October 29, 2010 - 12:10 PM
Up until about four p.m. Thursday afternoon, I was planning on staying in Eugene for Halloween Weekend, and attempting to put together a killer costume that I could wear around to the campus bars.
Now, on Friday morning, I find myself in the back of roommate's car as we are in the middle of our journey down to Los Angeles for the Oregon vs. USC football game. The decision was made extremely last minute, but we all decided that it would be a blast to spend the weekend at USC and hopefully watch our Ducks extend their winning streak.
We left last night at around 5:30 and we stayed the night in Orinda, Calif., just outside of San Francisco, where my roommate's grandparents live. This morning upon waking up we had a tough decision to make: Should we go back to I-5 and bomb down south, or should we take a little more time and drive through San Francisco and over the Golden Gate Bridge? We went with the latter, and it was a fantastic choice. I haven't been to San Francisco since the 6th grade, and I loved being able to make another visit and cruise right through the heart of this famous city. We drove over three different bridges in the loop that we made, and the detour ended with a perfect few of Alcatraz and of AT@T Park, which currently serves as the co-headquarters of world series fever. This very second we are about 20 minutes outside of the city and are about 343 miles away from LA. I am certainly excited to escape the rain from the Northwest and hopefully dip my toes in some of the Southern California sunshine.
While football season is in full swing, the major league baseball season is about a week from being over. In my opinion, the major league baseball season is the most grueling, not to mention the longest by far. After 162 regular season games, there are eight teams that make the push to get to the World Series. The Giants and the Rangers are underway in baseball's pinnacle event, and as is always the case, one team will go home empty handed. But what if I were to tell you about a Texas Rangers' catcher that will get a world series ring anyway...even if the team loses? Rangers catcher Bengie Molina has found himself in a very favorable situation. Molina started this season in San Francisco with the Giants and was traded midway through the season to the Rangers. Molina played about 67 games with the Giants this season, which according to the rules, qualifies him as being a member of the Giants. If a player plays over a certain number of games (I think it's 62) with his team before being traded, he is considered to have been on that team for the remainder of the season. Essentially, Bengie Molina will walk away from the world series with a ring, win or lose. If the Giants win, he will get a ring as being a part of that franchise, and obviously, if the Rangers win, he will receive a ring as a member of that team as well. Would Molina prefer to have a ring from his current team, or the team he spent so much time with previously? It's an interesting predicament to be in, but it must be comforting knowing you will receive a ring regardless.
While we make our way down south, the temperature is slowly rising, and I'm looking forward to a great time in LA.
October 22, 2010 - 10:21 AM
Like a few teams already have this season, the UCLA Bruins left Autzen Stadium defeated, with their tails between their legs, ready to make the long trek back to Los Angeles.
The Ducks once again trounced their opponent in a game that no one expected to be close. Putting up 60 points, the Ducks have still managed to score more than forty points in every game, and the only person that seems to be tired is the Duck himself. Considering that the Duck does pushups after every single score, it would take me way to long to try to calculate how many pushups he did last night. No other mascot in the nation has endured the intense pectoral workout that Puddles the Duck has this season.
With the exception of the game vs. the number nine ranked Stanford Cardinal, every game that Oregon has played at home this season has seemed to have already been won by half time. Don't get me wrong, I would never want anything to happen that might bump the Ducks down in any of the polls, but it might be nice to watch the Ducks win a nail-biter from time to time. I repeatedly caught myself yawning on the sidelines during the third quarter last night. It's hard to stay into the game when everyone in the stadium knows the game is already over.
This weekend the Oklahoma Sooners, who currently sit at number one in the BCS standings, have to go play on the road against a Missouri team that is ranked number 11. I personally feel that Oklahoma is the better team, but at this point in the year, no road game is ever a guaranteed win. The outcome of this game has relatively no impact on the Ducks. If we keep winning we will be in a perfect position. That said, it might be nice to see the Sooners go down and watch the Ducks move to number one all across the board. Given that last night's game was played on a Thursday, the Ducks now have even more time to prepare before taking on the Trojans of USC on Halloween Night.
Last night, I did something that very few Oregon fans can ever say they have done: I caught my first career pass in Autzen Stadium. How you ask? During the middle of the second quarter the Ducks were driving down towards the end zone that is right in front of the Oregon student section. Right below the student section and just to the right of the end zone is where the marketing crew is supposed to stand when there isn't any work to be done. On one play, Darron Thomas snapped the ball and after realizing that no one was open, he chucked it out of bounds, past the end zone, right into my hands. I thrust the ball into the air and received a few cheers from the students who could see me. I was even told by a co-worker that his little brother saw us both on T.V after I made the snag. In my University of Oregon career I have a 1.000% percent completion percentage for a grand total of about 30 yards...I'll take it. When Thomas has to scramble, he's always got a guaranteed catch with the marketing department!
October 20, 2010 - 9:36 PM
One midterm down and one to go...for this week at least. I think I did pretty well on my international communications midterm. As usual there were a few things that I was a little unsure of but I think I'll be happy with the end result. Today I am leaving my internship office hours a little bit early so I can study a little more for my animal behavior midterm today. I feel prepared for this one and I am ready to be done with it.
Today over at the athletic department we are having a little potluck of sorts in celebration of a shortened week. Friday is basically a day off because the football game is tomorrow (Thursday) and there aren't any games in Eugene for any other sport over the course of the weekend. I certainly will have homework to do this weekend, but it will be nice not having to worry about working any games.
