Well, it's finally here. In just two days, the legs will be running, the hands will be catching and the bones will be crunching once again. Beaver fans can only hope that all of these events will be in the favor of Oregon State. It doesn't matter if it's Eastern Washington – if your heart's not racing, I would check to see that you still have a pulse at all.
This week, we'll be talking about the upcoming bout with Southeastern Washington Community Tech State School for the Deaf, what it means to be a Beaver fan even when your team's playing a squad like SWCTSSftD, the Pole of Power and even a round of mini-golf with the boys from down the road.
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
21-19. 2000. 11-1. Reasons to worry for the orange-clad faithful?
For those of you living under the Burnside Bridge for the past few years, the numbers above refer to the score of the last contest between OSU and the Eastern Washington Eagles (the first number), when it was played (the second number) and what Oregon State's final record was during that year (you should really know which number indicates this by now).
Certain figures in the media and on the message boards have been throwing around these numbers as "cause for alarm" for Beaver Believers. Combined with the specter of last year's Shame of Palo Alto, when 1-AA UC Davis toppled the Cardinal down on The Farm, some would have you believe that we need to worry about the upcoming game.
I'm going to throw my caution to the wind, give any notion of jinxing a big fat middle finger and say that there is absolutely, positively, certainly, really, entirely, utterly and totally no chance of Oregon State losing Thursday's game against EWU.
You can take your 2000's and stick them where the sun don't shine. It ain't happening.
You want a preview of this game? Here's my preview. When Oregon State puts in its third-stringers halfway through the second quarter, with Billy Petrick in at QB, sitting on a lead somewhere in the triple digits, the talent on both sides of the ball will be comparable.
Eagles, PLEASE put this on your bulletin board in the locker room. Use this column to get all jacked up, ready to run through a brick wall, adrenaline pumping, fired up, ready to open up a can. Then run out on the field and get slaughtered.
History be damned. This is a tune-up game if there ever was one. Eastern Washington is here only because Linn-Benton Community College wouldn't count toward bowl eligibility. If Mike Riley loses this game, Beaver fans should not worry about his contract, because it will be the first thing lit on fire when he's strung up on the pike to burn on top of City Hall.
Yes, this is the same Oregon State that was owned by Montana not so long ago. But at the same time, it's not. We have the same team name, but these are not your daddy's Beavers. We have some semblance of recruiting. We have some modicum of a successful athletic department. We no longer employ Joe Avezzano. No.
Game prediction? Eastern Washington gets lost on the way to Reser and the Beavs win a scrimmage against some guys that were playing pickup on Prothro before the game.
PEOPLE WILL COME, RAY. NOW PRAY HARDER
For at least one game, it seems, the expansion of Reser was not necessary.
With optimistic attendance predictions hovering around the 40,000 mark, it might be that those at the game on Thursday will really have to get loud to drown out the crickets that will be chirping in the empty seats.
Which brings me to the point:
If you are a Beaver fan and you do not have a valid excuse, you are at this game.
Valid excuses include a death in the family (family being stretchable to the points of aunts and uncles. Pets don't count) or the death of yourself. If any of these things befall you, it is your responsibility to enlist someone to take your designated spot at the game (you should already have this provision in your will should the latter occur).
I don't care if it's on TV. Television is for away games, Duck games (only while losing) and golf. You do not watch a TV unless it is over the concession stands during the game. If there is such a thing as television while you are in your seat, you are completely unaware.
"But, Curtis, tickets are expensive." A visit to StubHub.com and ten Hail Dennis's for you. "But, Curtis, it's EWU." A copy of the video recapping the 28 years when OSU would be lucky for any win and twenty Hail Dennis's. "But, Curtis, I have to save my money for the Duck game on Saturday." I hate you more than words can possibly describe.
And for the people that say it's a weeknight? A gallon of undiluted Mountain Dew syrup with a chaser of SUCK IT UP!
Go. To. The. Game.
Support. The. Team. You. Love.
Watching TV is great. Television exposure gives the Beavers money, too. But so does sitting down in a seat and CHEERING YOUR TEAM ON IN PERSON.
Please. Do it for the children.
(In all seriousness, I realize there are a lot of extenuating circumstances and several legitimate reasons for not being able to make it to the game. But if it's simply a matter of will and you're planning on sitting on your couch watching the guys sacrifice their bodies, consider what you could be giving back to them by being there.)
I'd also like to pass along a quick anecdote.
I was in Putter's Pizza and Golf (family fun center in Eugene. I live there, bite me) over the weekend, when who would come in but the better part of the Oregon football team.
Spotted among the crowd were Kwame Agyeman, Josh Thomas-Dotson, Nathan Costa, Marvin Johnson, Jordan Kent, Geoff Schwartz, Jon Teague along with (unsure on these two) Chris Vincent and Dennis Dixon. There were several others, and I'm really only patching together a lot of names with faces using the Oregon roster, so take most of them with a grain of salt.
The guys were, for the most part, well-behaved and well-mannered. My girlfriend did get a little upset when she overheard them talking about "…strippers. And drugs. And strippers." But otherwise, their presence was uneventful.
Did hear one great story from a manager, though. Apparently they do this just about every year, including last year's visit with Kellen Clemens. The manager happened to be at the counter where patrons buy golf when Mr. Clemens approached.
"Can I get a club?" Clemens apparently asked.
"Yeah. $5.50," the manager replies.
"Um. Do you know who I am?"
"I'm Kellen Clemens."
"I'm the quarterback for the Ducks."
"I thought that was Joey Harrington."
"No, he plays for the Detroit Lions now. So can I get a discount now or something?"
"Sure. If you're the quarterback for the Ducks, you get the student discount at $4.50."
Turns out the manager knew who Clemens was the entire time and was just messing with the guy for being a prick about things. This is second-hand information, but I got a chuckle out of it. My reply to Clemens identifying himself as Oregon's QB would've been: "Oh man, you're Jason Fife?" But then again, I'm not a manager at a pizza place.
THE POLE OF POWER
Predictions/snark in parentheses.
1. Cal (A win in the Volunteer State would have them in the National Championship game if they run the table in the Pac. In related news, seasons are very long.)
2. USC (They may come out of the week with a better record, but I still think they're worse than Cal this year. Six TD's from Booty would fix that.)
3. Oregon (An easy game at home to open a season? Someone call Indiana.)
4. OSU (If Oregon State beats a team and no one's in the stadium to watch it, do Mike Riley's three cheers really count?)
5. Arizona (Here's hoping the Wildcats get blown out by BYU and Stoops decides to convert to take his Mormon mission for the next 20 years as a result)
6. UCLA (Not even the spirit of Urban Meyer can keep the Utes alive in the Rose Bowl.)
7. Arizona State (Can Sam Keller please transfer to NAU for just one game? Please?)
8. Washington State (WSU < Auburn. Water = wet.)
(Curtis Haley has never actually attended an Oregon State football game. Everything he writes is dictated to him from HillsboroDawg. Someday he hopes to be an astronaut. Or Tiger Woods. He hasn't worked that one out yet.
If you wish to sing his praises, do so at email@example.com)
The Beaver Beat (August 29, 2006)
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