“Someone was going to win and someone was going to lose.” After seeing how sad I was after last night’s game, these were the words a coworker spoke to me. It was such a simple thing to say, but it made so much sense when I thought about it.
Throughout the entire game I was cheering my Ducks on like I do for every game; never once did the score deficit make me give up on my team. The clock was winding down, and our men were struggling to come back early in the second half, when I saw several Ducks fans get up and leave the restaurant. Seeing this made me so sad because, win or lose, I will always see my Ducks play all the way through to the end of the game, and I would expect the same from any other loyal Ducks fans.
When the clock hit zero, and we had officially lost the game, I started thinking to myself, “What am I supposed to write about tomorrow? I’ve never had to write about our football team losing before.” And, now, sitting in front of my computer, all I can say is that… I love my Ducks. There is at least one positive thing that we can take away from each and every game played this season; there was a new accomplishment made for a different player every time they stepped on the field this season.
Our Ducks started off strong and beat Michigan State. Soon after we lost to Arizona and fell down so far in the rankings non-Duck fans probably thought we weren’t a threat anymore this season. We beat our rivals, the Washington Huskies, in some really cool throwback uniforms that represented an amazing turning point in Oregon football when Kenny Wheaton had “The Pick.”
Our men beat Stanford into the ground after the Cardinal had become somewhat of a kryptonite to the Ducks by beating us the previous two seasons. They whipped a very talented Utah team and continued their winning streak against Oregon State, on the Beavers’ home field, no less. Through all of these games our he-men slowly crept back up in the rankings, proving themselves more and more in the process until finally they found themselves in the Pac-12 Championship game against the very team that knocked us on our butts early in the season.
We watched our Ducks dominate the Arizona Wildcats to not only win the Pac-12 Championship game, but to earn themselves a berth in the first ever College Football Playoff National Championship. Every day that they stepped on the practice field, every minute of film they studied, and every game they played, we watched our Ducks get better and better. After winning the Pac-12 Championship our Ducks went an endless 26 days without playing before they faced the undeniably good, determined, and undefeated Florida State Seminoles. What did our Ducks do? They ended FSU’s two-season undefeated winning streak! Two seasons, and our Ducks put an end to them.
Not only did they make game-winning accomplishments as a team, but we watched various players come from everywhere on the sidelines and take advantage of their time on the field as an Oregon Duck. We found a powerhouse back in freshman Royce Freeman. We saw our offensive line adjust when our left tackle was injured. We watched new players show out as the term “the next man up” became evidently true to our organization. Our defense got stronger every game, and, most importantly, we had the best quarterback in the nation throwing touchdowns like there was no tomorrow. To name all of the accomplishments of specific players would be basically rewriting every article that’s been written on FishDuck.com this season, and to have so many achievements in one season that they cannot all be listed at once, says a lot.
With a heavy-heart and lacking spirit, I want you, as Ducks fans, to remember what it means to be a Ducks fan, or even just a fan in general. No matter what happens: good, bad, ugly, or all of the above… always love and support your team. Remember the good things and hope that each coach and player learns from the mistakes that contributed to the losses of the season. Now comes the wrath of those that were waiting for our team to fail… are you going to stand up, represent your team and show the love they deserve as a loyal fan? I know I am. Good, bad, ugly, or all of the above, I love my Ducks.
Top Photo by John Giustina