You’re a fan! UO Edition
The Oregon Ducks have seen their fanbase grow throughout the years as a result of their success. Some people want to claim that bandwagon fans aren’t real because they’re not original. I say, anyone can be a fan so long as they follow a handful of key instructions.
So what does it take exactly to be a Ducks fan? It’s a subjective question, but one that entails specific guidelines. When the team is off, chances are, you’re still waving your green and yellow flag proudly.
Simply put: There is no offseason when you’re a fan of the Ducks.
The players and coaches may take a hiatus from January to September, but that doesn’t mean you have to. There’s a number of ways to show your team spirit, and a true Oregon fan practices them all year long.
You Love Every Uniform Combo
The Ducks are both praised and criticized for their uniform combinations on a regular basis. People across the nation both love and hate them for virtually the same reasons, but if you’re a true fan, you love every combo that sees the field.
Yes, you can admit that some of them are a little more out there than others. There’s no denying that there have been some unusual choices by the brain trusts at Nike, but you embrace every color and every combination as if it were your own creation.
Green and Yellow Rule the World
Phil Knight and his team of creative designers have introduced a number of colors to the Ducks as of late. Black and white have become primary colors, light green and dark green now have a huge difference and even volt made its way onto the scene. But despite the numerous colors available—all of which you embrace—there’s something nostalgic about a simple green and yellow.
You probably own a closet full of Oregon gear. There’s certainly some volt to be found somewhere in the mix, but you recognize that the tradition of green and yellow isn’t to be lost anytime soon.
You Hate Michael Dyer and Cam Newton
Speaking of volt, the Ducks first donned the new color during the NCAA Championship in 2011. That game is when Ducks fans officially began to despise the SEC, and they surely still hold a black spot in their hearts for Michael Dyer and Cam Newton.
The game between the Ducks and the Auburn Tigers was a far more defensive-oriented battle than most anticipated. Throughout the contest, Oregon did a solid job of slowing down Newton. The highly touted, yet possibly ineligible player had struggled against the Ducks’ defense, but the game’s final drive saw one of the most demoralizing plays in Oregon history take place.
Running back Michael Dyer had seemingly gone to the ground, but luckily for him and the Tigers, he had the awareness to keep the play alive.
Dyer found another solid run in the final seconds of the game, setting Auburn up for the game’s final field goal. The kick that sailed through the uprights sent the city of Eugene into an instant state of depression; a sad state that can still be felt on cold January nights outside Autzen Stadium.
You Believe Your Mascot can Beat Up Anybody
On a more positive note, you know that your mascot can beat up any other mascot in the country—especially a cougar.
Ducks may not be intimidating in nature, but don’t get them wrong; they can kick some serious tail.
You Hate the Huskies
Cougars may deserve a beating once in a while, but if you’re a true Oregon fan, you hate the Washington Huskies with all your might.
When the Huskies come to town, fans get angry. There’s nothing like seeing purple and gold walking about your precious city, let alone Autzen Stadium.
There’s a deep-seeded history behind this rivalry, but if you don’t know it, you’re probably not a fan anyway.
You Expect to Win Every Game
If the Oregon program has done anything since the start of the Chip Kelly era, it’s redefined what success truly means.
The past four years have seen the Ducks attend four straight BCS Bowl Games, and nothing less will suffice any longer. Call it arrogance if you want—or just let others do that—the team is ready to win and a loss to Stanford is no longer acceptable.
You’ll Sell Anything for Football Tickets
Autzen Stadium is your sanctuary. The Spring Game is the only thing that can keep you from breaking in before September, and when the fall comes around, you start thinking: what’s it going to take to get back?
Ticket prices continue to rise at Autzen as a result of the team’s success, but you don’t mind. Sure, you’ll complain like the rest of us, but if it means selling an extra item on Craigslist, you’ll do it in a heartbeat.
You Have Nightmares About 2007… and 2001
The 2007 Oregon Ducks were one of the most talented teams that the university had ever put on the field. Dennis Dixon and Jonathan Stewart ruled the college football world, but one unfortunate night in Arizona changed everything.
Dixon went down with a torn ACL and the team never looked the same again. As the No. 2 team in the country, Oregon was three unranked opponents away from a national title appearance. Unfortunately, following Dixon’s injury, the team lost out the rest of the way, having to settle for the Sun Bowl instead.
The 2001 team is also nightmare-worthy, but while 2007 was lost because of injuries, this team saw their hopes ripped away in ’01 because of pollsters.
You Dream About Kenny Wheaton
Remember how you hate the Huskies? That’s what makes Kenny Wheaton’s legendary play so much better.
“The Pick” is arguably the most memorable play in University of Oregon history. Intercepting Damon Huard and taking it to the house led to the Ducks’ Rose Bowl appearance in 1994, and that play is still shown on the Jumbotron at Autzen.
You Believe in the System
There’s no denying that the Ducks have had some special talent come through Eugene. Most recently, LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner have been sandwiched between Jonathan Stewart and De’Anthony Thomas. Marcus Mariota also succeeded Darron Thomas, and Dion Jordan was taken third overall in the 2013 NFL draft.
But while the talent has been at a top-tier level, fans never waver when it comes to the next guy moving in—and yes, that includes the head coaching position.
If you’re nervous about Mark Helfrich taking over for Chip Kelly, that’s natural. If you think it’s going to stop the Ducks from putting together a run at a title, you’re not ready to accept that Helfrich has the tools to succeed right away.
Oregon’s mantra has been “Win The Day” since Kelly’s arrival, and that’s not going to change with a new coach and new players pushing toward BCS success.