Black Butte, Ducks, and more Beer: Part II

20 09 2007

When I stopped writing last time, we were starting the almost mile long walk to Autzen Stadium. I failed to mention what I was wearing though. I don’t actually own any Bulldogs merchandise, but I planned on wearing my yellow Fresno Grizzlies shirt to the game, so I could at least support my city.

The only problem was, it was a yellow shirt. Ducks colors are green and yellow. That might have been too confusing, even if that was my intention. Instead, that morning, we went to Kohls and purchased an Oregon Ducks tee-shirt. With the help of my trusty sharpies, I slightly modified it to suit our needs.

Now, this isn’t the best picture of me ever taken. Honestly, if I was a bitch, I would probably have deleted this picture because it makes me look so bad. You can’t even see my Coors Light or my American Spirit. Nevertheless, I did need a picture of myself with the shirt, because I knew I would be writing a blog about this whole event. So there it is.

Despite the look on my face, I enjoyed wearing this shirt. It was a very subtle form of disrespect, which I will explain later.

There is Autzen, or at least what is visible from the tailgate section of the parking lot. Not the tailgate section we were in, but the one where you have to “know somebody” to get a spot. This picture hardly shows the scale of the parking lot though.

Above is Hakeem, son of Joseph. And Joseph, also. Can you see the yellow flags going back on the right? They stretch back well over 100 yards, this camera angle just doesn’t show that. In other words, the official Ducks tailgating section is larger then the actual football field. Its pretty ridiculous.

The Stadium itself is rather normal looking, way better then the Fresno State stadium, of course. Not do disrespect Fresno or anything (even though it’s a popular hobby for Fresnoianites), but compared to Autzen Stadium, the Bulldogs stadium is like a Junior High school field.

This is the view from Joe and TK’s seats. Pretty good seats, I wish I was sitting there.

This is where I was to stand. As it turns out, I had a Standing Room Only ticket. So this was my view for most of the game. Conveniently, the standing room section was behind the Fresno State section, so I got to sneak down every now and then.

There is the Red Wave, in all of its glory. For some reason, there are Ducks fans sitting among them. Now, if this was Fresno, they might be in trouble. I say that not because of the whole outnumbering thing, or even the fact that in Fresno, there is a gang that goes by the Bulldogs, and they are rather defensive of their namesake. I say that because in Fresno, and I have seen this first hand, Bulldogs fans can get violent.

We are in Oregon, so there is no Ducks gang. In fact, we found out that pretty much all the Oregonians are really nice people, and none of them ever gave us any crap beyond the general “Good game, too bad you lost.”

So, despite the overwhelming turnout of Ducks fans, it was a really friendly atmosphere. Even my shirt didn’t really get to any Ducks fans, at least not right away.

Case in point: I talked to this couple for a good 15 minutes as we smoked and discussed irrelevant topics. The guy was really drunk, and he kept telling me about how the last Super Bowl couldn’t have happened without him because he set up some lights or something for the halftime show. Whatever, dude. In his defense, I was quite drunk myself, so maybe he wasn’t being so literal, and maybe he was being rational about his story.

Either way, it wasn’t until after much deliberation that they noticed my shirt. Their only response was a collective “YOU ASSHOLE!” It was said over laughs, so no harm done, and we went out separate ways.

Going backwards a little, I need to remind the readers that I am standing up on the concourse the entire game, except for the few rare moments when I could squeeze into the Fresno State section. The reason I had to remain standing most of the time was because of the overwhelming police and security presence at the stadium.

This guy patrolled the top of the Fresno State section, along with two other cops. I guess they were expecting some shit to go down or something. As far as I know, nothing happened. It could be that we lost by more then 25 points, so nobody from Fresno was about to mouth off, but what do I know?

And, of course, I wouldn’t want to leave these guys out. They (or their counterparts) were posted at every entrance to the bleachers. Some of these blue guys really got wise to me, and after the first quarter I couldn’t even sneak out to watch the game without a ticket proving I had a seat in that section. They knew what I looked like, and if I got anywhere near the railing there they would be on top of me faster then (insert some metaphor for quickness here).

And I’m sure my shirt didn’t single me out or anything.

So during my stay on the concourse, smoking and taking nips from my flask of rum (From the bottle in the picture of the Black Butte Porter), I talked to lots of peoples. Some Ducks fans (All of which didn’t notice my shirt for at least 10 minutes), some Bulldogs fans (who were generally singing praises for my shirt), and even a few random concession stand workers.

It wasn’t until halftime, though, that the real fun started.

Stay tuned…

 

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