This Halloween weekend took me down memory lane over 20 years ago to my final year of college in Eugene.
There was a big Halloween Party that all my friends were going to, but I had to work until 10 pm that night at my part-time restaurant job. When ten o’clock hit I flew out the door, sped home, threw on my costume (an inmate), and shot off to the party.
I arrive, and while everybody else was in the party groove, enjoying music, cocktails, drinking games, and overall craziness; I, of course, was stone-cold sober. It was an out-of-sync and awkward feeling for sure, and all because I had joined the party late.
So yes, I can relate to how the Pac-12 and the Ducks are feeling as they arrive late to this party known as the 2020 College Football Season. The likes of Alabama (SEC), Ohio State (B1G), and Clemson (ACC) are in that perfect party groove, ripping it up on the dance floor, impressing the ladies, making the guys jealous, and all with their eyes on the bigger party known as the College Football Playoff.
The Big 12, on the other hand, is already partied out. Texas and Oklahoma arrived to the party drunk as they’ve belligerently stumbled around the early part of the 2020 season. On the other hand, Oklahoma State was on fire in the early going, that was until they just passed out in a dark corner with a spilled drink on their lap. Then again, given the way they choked against Texas on Saturday, I think they may have peed themselves.
With the Big 12 in chaos, it gives the Ducks (Pac-12) a real shot to make it to the CFP. But the Ducks don’t want to make the same mistake I made all those years ago after showing up to the party late. When my friends saw me walk through the door, they shouted “Darren!” and began pouring me a line of tequila shots, telling me I had to “catch up” with everybody else.
I was always more of a beer drinker, and for a lot of us, shots equal trouble. Well, I’m no different. But hey, I didn’t want to let everybody down, I had to step up to the plate, I had to be the man! So, I murmured to myself “to hell with it” and caved to the peer pressure by pouring shots of booze down my throat.
And off to Tequilaville I went….
It was a wild night, or so I am told, but the aftermath was awful. All I know is that I awoke the next morning on a couch with a smelly bucket next to it, had a massive headache, and had profanity scribbled all across my face. What the hell was I thinking?
The point of my little party analogy is this—Lots of college football pundits are saying that not only does the Pac-12 champion need to go 7-0, but they have to win every game big and with massive style points. This is like my buddies all those years ago telling me to drink a line of shots to “catch up.” Well, don’t do it Ducks! Don’t give in to what those idiots are telling you to do, it definitely won’t be worth it.
Play hard, play tough, play within yourselves, and play to win. But don’t try anything stupid by trying to do too much or trying to impress others. Because if you do, you’ll end up as I did all those years ago.
One big smelly mess.
Top photo credit: Kevin Cline
Natalie Liebhaber, the FishDuck.com Volunteer Editor for this article, works in the financial technology industry in Bozeman, Montana.
Darren Perkins is a sales professional and 1997 Oregon graduate. After finishing school, he escaped the rain and moved to sunny Southern California where he studied screenwriting for two years at UCLA. Darren grew up in Eugene and in 1980, at the tender age of five, he attended his first Oregon football game. His lasting memory from that experience was an enthusiastic Don Essig announcing to the crowd: “Reggie Ogburn, completes a pass to… Reggie Ogburn.” Captivated by such a thrilling play, Darren’s been hooked on Oregon football ever since. Currently living in Spokane, Darren enjoys flaunting his yellow and green superiority complex over friends and family in Cougar country.
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