Are You the BEST Oregon Fan — or is This Guy?
Meet Josh White.
Realtor, a father of two, and a die hard Oregon Duck fan. White was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon where he currently spends his free time playing golf and/or hanging out with his Family. Since he was young, he has religiously followed the Oregon Ducks.
Every weekend, whether it be purchasing from scalpers or stubhub, he will always find a way to get tickets to the rowdy football games. Many young Duck fans, such as myself weren’t even in kindergarten when Josh started spending his weekends at Autzen, screaming his heart out, yelling “O”. Remember the triple overtime win against USC in 1999? He was there. How about when Akili Smith and the 1998 Ducks clobbered the then No. 23 Nick Saban-led Michigan State team? Of course he was there. Through thick and thin, Josh White has loved the Ducks, and that’s not something that’s going to change anytime soon.
I was able to get in contact with him for an interview, despite his busy schedule, to learn about the thoughts of a true veteran fan. I learned that his loyalty contributes deeply to his work as a writer for Fishduck.com. If you were to ask me what I was doing the day Josh White was screaming with joy as he stood there watching “the pick,” I’d probably assume I was doing something most 2 year olds do, screaming for a cookie. I enjoyed talking with him about the Ducks as he had many interesting things to say. I learned a lot about how the Duck culture was back then, compared to how it is now, and the change is real.
Let’s get this started, shall we? Fast-forward to the questions:
So you’ve been to a lot of games …
“We had GA tickets growing up and my mom would take us to games. I really started going to games during the Rose Bowl year in ’94. I’ve been to virtually every home game since then. The only one that I missed was the 72-0 win against New Mexico in ’10. One of my wife’s family members scheduled their wedding on that day. I remember sneaking out of the wedding right after their vows and finding a hotel bar to watch the game on TV in my suit.”
… out of all the games you’ve been to, which was the most memorable?
“The USC game in ’99 was pretty special. A lot of the Civil wars kind of stand out over the years. That Husky game in ’03 where they came back out and danced on the field – feeds the Huskys hate even though they haven’t beaten us since. BYU with Ty Detmer, Michigan State, Michigan, Oklahoma, even Tennessee were memorable wins. I remember one of the worst losses was in ’06, Arizona just killed us, like, 38-10. That game had bowl implications and Arizona just hammered us. That one kind of stands out.”
What are your predictions on next year’s football team?
“We’ve got to figure out who is going to play in the middle of the D-line. I really think the pieces are there to be on a whole different level on offense with Grasu and Mariota coming back. You know, we lose De’Anthony, but production wise, I think we have more than enough pieces to replace that production. Some of the players leaving will leave some big holes. I really like the 3 we do use on the D-Line, Balducci, Buckner especially, and Armstead. The linebacking core is going to be just nasty next year.”
What do you think about the Oregon Duck football jerseys?
“I’m a huge fan of the ’98 season updated version of the 80s looking yellow pants and green jerseys. I’d like to see a throwback to those, and we kind of saw it against Cal in ’09. I like the traditional green and yellow color scheme for the Ducks. But Ive been on board with all the jersey’s they’ve put on. Even through all the combinations I’ve liked basically everything. The Rose Bowl in ’09 was probably my least favorite uniform.”
The Ducks have been winning now more than ever. Do you think many fans today are spoiled with how great the Oregon Ducks football team has been in recent years?
“I wouldn’t necessarily call it an issue by any means, but I definitely think there’s a vocal tract of fans that probably feel a little entitled. You see comments on social media that sometimes badly represent the fan base. But for the most part, a huge part of the success for the team is the fan base. The Ducks have some great fans, but it’s definitely been quieter at Autzen the last couple of years since they expanded. The 2001 run with Joey Harrington was probably the loudest Autzen stadium has ever been.”
What do you think of the new playoff format?
“I think it will be kind of cool in some ways, but I think it could totally devalue some bowl games, especially the initial playoff games. Fans will have to decide which game they want to go to. The semi-final? Or hope we win to go to the championship game? I would like to see probably a game or two shorter during the regular season and then have at least the top 10 or 8 teams in there to get a real playoff system. Don’t get me wrong it will be cool to see who wins playoff match-ups, but I think they should get a bowl game that matches up the Pac-12 and SEC.”
SEC or Pac-12, who’s better?
“Pac-12. You look at a map, many of the voters are all mainly from the southeast and east coast. I think that SEC teams just get a little more airtime in front of more eyeballs. There are more people over there and there are certainly the most amounts of people per square mile in the southeast that seem to care about college football. I honestly just think that they should get a bowl game or two that matches up the Pac-12 and the SEC and I think the Pac-12 teams would more than hold their own.”
Top photo by John Giustina