There is literally less than one week until the National Championship game featuring the Oregon Ducks versus the Auburn Tigers in Glendale, AZ. To say I am excited is an understatement. I have been preparing for this day for weeks now and now that we are so close to kickoff time, it is becoming more and more surreal. I’ll be posting tons of photos and maybe some video from the game. This weekend will be one for the books. Let’s just hope the ducks will prevail.
To be number one right now is a very vulnerable yet powerful position. Not only are every one of our games nationally televised for all our fans, present and future, to gaze upon in admiration, but we are now on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Now some people believe that the curse is now among us, that after this weekend we might not be number one. Obviously these people do not know the presence of Chip Kelly and his glorious saying “Win the Day.” This notion is not only the way that all athletes should live by, but in relation to the recent success of the Ducks, it is what each player, fan, supporter, rival needs to look at and see the beautiful concept that it is. Leaving everything you have on the field, taking care of the problems and tribulations that face us that day, and the idea that you are only as good as you are tomorrow today is what the Ducks live by. Take each game and live each moment as if it was the championship game. Don’t get me wrong. Being nationally recognized for all the hard work we have done over the past 9 weeks is what our football and athletic program needed. We are a stronger competitor than other teams seem to think and us being number one for 3 weeks now proves this point.
So everything you have been hearing is true… Yes our offense is explosive on each and every play, not even needing time to huddle and decide on which play to run. Yes our defense has a line of men that could easily be mistaken for beasts in the most human form. Yes our head coach is one man that should not be messed with. Yes we have a player that is here to lock shit down. Yes we do put up 50+ points on the board each week and we enjoy it. Yes our fan base is constantly growing and the diehards are the ones that every fan wants to meet and be like. Yes we are one hell of a school with one hell of an athletic program that plays fast, practices hard, and always has a clean finish. And yes, we are the Oregon Ducks and we Win the Day each and every week.
Halloween weekend was supposed to be about dressing up and pretending to be someone else. I guess I take on that persona each time I dress up as a crazy duck fan! This week is nothing different than the usual duck filled weekends. Friday night began like all with a glorious trip to the Mac Court for a volleyball game. The Ducks were playing #4 Stanford and boy was this team cocky. Not only were they nationally ranked, but they made sure you knew it. Their ego took up so much space in the gym that a few of our smaller duck fans had to leave the arena before the game even started. The Pit Crew, dressed in their most formal wear, was prepared to cheer our ducks to victory, including making fun of the other team for their “x-large” girls. These girls were at least six feet tall on average. They were huge! The tunnel that the players run through before they re-enter the court was lined with the Pit Crew and kids that dreamed of someday filling our shoes. Our very large shoes might I add. Long story made short: We lost the game, but our girls played their hearts out.
The weekend was looking quite grim for the ducks until Saturday night rolled along. At a few minutes past 5pm, the ducks kicked off the game that could make or break their national ranking. By the end of the first quarter the ducks were down and for some fans, the end of the tunnel was growing fainter and fainter. But of course who would be stupid enough to lose confidence in our ducks? By halftime and then finally the end of the game, the ducks proved their national ranking, showed those trash talking Trojans who’s boss, and Won the Day! By far, I think this Halloween trumps any other. Being a loyal duck fun was my costume and to wear it proudly every day, makes Halloween each and every day! I’m proud to be a duck right now, a number one ranked duck!!!
How does it feel to be the Pac 10 doormat? I cannot say, but why don’t you ask the Oregon State University Women’s Volleyball team? Friday night’s civil war showdown was one for the record books. OSU came into the stadium like they were the golden children of the Pac 10. Each girl swaggered her walk, rolled her eyes, and glared her glares towards all the Duck fans big or small. After the game started, we cheered our hearts out for our beloved ducks. Chanting cheers like players’ names, ‘you suck,’ and our infamous ‘O’ really got under the skin of those darn beavers. At halftime, the Beavers were losing, like they should be, and the duck fans were even rowdier than ever. Welcoming our girls back into the arena with a line of people was what our girls needed to finish the game with a strong, hard finish. We annihilated them to the nothing that they are and that they always will be. The OSU girls stretched to our “Pac 10 Doormat” cheer. Let’s just say that they left Mac Court with a little taste of some duck love.
Road trips are supposed to be the gateway drug for any Duck fan to become more attached with their beloved school. And that is what I went to do in a little Podunk town called Pullman, Washington. The nine hour drive to get to this wretched town began at 1:00am in the midst of all the college partying in Eugene. In the crammed car, the glorious fight song including other favorites performed by the band, blasted through the speakers keeping all of us awake. Sleeping in awkward positions, I tried to get as much rest as possible to get me prepared for the day ahead, which included waking up to a guy’s head on my shoulder. Once in the almost ghost-town like settlement, we established our presence by taking up a booth at the only Denny’s in a 60 mile radius. Cougar fans snickered, gawked, and stared down each of us as we made our way to our booth. Even the waitress gave us a tough time instantly from the second we sat down.
The walk over to the game was not very eventful; partly due to the fact that WSU’s football program is a disgrace to the entire Pac-10. Most of their fans, at least the ones with a level head on their shoulders, secretly told us, “Go Ducks,” as if they wanted to forget that they were wearing crimson red and silver. Once in the front row of the Oregon section, we started our chants and cheers focusing our attention to every Cougar fan that happened to waltz past our section. Throughout the game, fans would slow down by our section to shout some obscene slur or remark, only for us to remind them that they were losing and would lose this game. We did win, and with that, the Cougar fans let us leave peacefully to return to a real college town with a great football program, amazing fans, and one hell of a reputation to keep up. Number two in the nation is one small step to leaving behind a legacy for future Ducks to look back with in awe.