Okay, once again, I drove up to Oregon last week to see a football game, which in reality turned out to be more of a massacre. But now that I'm having an early midlife crisis and own a convertible, I figured the drive would be nice. I was correct.
The letter "O" is pretty much the symbol of the University of Oregon Ducks, the team I was going to watch my Fresno State Bulldogs play.
So, the first ominous sign of what was to come occurred almost immediately after crossing the California-Oregon border. I looked to my left, and although the pic doesn't show it in all its glory, the clouds parted in almost a perfect "O" with the sun shining through it. Great. God is a Ducks fan.
As stated before, I stayed in Grant's Pass, two hours south of Eugene, my eventual destination. I travel in class, and I'm happy to report Motel 6 still has the greatest bedspreads ever. You can keep your Marriot's and Hyatt's, and Hilton's. Motel 6 leaves the light on for me, bitches.
I drank a lot, A LOT, of Dutch Brothers coffee. How could I not? Everywhere you turned you saw these stands tempting you:
As I said before, there are no Starbucks in Grant's Pass, and I only saw one in Eugene. With out be too snobbish, I'll just say this was quite refreshing.
The other pleasant culinary surprise was that I managed to find San Diego style Mexican food in Oregon. Weird, eh? If you know me you know that one of the great voids in my life in Sacramento is the lack of a decent San Diego taco shop style burrito (San Diego burrito = lots of meat, salsa, guacamole, Sacramento style = little meat, lots of rice and beans). So I went to this place called Mucho Gracias, not expecting much. But when I saw an "Oregon Burrito" on the menu, I began to think it could be my lucky day. See, in San Diego, the California burrito (carne asada, potatoes, cheese, and salsa) is a staple. So I asked what was in an Oregon burrito, they answered carne asada, potatoes, cheese, and salsa, a smile creeped across my fat face. Hell yes.
As I left Mucho Gracias, I had to do a double take and run my eyes. Is, that a...no, couldn't be, wait...it is! What the hell?
Skippers? When's the last time you've seen a muhfuggin Skippers?
So it was on to Eugene for the "game". The stadium looks pretty awesome as you walk up to it, enough to make a guy who went to lowly Fresno State awfully jealous.
Here's an hour before kickoff.
This next photo is important for three reasons. Since the zoom on my camera sucks, I will have to explain.
1. The score, an hour before game time, is 0-0. This would be the highlight of the football game for Fresno State fans.
2. Sign for a store called Bi-Mart. They are all over Oregon. I have no idea what they sell, but the fifth grader in me giggles at the possible inventory at Bi-Mart.
3. The best sign in the world. It's for a hardware store called Jerry's. It reads:
"Better Head for Jerry's"
The Jerry's of the world could not agree more.
So the game. Here are the Bulldogs fans, representin', yo:
Here's the rest of the stadium:
Yeah, we were just a little out numbered. And the Ducks fans were well-dressed and loud. What do I mean by well-dressed? Well, Nike founder Phil Knight gives gobs and gobs of money to the University of Oregon, and the Nike influence shows in the quality of fan gear. The various Oregon shirts and gear were pretty damn awesome. Fresno State fans, well, we kinda looked like the founder of Payless Shoe Source was sponsoring us.
Nike vs. Pro Wings. Hmmm, that is actually a good metaphor for the game. It was pretty much over as soon as it began. Oregon was simply much too fast, so it was not a contest, so I won't really comment on it. Here's the one crappy "action" shot I managed. 52-21 Ducks was the final.
But the trip wasn't really about the game. I mean it was, but it wasn't. I knew we would get beat (not that badly though), but it was a convenient excuse to road trip.
So it was back to California, fueled by good burritos, great coffee, and a lot of pee stops.