Monday, September 19, 2011

Fun Weekend with my Ducks

On Saturday I went to my first Duck game of the season at the University of Oregon in Eugene. I left Medford at about 8:30 am and headed up I-5 to Eugene. I had several CD, I made up of music that I liked when I was a college student, to get me in the mood. I-5 was full of Oregon fans in their "Ducked Out" cars and SUVs. Other than a rest area stop I didn't stop till I got to Eugene about 11:15 am as I drove in on Franklin Blvd. I saw the new Matt Court and the new Ford Alumni Center as I worked my way to a paved shaded parking spot in an office park behind the New Oregon Motel for $10.00. The rush of fans to the game had already begun. I called my wife to let her know I arrived safely and had a sandwich I made at home. I then joined the parade of fans going to the game. I walked across the Willamette River on the footbridge pictured above and walked through the woods to Autzen Stadium. My ankle which offen has pain as I walk was pain free and I had a hight energy level. School has not started but there were a lot of students who had arrived early to get ready for the school year. They get younger every year ! I went through stadium security and bought a game program and worked my way to my seat. On the way down to my seat I stopped and talked to my friend , Bob and his wife, also from Medford. I then made it to my seat next to the "big guy" from Portland who has the seat next to me. We each have paid the $35.00 to have the Athletic Department lock a portable padded seat with a back on our bench seats to add some comfort.

I missed last weeks home game with Nevada/Reno because it was almost 100 degrees on our side of the field and I do not do well in that kind of heat. So I had stayed home and watched the game on my big screen in high definition. While it was much more comfortable and I got to see more of the game, I had missed the pageantry of actually being at the game. I have had tickets at this location for 20 years and most of the same people have been around us for that 20 years. I never see these people except on game day 6 or 7 times in the fall. It's sorta like "Same Time Next Year." Everyone is getting older ! The wild and crazy group to my left who were in their 30's are now in their 50's and not so crazy. The "hip" couple several rows down now have their grown daughter with her young child. Hair that was once jet black is now starting to grow gray. The Ducks were playing Missouri State and the Ducks ran up a big score so there was not much tension in the game. I just sat back and enjoyed the warm overcast day and being back at one of my favorite places on earth. I do love it ! After the game I worked my way back to the car and drove over to the campus and walked around for about 40 minutes. The campus brought back a flood of memories every where I walked. It was 44 years ago that I first became an undergraduate at Oregon but the memorise and emotions are as clear as events from yesterday. Again, as I walked my ankle was pain free. After my walk down "Memory Lane" I got back to my car and drove back to Medford stopping for gas and snacks. I got home just after dark at about 8 pm. A good day

In the last few years when I have gotten home I often tell my wife "I am getting too old for this." Not this week, it seemed like I had a new energy that has deserted me the last few years. In any case Go Ducks !