I woke up Saturday morning not really excited about going to a beaver game at Reser stadium. The last time I went there was for the civil war in '06, in which the Ducks lost by two (30-28) on a botched extra point. The whole time I was there I was treated poorly, and the walk out of the stadium was even worse.
Let's just say beaver fans weren't very gracious in victory. Insults weren't the only things that were being thrown at me that night. Anything goes at Reser: I was pelt with ice cubes, food, and crumbled up napkins. I was told to go back home, and "uncle Phil" can't buy you wins all the time. I was even given a few elbow nudges from a few liquored up hacks, amidst the crowd, that were clearly intentional, and meant to hurt.
Only thing hurting was my pride. I vowed I would never set foot in Reser again. And I stuck to that. I even gave up a chance to go with a friend to the game in 2008, a game that the Ducks DESTROYED the beavers, 65-38! That would've been great to see.
So when it came time for me to go back to Reser on this Saturday morning, I was not thrilled. However, this time I was going as a neutral fan. I would've loved to dress in my Duck gear just to start some shit, but I would've blown my cover.
We got to Reser for some tailgating around 10 o'clock. Between this visit and the one before, I've noticed how different it is between Autzen and Reser. The entire atmosphere, both inside the stadium and out, pale in comparison to Autzen.
I've always heard that beaver fans are a loud and boisterous bunch, who pack the stadium on Saturday's, and rock the place, making it difficult for opposing players to hear?
There couldn't be anything further from the truth. This year was even worse than a couple years earlier, when I went for the civil war. Maybe it had to do with the fact that the beavers weren't playing the Ducks, and coming into the game, they were having a terrible season: a 2-6 record including a loss to FCS opponent Sac. State!
Beaver fans were probably also aware that the Stanford machine that had been rollin' the last couple years thanks to Andrew Luck, were coming in, and were probably gonna lay a beat down on them.
Now this was my first time inside the newly expanded Reser stadium. It was a definite upgrade, but you can't put lipstick on a pig. Reser stadium is still a joke of a stadium as far as big time, bcs level teams are concerned. A nice new video screen, and a couple extra stacks of seats (that make the stadium resemble a tackle box on one side) on top of the old ones, doesn't change anything...still a dump.
I got to sit in one of the new sections (227) way up there in the corner. Worst possible seats you could probably have. This is where they stick recent season ticket holders, or people who don't donate as much as the big wigs closer to the field. And that's probably why they put you there!
As I mentioned, the atmosphere was weak, despite the beavers hosting a top 5 opponent, and the game being regionally televised. Autzen would've been rocking, even if the Ducks were 2-6.
The first quarter was uneventful, and the crowd was silent for the most part. Stanford scored to start the second quarter, and scored again on their next drive to go up 14-0. Looked like it was gonna be a route, but the beavers hung around. The crowd finally came alive on a dirty hit by a beaver player, which knocked the ball loose from the hands of Stanford receiver Chris Owusu, and knocked him out of the game with a concussion.
Beaver fans sure showed alot of class by cheering an injury. People in our section were celebrating the hit, talkin about it like they had just won the game. And these are supposed to be good fans? Told you they're a hostile bunch.
The Cardinal pretty much had their way with the beavers in this game. Yeah Oregon state held around for a while, but never once did I feel like Stanford was in any real danger. I felt like they were just kind of sleep walking through the game, looking ahead to the following week's showdown against Oregon.
Final score of the game was Stanford 38 Oregon state 13.
Bob was in a somber mood after the game, and was in a hurry to get out of there, which was fine by me...sooner the better. I needed a shower after being in that dump.
It was pretty fun though on the ride back to Bob's house, listening to beaver fan call in to the post game show, pissin' an moaning, and even calling for the head of Mike Riley (yeah because firing the best coach you've ever had is a good idea)!
But I take pleasure in seeing beaver fans get all bent after a loss, so I was quite entertained.
I put my headphones on and listened to my ipod to try and block out Bob's rantings as best I could, occasionally nodding my head as if to agree with him.
I was feeling very happy because it meant that this little adventure into beaver nation was coming to an end. I spent the rest of the time on the ride back, reflecting on my time on what I had learned.
Beaver fans didn't disappoint, and didn't do anything to change my beliefs about them going in. They really are an odd bunch with little mans syndrome. They do have a chip on their shoulder when it comes to Oregon, and are almost as focused on hating them, as they are with supporting their own team.
Bob asked if I wanted to grab a bite to eat one more time before I left, but I declined. I had more important things to get to. Later that night, I was meeting up with a bunch of friends at this place called Big Al's, which is pretty much like a Chuck E Cheese's for adults, to watch the Ducks take on the Huskies.
As we parted ways, Bob shook my hand with the one that was missing some fingers, giving me a creepy feeling. He asked if I had settled on Oregon state yet, and told me if I did, he could show me some good times. You know...where all the frat parties are, where all the hot girls hang (as if there's an abundance of them in Corvallis), and so on.
I told him there was one more college I was visiting, and that one was down the road about 45 miles away. A college I heard great things about. A place where you can get a good education, and watch big time football, in a place with a big time atmosphere, oh and the woman are hotter too.
I backed out of the driveway, leaving Bob waving at me with his three fingered hand, and Corvallis in my rear-view mirror!