University of Oregon to Erect Statues of Famous Alumni Ty Burrell and Neil Everett at Autzen Stadium Entrance

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Photo: Andrew Seng/Emerald

Photo: Andrew Seng/Emerald

Always on the cutting edge of fan experience, the University of Oregon has announced plans for a new series of statues to be erected at the South entrance of Autzen Stadium, intended to encourage more game day selfies. The new works will bear the likeness of some of the University’s most famous alumni, with an emphasis on those in the entertainment industry.

Who will be the first to go up? Modern Family’s Ty Burrell, and SportsCenter’s Neil Everett.

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Ducks Meet Buffs In Pac-12 Tourney Quarterfinals

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Photo: Ryan Kang / Emerald

Photo: Ryan Kang / Emerald

When: Thursday, March 12th
Tip Off: 6PM PST
Where: MGM Grand, Las Vegas
Media: Pac 12 Network

It’s deja vu all over again; the Ducks have gone from a seemingly unlikely NCAA tournament team to a near lock to make the field of 64 in the final two weeks of the season. Late season success seems to be a mark of the Dana Altman-coached Ducks, managing to navigate the “on the bubble” label in each of the last three seasons while successfully backing their way into the tournament.

Now that the Ducks appear to have joined the big dance thanks to their regular season success, attention turns to post-season play beginning with the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas. The first match up will be tonight against the Colorado Buffaloes who knocked off our in-state rival Beavers in a back-and-forth affair last night in the first round.

As far as tonight’s match up goes, look no further than Askia Booker and Josh Scott as the catalysts and leading minute-getters for this [...]
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Spirit Tees: Funding Oregon’s marching band and cheerleaders

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In 2003 The Duck Store began selling Spirit Tees so fans would have a fun, inexpensive shirt while supporting the marching band and cheerleaders with $1 from each shirt going to their programs.
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Since their beginning in 2003, Spirit Tees have earned $187,283 for the University of Oregon Marching Band and Cheer Program. This money helps fund trips to away games, new gear and everything needed to have a successful program.

Each year we have a contest asking fans to share their ideas with us to come up with the new Spirit Tee slogan. The winning idea earns the creator a pair of season tickets, a $200 Duck Store gift card and, of course, one of the tees with their slogan. It’s always hard to choose a single slogan and we have a blast seeing what fans come up with.

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Catching Up With Men’s Basketball Before Tonight’s Arizona Matchup

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Photo: Ryan Kang / Emerald

Photo: Ryan Kang / Emerald

It’s about this time every year that the collective University of Oregon fanbase comes out of our deep football-induced coma. It takes a moment, but we rub our eyes, yawn, pour a bowl of cereal and then say “OH YEA! BASKETBALL!” If you’re like me, then your 2015 basketball moment happened sometime on Sunday after thumbing through your respective sports scores and news smartphone application to find that the Ducks took down the Bruins in rout-like fashion the night before. Just like that your metaphorical football season wounds began to heal and regenerate X-men style.

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Relief Nursery Book Drive: Thank You!

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Photo: Andrew Seng/Emerald

Over the holiday season, The Duck Store hosted a book drive at its Eugene stores that benefited the Eugene/Springfield Relief Nursery. Relief Nursery is a non-profit child abuse and neglect prevention agency proven to strengthen high-risk families and keep young children safe. We’re happy to say we collected 528 books for them to add to their collection! Thank you to everyone who donated!

IMG_8175The Duck Store’s Senior Team Leader, Brian Wright, stands with Relief Nursery’s Director of Community Engagement, Angelynn Pierce, before moving about 300 books into the Relief Nursery.

We delivered the books to Relief Nursery last week, and they were overwhelmed by the community’s generosity. According to Angelynn Pierce, Relief Nursery’s Director of Community Engagement, this donation is, “by far, the largest single book donation Relief Nursery has ever had!” These books will be used in a variety of ways — as gifts, in classes, and some will be added to the Nursery’s small library.

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Heroes aren’t defined by their victories.

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Heroes aren't defined by their victories. Thank you for a historic season.

We can all agree that the 2014 football season was historic for the Oregon Football program. To recap some of the accolades earned by our team and its players this year (more are still coming in):

13-2 record
Pac-12 Champions
Rose Bowl Champions
Heisman Trophy
Davey O’Brien Award
Walter Camp Award
Maxwell Award
Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award
Unanimous All-American
Consensus All-American
Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year
Pac-12 Championship MVP
Rotary Lombardi Award
Doak Walker Award
Mackey Award
Rimington Trophy
Outland Trophy
Bednarik Award
Bonko Nagurski Tophy
Jim Thorpe Award
Butkus Award

We are tremendously proud of all that the Ducks accomplished on the field this year, but we’re equally proud of their conduct off field. After Marcus Mariota’s acceptance speech for the Heisman Trophy, Coach Helfrich had this to say: “Boys and girls across the country watching the Heisman presentation, if they need somebody to look up to, I can’t think of a better person. Looking up to how this guy works, his humility and his competitiveness, that’s a great thing for all those young people.”

