I posted this several years ago ( I am not the author) but I think it's appropriate to re post it what with the importance of Saturdays "shoot out" with the Cal Bears at Autzen and the fact that ESPN Gameday will be there. Two unbeaten and ranked teams meeting in a game that could determine a BCS Bowl. (It's a letter Coach Mike Bellotti read to the team in 2005.)
To Any Oregon Players Who May Read This .... I am sorry for the distraction you may face this week on account of the fans, the media and our hunger for another BCS Bowl. True Duck fans everywhere are behind you. This tribute is for you: I am Mighty Oregon. I am the 30 year old couple coming back to campus for the fist time with both little ones in tow. One wears her first green and yellow cheerleader outfit; the other wears #3 even though he's too young to understand why. I screamed IT NEVER RAINS AT AUTZEN STADIUM, even though you can see the thunderous clouds forming and know it will rain. God, I love this place. I am the 60 year old woman meeting her freshman grand-daughter who is now the 3rd generation of UO students in our family. Despite my age, I'd strap it on Saturday and hit someone if it weren't for my gender and this blasted arthritis. I am Mighty Oregon and I have always believed I was different. You can see it when you look up into the stands. My green is not the same as Miami's and my yellow is not that of Michigan. But the differences go much deeper than my colors. I genuinely believe in these things. To be a "real" Oregon man or woman speaks of character, not of geography. All are welcome to walk through my gates, not just the wealthy or the elite. The Big 10, Big 12 and the SEC may have their "nations," but we have always been family. We bleed green and yellow. Make no mistake...we loathe defeat, but even in defeat, we would rather be an Oregon Duck than anything else. We are family and you are the sons of Musgrave, Wilcox and Rashad (or Moore if you prefer). You come from a long line of brothers whose names include Fouts, Sirmon, Wheaton, Droughns, and Harrington. You will now add Clemens to that list as he has become a truly exceptional leader this season. It is a great heritage and you belong. So this Saturday, when the warm ups are over and the prayer's "amen" spoken, when you hear my thunder growing in the stands above you, when you stand in the tunnel and feel your heart pounding your chest, listen for my voice when you run onto my field. Behind the frenzy of the shakers and deafening roar, I will tell you something in a whisper you may miss. I will be telling you that you are my sons and I am proud of you for the way you wear the green and yellow, for the way you have stood up in the face of adversity and the way you have fought tooth and nail to win each game. I am telling you that you are my sons and I love you. To all of you Seniors - LET'S GO DUCKS!