You may have heard that my alma mater, the Oregon DUCKS, will be competing in the BCS National Championship game for the first time ever today. Since starting GPD I’ve made a few comments about being a duck and religiously watching football games on the weekends, but it has now become necessary to show my support via post.
The University of Oregon wasn’t even an option as I started looking at colleges seriously my junior year of high school. In fact, on paper alone, my first choice was Washington State University (because they offered me the biggest scholarship—and as a first-generation college student with a single mother, I was trying to think practically). That year, Mom and I went on a trip to the West coast to visit colleges (I wanted to get off the island but was not going anywhere colder than the West coast) and a good friend of mine, Nestor (who has absolutely changed my life on many levels) convinced me to drop by the University of Oregon and take a tour.
During that trip, we went to visit quite a few schools. The University of Washington [way too big for an island girl like me!], my #1 Washington State University [I’ll say two things: 1) I now know why they offer students of color such amazing scholarships – they have no diversity there! – and 2) my water bottle had turned into ice in the car during our hour and a half visit], Oregon State University [felt too isolated and didn’t have enough of an interpersonal/progressive aspect for me], Portland State University [not enough student life for me], among others.
The morning we got to Eugene, Mom and I tried to bundle up as best we could to take a tour on a 40 degree November morning. I distinctly remember parking the car and wondering how Nestor could possibly enjoy walking to class in this wet, grey weather.
But then I stepped on campus. And I knew immediately. This was where I was meant to go to school. As we walked around campus, Mom and I could see in each others’ eyes that this was going to be my home away from home… my next big adventure. The massive evergreen trees scattered through campus, the mix of gorgeous old buildings and innovative new structures, the amount of activism happening right then and there, the cultural diversity… every detail seemed to click into place. I could tell that they had amazing school spirit and that the town was all about their ducks. I, of course, got a sweatshirt, and as we left the campus I told my Mom two things:
I’m going to be an Oregon Duck!
I’m going to be a student ambassador, so that I can take people on those tours and watch as they realize their next big adventure!
Of course, I went on to do both. And both experiences – being a duck and being a student ambassador – have changed my life.
I won’t go into too much detail about my experiences, because now’s not the time, but I will say that I truly pushed my boundariess and created myself there. I also created the most meaningful relationships I have through the U of O – including Ben .
During my four years there, I went to as many football games I could. Football is really part of that small town’s culture, so on game days everyone would be at Autzen!
Although we were never #1 (or #2 for that matter) while I attended the U of O, I always enjoyed being a duck fan. As an ambassador, we were asked to give prospective athletes tours – making me one of the lucky few with access to our amazing facilities. And then, during my senior year, a friend caught us on TV in the student section during the infamous Oregon vs. Oklahoma game!
To me, Oregon football is more than just a game. It’s a culture. A culture that brings people together and gives us Ducks immense pride. And boy, do we have a lot to be proud of this year!
In a country where the South Eastern Conference is over-rated favored, the Ducks have managed to not only pull off a 12-O winning record, but create an outpouring of media support! That’s what makes the Oregon Duck culture different. We have both the greatest mascot and the greatest fans in the country – and we’re creative, too!
This afternoon, before I begin my first class of the semester, I will be cheering on the under dogs – the Oregon Ducks!
So without further ado, I leave you with a media recap of this year’s Duck football season (I promise you will not be disappointed by these videos – they are all amazing):
First off, let me introduce you to Puddles, the Duck, the hardest working mascot in college football:
And then Supwitchugirl came out with the infamous “I Love My Ducks”
followed by “Return of the Quack”.
And while the fans and mascot kick serious ass, it’s the team that have made us the #2 team in the nation!
And finally, our eligibility game that absolutely chokes up the Ducks’ long-time announcer Jerry Allen.
GO DUCKS! Win the day!
Have I succeeded in making you want to be an Oregon DUCK? Are you a huge fan of a college/pro team? Who are you rooting for?
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