Monday, December 10, 2012

Civil War (heading out to the enemies territory)

A tradition has formed. Somehow I have been fortunate to go to the University of Oregon Ducks vs. the Oregon State Beavers civil war game the last several years. I am quite happy to keep this tradition going. I don't care if it is in Duck country or Beaver country, what I care about is being there and watching my Ducks win.

This year we were at Reser Stadium in Corvallis where the Beavers play. I got myself all "ducked out" (see what I did there? clever, huh?) and headed out on the Beaver Bus. This is an old airport shuttle bus that has been converted by my friend Duane who went to OSU and carried 19 Beaver fans and me down to Corvallis. Of course I got plenty of ribbing from most everyone one the bus: "Who let this guy in here?" "Are you on the right bus?" "Charge him extra!" I expect that and would be upset if it didn't happen.

When we arrived we began the preparations for a fantastic meal. We set up the tables and put out all the food and we feasted. Too much of course, but it was a day of celebration. 90 minutes before kickoff a few of us walked over to the stadium area and took in the pregame festivities. Duane batted for pride after a little girl almost hit a home run; we saw the band playing and cheerleaders cheering; I got to hang with the Duck who does pushups of the total amount of points we have every time we score; we saw some of the die-hard fans; and I got to high five the players as they came out.
These people know how to tailgate!

The game was great! Well, in the beginning it was close, and it was great and then we dominated as expected. During that first quarter I heard plenty from the Beaver fans around me. I was in a season ticket holder section and I was "alone." Again, I expected a few comments here and there and for the classic drunk guy several rows back to yell. As it turns out there was a 60something year old behind me who liked to yell and didn't like that I was in his section.

Because it rained for much of the game I wore my raincoat. I don't have an Oregon Duck raincoat, but I do have a green and yellow raincoat that says "Ethiopia" across the back. When I would stand and cheer for my team, this guy shouts "That's not Ethiopia playing down there." Several times. Classy. I was thankful he let me know, as I was totally thinking they had replaced the Ducks with all Ethiopians (so well known for their football skills).

As the rain subsided I took down my hood. In the back of my mind I thought, "Maybe I should roll my hood and zip it up. I don't want some drunk bonehead to toss anything in there. Nah, no one would really do that, would they?" Sure enough, at one point I decided to just check and there were a bunch of jelly bellies in there. Classy. I emptied them out and dropped all but one on the ground. The other one I placed on the knee of the 16 year old kid behind me and told him I thought he might have dropped something. His dad tossed it at me and said, "Wrong target pal."
Jelly Belly boy behind me. Classy!
After some time I turned to my right and saw the 60something dude with a giant bag of jelly bellies. Classy! I couldn't believe this buffoon actually did this. Oh, I forgot to mention that he punched me in the back at one point and I totally let it go (Classy!)...then I discovered the jelly bellies. As he began to leave the stadium, well before the game was technically over (we know the game was over for a long time) I yelled to him, "I think you forgot something." He did not reply.

I turned back to the 16 year old and his dad and apologized and we actually had a really good conversation. The game was over and we headed back to the bus for round 2 of the goodies and headed home after. I was pretty silent in respect of the depression that had set over the Beaver Bus. All in all, it was a pretty great day! I ate well. Hung out with friends AND we won! I would totally do it again and again. Thanx D!
That's a lot of orange.

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