The Ducks wrapped up their first-ever 12-0 season yesterday with a hard-fought, solid 37-20 win over Oregon State in the annual Civil War. The Beavers played the Ducks tough (as most assumed they would) but this year it was obvious that the talent gap between the two teams was simply too great for the Beavers to overcome.
The Ducks rode the legs of LaMichael James (again) and Kenjon Barner to roll up more than 250 yards on the ground. The key play in the game was a perfectly-executed fake punt by the Ducks in the 3rd quarter, during which LB Michael Clay rumbled 64 yards – putting the Ducks in a position to score a TD and go up 23-7. The gap was too much for Oregon State’s weakened offense to overcome.
Longtime Ducks fans such as myself are still pinching themselves and reality is setting in. The Ducks are going to be playing for the BCS Championship January 10th in Glendale, Arizona against 13-0 Auburn from the SEC. Two undefeated powers, each with high-scoring offenses and each with a Heisman trophy finalist (Auburn QB Cam Newton will likely win with LMJ finishing 2nd). It will be one of the most anticipated BCS Championships ever. And the Ducks are actually favored by 4 points (opening line today)
I could (and probably will) write a lot more about the Ducks’ season and the build up to the BCS Championship. But the point of this post is to simply celebrate and share a couple of items that I think capture Ducks fans’ emotions today.
The first is the radio call from longtime Ducks play-by-play announcer Jerry Allen as he counts down the end of the Civil War. The emotion of the moment overwhelms him and he begins to cry a bit on the air. Some people may think its corny – and even unprofessional. But to me this is what sports is all about at its best. It can unite diverse communities and generations. It shows what is possible when a talented group focuses on a goal and works together towards that goal. And when a magical moment happens – something that has literally only been dreamt of by fans and supporters (and announcers are usually both) – it can move a grown man (or woman) to tears. And that it did for Jerry. And I think its great. Listen and watch – even if you’re not a hard core Ducks fan, I’ll bet you’ll still be moved by the call:
The second video is an overview of the 2010 Ducks season (so far) compiled by KVAL in Eugene. I think I’ll be watching this dozens of times between now and January 10th.
Luckily, I’ll be one of the thousands of Ducks fans who will get to watch them in this historic game next month. I will be capturing the entire experience and sharing it as well.