SUNDAY: I get up and read the paper. It’s a good week. Oregon State put the pasting on California, 62-14. The game went as expected. Finally. Articles on Beaver victories are always enjoyable and I treaded in unfamiliar waters by actually reading about Oregon‘s balloon popping.
Okay, I can start thinking about next Saturday. It’s the one everyone has been waiting for: Civil War. Since the Ducks lost on Saturday night to the Stanford Cardinal, 17-14 in overtime, already I can sense the extra tension building. This is no average matchup between the Ducks and Beavers. Bowl berths are in the balance. My nerves are starting to jangle and we are still a week away. Later in the day I travel to my local Starbucks to satisfy my iced caffeine addiction. One of the girls there, an avid Ducks supporter, has a bleak look on her face. Not happy. Wearing an orange and black clad OSU jacket I ask her,
“Would you like to rub my jacket for good luck?” Ouch. My drink comes out different. Wait, didn’t I order an iced drink? No matter, this is the best day of the week. As I visit my favorite eating establishment, Chicken Bar, the owner and I commiserate about our joy. Ducks lose the night before and the Beavs dominated. Good times.
Sleep time Sunday night: 7 ½ hours.
MONDAY: Wake up, go to work. Still tough to take the smile off my face. For the first time in months, I go the entire day without seeing someone wearing U of O attire. What’s this, is Disneyland shutting down? Is Eugene closing their doors? Is Uncle Phil (Knight) cutting the cord? Has that illegal recruiting scandal involving $25,000 to a scouting service come to a resolution? Karma, I love you.
Again I read the paper to keep abreast of any injuries involving OSU players. It’s all good. However, every so often the stomach turns slightly more in anticipation for the Saturday showdown.
Sleep time Monday night: 6 ½ hours.
TUESDAY: Today the news spread that Sean Mannion will be starting for OSU on Saturday. I’m okay with this. It has been a coin toss all season between Mannion and Cody Vaz. But I would go with the guy who is game ready. After last week, when Mannion threw for 325 yards on 24 of 34 attempts, his head is in the right place. His only pick against Cal was a deflection off a receiver, so I can’t really knock him. Usually when I am out and about, it is difficult to go five feet without seeing someone in Duck garb. However, the pattern is continuing and I only see one such person. What’s up Duck people?
It’s your kind of weather anyway. Meanwhile, Beaver nation is standing proud as I see cars in parking lots sporting OSU car flags. Outstanding. Each day I get more nervous thinking about Saturday. Like a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. The enormity of the moment might me getting to me.
Sleep time Tuesday night: 5 ½ hours.
WEDNESDAY: As I prepare for my daily espresso fix, I am reminded of a couple of years ago when Oregon was about to play Auburn for the National Title. If you cross hairs with the wrong fan of any team, be careful. Sitting in my local Starbucks that year, I overheard two women with OSU sweatshirts on discussing how they were pulling for Auburn to win. Naturally, an Oregon Duck fan was listening in and became quite offended. A slightly heated argument ensued. The Oregon fan was dismayed the two ladies were not displaying loyalty toward the state of Oregon. And one of them replied, “Because they wouldn’t want it for us.” I nodded my head in agreement. For those of you unfamiliar with in-state battles, this is life with the Civil war. Today I will start looking on-line for any extra information on both sides. During this week, I can never get enough coverage. Yes, stomach approaching all day nervous nausea.
Estimated sleep time Wednesday night: 4 ½ to 5 hours.
THURSDAY: Thanksgiving. First of all I would like to thank the entire Oregon State football team, coaches, players and all those associated with the program for giving Beaver nation a great season no matter how it turns out. Now, since Oregon State (1868) and Oregon (1876) were founded, our entire family tree consists of two Oregon State alumni: my brother and myself. So, with sisters, Mother, cousins and relatives I don’t even know about having green and yellow blood, how will I survive turkey dinner this year? Actually, it is relatively tame. No food throwing. But nontoxic barbs and jabs follow with a steady stream. Can you hear it now? ‘Oregon played a weak schedule’ and ‘OSU couldn’t beat the Ducks scout team.’
A meal and family animosity. No harm, no penalty flags.
Estimated sleep time Thursday night: 6 hours (only because of the turkey).
FRIDAY: Since it is the day before the game, I will watch as much ESPN as I can. Tremendous implications on several big games over the weekend are on tap. I will DVR Pardon the Interruption with Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon (talk show on ESPN) to see if they talk Ducks/Beavers. I will think a lot about Markus Wheaton, Jordan Poyer and all the seniors who have not beaten Oregon since they arrived in Corvallis. It’s not just a rivalry, it’s a happening. OSU and Oregon dress wear will be everywhere. My thoughts are incredibly restless.
Estimated sleep time Friday night: It will be a small miracle if I get any sleep at all. There is not enough leftover tryptophan (that sleepy amino acid) to put my lights out.
SATURDAY: My whole body will be churning right when I get up. The game begins at noon. The smart thing would not get my Starbucks addiction, or at least make it decaf. I’ll get it anyway. A friend once asked if I would watch the game with a lot of people. A lot? Try no one. Just myself. I’m a highlight reel in itself when watching an OSU football game. I’ll be channeling my inner positive mojo to Corvallis all morning. I need to stop typing, the anticipation is killing me. I might throw up.
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