Monday, January 10, 2011

Game Day

Oregon Football, in the city of Eugene, is a Very Big Deal.

There have been good seasons.  There have been bad seasons.  There have been very, very bad seasons, but this wasn't one of them.

You'd have thought it would be.  They previous season marked Coach Chip Kelly's first season as head coach, taking the reins after the much beloved Mike Belotti shifted into the Athletic Director's chair.  The season started poorly with an embarrassing loss to Idaho State that ended in a fist fight.

After that crushing, ugly day, the Ducks came back with a winning season and a trip to the Rose Bowl.

But the off-season months were marked with player arrests, the loss of quarterback Jeremiah Masoli after he plead guilty to charges of felony second-degree burglary, marijuana possession and a traffic citation. Running back LaMichael James and Ron Beard were suspended from the opening game against New Mexico after they both plead guilty to harassment.

It was bad, but again, didn't stay that way.  The Ducks kept winning, game after game.  LaMichael returned to play.  Darren Thomas turned out to be a good quarterback. The wins continued to stack up. Chip Kelly's critics quieted down and remembered episodes like this. His "Win the Day" motto took hold.

And then the Ducks won Civil War.  Oregon had made its way to the number two spot in the BCS; they'll play tonight for the National Championship.

Did I mention this is a Very Big Deal? The Biggest Deal for Duck Football in Duck Football History?

Bigger than than Kenny Wheaton's Touchdown. Bigger than Joey Harrington tripping into the end zone.

And a lot of other really great moments.

We'll be watching the game tonight.  Being a Eugene native, a third generation UO graduate, and very far from home is honestly kind of tough right now...and not just far from home, but in the heart of SEC Territory.

The national attention for the Ducks has been fun.  I mean, Sebastian Bach (of Gilmore Girls and Skid Row) writing a Duck power ballad?

Not to be missed.

Or the music it's inspired?

Also not to be missed. And my parent's dog, Brinkley?

He's so ready.  Me? I've been waiting for this day for a long, long time.

Me, giving the Ducks a thumb's up.
While I'm sad I can't be in Eugene to celebrate with everyone, what makes me happy is seeing the Ducks, and  my hometown, in the national limelight.  It's a great place.  There really is no place like home.

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