Saturday is the "Civil War", the annual football game between the forces of good, also known as the Oregon State Beavers, and the nefarious forces of evil also known as the Oregon Ducks.
This year it has more meaning than normal. A win allows the Ducks to play for the national championship, while a Beaver win would be sweet vengeance for the Ducks knocking them out of the Rose Bowl as recently as last year.
It also reminds me of the first time I saw a live football game.
It was the Oregon State beavers against the Arizona Sundevils, and the game was held in Civic Stadium in Portland. The Beavers were in their nearly three decade run of incompetence, a run in which 4 wins was considered a very successful season, with one and two wins being more common. They were bad.
For example, at one point...I was kind of keeping a running play by play in a notebook. I was so excited, I cannot even tell you. This was watching the team I had listened to Darrell Aune describe on radio so many times. Mom, my older sister, and the man who would become her husband were there and I was having a great time.
The Sun Devils were a pretty bad team, so it seemed like there was at least a chance for a Beaver victory.
At the key point, they got a first down out on their 45 yard line. They then got sacked. So on second down, they went into shotgun. The snap was bad, the quarterback tried to pick it up but booted it. There was a scramble for the ball and it kept getting knocked backwards. The Beavers ended up recovering it, but on something like the 3 yard line. So they had a 3rd and 40-some yards to go.
About that point I stopped keeping score.
Back to the present. There is a reason I have never liked the Oregon Ducks, and it goes beyond their butt-ugly uniforms, probably the ugliest ones in all of college football today.
It has more to do with the philosophy. Eugene, the home town of the Ducks, is noted for their "420 friendly" atmosphere. Their glorification of drug use is long embedded and near legendary. There is a reason the Grateful Dead always stopped there on their tours.
Eugene is so far left they make Vera Katz look like a centrist. The long hair, unbathed, hemp-infested, granola munching neo-hippies push their agenda on the rest of us with an aggression that puts the lie to their hypocritical mantra of "Don't put your morality on me" even though that is exactly what they are doing.
The Phil Knight connection does not exactly help their cause, either. With his backing the university and their fans have become even more obnoxious and arrogant than they used to be...and they have always been that way ever since they started experiencing success.
Meanwhile, the Beavers have always been the little step-brother. They have had some nice success in recent years but it has always been overshadowed by the Ducks.
They were able to renovate their stadium as well...but the Resers do not have near the money the Knight Nike freight train has.
And in recent years, they have become a heart-breaking team to watch. Ranked number one, they lost when their kicker missed two extra points.
With a chance to go to the Rose Bowl, they lost to the Ducks.
This year they have lost to the Huskies, Cougars and Bruins, games they should have won but lost two in heart-breaking fashion and just got humiliated in the other.
I just have a horrible feeling tomorrow they are going to get rolled by a thirty cent hooker on fifty percent off day.
*Sigh*. The Blazers in free-fall, the Ducks riding high, the Beavers fading...bad time to be a sports fan.
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