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National Championship: How And What To Watch

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National Championship Trophy

Photo credit: Taylor Wilder / Emerald

College Football Playoff National Championship
Jerry’s World, Arlington, Texas
Monday, January 12, 2015

Kickoff: 5:30pm
Media: ESPN
Weather: Cloudy, low 40’s
Vegas Says: Ducks -6.5
Game Color: Yellow

There’s been no shortage of buildup to this National Championship; the entire season has been building up to this moment. The question was “how will the playoff system work?” or simply, “will it work at all?” To me, the answer is pretty clear: the BCS would have given us Alabama against Florida State in the National Championship, which are the two teams that were knocked out first in the playoff era of college football. TCU fans may have some misgivings, but overall I think the system has given us the two best teams and an extremely intriguing matchup.

Headlining the game are the two quarterbacks. By now we’ve all heard plenty about Cardale Jones and the fact that he was indeed the third string quarterback coming into the season. But let’s not treat Jones like any ‘ol third stringer. Yeah, he was down on the Ohio State depth chart, but he shared reps with JT Barret during spring ball while Braxton Miller was injured, and he was the number 12 ranked quarterback (rivals.com) coming out of high school. He’s also 6’5” and 250 pounds, lending to the adage “you can’t teach big.” Lastly, he’s 2-0 so far in his career as a starting quarterback, with those two games being the Big 10 championship and the Sugar Bowl. He definitely won’t be afraid of the big stage.

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I Smell Roses: How You Can Watch, And How To Win

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Photo credit: Ryan Kang / Emerald

Photo credit: Ryan Kang / Emerald

Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
Thursday, January 1, 2015

Kickoff: 2 PM
Media: ESPN
Weather: Mid 50’s
Vegas Says: Ducks -8
Game Color: Green

The high seed in both playoff matchups are favored to advance to the National Championship by more than a touchdown. Alabama, who has looked unstoppable since their loss to Ole Miss in early October, is favored by 9. Oregon has followed a similar path, handing out L’s opponents since their sole loss on the same weekend in October, and emerging as an 8 point favorite against the undefeated Seminoles.

For the Ducks to prove Vegas correct they’ll have to overcome several things that have given them fits throughout the 2014 season.

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I Smell Roses: The Mascot Matchup

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The Oregon Duck Mascot shows off his spirit at Autzen Stadium

Photo credit: Brady Abler / The Duck Store

I was a mascot once. Seriously — I stood in as one of two pears for Pear Bureau Northwest during the Mascots For A Cure event in Eugene. I’m pretty sure the number one rule of being a mascot is anonymity, but my career was short and I feel comfortable revealing my identity because I don’t think that I did anything to offend anyone. But if I did… That wasn’t me. It was totally the other guy.

For all of my mascot brethren out there, you know that there is nothing more fun than running around pretending to be someone or something else for a short while… erm, that may have come across as more introspective than I wanted it to… For those of you who haven’t experienced this childhood fantasy, it’s a moment when you can totally goof off (appropriately), mess with kids and their parents, and trip over things that you can’t quite see because your costume obstructs your view. In short, mascots have a super sweet job.

So let’s all agree that whoever has the pleasure of playing either The Duck, or Florida State’s mascots Osceola and Renegade, they have an awesome gig. Now, let’s take the person out of the costume, and simply decide which mascot is better. Period.

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I Smell Roses: Coaches Comparison

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Mark Helfrich

Photo credit: Ryan Kang/Emerald

Admittedly, the coaches comparison isn’t quite as much fun as yesterdays quarterback comparison. Neither of these gentleman won the Heisman trophy, nor have they filled tabloids with stories of stolen crab legs and inappropriate pop culture declarations shouted from atop a table in the student union, yet compare them we shall.

The similarities between Jimbo Fisher and Mark Helfrich are surprisingly abundant. They are both relatively new to the head coaching profession — Jimbo in his fifth year as head coach at Florida State, and Mark in his second. They both got their start as assistants, which eventually led to a coordinator position at a more prominent program, then coordinator at their current institution, and finally a promotion from coordinator to head coach. The tools and experience that these two bring to the table are nearly identical, consisting entirely of quarterbacks and offense.  Neither is wanting for offensive tricks of the trade.

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