The time period between the end of Oregon spring practice and when the buzz about the college football season starts in mid-July is always an agonizing and excruciating one.
What to do, what to read, what to ponder…Oh, and what to write?
That is, absent anyone going 118 mph down Interstate-5 with a spliff between their teeth. So I’ve come to realize it’s a time best reserved for fishing.
Which is what I did this week. I went fishing for a Duck hat.
Not any old Duck hat, either. If I could find it online, I wanted something more or less vintage, even an antique — say a classic Oregon hat from the 1950s or 1960s — and in good shape.
Turns out the trophy hat I was hoping to land escaped me, at least on eBay and such. But I did manage to snag a good primer on retail Duck.
It’s no surprise Oregon fans possess all kinds of headwear — the official Nike caps, for instance, and knock-offs — but, man, the pool is larger than even I ever envisioned.
You could, if you wanted, have a hat for every occasion year-round.
Need something to ward the sun off at your very own garage sale? How about this crossword puzzle at the far right? (Charge at least a dollar for it.)
Wondering what to wear at the Pendleton Roundup, ladies? The straw one above will do quite nicely.
But dudes — whoever you are and whatever you do — don’t don this while standing amongst a bunch of ranch hands in northeastern Oregon. It should work, though, for that business trip to Chicago.
Likewise, this snazzy hat to the left is perfect for the urban birder. If there was any doubt before that you loved waterfowl, then this pretty much seals it. Who else would wear a UO hat while stomping around Sauvie Island, searching for one of those harlequin ducks. Plus, the wide brim provides shade while you hunt the prey with binoculars.
The UO even has you covered if you are off to old Scotland and the links. This plaid number you can pretty much wear your entire British Isles vacation. (If anyone asks you about the hat, tell them the Ducks would crush the Glasgow Rangers or Manchester United in football. That’ll get their attention.)
And finally, we come to this one. I think it is best I provide the official description found on eBay: “Vintage rare Oregon Ducks cursive purple Mardi Gras snapback trucker hat/cap-70s/80s.”
Vintage? Purple? I can already hear the roar of laughter emanating from Seattle as I type away on my laptop.
And from truck stops up and down I-5.
Maybe I’m missing something here, but I doubt it. I vaguely recall a cursive “Ducks” on some hats back in the 1980s. But purple? Say it ain’t so.
It’s priced, by the way, at $89.99.
So where does this little fashion show of mine leave Oregon football fans? I guess a little closer to mid-July and the first drum beats of the approaching season.
And certainly a little further removed from last weekend’s 138th running of the Kentucky Derby and all those god-awful hats that have become nearly as important as the horses.
Put it this way, what would you rather be seen in?
This contraption at the upper right?
Or that beautifully constructed, well-built, attractive, colorful, humorous, thought-provoking, green-and-yellow head piece at the left?