They are both males, one is 19 years old, the other a 69, one just completed his freshman year in college, the other one just helped complete two college projects. Well, they both have college connections but what they really have in common is the influence they have in Oregon. One is a major benefactor to Oregon institutions, the other; the predicted savior for a team and its attempt to regain local and national prominence.

What do these two have in common? The attention of Oregon Sports Fans!

Oregon is a state that takes sports seriously and Oregonians put their hearts into their teams. Here on the coast in the past couple of years Newport, Waldport, Mapleton, and Florence all have had teams that have reached great heights and championships. It’s great to see and feel the enthusiasm when the home team is on top.

With that in mind let me tell you what these two have in common. There is a list of the top 25 Most Influential People in Oregon Sports. There are some heavy hitters on that list including Governor Ted Kulongoski, Paul Allen and Jennie Logsdon who maintains the outdoor-related Web site www.ifish.net which informs anglers and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

So the common thread is that Greg Oden, a 19yr old basketball player from Ohio State University who was considered to be the best collegiate basketball player this year and was and drafted number one by the Portland Trailblazers in the National Basketball Associations lottery draft, and the 69yr old founder of Nike; Phil Knight, are number one and two on that Influential People list. They are the top of the top five and that’s no small feat. Of course Oden has to become what the Trailblazers need. A big, talented athlete with a lifestyle that promotes positive things, something the Trailblazers need after several years of less than complementary actions by some of their players. Knight on the other hand owns a proven commodity and is often referred to as “Uncle Phil” because of his monetary donations. He has his share of detractors but like he says, “When you get to where we are today, Nike, people are going to take shots at you”. However, his loyalty to Oregon is unparalleled.

So both these guys are under the bright lights and can’t escape that, but another thing they have in common is that they are both willing and able to step up to the plate and give it all they have and from this vantage point I’d say they will continue to have the attention of Oregon sports fans!

To reach Rick Schultze email yarick@pioneer.net


Rick Schultze

A few years ago at a writers conference held in the central Oregon coast town of Yachats, where I live, I listened to the late Ken Kesey, a frequent visitor to the area, tell a writer that this could be a hard place to write. “If you think you can sit there staring at the ocean for inspiration you’re wrong, it’s not out there, it’s in your head!” He was right; it is beautiful here in Lincoln County, the kind of beauty that makes concentrating on anything else tough and since hearing that insight, I’ve written at a desk facing a wall, no windows opening onto a ocean view, although I have one, but it’s worked. I’ve done, and do, different kinds of writing. As a freelance writer I’ve been a observational columnist, a humor columnist, a book and music reviewer for newspapers, magazines, and online. However, as a creative writer, my heart belongs to fiction. In that genre I do short stories, road adventure stories, musical adventure tales, and in current production, are three small novels. So really the purpose of this web site is to give you a glance of some of the things I’ve done, a preview of what’s coming, and hopefully, a view of what it’s like to be a writer living in a small town on the Oregon coast!