Ken Simonton Q & A

Nov. 14, 2000

ON OREGON
'They play hard, there's a lot on the line. They haven't lost in the Pac-10, so I know they're going to be amped up and ready to go.

ON 1-2 PUNCH OF MCCALL AND SIMONTON
'I can tell you how much it helped the team this year. Fresh legs are always a must. If you've got them, that's a problem for a tired defense. We'll try and use that to our advantage.'

ON THE GOAL OF THE ROSE BOWL, HAS THERE BEEN ANY DOUBT?
'The only doubt has come from you guys (the media). Why would we be doing this if we were doubting it? I mean, you can't divide the house and expect it to stand. You've got to keep it together, so like I've said before, those who didn't believe were smart enough to keep their mouths shut. We're still hoping on that hope and that dream.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN PERSONALLY TO HAVE THE CHANCE AT A ROSE BOWL?
'Nothing, until you get there. It's still that same hope and dream, you're just hoping and dreaming.'

CAN IT GET ANY MORE FUN THAN THIS?
'It can get more fun: we could get paid to do this, it could get a lot more fun. We're just trying to enjoy every little piece of it right now.'

WHAT'S IT BEEN LIKE FOR YOU GUYS THIS ENTIRE SEASON?
'I still only get $600 a month, I still have to deal with the pain, but it's fun though. It's still a business, winning and losing, you've still got to prepare and focus the same way, so for me, you know, it's more cameras.'

ISN'T IT MORE THAN BUSINESS THOUGH?
'It's business. Until we are where we want to be, it's still business. So until I'm at the Rose Bowl, this is still business.'

IT'S STILL FUN THOUGH
'As fun as business can be. It'd be a little more fun if I had another zero at the end of my paycheck at the end of every month.'

SO YOU'D RATHER BE DOING IT FOR THE MONEY AND NOT THE GAME?
'We play the game for the game. But you all don't come just to see us stand out on the concrete and play this game. We're still going to play this game, we're still going to hoop in the offseason, but you all don't come film that, so this is business. If it wasn't, y'all wouldn't be here.'

WAS IT A BIGGER HIGH WINNING TWO YEARS AGO AND OWNING THE STATE OR WAS IT A BIGGER LOW LAST YEAR WHEN YOU LOST TO THE DUCKS?'I don't know. For me, it's the last game of the year, so I obviously want to go out with a win. It just magnifies when you're 45 minutes from your opponent and you see them around and see them at the mall and whatnot. It just brings out an extra element knowing that you're right around the corner from your opponent and it's the last game, everybody wants to go out looking sharp.'

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT WHAT OREGON IS SAYING ABOUT HOW THEY WERE TREATED BY OSU'S FANS TWO YEARS AGO AND THE FACT THAT OREGON IS USING THAT FOR MOTIVATION?
'Good, use whatever you've got to use. I respect that, we all do what we've got to do to get up for the game. I'll let you all worry about the hype and we'll just worry about the game. I don't really pay too much attention to what they talk about, but you've got to watch how they perform.'

HOW DO YOU CHECK YOUR EMOTIONS IN A GAME LIKE THIS?
'You don't. You just let it fly. Whatever you do - two years ago, I made myself a promise I was just going to relax and have fun and I had a good game. Last year we went to a hostile environment and didn't have a lot of fun. This year I'm just trying to focus on having fun. So what every individual does to get up, I don't know. You've just got to let 'em loose.'

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT RESER STADIUM? IS THIS ONE OF THE TOUGHEST PLACES TO PLAY ANYWHERE?
'I would like to think so. This is what I call home. Whether it's the fans acting crazy or the attitude we take, we know we've got to defend the house, it's ours.'

ON JONATHAN SMITH'S PLAY AND THE TOUCHDOWN PASS AFTER A HIGH SNAP LAST WEEK AGAINST ARIZONA IN PARTICULAR.
'He's a player. He gets credit when things are going good, and I think he gets too much when it's not clicking all the way. We knew the offense was going to take a little while to get going, but he's a player and players make plays.

'On that particular play, I thought about going back and trying to find the ball, but I just said 'John, you'd better get it', and he got it. That's what players do.'

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST SATISFACTION THIS YEAR?
'Staying healthy and glorifying God, having a better fellowship with my teammates and getting to know each other a little more on a personal level. Trying to find enjoyment in what we're doing amongst each other. I think that's been my most fun this year is just with the team.

IS THE COMERADERIE AMONG THE TEAM BUILDING WITH EACH WIN?
'Yeah, it has to. In order for us to win, that has to occur. We had to learn how to trust each other and play with each other better. I've been seeing that and I've been enjoying that aspect of it this year without a doubt.'

ON A WINNING TRADITION AND WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO TO HAVE A WINNING TRADITION. WHAT HAS YOUR TEAM LEARNED THE MOST FROM WINNING SO MANY GAMES IN TWO YEARS?
'I think we're still learning - just to fight. That's really all it's about. It's real close in the Pac, it's just who's going to fight till the end. Good things are going to happen to those who fight, and we're learning how to fight.'

IS THE CIVIL WAR MORE FUN THAN ANY OTHER GAMES ON THE SCHEDULE?
'When it's at home, yeah.'

IN THAT REGARD, THERE'S BEEN TALK ABOUT 'HATE, REVENGE, IT'S PERSONAL, WE HATE THESE GUYS', WHAT'S YOUR ATTITUDE ABOUT OREGON AND THEIR PLAYERS? IS IT HATRED? WHAT'S YOUR FEELING TOWARD THEM?
'I smile too much to hate. You can't hate people, you hate situations and circumstances. I guess they'd (Oregon) be the people you'd love to hate, if you're going to use hate, but I wouldn't use those words. It's all fun, it's competition at the highest. It's a rivalry, so you take that and let you all (the media) build that as high as it can get and try to have fun.'

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