Game Day: Welcome To My Bubble

From week one against New Mexico, through the Washington game last Saturday, I've scratched and clawed my way through every instinctual jump to the dark side.

There was the first half in Knoxville where performance coupled with inclement weather led me in that direction, the long night in Tempe where defensive ineptitude tried pulling me in, a first quarter in Pullman which had me tugging at my hair, and finally, nearly three quarters last weekend in which the thought of losing to the Huskies…at home…toed the line of legitimate fear of defeat.

Through it all I remained steadfast.

I believe.

This is no longer about the opponent, where the game's being played or what's on the line, it's about the Oregon Ducks and how they handle all this. Cal, Arizona and Oregon State are all capable of beating the Ducks, if Oregon plays flat. Cal, Arizona and Oregon State are all capable of beating the Ducks, if Oregon turns the ball over. And the Bears, Wildcats and Beavers are all capable of beating the Ducks, if Oregon allows the attention and pressure of being on the door step of college football's biggest game to enter the front, middle or backs of their mind. All of which would be undeniable possibilities if not for one thing; my bubble.

My bubble is where the possible becomes impossible, the thinkable becomes unthinkable and the negative has nowhere to hide. I created my bubble in an effort to fend-off what so frequently takes ownership of my mind; pessimism. Don't get me wrong. I believe pessimism to be merely the reality which most are unwilling to acknowledge and that optimism is the means by which they deny acknowledgement, but for the sake of sanity, piece of mind and good ol' fashion luck, I've embraced it…and so far, so good.

My bubble has not been perfect. At times its seal has been compromised allowing bits of negativity to breach its perimeter, however, during such times of imperfection I've devised back-up plans whose sole purpose is to identify and expedite the eviction of said evils. Sometimes that may entail me removing myself from a venue for which the inhabitants have lost hope. Sometimes that may entail me lashing out at the inhabitants. In spite of any affections I may have for them – in an effort to include them in my utopian venture, and sometimes I'm forced to stand…opposed to sitting, drink…opposed to remaining sober and lastly, preach – to who'll ever listen - …opposed to honoring a vow of silence. All tools which have and most likely will be used over the next three weekends of football.

I know, this all may seem like a ridiculous venture and an attempt by a desperate man to temper anxiety over something that – in the whole scheme of things – means very little, and my response to such would simply be…you're right. My bubble maybe ridiculous and maybe it is a desperate attempt by me to create something to cling to during moments of peril. However life isn't worth living without passion and your's passion happens to be college football then you have the right to use everything in your power to cope with the pain that brings us so much joy.

(Sigh!)

Certainly, I understand that Oregon could lose this game at Cal and I also understand that the possibility exists that they could lose either of their remaining games during the weeks after, but I also know that they won't. Because to think that they will succumb to the pressure, will fall from this wave of momentum, and will lose a game the remainder of this year would be a sign of disbelief, a show of weakness, and negativity I'm no longer familiar with. There's no longer room for any of that.

Not in this bubble!

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