Monday, May 03, 2010

Great Day in Eugene !

Saturday I took a charter bus sponsored by the Oregon Club of Southern Oregon from Medford to Eugene to watch the University of Oregon Spring football game and then on to a baseball game between the Ducks and the Washington State Cougars.

I was picked up at my house by my friend Bob at about 8:20 AM and we stopped by Donut Country here in Medford to pick up 3 dozen donuts for the fans on the bus. We got to the parking lot where we were to meet the bus and we left at 9 AM. We took I-5to Grants Pass and picked up some more fans and drove up I-5 to Eugene. We played highlight DVD's of past Oregon football games on the bus TV system.

We got to Eugene about 12 noon and took a detour to get to Franklin Blvd so we could drive by the construction of the new "Matt Court" basketball arena as well as the construction of the new Alumni Building next door. We than drove by the super modern new academic building build for Oregon's student athletes (thanks Phil Knight). We then took the Ferry Street Bridge over to Autzen Stadium.

Bob and I then walked over to the Duck Shop at the Machofsky Center to get the new Nike "support the troops" Oregon tee shirts (see post below for picture). There was a big line out the back door for those waiting to buy the tee shirts. After we had been in line for about 10 minutes those who were in-line were told they were out of "extra large" but there were more available in Autzen Stadium at the Duck booths on the concourse. We then did some more shopping in the Duck Shop and headed over to Autzen. Bob and I each got in a separate line at the Autzen Duck Shop booth and I was able to get the tee shirts. Before I left I had received an email from a North Carolina Duck fan who had read this blog, and my posts below, and who's son had served in the Marines ("Iraq (twice) and once in Afghanistannd")he had asked me to get him four shirts for him and his three sons. I was happy to do it and got him his shirts as well as one for me. It's little enough for the sacrifice of his son in protecting our freedom.

We then got our seats in the covered section on the South Side and watched the Spring Game and had hot dogs and Pepsi. There was a lot of scoring and Oregon has a good group of running backs. The competition between the two QB's ( Thomas & Costa) was interesting but no one separated himself. Costa looked good early as a 5th year Senior but Thomas while shaky to start showed flashes of being a "play maker." With a "running clock" in the second half the game ended too soon for me. Over 25,000 duck fans were in attendance the largest attendance in the Pac-10 for a Spring Game. At half time there was a flag ceremony similar to a military funeral and they fired off three howitzers in the stadium parking lot. It was GREAT! After the game the players formed a line on the field opposite members of the military who are bound for overseas or are just back and the players gave the military members the jerseys off their back and the military members gave the players a coin. It was very nice and moving. Oregon Coach, Chip Kelly, got this idea after he attend a military funeral in Roseburg for an Oregon fan who was killed in combat overseas while in the military. Chip has a very big heart!

After the Spring game we headed over to the new P K Park baseball stadium to watch the Oregon baseball team play Washington State. I am not a big baseball fan (It's like watching paint dry) but I did enjoy checking out the new stadium and we got to watch most of the game up in a sky suite and enjoyed the company of Duck fans. I got my third hot dog of the day and eat some peanuts. I saw Pat Kilkenny (P K Park) and Dan Fouts and Ahmad Rashad who were the honorary coaches for the Spring Football Game throw out the "first ball." The Ducks won the game and at about 8 pm we headed back to the charter bus for the trip back to Medford. Three hours later at about 11 pm we arrived back in Medford and Bob dropped me off at my house.

What a great day to be a DUCK.

Sunday morning I got up and watched the live ESPN broadcast of the game my wife had recorded for me while I was gone. I then put the recoding away to watch again in the "dog days of Summer" when I need an Oregon Duck Football "fix." in preparation for the Fall 2010 season. GO DUCKS !