Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Final: Oregon 19, Auburn 22

Auburn's Michael Dyer made the big plays late as the Tigers snapped a late tie and won the BCS championship game, 22-19.

Hope for a better luck next year and I'm so proud of you.

Go Ducks!

T-day - The Natty, scores tied at 19

Darron Thomas and Oregon have rallied to tie Auburn in the BCS title game. A Cameron Newton fumble helped Oregon rally to tie Auburn in the BCS championship game.

ORE 19 - AUB 19
(2:33 4th)

T-day - The Natty

Getting Down To It
Auburn's defense has kept Oregon's speedy offense in check. Can it last?

ORE 11 - AUB 19
(6:49 4th)

T-day - The Natty

Nick Fairley and the Auburn defense are holding Oregon down in the BCS title game.

ORE 11 - AUB 19
(3rd Qtr)

T-day - The Natty

Gathering Speed.
The pace is quickening between Auburn and Oregon. Who'll be quicker?

Go Ducks!

ORE 11 - AUB 16

T-day - The Natty

Auburn strikes back...
The offenses are finally awake, and Cam Newton and Auburn are back on top of Oregon.

ORE 11 - AUB 16

T-day - The Natty

The offenses are finally awake as LaMichael James and Oregon answered Auburn's score

ORE 11 - AUB 7
(7:11 2nd Qtr)

T-day - The Natty

0 - 0
end of 1st Qtr

Monday, January 10, 2011

Oregon Journey - BCS t-1

by Andy McNamara, Assistant Director Media Services, Football

Sunday marked the final non game day of the season for the Oregon Ducks, with the team going through its normal day-before-the-game routine, including a run-through (other teams have walkthroughs, but most don't play at the same tempo of Oregon).

After their final preparations at Pinnacle High School, which served as the team's practice site for the past week, the Ducks got their first look at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale and had a chance to walk around on the beautiful natural grass surface, which the Ducks can almost claim as their own. The grass seed used for overseeding the field was grown at Golden Valley Farms in Silverton.

For Oregon and Auburn, this is a field of dreams.

The squad didn't linger long, but did put on their new uniforms and took a team photo inside the facility before heading back to Scottsdale for their final night of rest before the BCS Championship Game.

A pep rally in downtown Scottsdale capped the day, with performances by Sebastian Bach, On the Rocks and Otis Day and the Knights, to name a few. Coach Kelly received the largest applause and got off a few zingers that only he could deliver. The location of the event clearly wasn't selected with Duck fans in mind as it wasn't large enough to handle the turnout.

Even though the location was different for the first time this season, it probably seemed like a typical walkthrough in Eugene for the Ducks here in the desert, thanks to the efforts of Gary Bertelsen, who along with his wife Megan, delivered and distributed Ben & Jerry's smoothies like he always does after walkthroughs at Autzen Stadium.

The Bertelsens, who own and operate Ben & Jerry's stores in Eugene, spent the morning at an Arizona location blending up the traditional post practice drinks. The players were clearly surprised and impressed by their efforts and made sure to grab their same flavors they always do. Not one to brag, but the triple berry with a green straw has been a very successful choice for yours truly this fall/winter.

The team hasn't broken from tradition, so Duck Feed won't either. Here is the official Duck Cast from Oregon AMS chapter president Bobby Corser:

"The Oregon Ducks have had an amazing season, but it isn't over just yet. The Ducks touched down in the desert and got right to work. The BCS National Championship is being played at University of Phoenix Stadium, which has a retractable roof, however it will be closed for the game. The temperature inside should be a comfortable 71 degrees. While the DuckCast is used to looking at weather maps and models, this forecast is somewhat simple. No rain, no wind, no any type of weather! The game will be decided by the athletes and coaches and no outside forces!

"If you're in the desert and enjoying the sunshine, the forecast for the tailgating festivities will be of interest. Temperatures will be in the lower 60s, but will be cooling off into the 50's as the evening progresses. Take a light jacket and come enjoy all the fun on Monday leading up to the game.

"Let's cheer on the Ducks and bring home one last victory!".

Go Ducks!

Work, study, play

work hard,
study hard,
play hard,

Alright! That's my motto or resolution or dream, whatever you want to call it, for this year.

Work hard - it's given, nothing less than that if you want to survive or excel in Emerald.

