The “Cupcake” Season Opener At Autzen: 5 Reasons To Love It

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Wear white for the Oregon Game Saturday - Pregame

Photo: Ryan Kang/Emerald

College football is back, folks. The Jonny Manziel-less Aggies of Texas A&M, and the Jadeveon Clowney-less Gamecocks of South Carolina kick off the season in what should have been a doozy of a football match… er… I mean, “game” (sorry, I’m still in World Cup mode). Both teams are without the face of the program from last year, which is symbolic of the constant change and uncertainty that keeps us glued to the action as fans. The real story here, however, is that this game was supposed to be a good one, which turns out to be an outlier among a slough of week one contests in which very few will be in doubt following halftime.

Consider the Ducks’ season opener as the about-face to the above scenario. First, we know who the leader of our team is and we know his supporting cast well. Second, the outcome of this game should be well in hand before the end of the first quarter, let alone half time — feel free to point the jinx-finger at me if I’m wrong. As Duck fans, we know the “who, what, when, where,” but we’re showing up on Saturday simply to fill in the “how.”

What I’m describing here is a complete “Cupcake,” as far as season openers go. You can’t listen to a college football analyst, or read a message board, without hearing someone lament the lack of contest in many of the early season match ups. I can’t argue with that logic, but I tend to look at the cupcake scenario a little differently as it applies to the Ducks and Autzen stadium. In fact, I would argue that in many ways the cupcake home opener should be your favorite game of the year. Here’s why:

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In Alabama, an Unlikely Duck Fan is Born

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Farhan Duck Mobile

Farhan Duck Mobile

Almost every month, The Duck Store sends an order off to Alabama, usually to the same person. We wondered idly who this Duck fan was, and one day he sent us his story.

Born in Pakistan, Farhan Hussain moved to Alabama when he was 16 years old to complete his education at the University of South Alabama, located in Mobile, Alabama. Right in the heart of the SEC, Farhan was surrounded by diehard Alabama and Auburn fans, and did not initially understand what the hype about college football was all about. Until he saw the Ducks play.

 

Farhan became fascinated with Oregon under Chip Kelly’s leadership in 2009. Their high-speed offense, 4th down conversions, fake punts and 90-yard touchdown returns captured his attention in a way no SEC team was capable of.

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Now, wherever he goes, Farhan shows his loves for the Ducks. From his Duck-mobile, which attracts glares and snide remarks daily from SEC fans, to throwing the “O” and wearing Duck gear [...]
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Fan Day 2014

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Photo: Chris Davis

Photo: Chris Davis

For the past nine years, The Duck Store has been producing a Spirit Tee that fans can buy at a low price, and we donate $1 from each purchase to the University of Oregon Marching Band and Cheer teams.

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Photo: Chris Davis

In April we asked fans to submit their ideas for the 2014 Spirit Tee, and we were overwhelmed, and delighted, by the nearly 2,200 entries we received! After much deliberation, the winning idea was selected: #STARTCOUNTING Submitted by Eric Newson of Portland, we loved the use of a hashtag and playing on The Duck’s numerous pushups at every game. We awarded Eric with two season football tickets, a $200 gift card to The Duck Store, and, of course, a Spirit Tee.

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Limited Edition Oregon Nike Lunar TR1 Week Zero Collection

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Nike Lunar TR1 Week Zero Collection

Photo: Nike.com

Nike Lunar TR1 Week Zero Collection
[Updated 8/26/14] SHIPMENT DELAYED
Estimated Arrival: Friday, August 29th after 5 p.m. or the afternoon of Tuesday, September 2nd.

We have some unfortunate news, fanatics. We just received word today that our shipment of the Nike Lunar TR1 Week Zero trainers, originally slated for launch on Wednesday, August 27th at noon, has been delayed. The earliest we may receive the shipment is Friday afternoon but it is more likely we will receive them first thing next week. Please continue to check our website, Twitter & Facebook for updates regarding shipment & launch timelines.

The countdown to football has officially begun. Well, to be honest, my countdown to the 2014 football season actually began on December 31, 2013. It’s been a long 233 days and, my fellow Duck fans, we are a mere 9 days away from our season opener at Autzen. Are you as excited as I am?!

The only thing that could spike my excitement level is the announcement of a [...]
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My Experience with ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge

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Photo: ABC News

Photo: ABC News

A few days ago I was preparing to head to my folks’ house for dinner, as I do each week, when my dad called and said, “Hey, bring an ALS shirt. We’re doing the ice bucket challenge.”

In case you haven’t yet encountered the social media phenomenon, the ice bucket challenge consists of an individual or group having a bucket of ice water dumped over their head in the name of ALS awareness. The idea is that the individual who has been challenged can either donate money to the ALS association, or accept the challenge by taking the oh-so-cold ice water shower and then pass it along to someone else. It has grown into a social media driven barrage of ALS awareness that includes politicians, talk show hosts, Hollywood celebrities, famous athletes and many more.

