by DSH contributing writer Mike Hayden
Once again it is almost time for Autzen to rock and roll. The annual spring game says so, and simultaneously with Saturday kickoff at Autzen, the official Duck snowball will be plucked from the last patch of snow atop Mount Fanny in eastern Oregon, and kicked off the mountain. The small gathering of Ducks on this isolated mountain are awakened from winters slumber each spring by whispers of football. They will greet each other, talk a little football, and send the snowball on its journey. Groggily they will return to hibernation until late August, at which time they will be awakened by whispers of football turned roar. They will gather again, this time at the foot of Mt. Fanny, and with a raised beer they will wait to toast the gigantic ball of snow coming at them like a freight train from hell. It never happens of course, but oh if it only would. note; there are but two seasons in eastern Oregon, both of which involve beer, football season and bull elk season. Heaven help us, they overlap. (Scott Olmos, USA Today Sports Images photo).
And so it goes for the Duck opponents that must travel to Autzen. An overwhelming snowball of fans dressed in virtual green, or lightning yellow, or white, or black, or chartreuse, or all the above will come at them like the Mount Fanny snowballing freight train from hell. The Ducks are tough enough, but Ducks riding a runaway freight train are impossible. The fans, us, are the driving mechanism behind the Ducks and when Jupiter aligns with Mars, Autzen stadium becomes a place for the weak to avoid. The weak need to gather at the Lotus Garden Vegetarian and sip pinky-up tea, while chit chatting about the funny little game being broadcast on the black and white television over in the corner. Pinkyup Canzano will be there, we scare him and he thinks we are too rowdy and lunitical. I say we are lunitical to just the right degree. Autzen fans never use racial slurs, or even think them, leaving that to the king of bigots Donald Sterling nor do they launch foreign objects at opposing cheerleaders, leaving the launching to Arizona fans, but beating our chests and dropping the “F” bomb is OK in my book. After all, the “F” bomb is the most versatile word in the English language. A noun, a verb, an adverb, a preposition (but never end a sentence with one), it’s all good. Just drop it anywhere within a sentence, multiple times if possible, and Houston we have liftoff. Those of you lucky enough to attend the game on Saturday, use it to get your rowdy all warmed up, while I am standing knee deep in snow, then grab your binky and re-hibernate until you hear Otis Day and the Knights belting out “Shout” from Michigan State’s new black abyss or until, far off in the distance, you hear the faint bugling of a branch antlered bull. Whichever, but grab a beer and get to one of them.