Study hard - I hope I could maintain a CGPA of at least 3.30 for two semesters this year. Sounds scary but I will do my best to achieve this.

and Play hard - I've planned to run my first Full Marathon (26.2 miles) in Sepang this April. From there onwards, I've planned to run 4 more FMs, in K.Kinabalu, Singapore (2 times) and Penang. I will also continue doing my Half Marathon (13.1 miles) races, maybe 5 times this year, in Bukit Jalil, Bidor, Seremban, Ipoh and Taiping and handful of other short races. That means hardwork hardwork and hardwork... and injury free.

and another one, if I'm fortunate enough to date someone this year, I will date hard, as well. Errr... let's change that to 'date efficiently'. Hahahah

Ok, all the best to me!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Oregon Journey - BCS t-2

by Andy McNamara, Assistant Director Media Services, Football

It's almost here.

One week in Arizona is in the books and in less than 48 hours the Ducks and Auburn Tigers will play for the BCS National Championship.

Under bright sunny skies, Oregon went through what is a typical "Thursday" practice on Saturday and have just a run-through remaining on Sunday ahead of the biggest game in program history. A throng of media took in the first 20 minutes of the workout and saw a team that appeared to be genuinely having fun going through warmups.

With music blaring, several defensive backs showed off their dancing skills led by Marvin Johnson, who could give Michael Flatley a run for his money. Javes Lewis also did a little river dancing to "I'm Shipping up to Boston" by Dropkick Murphys, and the group, which included Avery Patterson and Scott Grady, made a seamless transition to Salsa dancing when a Latin track came across the P.A.

For Johnson and several other seniors, this was the final full football practice of their college careers, and for some, their lives. It was great to see them enjoying the moment.

Other attendees that enjoyed their time at practice were kids from the Make A Wish Foundation, who got to meet their idols Darron Thomas and LaMichael James.

Tomorrow the team gets its first look at University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale, which will host Monday's title game.

Go Ducks!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Oregon Journey - BCS t-3

by Andy McNamara, Assistant Director Media Services, Football

It was another sun-drenched day here in the desert, but the early portion of it was spent inside the swanky media hotel with the entire squad participating in Media Day.

You'd be hard pressed to find any member of the 100-plus Oregon roster who didn't get interviewed by somebody as every story angle that could possibly be explored appeared to be by the print, radio, television and internet folks on hand.

The Ducks were clearly the main celebrities of the hourlong session, but it was also a who's who of sports journalists, spanning from ESPN personalities to former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, who currently works as a radio host for Sirus/XM. UO players weren't the only people of interest as some smaller media types used the opportunity to interview the bigger media types.

D.J. Davis was plenty busy, fielding questions from several Oregon based and national outlets, and showed off his own interview skills by interviewing defensive end Terrell Turner for a Portland television station. Davis was rewarded for his efforts with a visit from Pardon the Interruption's Michael Wilbon, who spent a good 10 minutes just chatting with the receiver after learning of his desire to meet him.

Freshman safety Brian Jackson, who plays primarily on special teams, was one of the more sought after sound bites as UO's lone player from the State of Alabama. And speaking of sound bites, Cliff Harris lifted his self-imposed interview embargo, delivering this gem to SI.com's Stewart Mandel about the Oregon defense: "Our defense is a great white shark swimming along the ocean. Everything in front of us, we eat it up."

Following Friday's practice, several Ducks paid a visit to a local children's hospital. Look for a Walker's Pace blog about the visit shortly if it's not up already on GoDucks.com.

Until tomorrow, Go Ducks. And in the meantime, check out some of today's action from the lens of Geoff Thurner.

LaMichael James talks to ESPN's Wendi Nix during Friday's Media Day.

The most coveted crystal football there is.

DT and EA discuss the lack of originality surrounding their nicknames.

AD Rob Mullens speaks with Boston-based Pete Thamel of the New York Times.

Don't I know you? Casey Matthews talks with fledgling television reporter and former Oregon cheerleader Amanda Pflugrad.

Here's a look at the four different game program covers that will be available at the BCS Championship Game.

Duck Josh Kaddu and Pirate Mike Leach.

Nate Costa on the FOX set.

Go Ducks!

Friday, January 07, 2011

Oregon Journey - BCS t-4

by Andy McNamara, Assistant Director Media Services, Football
We've reached the midpoint of our stay in Arizona ahead of Monday's BCS Championship Game, and with the weekend approaching, both schools will likely notice a steady stream of fans hitting town from this point forward.

Today was the nicest day yet from a weather standpoint, with temperatures finally nearing the mid 60s. Since Monday's hail and rain, there hasn't been a drop of precipitation here in the desert.

More Oregon support staff and families arrived today, and yet another plane with staff and band members is due in on Saturday, signaling the title game's imminence.

Players and coaches continue to go about their daily work, both on the field and in the classroom, maintaining the same approach they've taken all season in terms of preparation.

LaMichael James is staying in school but has become a pro at interviewing over the past month.

