I am a new man. No longer the man who averts his eyes when seeing opposing stadia for fear of creating a road rage pileup. No longer the half-crazed Duck fan, gone livid by the sight of a bumper sticker that isn’t Duck in origin here in Tacoma. No longer the groom who wrote, “Promise to love, honor, and cherish until the day you wear purple, after which time you’re on your own!” in the wedding vows. That was the old me.
The new me has an appreciation for all things sporting. A fake injury? “Well swooned, Boo-Boo! Bravo!” Allegations of wrong-doing by Oregon? “Heinousness! Allow me to write a letter to all of the Beaver season ticket holders, immediately. “Honey! Do we have 613 stamps?” I tell you this new me is downright refreshing.
Nowhere is the new me more in evidence than in my new found appreciation for the fine ladies and gentlemen who toil under the auspices of The University of Washington. Fine examples of youth and vigor! When I think of their glorious football history (National Championships as fast as they can sew the banners), their basketball elan’ (Two lottery picks and a solid run in the N.I.T.) and their absolute dominance in crew (Positively Winklevoss), I get all sweaty over living in the same state.
I see the doubt in some of your eyes, but it’s true. The University of Washington is, at least, the equal to The University of Oregon.
The Case For the Ducks:
Very few movies capture the essence of UofO like Animal House. “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?” “I’m a zit, get it?” and the immortal, “Double secret probation” live in the annals of movie fame. This scene, overlooking Hayward Field is a classic.
Nothing says patriotism and college like dressing up in an army uniform and having a mounted asshole tell you to do pushups in the mud.
The Case For the Huskies:
Purple is the color of royalty, down through the ages. The University of Washington, though not specifically seen in this movie, is well represented by The Color Purple. Particularly in the role of “Squeak.”
Ever since the NCAA came to Eugene to have us help them redefine the issue of player representation, the Huskies have been squeaking about it. I, for one, thank them in my new-found spirit of appreciation. There is nothing more uplifting than being criticized for ethics by a fan base that reveres Don James.
The Case for The Ducks:
The color green. It’s the color of new plant life, and practically shouts cool and refreshing. How green is our valley?
Hard-working miners, scrambling to provide a life for their loved ones…and Maureen O’Hara making eyes at a preacher. On some level that calls to me. I don’t know why.
The Case For the Huskies:
The mighty Huskies don’t have to take a back seat to anyone where toughness and hard-nosed grit is concerned. A football team that was less tough might have gotten run over by Baylor in the Alamo Bowl. A basketball team with less heart might have under-achieved this winter. No, the Huskies are hard-edged flinty-eyed broad-shouldered he-men.
Do I want to play with Puppy Dog? Actually I would like to play against The Puppy Dogs 1,000 times a year. But just because they are such worthy competitors and fine fellows…not for any other reason.
The Case for The Ducks:
There is a lot to do for fun in Oregon. A trip from the dunes to the slopes is about 2 hours. Jet boating on The Rogue, sight-seeing into the depths of Crater Lake, or wine-tasting in the vineyards of the Willamette Valley are just a few of the things that a person might choose to do to make a memory in our great state.
Oregon is…a place to soar.
The Case for The Huskies:
There are a lot of fun and adventurous things to do, in Seattle. You can drive the hills, climb the Needle, catch a fish at Pike Place or get to know the local public servants. Be careful, though. Don’t jaywalk.
Seattle is… a place to be sore.
Two states, two cities, two schools. Isn’t it obvious that we should love them both? Sure, the Huskies have had to sing, “Bound Down by Oregon” for half the life span of an incoming recruit, but no matter. Success is just around the corner of the Mayan Calender.
Kim Hastings is a 1984 graduate of Northwest Christian College. He cut his journalistic teeth as sports editor of a paper in his home town of Fortuna, CA, and, later as a columnist for the Longview Daily News in Longview, WA.
He saw his first Oregon game in 1977 and never missed a home game from 1981 until a bout with pneumonia cut his streak short in 1997. He was one of the proud 3200 on a bitterly cold night in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1989 for the Independence Bowl, and continues to be big supporter of Oregon sports. He is an active participant on the various Oregon Ducks messageboards as “TacomaDuck.”
For Greybeards … the EYES Have it!
Want to know a secret about web behavior? Readers don’t like long stretches of sentences in comment posts without any breaks, and most readers don’t even like long paragraphs.
Break it up! After every third sentence in your post…hit “enter” on your keyboard twice if your computer is a PC, or “return” twice if you have a Mac.
This creates natural breaks between scads of sentences, and so many of us thank you for making it easier on our “Greybeard-age” eyes!