“What…?” I knew exactly what he meant, but… ya know… it sounded awful.

“It’s for ALS awareness. It’ll be fun.”

“… Ok…”

I’ll admit it. I was less than enthused about having a bucket of ice water dumped over my [...]
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My Return Home from the Home of Golf

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Old Golf Course

As much as I didn’t want Sunday to rear its ugly head—sure enough—there it was, right on the heels of Saturday night. The morning sun brought the realization that my time in St. Andrews, the Home of Golf, had indeed come to an end.

I would love to have some dramatic tales about rain blowing in sideways, or the wind blowing so hard it made walking difficult at best, or course conditions so tough that it would demand a PGA tour player showcase their best shots just to survive. However, that was not the case.

We had fantastic weather—absolutely ideal course and playing conditions. To top things off, the Commonwealth Games (think Scottish Olympics) were taking place during my visit and aside from a little excess traffic in/around Glasgow, both course traffic and highway traffic around the rest of the country was sparse.

Golf Into Horzion

Aside from a ridiculous amount of time spent golfing, I visited three castles (Glamis, Stirling, Edinburgh), stayed the night in a [...]
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Duck Store student board member interns in South Africa

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Rose-Blog

As a nonprofit with a mission to support the University of Oregon, The Duck Store is governed by a board of directors comprised of U of O students, faculty and staff. One of our student board members, Rose Lombino, is spending the summer in South Africa interning with the nonprofit Sibongile — Day and Night Care Centre. Sibongile’s mission is to make children with disabilities feel loved and receive excellent physical, emotional, mental and spiritual care.

At Sibongile, Rose has found much of her experience as a Duck Store Board member to be beneficial. Her main duties include writing grant proposals and creating project budgets. This work gives excellent real-world experience to supplement her studies as a double major in Philosophy and Planning, Public Policy, and Management.

Rose recently hiked Lion’s Head, a mountain in Cape Town, with some other interns. Although the hike was strenuous and included some rock climbing, Rose had the perfect gear from Ping that she purchased from The Duck [...]
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One Duck’s Journey to the Home of Golf—St. Andrews, Scotland

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Call it The Old Course.  Call it the birthplace of golf.  Call it golf in the kingdom.  However you refer to it, golfing at the home of golf is known worldwide as an incredibly special place, and The Old Course is near the top of most, if not all, golfers’ “bucket list” of courses to play.

Golf has been played at the Links in St Andrews since the early 1400′s and has been witness to some of golf’s greatest historical moments. It is where the rules of golf were born and still governed to this day.

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I am fortunate enough to have been here once before and I can assure you that each of the five times I have teed it up on the first tee I have felt that same feeling wash over me, knowing that I am indeed standing on a special piece of ground.  Nowhere else in my golfing life have I had so many people stand around and watch me hit my [...]
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Dive In: Lane County’s Best Recreational Pools for All Ages

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Photo: Pixabay.com

Photo: Pixabay.com

As residents and frequent visitors of Eugene know, weather in our area is sporadic at best until June. We usually get one random week of sunshine in March followed by several weeks of rain throughout April and May. Opportunities to break out the flip flops, shorts and sunscreen are few and far between and as soon as the sun breaks through the clouds, we take full advantage.

Once blue skies arrive, students litter campus lawns in their bathing suits, sunning on beach towels and soaking up rays while studying. Kids on my block crank on their sprinklers and run through cold waterfalls to beat the heat. My toddler has a little turtle wading pool in the backyard that we fill with water and splash around in on hot afternoons.

There are occasions when sunbathing, sprinklers and kiddie pools just don’t cut it and you need to take cooling down to the next level. On such occasions, grab your family and head on down to one of Lane County’s best recreational [...]
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Hitting the Links: Willamette Valley’s Golf Courses

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Photo: Pixabay

Photo: Pixabay

With the return of warm weather one of my favorite pastimes really gets into full swing… golf season is here. I know…bad joke. But it’s true. In my opinion, Oregon’s golf “season”—albeit too short in length—is weather-wise some of the best anywhere in the world. With the weather getting better by the day, I can’t help but think about some of my past golf experiences in and round the Willamette Valley.

Riveridge Golf Course

Located a mere minutes from downtown Eugene, this course offers golfers of all skill levels a chance to improve their game, or in my case, grow and foster a new found love of this game with my 7-year-old daughter. The greens fees are reasonable, the course is in some of the best shape it has been in within recent years, and their practice facility is quite impressive. Whether you want to squeeze in an “Emergency 9” one night after work or just go pound some balls on the range, Riveridge can accommodate all of your needs. They also offer both a [...]
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