Canzano: Oregon-Washington gets two weeks of hype
Kenny Wheaton's phone is about to ring.
I’ve written about Kenny Wheaton dozens of times over the years. Always during the week of the Oregon-Washington football game. Every time with “The Pick” as the news peg. No doubt, he’s one of the unforgettable faces of the rivalry.
He’s THE face from the UO side.
Is that awful? That lots of us text Wheaton or call him only once a year? That Wheaton’s direct messages on social media spike during game week — and then go silent? That lots of us treat him like an annual holiday? I reached out to him on Monday to ask what that’s like.
“I’m an old guy so I like it,” Wheaton told me. “I’m just happy that people remember me for something good.”
The Duck-Husky rivalry game is two Saturdays away. This isn’t just a bye week for the teams. It’s an “off” week for Wheaton, too. But for the first time in two decades I reached out to the 48-year-old former defensive back early. And why not? This season’s Week 7 game at Husky Stadium will feature two undefeated and ranked teams. I circled it on the calendar months ago.
One team is going to leave that game with its first loss of the 2023 season. The other is going to seize momentum and have a clearer path to a College Football Playoff berth. Who wins on Oct. 14? Oregon or Washington? Two weeks of hype? Why not?
Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. on ABC.