Third Time’s a Charm

From a football standpoint, I couldn’t have picked a better four-year span in which to attend the University of Oregon. Aside from trips to the Rose Bowl and BCS title game, ESPN’s College GameDay came to Eugene not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES in my four-year career. (Or at least, it will have come three times after Saturday.)

In what amounts to a pretty slow college football weekend, the GameDay crew will come to Eugene on the heels of Saturday night’s Oregon-Arizona State matchup. Will it carry the “must-win” atmosphere of last year when they came before the Stanford game? No. (Even though this could be a Pac-12 championship preview, neither team comes in undefeated like the Ducks and Cardinal did last year.) But it’ll still be wildly exciting.

Probably the best part about all of this? It’s pretty much happening in my backyard. While the setting from the past two years – near the Casanova Center with Autzen Stadium in the background – was picturesque and exciting, construction in that area has forced GameDay to our Memorial Quad on campus. It’s just a few blocks from my house, and I couldn’t be happier to avoid an early-morning trek to Autzen. (Sidenote: I’ve never once heard someone refer to our quad as “memorial.” It’s always been ” the quad” to me. Am I the only one who thinks this?)

GameDay host Chris Fowler tweeted a picture of the setting this evening (the tweet was wordless, consisting only of a link to the picture):

Watch College GameDay on Saturday and that’s what you’ll see (minus that white tent). That’s Lillis Business Complex in the back; the hosts will face Knight Library at the opposite end of the quad. (Fowler later tweeted an explanation of the photo for his non-UO fans.)

What astounds me is how the center of the college football universe will be just a few steps away from me on Saturday morning. Is it the world’s most exciting matchup? No. Will most of the country still pronounce it “Ora-gone” at the end of the day? Probably. But for a few hours, college football nation will be focused on rainy little Eugene, Oregon. They’ll see the campus we call home and learn more about the team we cheer for. And all I have to do to be a part of it is roll out of bed and walk two blocks east. That’s pretty awesome.

Is it Saturday yet?

My Quest for the Perfect GameDay Sign

ESPN College GameDay is coming to Eugene on Saturday. Because we can’t all wave the Washington State flag, it is my personal mission to make a really funny/creative/smart sign to wave in the background; if I’m lucky, I’ll be shown on TV or my mom will mention me in her Facebook status.

Right now, I don’t have a ton of great ideas. I’ve considered the typical “spell ESPN vertically with a word for each letter” thing, but I can’t think of anything for the “N.” (And all I’ve got for E, S and P is “every Stanford player” or “each Stanford player.” Not exactly national television material.)

Of course, Stanford’s quarterback, Andrew Luck, has a last name that rhymes with “Duck” which could open up a lot of possibilities for me. I’ve thought about

Duck > Luck

or some variation thereof, but I’m not totally settled on it.

If all else fails, I’m just taking a sign that reads “A Tree is Not a Mascot,” because a tree and a singular noun (Cardinal) simply do not make a good mascot combo.

I’ve already heard of one idea that is utterly hilarious but slightly inappropriate. I’m keeping it G-rated here, but I will say that it has something to do with the nickname students and fans have recently given to our head coach, Chip Kelly (you can see it in this Twitter status that I found by Googling the phrase).

So with that, my search continues. Any (appropriate) suggestions?