Thursday football games can be a little bit hectic, considering that the game falls on a school night for most and many students have classes late into the day on Thursdays. I won't even be able to attempt to make it to my J396 class (and I'm not complaining) because I need to get over to Autzen to help set everything up for the game. Luckily for me I only have one class on Friday, and it isn't until noon, so the football game is no inconvenience for me. Each class is different, but occasionally students will be blessed with a teacher that will cancel a late class on a Thursday for the Thursday night game. I wasn't that fortunate this year, but last year there was a similar situation involving the Civil War Game. That game was on a Thursday night at about six p.m., and my introduction to public relations class was scheduled that day from 4- 5:20 p.m. Obviously it would have been extremely difficult to get from class over to Autzen in 40 minutes, so by the grace of her heart, our teacher Kelli Matthews (one of the best in the J-school) cancelled class so that everyone would have ample time to get to the game. Obviously school is the bigger priority (and even that depends on who you ask), but some teachers understand that football games at the University of Oregon are one of the highlights of the year for many students.
Tomorrow's game should get rather cold, so I need to remember to bring a jacket or some sort of sweatshirt to throw over my body. I have no doubt that our Ducks will take the cake in this Pac 10 battle, the only thing I am unsure of is the UCLA team that we will face. Will we see the UCLA team that has struggled throughout the season and given up WAY too many yards, or will we see the confident UCLA team that marched down to Austin, Texas and ripped the heart out of loyal Longhorn fans? I guess we'll see, but regardless, the Bruins are no match for the notorious mayhem of Autzen Stadium.
October 17, 2010 - 10:40 AM
I have always found that whenever I sit down and watch sports, it's only a matter of time before I have a strong urge to go play the sport that I am watching. Yesterday during the day I sat around watching college football all day, just wishing that I could actually go play for real.
Thanks to intramural football, now I can! Today I have my first IM football game of the season. Of all the intramural sports, I personally feel that football is the most fun and the most intense. Emotions are always at a high as every game is huge, considering that there are only six or seven games before the playoffs begin. The competition is great, and every team always has to be mindful of the sportsmanship code. Each team gets rated on its sportsmanship after every game, and jawing with an official or someone on the other team may dock your squad points. It never seems like a big deal at the time, but these sportsmanship rankings come into play come playoff time, and could potentially prevent a team from making it in.
I was just outside and it is perfect weather for football. Cloudy and very cold. I just hope it doesn't rain on us, because that could make it miserable.
Speaking of football, it would be considered a good college football season if the number one ranked team were to lose once. Knocking the king off of his throne just once would be enough to classify the season and shocking extremely unexpected. I never thought that this season I would witness the number one ranked team in the nation lose twice, on two consecutive weekends. After Alabama went down lasts week, I thought that that was the only gift that Oregon would receive this season, as it catapulted the Ducks into the number 2 spot. However, yesterday, I was able to witness King Pryor and his troops fall to the Wisconsin Badgers in Wisconsin. Oregon probably won't be number 1 in the BCS standings that will be released tonight, but the Ducks should be number one in both the AP standings and the Coaches Poll. The Ducks have certainly never been number one since I have been here, and my roommate told me last night that he doesn't think the Ducks have been number one ever, in any poll. If that is the case this is certainly a mile stone for the Ducks and for Head Coach Chip Kelly who is only in his second season as commander in chief. Boise State is still in the running to make it to the championship despite the never-ending argument surrounding this team and its future.
It's always difficult joining in the Boise State argument as an Oregon fan, because although Boise State constantly plays "nobody" teams like San Jose St. and Toledo, they have managed to defeat Oregon twice in the last three seasons. I will still hold to my argument that the Broncos should NEVER be allowed to play for the national title. Granted they defeated the Hokies in the season opener, but what have the Hokies done since then? Nothing. The BCS race is heating up, and for the Ducks it's simple: Don't lose.
October 16, 2010 - 3:38 PM
Thursday was my fourth and final bid day as a member of the fraternity that I am in. The bid day festivities are usually for the new guys, but it was still fun to watch and be a part of it. After running up to the house from the PLC building, all of the new pledges piled into cars to go drive around and holler at all of the sororities. All of the sorority girls come out onto their front steps to greet all of the new fraternity men. Car horns and yelling is all that can be heard for quite some time, and it's always a wild environment on greek row.
Upon returning to the house we got to grub on some pizza and have a huge introduction for all of the new official pledges. This year however, the culmination of the bid day celebration was an activity that I didn't have the privilege to participate in when I was a freshman. Every house has someone who is the recruitment chair. This person is basically responsible for organizing all of the recruitment events and this is the guy who gives out all of the bids. All of the pledges know this guy pretty well because he also attends every event. On Thursday the pledges had the opportunity to literally egg our house's recruitment chair. Someone bought a few cartons of eggs and there weren't any left after it was all said and done. I have never actually been hit with an egg before but I can imagine that it might hurt a little bit.
This next upcoming week is the fourth week of the term, which means that midterms are near. I have a midterm on Tuesday in my international communications class, and one more on Wednesday for my animal behavior class. I feel like I should be fine for both, I just need to make sure to put in enough study hours. I am also working on a project for my animal behavior class that will eventually require me to go and observe ducks in a pond. It should be pretty fun, because this is the first class I have had in college that has allowed me to go out and observe nature, and watching ducks no less.
Thursdays are my busiest day of the week, but luckily this week I get to miss my last class of the day to head over to Autzen to get ready for the ESPN-televised football game against the Bruins from UCLA. At first I thought this game would be kind of a route, but the Bruins have proven to be a handful, as they beat the Texas Longhorns in Austin. U might C LA running, but I hope to see U of O scoring lots and lots of points. Some of my roommates and I were just pondering the possibility of the Ducks going undefeated and not making it to the national championship. I really don't think that is likely, but the BCS always throws somebody for a loop. We get to rest up this weekend and hopefully be in great shape by the time UCLA makes its way to Eugene.