Oregon Football may not be associated with the same depth of tradition as say Alabama or Texas, but Oregon Football is most definitely associated with something better. From the nation’s most fashionable uniforms to a 3rd quarter dance party, Oregon Football traditions make Autzen one of the most FUN stadiums in the country. Read on to see if your favorite tradition made the list.
1. It Never Rains at Autzen Stadium
You have to live in Oregon to really understand the irony behind this iconic statement; and only true fans truly believe it. Before the start of every home game, PA Announcer, Don Essig, leads the entire Autzen crowd in letting the visitors know that “It never rains in Autzen Stadium”. You may bring a parka and maybe even some rain boots, but real fans know they’ll most likely be unnecessary.
2. “The Pick”
In 1994, Kenny Wheaton made what remains the most iconic play in Oregon Football history, when he intercepted a pass and ran 97 yards for a touchdown. The play ultimately paved the way for the Ducks’ 1994 Rose Bowl birth and is widely considered as the turning point for the program. Before each home game, this play is replayed on DuckVision, causing the always packed out crows to erupt. It is most certainly the most electrifying pre-game moment.
3. Flashy Uniforms
What do you do when you want to convince the top recruit in the country to snub USC and move to Oregon? Give them awesome gear of course. While most universities have 2-3 main uniforms colors, the Ducks have 5-10 and perhaps more. With Nike Inc. dressing the team, the Ducks have certainly become college Football’s most fashionable. Snoop Lion (formerly Snoop Dogg) said it best when discussing former Duck, DeAnthony Thomas’ commitment to Oregon with the PAC 12 Network.
“SC, y’all should’ve known better than to let him fly out there to Oregon to go see all that Nike and all them uniforms and all that style, all that flavor.”
All that “style” and “flavor” has caused rival teams to poke fun, but Duck fans know that’s only because they’re jealous.
4. Win the Day
This slogan was initiated by former Head Coach, Chip Kelly in 2010 to instill a “one game at a time” mentality. Needless to say it stuck and since that time, the Ducks have Won the Day time and time again. Even though Coach Kelly has left Oregon, it would probably be considered a bad omen to change it any time soon.
5. Motorcycle Man
Some stadiums light fireworks, while others blare loud rap music to announce the team’s arrival to the field. At Autzen, they rev up a motorcycle driven by a guy wearing a football helmet, along with the Duck, and lead the team onto the field. It’s loud, it’s unique. It’s tradition.
6. Noise Level
Although Autzen’s seating capacity is nowhere near that of the Big House in Michigan, you’d never know it if your eyes were closed. Most speculate that because of its shape and construction, Autzen’s noise level can reach crazy high decibels. When the crowd amps up, it can absolutely be responsible for a whole lot of opponent penalties. The noise level has prompted many coaches, columnists, and former players to comment. Most notably in 2003, when a writer for the Michigan Daily said,
“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.”
7. Duck Push-Ups
Not only does Oregon have the coolest mascot, but it also has the strongest. When the Duck isn’t in “Duck Jail” for beating up other mascots, he’s getting buff on the field. In what has become a tradition, the Duck translates points into push-ups after the Ducks score. With Oregon’s lightening-speed spread offense, Oregon’s got one in-shape mascot.
8. Mascot Man
No Duck Tradition article would be complete without mentioning the “mascot guy” in the north-east part of the stadium. He must search for days, but he somehow manages to find stuffed versions of every rival mascot, which he ties to a long stick with a noose. After each score, usually in unison with the Duck push-ups, he smashes the mascot to the ground one time for each point, as the crowd chats, 1-2-3-4….
9. I Love My Ducks
In November of 2009, a group of friends started a group called Supwitchugirl and debuted a catchy new tune, “I Love My Ducks”. The song quickly became a hit and prompted the making of thousands of T-Shirts. I dare you to find a Duck fan who doesn’t own one.
10. 3rd Quarter Animal House Party
Ask any visiting recruit what their favorite game/crowd moment was, and you’re likely to hear about this. At the end of the 3rd quarter, Duck fans stand to their feet and honor of the University’s appearance in the iconic, National Lampoon’s Animal House. Otis Day and the Knights’ scene plays on the big screen while the entire stadium holds a “Shout” dance party. It’s completely contagious and even rival teams and fans can’t help but join in. Well, except maybe the Huskies.
Less than 2 weeks until kick off. Are you ready???