Saturday, November 26, 2011

Rooting Interest in the Oregon Civil War

When my Brother moved to Oregon more than 10 years ago, one of the first things he told me when I first visited him was that I had to take a side when it came to the Oregon Civil War.  You have to be either a Beaver or a Duck.  You had to wear either Oregon green and yellow (now virtually any and every color) or Oregon State orange and black.  You had to choose sides.  I gave some though to it (at that time Oregon wasn't Chip Kelly-great, but still was winning more than they lost) and decided that I had no desire to be a Beaver.  None.  Ever since then, when my Brother texted me about the game, I greet him simply with a "Go Ducks" text back.  He would get a little pissed, even though we grew up in Connecticut and went to UConn.  But he needs to get a little pissed since he lives inside Beaver territory.  Kind of gross if you think about it.  Oh yeah, their cheerleaders are better looking, too.

This is what they play for?
But the 115th meeting of Oregon and Oregon State would have a new viewer.  G was interested in the game only as solution to his boredom problem.  His interest started growing, however, when I told him that the teams' names were the Beavers and the Ducks.   And the intrigue involving the Platypus Trophy (the trophy was found in a UO janitor's closet after being missing for over 40 years) was enough to seal the deal. 

"Ha ha, I like those names, Dad!" he giggles  sitting down on the couch with me.

"And your uncle like the Oregon State Beavers."  I explain to him.

"So you are rooting for the other team?"  I guess brothers never get along, since G roots for the Ducks with me and his brother begins to root for the Beavers - just because.

But the rivalry, similar to a brother who is 4 years older, hasn't been fair for the past several years.  After seeing OSU win 10 of 11 Civil War games through 1974, University of Oregon has dominated the series ever since going 26-9-1.  In fact, the series has been marked in the last three years with a 65 point drubbing by Oregon in 2008 and a win last year that catapulted Oregon to the National Championship game against Cam Newton's destiny.

This year's Oregon team is again led by Junior standout LaMichael James - the only player I know in this game.  His career started when LaGarrette Blount popped a Boise State kid after a loss in 2009.  James is now the leading rusher in Oregon history and the fourth leading rusher in Pac-12 history - as a Junior.  Because of his injuries, and the fact that the NFL motto is not "Suck for James" he's not going to win the Heisman Trophy, but he's a good little player.

We only end up watching the game off and wasn't much a war.  James unbelievably dislocated his other elbow (he dislocated his first elbow in the first game of the season), but Oregon still won handily, 49-21.  G left for a friend's house at Halftime and C sat down for a little while when he got home, only to get up 10 minutes later to play with his nerf basketball set.  I guess these games don't matter as much here on the East Coast.

But you know what?  Go Ducks!  I think I'll go call my brother.

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