This season I’m working at the University of Oregon in Eugene, known for two sports: track & field and football… American football that is. The Ducks, as all sports teams of the U of O are called, are part of the PAC-10, a kind of premier league of college football teams of the West Coast. While the West is not the heartland of college football, the PAC-10 has some strong teams (notably the USC Trojans), and Oregon has become one of them (not the least because of the millions of support of Phil Knight, one of the two founders of Nike).
I arrived just in time for the delayed kick-off, slightly after 12.30, somewhat (pleasantly) surprised to not hear the national anthem. The Ducks started on fire, getting a turnover after one minute, and being 0-10 up within 5 minutes. Stanford got a field goal back, but after the first quarter Oregon seemed to have things under control: 3-17.
The third quarter was tight, with Stanford equalizing, before Oregon took the lead with another touchdown: 20-27. Soaked by now, the home fans got increasingly annoyed by the bad throwing of the quarterback and the fumbling of some of the receivers. Stanford got two points back, making the difference only 5 points.