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What the Ducks have meant to me, my town

January 17, 2011

By Kelli Warner,
KMTR-TV Morning News anchor
Springfield, OR

It is a somber day in Duckville.

And that is no exaggeration.

It’s taken me a couple days since the BCS National Championship game to finally put my thoughts down on paper. To some people the championship match-up was just a game, but for true Oregon Duck fans, it was the BIG prize. The cherry on top of a mouth-watering hot fudge sundae.  A destination where no Duck had gone before.

It may sound silly, but in Eugene where green and yellow reigns supreme, the mood was palpable. It was almost as if Duck fans walked differently when you saw them on the street. As if the heaviness of their hearts weighted down their shoulders. I’m not kidding. Grown men I know actually took the day after the game off work. What they were hoping would be a celebratory break from their jobs became, instead, a day to recover emotionally from the disappointment. But almost all of them were still wearing their duck gear. T-shirts or sweatshirts that made it clear they still support their team. And that game was by no means a bum kicking. It came right down to the end of the clock. Unfortunately that’s when Auburn sealed the deal.

The headlines in the local papers really said it all. The Oregonian with it’s “Aw-Burned” in bold black letters. And Eugene’s Register Guard exclaiming “Oh, So Close”. I, and other fans I’m sure, were just too numb to smile at the play on words.

But here’s the thing about being a football fan. Not a fair weather fan, but a TRUE football fan. You take the lumps with the victories, and that voice inside your head, no matter how sad at the time, says with hope: “We’ll get ‘em next year.”

It was a great season, played by a great team.

And it reminds us why we became Duck fans in the first place.

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