Rivals can't stop trash talkin

SCOTT FISHER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:17 PM ET

The Civil War is still raging.

And it's moved into the Calgary Stampeders locker-room.

Backup quarterback Akili Smith, an Oregon Ducks alumnus, proudly displays his school's green and yellow colours every chance he gets.

Which has running back Ken Simonton and defensive back Brandon Browner, both former Oregon State Beavers, seeing red.

Or maybe orange and black.

"Every dog-gone day," Simonton says when asked how often he has to put up with Smith's antics. "He goes out of his way to wear his Oregon paraphernalia.

"I think it should be a CFL violation. He should be fined when he shows up in that stuff."

On his way back to the locker-room after yesterday's closed practice at McMahon Stadium, Simonton spotted Smith in a media scrum. He couldn't resist yelling "Go Beavs!" as he walked by.

The Oregon-Oregon State rivalry is one of the longest-running feuds in the NCAA, Browner said.

"It's pretty big, pretty bitter," Browner says of the 106-year battle which alternates between Reser Stadium in Corvalis and Autzen Stadium in Eugene every November.

"Down there, we don't get along with those guys. There's fights in the clubs between the teams' fans."

There have been some memorable clashes during the long history of the 'Civil War' -- the 1911 game had to be cancelled after a brawl erupted at the previous year's tilt -- but none rank above the 1998 meeting.

Smith's 15th-ranked Ducks came in with an 8-2 record and were expected to roll over the 4-6 Beavers.

But the underdog Beavers unveiled their secret weapon, a freshman named Ken Simonton, who stole the show.

"I think I threw for about 450 yards and three touchdowns and ran in another one," Smith recalls. "But we just couldn't stop Simonton."

Simonton rumbled for 157 yards and four touchdowns. Two of his majors came in overtime, including the winner, which caused thousands of 'Beaver Believers' to storm the field and celebrate the 44-41 double-OT victory.

"Of course we won," Simonton deadpans. "And you can remind Akili of that if you want to.

"I'm pretty sure we damaged their bowl chances too."

The Ducks' loss dumped Oregon from an apparent spot in the Sun Bowl down to the Oahu Bowl.

And gave Simonton never-ending bragging rights.

Not that he needs it but he's also got Browner in his corner.

Smith is on his own.

"He lost Kennan Howry," Simonton said of the former Ducks receiver who was cut by the Stamps earlier this month.

"He's officially in the minority now."

Smith said it's strange to be sharing a locker-room with someone he considered an enemy nine years ago.

"Yeah, it's a little weird," Smith says. "Especially when you see Simonton over there. He really brought it to us.

"But we're wearing the same uniform now."

Perhaps the trio can work out a truce of sorts.

No more Ducks shirts. No more Beavers flags.

Maybe the platypus could become the symbol of peace.

The much-ridiculed animal looks like it's half-duck, half-beaver.


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