Our new Friday series is the OREGON UNKNOWNS, where we look at interesting stories or facts about our beloved Ducks that few casual fans know about!
Former Oregon running back Allan Amundson (#34, 1999-2002) started his career on the field quickly for the Ducks as a true freshman. He showed a rare burst of speed with a reported elite-level 4.2 second 40 yd. dash (He ran a 4.34 during Oregon’s pro day) that had Duck fans giddy about his potential.
However, learning to manage the grind off the field was a slower process. Like many, he had a hard time adapting to new responsibilities of college life.
Many fans will remember the “LaMichael – sized” 5’9″ 185 lb. Amundson for his good hands and big play ability as a kick returner and in the back field as a running back. Perhaps Amundson’s biggest play as a Duck was his one yard touchdown run in overtime while filling in for an injured Maurice Morris against ASU in Tempe.
In one of the more thrilling wins in Duck history, Joey Harrington threw two of his six touchdown passes in the final 3:21 to send the game into overtime. The #10 Ducks then prevailed, 56-55 in double OT in a game some have referred to as “the miracle in the desert.”
Talkin’ about practice, man
In the early days, Amundson was said to have been late for practice too often. He also had a bad habit of missing class, showing up late for tutoring sessions, etc.
Oregon football as a whole is successful in part because it’s a reward based system directed by the actions of the individual players.
That said, the “reward” for negative behavior was having to show up early every Tuesday and Thursday for “six-thirties”, which served as a punishment for players who had a hard time following through. The rogue players were forced to report at 6:30 am to run laps around the stadium, run stairs, and run with a rope around them pulling a tire. In essence, six-thirties were a really sweaty outdoor version of detention.
Sounds like fun, right?
Long time Oregon assistant coach and noted strength and conditioning guru Jimmy Radcliffe was usually the one who had the pleasure of meeting them there bright and early to direct the workouts, but the players position coach would also be there to watch. In Amundson’s case, running backs coach Gary Campbell was the lucky one.
Not surprisingly, Campbell grew tired of being there all the time, and especially so when the weather turned bad in the frigid and wet weather mornings.
One particularly cold and wet day, a wise Coach Campbell — while inside the cozy confines of his 500 series Mercedes-Benz – chose to not suffer the hardships imposed by the elements and instead drove down the Autzen stadium tunnel and onto the field. Rather than needlessly stand outside in the cold, he found that sitting in his running car with the heat on and drinking his coffee to be a much more enjoyable vantage point to observe the workouts.
There was the coach just sitting relaxed in his nice warm car while Allan was out there working his tail off in the cold and rain!
Josh White has been a dedicated Duck fan since the Bill Musgrave days. He has attended (and lost his voice at) virtually every home game and many away games since the late 1980’s, including 96 of the current 97 game sellout streak at Autzen Stadium. A Eugene native, Josh works full time in Eugene area real estate, helping people buy and sell residential and commercial properties, and also volunteers with Habitat For Humanity, Kidsports and Food For Lane County. He welcomes your feedback.
FishDuck Going to Articles on Monday and Tuesday Only…
Our off-season schedule begins, and we move from publishing articles seven days a week to Mondays and Tuesdays only. Same great group of writers, and we will have an article on other days on occasion.
The Our Beloved Ducks Forum (OBD) is where we we discuss the article above and many more topics, as it is so much easier in a message board format over there. At the free OBD forum we will be posting Oregon Sports article links, the daily Press Releases from the Athletic Department and the news coming out every day.
Our 33 rules at the free OBD Forum can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) do not tell anyone what to think, feel or write, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!
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