Monday, November 14, 2011

ESPN Gameday & Oregon vs Stanford (UPDATED)

I have been looking forward to a trip to Sanford University for the Stanford vs Oregon football game for some time. However,sometimes reality does not match your anticipation of an event. Not this time. We had a great trip to the San Francisco Bay Area this last weekend.


On Veterans Day (Friday) my wife and I left Medford on a bus chartered by the Oregon Club of Southern Oregon with 42 other Duck fans for Stanford. We stopped at a gaming casino for an hour for lunch near Corning, California. We then worked our way through the heavy traffic in the Bay Area and arrived in Palo Alto, at Dinah's Garden Hotel. Our daughter met us there. She lives on the east coast and flew into SFO and got a rental car and was already at the hotel when we arrived.

My wife and daughter retired early and so I met some friends at the adjacent Trader Vic's for a late dinner.


All the way from Medford I hauled a telescoping 13 foot painting pole to be used for a flag pole for use at ESPN Gameday. My daughter and I got up early about 5 AM to make the trip over to the Stanford Campus for the 6 AM national live broadcast of the ESPN Gameday show. Our daughter drove her rental car with myself and two other fans and we arrived just about 6 AM. We walked over to the show and I waved my Oregon Duck flag for the two hours of the live broadcast. Our son in Kentucky and my wife back at the hotel called us on our cell phones to let us know they saw the flag. I could also see it on the giant big screen they have at the show. My friend Bob brought us some hot chocolate and we had a GREAT time. The Stanford fans are a mellow bunch and their was a lot of good natured rivalry between the two groups of fans. Both schools bands were there and while it had rained the night before the weather was prefect for the live show. Lot's of Oregon fans were there with crazy signs ! Our daughter had a sign that said "The ducks don't need Luck!" (For non football fans the star QB for Stanford is Andrew Luck)


After the show we went back three or so miles to the hotel and got my wife and the three of us had breakfast at the hotel restaurant in a sea of green and yellow. A Stanford couple came into the restaurant and their eyes got very large looking at all the Duck fans.

Dinah's Garden Hotel is a very unique place and I would highly recommend it. It is not your cookie cutter hotel. The grounds are a very tropical with lush foliage and a meandering water pond between the buildings. There are Japanese bridges over the pond and lots of real ducks that populate the pond and walk right up to the slider from your room to your patio. One duck even wandered into our room. I kiddingly told the front desk crew it was a nice touch bringing in all of these live ducks for we Duck fans. After breakfast we went back to our room to rest up for the 5 PM game.


The bus we came down in took us over to the Stanford campus about 2:30 pm . We got parked and my wife, our daughter and my friend Bob and I went on a tour of campus. We saw lots of Duck fans and were able go by the Hoover Tower of the Hoover Institute a conservative "think tank" on campus. The tower is named after President Herbert Hoover. Stanford has a beautiful large campus and must spend a fortune on landscape maintenance. All the building are in a early California style with red tile roofs.

We then walked by a lot of tailgate parties for both Oregon and Stanford fans. Stanford is known for their fancy wine and cheese tailgaters parked in a grove of trees.


The game was broadcast on ABC TV nationwide starting at 5 PM. Stanford the leader of the Pac 12 was favored and it was their time in the national spotlight. Their QB, Andrew Luck was the leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy. The Oregon Ducks won the game 53 to 30 !!!!!! Games like this are the reason you go to games. There were a lot of Oregon fans that made the trip south and a lot of Duck fans from the Bay Area. Going to an away game creates a lot of camaraderie for the visiting teams fans. I have been going to games for many years and this was one of the most exciting of my lifetime. Games like this is the reason you go year after year. I yelled and yelled as did most other fans to support the team as the "12th man." I got the most excited when Oregon's defence would sack the Stanford QB. Our daughter got as excited as I did and even my wife, who is not a fan of crowds, had a good time.After the game I called our son in Kentucky who watched the game on TV.
When the bus got us back to the hotel we had a drink and late dinner at Trader Vick's to celebrate the victory.

Early Sunday morning I got up to say good by to our daughter who was taking an early flight out of SFO back to the east coast for work on Monday. I walked her to her rental car and waived good by. With her living on the east coast we don't get to see her as often as we would like and it was special that she could join us for he weekend. Fortunately it is not too long till Christmas when she will make a trip home to Medford. The only down side of the weekend was our son in Kentucky couldn't join us. However, he too will be home for Christmas and he and I have plans to go to an Oregon Basketball game in the new Matt Court in Eugene.


Sunday on the way back a bus load of happy fans stoped at the In-N-Out in Redding California. This is the northern most In-N-Out restaurant in California. There are none in Oregon. They make some of the best burgers in the world and Oregonians whenever the go to California plan at least one stop at an In-N-Out. We got to the restaurant and there was a line of Duck fans out the door. It was like Eugene after a game.We got in line and got our burgers and the line still ran all across the parking lot. We saw some people from Medford we know and then the Oregon band drove up in two buses and the line got bigger. On the way back to the bus a local reporter from a Redding TV station interviewed my wife and I on the game and the reason so many Duck fans had converged on this fast food restaurant. This morning I got an email from someone I know in Chico, California, who said he saw the interview on the local TV station.


Next Saturday we play the U$C Trojans at Autzen. Time to put Stanford behind us and move on to the Trojans. Win the Day! Let's Go Ducks.