LOS ANGELES – Phil Knight had poured millions upon millions of his fortune turning a vision of what Oregon football could be into the reality that was playing out on the L.A. Coliseum field.
Through the years the Nike founder and Oregon uber-booster had made repeated trips down here only to (most of the time) fly home dejected after another loss. It was always those Southern California Trojans who were retaining No. 1 rankings and national title hopes.
Now the script had flipped. The clock was running down, the cavernous stadium was emptying and the scoreboard read Oregon 53, USC 32. Knight stood on the sidelines and took it all in – the sights, the sounds, the silence.