life. I know I would have been offended if I would have received an e-mail like the one Seminary sent him. Instead of sending a check, I probably would have ignored him. But the move definitely earned Kelly another fan. He’s a classy guy in my book.
This story has a happy ending for Seminary as well. He made a couple of copies of the check and sent it back to Kelly with a thank you note. He’s now such a big Chip Kelly fan that even if the Ducks lost 50-0, he wouldn’t want the coach fired. He’s back on the bandwagon.

It’s a cool ending to a slightly comical reaction to a loss. Let’s just hope that the next time Oregon loses, upset fans take a deep breath and realize that it’s just a game.

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