June 30, 2021
Sad news: Former Ducks and Saints wide receiver Bob Newland, one of the most loyal men I've ever met, passed away
this morning in Eugene after a long illness. He was 72. He was loyal to his family first and foremost, but also to my father
-- his college coach -- and his teammates, and even to me. Condolences to wife Christie Cole Newland, son Bill and daughter
Anne Bolster, and entire extended family, which is extraordinarily close. That includes his father-in-law, Bob Cole, and his
brother-in-law, Dan Cole, both of Sacramento.
About the pictures ...
The first is the cover of the 1970 Duck Dope media guide. Left
to right: LB Tom Graham, RB Ahmad Rashad (Bobby Moore), Bob Newland, QB Tom Blanchard. (Blanchard, a terrific college QB,
reinjured his knee in the first game and a green kid named Fouts took over.)
The second is from when Tom
Graham was fighting brain cancer in early 2017. Bob Newland came to Denver. We visited Tom together, and that's Bob with Tom.
Bob clearly was saying goodbye to a treasured teammate. Tom died a few weeks later.
Now Tom and Bob both have left us. Two of the four. They're saying, "Go Ducks!" together.
Here's Ryan Thorburn's story in the Register-Guard:
As you can see, Ryan spoke with Dan Fouts, Ahmad Rashad, Tom
Drougas, Ken Woody ... and me. He also mentions my roman a clef novel, The Witch's Season. (It's also a screenplay.)
If you tell me that the novel's wide receiver Keith Oldham sure bears an uncanny resemblance to Bob Newland, I would neither
confirm nor deny.
Bob's three-season stats in the time when freshmen couldn't play on the varsity: 125 receptions for 1,941 yards and
13 touchdowns. In four seasons with the Saints, where most of his receptions came in connections with Archie Manning, he had 124 receptions for 1,877
yards and eight TDs. He is believed to be the first NFL player to score a TD wearing shoes from an upstart Oregon-based company
with Eugene roots -- Nike.
Memorial service arrangements are pending.
Tom Graham, Tom Blanchard, Bobby Moore / Ahmad Rashad,
Bob Newland on the Oregon campus.