Pick An “O”

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December 4, 2010 by David Gillaspie

Any  Old O

You’ve heard it so much, it’s worn out:  Number One in the nation Oregon Ducks. 

Except that never wears out, no matter how you say it.

Number 1. 

#1.

Numero Uno.

Even though they’re number two in the rankings, Duck football is number one in your heart.  At least it should be. 

Here’s why:

No one cares about Big Red when they’re losing, but when Nebraska gets it going full-bore it’s a Big Red world.

When ‘Bama is the best, a wave of relief breaks over you.  At least it’s not USC.

If it’s a Sooner year, there’s a line a year long to ride the schooner once the endowment check clears.  In the meantime you get to hear Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium at Owen Field compared to the Garden of Eden.

It might be a victory garden, but not this year.

This year the Garden of Eden for college football isn’t The Swamp with the lizards, The LA Coliseum with the prophylactics, or Tiger Stadium with the bayou bengals.  

This year is the DUCK YEAR. 

They nest in Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Oregon.  You’ve heard of them by now.

The uniforms.

Nike.

UNDEFEATED.

But there’s something missing.

It’s time to show the rest of the country Oregon is as good a football state as any of the others.

If you need a few reasons, use these: 

Oregon is better than Texas.  If they’d kept JRodgers and LJames in state it might have been different, but they both came to Oregon.

There’s a reason.

Oregon is better than Wisconsin, who sits with one loss and a webpage that blinks Go Red.  You know it wants to say Go Big Red, but that’s already taken.

Oregon is better than Ohio State the same way Cam Newton is better than Terrelle Pryor this year.  And neither of them play the game like Darron Thomas.  Coach Kelly asks more of him each game, and you know Thomas can do more than he’s asked. 

The other two guys seem like they’re already maxed.  Thomas seems on pace to grow and finish huge. 

Today is the first step of his kick.

Oregon is better than Michigan State, though the mighty Spartans remain mighty strong.  You’re just glad there’s not an eighth Spartan vs Trojan Rose Bowl game this year.  There’s something about teams that sound like they belong on the shelf between Kling-Tite Naturalambs and Kimono MicroThins playing each other that doesn’t fit right.

Football in Oregon rises with the Ducks and Beavers the same way Michigan and Michigan State draw attention to the game.  If football grows strong enough in the football-tough states, maybe one day you’ll see a Nebraska State U, or a Wisconsin State U. 

With 1.7 million people and 5.6 million respectively, it could happen.

Both the Cornhuskers and Badgers sit in the Ducks’ review mirror, but they still wonder how the name Duck is supposed to stand for elite football.  As if Badger is better?  Or Cornhusker? 

Those two schools are lucky, Wisconsin for not having a mole problem before naming their team, and Nebraska for not growing wheat.  A Wheat-chaffer going long doesn’t sound any better than a ‘husker, but at least it’s not a Cornshucker. 

More likely, Ohio with 11.5 million people will add a University of Ohio.  If you look carefully, you’ll find Ohio University.  You’ll also find their resources page shut down.  The system status line is (740) 593-1111. Call for further information, like when will they play the Buckeyes.  Ask also if there’s any truth to them changing their name to the Chestnuts to stay with the state theme. 

3.8 million football fans call Oregon home.  That’s enough to fill up Reser Stadium and Autzen a few times.  Call everyone you know and tell them the Number-One-In-The-Country Oregon Ducks are playing the Giant Killers. 

Get them fired up.

Then take it a step further. 

You’ve seen THE Ohio State fans making an O with their hands like the Oregon O?  You never catch Oklahoma copying that. 

Then again, no one is copying their WWII salute.

Oregon is the biggest O in the land.  How do you show the other O’s you’ve got what it takes to be the bif O, and to play #1. 

Do this: take Sharpies, green and yellow, or orange and black,  and draw a thick O near your navel on a t-shirt.  Then draw one around your navel in the other color.

People from the other O’s are wild, but the O here is #1, and OS stands ready to give them all they can handle.

Pick a team, any team, as long as it’s Oregon or Oregon State, and get to work with the Sharpies. 

Be a fan, a loud fan, a loud colorful fan with the O on, and take group pictures of shirt-O or belly-O.  Let the other O-states who aren’t Number One, or playing Number One, see how you roll. 

No face paint.  No costumes.  Just a nice “O” to show you’re either on top of it all, or ready to knock the top off.  The nation is watching, and it washes off…eventually. 

If your team wins, you won’t want to wash it off.

Make an O for football in Oregon, then bare that belly for the camera with everyone else. 

Show the SEC, the Big 10 & 12, and your neighbors and friends, how to do it right.

Ready.  Set.  Sharpie.

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