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Monday, October 16, 2006
The road warriors
I spent some time on Interstate 5 Saturday morning and, let me tell you something: while the two don't top drinking and driving, the promise of NCAA football and driving is a bad mix. By the time I got to Woodburn, with still a full three hours until kick-off, I spotted four former fratboys climbing out of a sideways sedan on grassy knoll near an overpass. They'd just been run off the road by an SUV parked a few yards away. The throng of UO fans that filled the interstate, with their neon green Duck flags wedged in their windows, slowed briefly to take a gander and then continued riding the bumper of the vehicle in front of them.
That's not to say that displays of vehicular bullying can't be found on any given day on I-5. A few months ago I recall reading an article in the Oregon about a man that set the all time state record for a speeding violation. He was caught going somewhere north of 130 MPH outside of Salem. You can go as fast as you want in the left lane. You'll inevitably wind up with someone pointing their bumper two feet from your rear one, practically nudging you into the center lane. If he hadn't been pulled over it would only have been a matter of time until he wound up with a tailgater.
Despite near-gridlocked traffic moving at a snail's pace of 65 MPH, several Ducks fans pushed their way up to my back bumper, flashing their lights and demanding I move over a lane. When I obliged they stormed up to the car that had been in front of me and repeated the process. Some balked, others didn't.
I guess this is why I need an electronic reader board in my back window. On Saturday it would have read: "I too wish I could be going 85 MPH right now. I too would rather be eating ribs in the Autzen Stadium parking lot instead of being stuck behind someone with a 'Yes on 43: Protect Teen Girls!' bumper sticker. But since no amount of pushing and shoving is going to do either of us any good, WOULD YOU PLEASE BACK OFF, ASS FACE?"
And a Saturday when both OSU and UO are hosting game days? You don't want to go anywhere near I-5 unless you've got the steering-wheel skills of Elwood Blues or at least Mad Max.