Monday, May 7, 2012

Looking Back: 2008 Civil War PT. 1

It has been brought to my attention from Duck Pond Man that today is National Remind Rodent Fans of Happy Duck Memories Day.  In honor of this great day, I thought I'd take some time to reflect back on probably my happiest memory of the Civil War: a look back on the beat down of 2008.

You couldn't have asked for a better scenario in terms of getting payback then the 2008 Civil War.
Its been said that winning the Civil War is for the right to live in the state of Oregon.  When Oregon state got a cheap 3 OT win in the '07 CW at Autzen, over an injury riddled Duck squad, Oregon fans had to live with it for a whole year!

A win over the beavers is satisfying enough.  A win over them with a lot at stake is even better!  In addition to the Ducks looking to avenge the '07 loss, both teams came in nationally ranked, and with bowl positioning on the line.

The 23rd ranked Ducks came in with a record of 8-3 overall, 6-2 in conference play.  17th ranked Oregon state also came in at 8-3, but were 7-1 in conference play.

For the Ducks, a win would put them in a tie for second with the beavers.  

At the time, the second place bowl game in the conference was the Holiday bowl.  The third place bowl game was the less prestigious Sun Bowl.

Whenever there's a tie, the bowl gets to chose who they want.  It was figured that if Oregon won, they would get the more prestigious Holiday Bowl, because they're the more prestigious program.  And Duck fans would've taken delight in sending the beavers to El Paso.

You don't wanna go to the Sun Bowl.  That's a bad bowl!  Fans don't wanna spend their holiday's in the dirt filled town along the Mexican border, fearing for their safety from drug cartels coming across the border! 

So beaver fans were hoping for a victory just to avoid having to go there, plus a win would also have sent them to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1965.

They were a cocky bunch, beaver fans were, leading up to the game.  They expected it to be a Rose bowl coronation for their team, and Oregon would just lay down.  Thousands of roses were being handed around from person to person, before the ball had even been teed off!

I guess you couldn't blame them for feeling so optimistic.  They were riding a six game win streak, defeated #1 USC at home on ESPN earlier in the year, had won two in a row against the Ducks, and had not lost at home to Oregon since 1996.

But Duck players had revenge on their minds.  They weren't phased by the jacked up, record crowd, at Reser stadium on an unseasonably warm 60 degree day in late November. 

Local sports talk mega star Jason Skukanic, from Portland's ESPN affiliate 1080 the fan, was down on the field during warmups.  "You could see it in their eyes," Skukanic observed, commenting on Oregon's demeanor before the game.

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