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Op-Ed: Bleeding Duck Green to See Red Roses

By Michael Bearak     Dec 3, 2009 in Sports
Every year to end their season the Oregon Ducks and the Oregon State Beavers face off in the annual "Civil War" game. This year the Civil War holds a lot more meaning that just state bragging rights.
Most people who are not from the Pacific Northwest understand how truly great the Civil War is. I know all schools have their traditions and all, but the annual game between Oregon and Oregon State is really like few else. It was first played in 1894 and is the 7th oldest college rivalry game in the United States. Besides bragging rights, the winner will also get the famed "Platypus Trophy" and unless you are a true Duck or Beaver you might not have ever heard of the Platypus Trophy because it was lost for 40 years, mysteriously turning up in a trophy case in Oregon's Leighton Pool as the award for the annual water polo match between the Ducks and Beavers.
Last year the Ducks beat the Beavers in Corvallis and ended the hopes of the Beavers of going to the Rose Bowl. It was a blowout 65-38 and continued the Beavers' 44 year drought of not going to the Rose Bowl. Tonight the Beavers will have revenge on their minds. Tonight first year head coach of the Oregon Ducks, Chip Kelly will get his first shot at winning the Civil War and a BCS bowl game.
The Beavers have only been to 14 bowl games in the history of their program. Three of which have been to the Rose Bowl, which the won once.
The Ducks have been to 22 post season games, of which four have been the Rose Bowl and they too have only won it once. Their last trip to the Rose Bowl was against Penn State in January of 1995.
History of riots and other acts have frequented this game. In 1937 after defeating the Ducks the OSU students paraded through the streets of Eugene, escorted by state police as long as they behaved. In 1960 the University of Oregon students kidnapped the OSU Homecoming Queen and held her for ransom demanding the OSU student body president ride through Eugene on a child's scooter making a public appeal for her return. 1972 saw a brawl at OSU after the Oregon students tore down one goalpost and were heading for a second.
This year though it all is on the line as the winner tonight not only wins the PAC-10 (via tie-breaker if OSU wins) but they get a trip to Pasadena and the Rose Bowl to face Ohio State. (side note--if by some weird chance Oregon State wins, that would mean you would have OSU playing OSU in the Rose Bowl, no one wants to see that!) As I said before though revenge is on the minds of the OSU players, the only thing is they are going to have to play in Eugene's famed Autzen Stadium, one of the smaller stadiums in the country holding only 54,000 fans.
Autzen is known for its crowd noise. On October 27, 2007, during a 24–17 defeat of the USC Trojans, a record crowd of 59,277 fans was recorded at 127.2 decibels.
After a 31–27 upset of third-ranked Michigan in 2003 prompted a Michigan Daily columnist to write[6]
“ Autzen's 59,000 strong make the Big House collectively sound like a pathetic whimper. It’s louder than any place I’ve ever been, and that includes The Swamp at Florida, The Shoe in Columbus, and Death Valley at Louisiana State. Autzen Stadium is where great teams go to die. "
Former Michigan Coach Lloyd Carr later said that Autzen was the loudest stadium he had ever been in. So with the Pac-10, Rose Bowl, and state bragging rights on the line tonight I will take my Autzen Stadium, first year head coach Chip Kelly and the rest of the Oregon Ducks and instead of being generous and allowing 38 points maybe the defense will be a little less giving and hold them to 0 points tonight!
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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