Our Beloved Ducks recently completed another school year under pandemic protocols and online classes, which resulted in a unique graduation experience. As an Oregon graduate myself this Spring, I wanted to consider our community and how the Ducks have changed over the years, rising and falling as a dominant program between decades of graduating classes.
Fantastic recruiting exhibited by Mario Cristobal and other staff members was unfortunately not enough to make my final year as a student particularly special in Autzen. Granted, given the circumstances of the pandemic, there weren’t many fans able to go to games anywhere anyway, so I feel it’s unfair to really take out any of that frustration on the players or coaches.
To look on the bright side of my time here in Eugene, the Rose Bowl victory under a Justin Herbert led offense was my favorite time to be around campus. The energy and joy that emanated from students around me felt like a different breed from years past. That was the “true” college experience it seems everyone is looking for, and I’m grateful to have been able to participate in such a special era, considering now how Herbert has transitioned so swiftly to the NFL.
Aside from football, what a time it was to be a Duck! Our programs have been competitive and edging on becoming dominant in several sports the entire time I had the privilege of being in Eugene. The Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams have been absolutely outstanding while I’ve been a student, getting to see Sabrina Ionescu and Payton Pritchard in person at Matthew Knight, as well as the recent upturn of Baseball’s performance and our unbelievable Track & Field team (speaking of, have you gotten an in-person look yet at Hayward Field’s new big brother?).
I couldn’t be more grateful for the sports experiences I got to be a part of while at Oregon and I cannot wait to return in future seasons. I know even now that I was a witness to some of the greatest Oregon athletes to ever grace the campus grounds, but I know there are many from the past that I’ve probably still never even heard of.
Now it’s time to think back yourself: when you graduated college, how were the Ducks’ sports programs? If you were at the U of O or anywhere else, do you remember what kind of seasons the Ducks were having? Who were the faces of the program? Here’s a link if you need a refresher on some of the sports program’s season stats.
And if you weren’t ever a Duck, what’s your earliest memory of becoming a fan? Go Ducks, and stay safe over the holiday weekend!
Top Photo By: Twitter
Alex Heining is an Oregon alumni from the graduate class of 2021. After studying sports business and media studies, he has moved into the field of digital marketing as a copywriter and content manager in the Los Angeles area. Still, he loves his Ducks and goes to local high school games all over the Los Angeles and Orange County area to check out new recruits of the future (and a SoFi game or two with the pros). On any given Saturday, expect to find him doing martial arts, playing the guitar, or screaming at the tv over a missed holding penalty.
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!
OBD Forum members….we got your back. No Trolls Allowed!