When it comes to college football, I tend to get a little confused. My Dad’s side of the family has always been comprised of rabid Huskies fans. My grandmother was a season ticket holder up until just a couple of years before she passed away. For my relatives in Seattle, the Fall literally revolved around the fortunes of the University of Washington. When I was newly graduated from college in 1991 my Dad literally attended every single game that Washington played be it home or away. They went undefeated that year and when my Dad came through to Oregon he took me to the game in Corvallis against the rather hapless Beavers. The game was a lopsided loss for Oregon State played in a drenching downpour. I remember barely being able to move once the game was over – my pants had all the flexibility of concrete and after sitting in the rain for a few hours I was pretty stiff myself.
My sister attended Linfield. Albeit a smaller school, Linfield has fielded some great teams over the years. As can be imagined, football was a big deal at Linfield and the school was very much behind the team. I don’t remember attending a game with my sister but I do remember her talking about it. My sister was always really knowledgeable about sports – I probably learned much of what I know about basketball and football from her.
When I attended Willamette, there wasn’t much of a football tradition. Since that time there have been a couple of seasons where they have done quite well, have made the playoffs etc. But even now it’s not a big college team tradition or atmosphere. I seem to recall the soap box derby next to the football stands having as much interest as the football game when I was in attendance. I don’t know if the track is still there but I still remember how surreal it was to watch a football game while kids went racing down the track.
On Thursday of last week I had the opportunity to attend the U of O game against Cal. My wife and I are friends with season ticket holders and I have been lucky enough to attend a couple of games with them. They are dedicated fans and great people. And, they really know how to tailgate prior to the game. If you haven’t gone to a tailgating event before, you really owe it to yourself. Imagine a very large parking lot full of barbeques, kids throwing footballs, fans with face painting, banners and flags, beer and food and you get the idea. I can’t think of a better way to spend time with friends.
I’m an equal opportunity sports fan – I’m proud of teams from our State that do well whether it be the Beaver’s baseball team a few years ago or the Duck’s appearance in the national championship last year.
I can’t wait to attend another game – even if I do get rained on in the stands. Before you know it the college football season will be over, so enjoy it while you can.