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Long: For seniors, this Oregon football season is special



I avoid talking about football games in the month of January and the Oregon Ducks in the same sentence. To predict the future is to jinx it. When people ask me for an opinion on where the Ducks will play in the postseason I usually answer, but I look for the nearest wood product and knock on it.

Airfare to Miami in early January is decently priced right now. But I will watch those prices climb and wait until the month of December before I purchase a ticket.

See, as Duck fans we know better (see 2007, re: knee injuries) than to look too far forward. It has been popular in years past to call every Ducks season “special.” It is a cliché that undermines logic and pisses off the college football gods, who strike down special seasons as if they were nothing.

But I will go ahead and do it. I will call this season, the 2012 Ducks football season, “special.” And although I don’t have supreme confidence that the road to a BCS title is paved for webbed feet, I have that “it’s our senior year” mentality (also cliché) that makes me believe these 2012 Oregon Ducks are the ones to bring the crystal football trophy to Eugene.

For those of us fourth-years out there, we all have this delusion we are the chosen ones, the Class of 2013, that has seen so much Ducks’ success that it has to culminate in the fairytale ending.

To be fair, Duck fans who have the class standing of “senior” have had the miraculous fortune of being the only current students in the nation who have seen their team reach a BCS bowl game every year they have attended school.

Yup, Oregon has the longest running streak in America for BCS bowl game appearances at three, with two Rose Bowl visits and a cameo in the 2011 BCS title game. That is something students at perennial powerhouses LSU, Oklahoma, Alabama, USC, Florida and Ohio State cannot say.

The word “odyssey” is defined as a long voyage with many turns in fortune.

If the blessed four-year odyssey of Ducks BCS football culminates in a trip to South Florida, then for us seniors, we will have fittingly experienced the changes in fortune (a lost Rose Bowl and BCS Championship, a won Rose Bowl), and the trip will end just where it begun – in a warm place.

While many class of 2013ers may have been to Ducks games before they enrolled at UO, their first as a student was on Sept. 26, 2009, a 79-degree day, on which the No.16 ranked Ducks thrashed the No. 24 Cal Bears, 42-3. Seemingly every kid in the student section got a sunburn that day, resulting in countless Oregon “O” logo sun-tattoos on girls’ cheek.

On Jan. 7, 2013, if the Ducks hoist the BCS trophy (knock on a 200-foot redwood), the game time temperature will be as warm as that day in ’09, a rarity for Duck games.

Isn’t that what special seasons are though – rarities? For this year’s freshman class, these rarities may become commonplace for the next four years.


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Jackson Long

Jackson Long