As the fans lined up to walk into Autzen Stadium this past Saturday, a familiar feeling of pride overtook everyone as they filed quickly inside for what everyone has been looking forward to for months: The Ducks’ Football Spring Game.
In Eugene, Oregon, the anticipation is killer for those who are big Duck fans when it comes to waiting for football season to roll around again. Luckily, May 3rd’s Spring Game gave Duck fans a taste of what to expect in this upcoming season. Fans had the rare opportunity to attend the Spring Game for (nearly) free – just three non-perishable food items were required for admission. Although the Spring Game is just a scrimmage within the team, the boys got the opportunity to show off all their hard work, while doing so for a great cause.
The crowd went crazy and jumped on their feet the minute the Ducks came running onto the field. The much anticipated sight of Oregon’s players had the fans rallying and jumping up and down in excitement. The players came running out to greet their adoring fans on Autzen’s field wearing their brand new Nike Mach Speed uniforms in honor of America’s Armed Forces getting recognized that day.
The uniforms displayed unique detail on the nameplate that said “Salute the Day,” along with custom insignias and patches to honor those who serve our country by land, by sea and by air. The uniforms also displayed many other incredible details including the “rising duck” patch on the left sleeve of the jersey featuring five vertical monochromatic bands of color representing each branch of the military.
The ‘home team’ — Team Mariasu, captained by QB Marcus Mariota and C Hronis Grasu – wore an olive green color to commemorate the troops; the ‘away team’ — Team Twifo, captained by CB Ifo Ekpre-Olumu and DE Tony Washington – wore striking contrast colors, and the quarterbacks were covered in a bright red jersey. Overall, the uniforms were eye-catching and impressive. As usual Nike did not fail to wow Autzen’s adoring audience.
Most importantly, however, the game was in honor of our beloved troops. The fans and players respectively stood up and cheered for the honorable and incredibly brave troops that defend our nation. The moment was absolutely beautiful and moving, as all of Autzen Stadium recognized, appreciated, and respected the troops collectively altogether for all they have done for our country. As a University of Oregon student, I had the incredible opportunity to take in this unforgettable sight, and I think I speak for everyone there that it was definitely something we will never forget.
The Spring Game was without a doubt extremely breathtaking and exciting. As the players rallied to prove to everyone at Autzen that they are prepared for the upcoming fall season, they did not disappoint their fans.
The Ducks, along with the help of head coach Mark Helfrich, are going to blow their competitors out of the pond with the amount of talent on the team and their dedication to become a team of destiny come fall.