I had a cool time in high school, but for the most part, I felt like a fish out of water, but then came the University of Oregon. I didn’t know what to expect when I got to Eugene. All I knew about the U of O was Nike, Prefontaine “Track Town USA”, and Duck football. I learned quickly what the 541 was all about. I loved my time in Eugene. My favorite breakfast spot GJ’s, our favorite bar Taylors , the U.I. dorm , the CASS and most importanly, Autzen stadium, the crowd, and the student section. AMAZING!!! I’ll never forget Apartment #90 which consisted of #1 aka SP aka Samie Parker, #2 aka O-S*#@*y aka Onterrio Smith and myself aka Rice-Daddy. Man, if those walls could talk, lol, but I’m glad they can’t. Oregon was totally different than any other place I had ever been into my whole life, but yet it was home. Some of my fondest memories are from my time in Eugene. College was truly some of the best years of my life to date. A lot of things in my life may change, but one thing that will remain the same is I will always and forever be an Oregon Duck!
I’ll never forget every home game the PA announcer would say “It never rains in Autzen Stadium”. Which to me, being from Sunny So Cal, was very ironic, because I felt like it was always raining in the northwest. I still get chills thinking about scoring a touchdown and that loud fog horn going off and the band playing the fight song “Oregon our Alma Mater, we will guard thee on and on….”! I loved playing for Oregon, and now that I am in the pros, I love being a fan of Oregon. I always had my duck gear in my locker at the stadium. At least once a week in the offseason I workout in a Duck t-shirt, shorts, and my Nike Shox Duck editions (Oh Baby)! I even made a bet with my teammate Mo Williams 2 years ago that MY Ducks would crush his minuscule Wolverines, and of course they did. Mo had to wear my College jersey all week, haha GO DUCKS!! I hang on to every play of Duck football. All my teammates in Jacksonville knew when we went to away games I was only going to eat dinner at a place that had my Duck’s game on! God Bless satellite tv!!
Two years ago we had the National Championship and the Heisman Trophy in our grasp and it all went down the drain when Dennis Dixon fell to the ground clutching his knee. We were on cloud nine, riding high on the backs of Dennis Dixon and Jonathan Stewart, and just that quick we had to settle for a SCHLacking of South Florida in the Sun Bowl 56-21. I was devastated. It felt like I was on that team and “we lost”. I now know what “REAL” fans go through and how they feel. I have a much deeper respect for the fans of our game.
On Thursday we begin our quest for another PAC-10 title and a chance at a National Championship. Although I can’t be there in person I will have my flatscreen on and my popcorn ready. It won’t be an easy game, (we are playing against former Oregon coaches). We are taking on the Broncos of Bosie State, on their “Smurf Turf”. The Broncos have a good team and are always tough at home, but I know the Ducks will take care of business. This year will be a good year for us up in Eugene and I will be here with my duck gear on cheering the whole way. I just can’t wait until my son is old enough to really appreciate the game, so I can take him to a game at Autzen stadium, “the loudest place on earth” (for the enemy).
I was so juiced when I saw the Ducks on the cover of Sports Illustrated. I was thinking, finally, we are getting some respect. I know some of ya’ll out there are skeptical of calling us a Football Powerhouse, but keep watching and trust me, you’ll see. It’s ok, I won’t say I told you so. Actually, YES I WILL!!! GO DUCKS!!!