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Monday, November 17, 2008
The trials and tribulations of the Oregon Duck
Last Saturday's Oregon vs. Arizona game at Autzen Stadium was an emotional roller coaster. Or at least an emotional Tilt-a-Whirl. After leading by four touchdowns, the Ducks nearly blew their lead and the entire game in the second half. The team's near collapse probably had the most profound effect on the Oregon Duck himself. At several points during the fourth quarter, it seemed as if his Disney-branded heart was going to burst out of his chest and run laps around the field before collapsing into a pool of self pity on a bar stool at the Cooler Tavern across the street.
I was at the game along with my Canon camera and its not-so-awesome zoom lens. Have a look:
Here's the Duck in the student section during the first half, er, living it up with two shirtless fratboys. Going into halftime the Ducks were leading 45 - 17.
Then....tragedy. With six minutes left in the game, the Ducks lead had dropped to a measly three points. See how sad the Duck looks? Even those shirtless fratboys could do little to console him.
Arizona's mascots weren't about to offer him any sympathy, let alone an explanation for what they were doing at Autzen in the first place. Isn't there an NCAA rule that prevents team mascots from attending road games?
With five minutes left in the fourth quarter, many of the fans sitting in my section had begun booing the Ducks. I don't think I've ever witnessed a crowd jeer their own offensive line but the same thing happened last week too. Despite their decent record, the Ducks just can't seem to catch a break with their fans this year.
Then with 3:38 on the clock, LeGarrette Blount pulled off a 40-yard touchdown run. The boos turned into woos as disaster was thwarted. The Duck danced, the two Wildcats cringed and....
...according to the dictates of tradition, the Duck had to pull off 55 victory push-ups.