Today's press conference consisted of representatives from Oregon's offense, with coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mark Helfrich in the interview room along with D.J. Davis, Jordan Holmes, LaMichael James, Jeff Maehl and Darron Thomas.

Video from the session can be viewed at GoDucks.TV along with footage from yesterday's defensive presser.

Outside of that, all was relatively quiet here in the Valley of the Sun on Thursday.

Former Oregon great Ahmad Rashad has been named an honorary captain for the BCS Championship Game by The National Football Foundation in partnership with the Fiesta Bowl.

Rashad, who played for the Ducks from 1969 to '71 when he was known as Bobby Moore, will share the honor with fellow College Football Hall of Famer and Auburn alum Bo Jackson. Both men will participate in the coin toss, representing their respective schools.

Primarily a running back for Oregon, Rashad set the single-game mark for all-purpose yards with 338 (249 rushing, 89 receiving) vs. Utah in 1971 - a record that stood for more than 30 years. He still ranks eighth in UO history with 2,306 career rushing yards and is tied for second with LaMichael James in career touchdowns with 36.

Go Ducks!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Back to school

1st class, 1st course, 1st week, 1st semester. Surely, it does feel like a virgin, all over again...

Hari ni hari pertama kelas aku, ever, untuk Masters degree aku, kelas Makroekonomi Lanjutan. Aku gerak dari ofis tepat jam 5pm. Rush jugak lah, dengan jem sikit sebab ada dua tiga lori rosak di beberapa tempat sepanjang highway Serdang tu, lepas tu hujan lebat pulak dan aku tersesak masuk ke area Kuchai Lama (hajat nak guna NPE ke Bangsar), pastu terpaksa u-turn somewhere along Jln Klang Lama.

Sampai kelas, tepat-tepat jam 5.55pm macam tu lah. Living on the Edge gitu aku jadinya. Agaknya for the next two years, macam ni lah life aku ek? Anyway, kelas dah agak penuh waktu tu, adalh dekat 30 orang kot. Dan lepas tu, sorang demi sorang, sampailah dekat jam 7pm pun ada yang baru sampai. Adalah total dekat 70 orang cramped up dalam bilik darjah kecik tu.

Awal-awal lagi aku dah pening. Ye lah, first class, first chapter dan ajar pasal equations, derivatives semua.. aduuuhhh... memang payah aku nak tangkap. Berkarat sungguh otak aku jadinya ni. Dan aku pun macam tak percaya je how did I manage to pull it through during the undergraduate dulu, kat US pulak tu kan? Bukan takat pening pasal subject tu je, waktu lecturer aku sebut dia nak hand out 'course pro forma' pun aku dah pening. Jadahnya pro forma ni, kan?

Tengok je lah sebahagian nota aku dalam gambar tu. Aku kayuh juga lah perlahan-lahan, pahamkan mana yang tak paham, walaupun aku tetap tak paham. Nak bertanya, segan laa pulak sebab ramai sangat students nya. Tunggulah dua tiga minggu lagi bila ramai yang dah drop kelas tu nanti. Yang kelakarnya, lecturer aku kata kitorang boleh copy nota dia dari desktop kat kelas tu. Cuma, yang first class ni je dia print kan kat kitorang. Tapi dia charge 70sen. Heheheh... macam ni rupanya korok style universiti kat Malaysia nih...

Tapi waktu break, siap ada bagi sandwich tu. Yang ni aku respek sikit laa walupun roti sandwichnya tu keras dan telur inti sandwichnya pun alahai, lagi banyak taik hidung aku rasanya. Takpelah, aku datang nak study bukan nak makan.

Sekarang ni, aku tengah pening sebab lecturer aku kata buku rujukan tu tak wajib beli, mahal pun ye dekat RM400 kot. Dan dia kata, you can live without the book,
just read her notes. Tapi notes dia ringkas sangat lah pulak, dah tu notes dia direfer dari buku tu tiap chapter. Dia kata boleh pinjam kat library buat fotokopi. Aduuuhhh macam ni lecturers universiti kat Malaysia ek...

Tapi memang pengalaman hari pertama aku - blur and confused. Sampai dalam kereta, aku macam termenung je thinking why I choose this path? Dan rasa nak give up pun ada. Dan aku sedar juga yang it's all hardwork from now onwards. Sabtu pagi sementara menunggu kelas tengahari, harus aku memulun kat library. Nampak memang occupied habis aku nih all week long.

Itu je lah citer aku.

Ohh satu lagi, pagi tadi big boss aku dah signed confirmation aku, dan dia rekomen baik punya (tapi takde kenaikan pangkat laa). Dan dia ada panggil aku meeting pagi tadi, discuss portfolio baru aku, dan semakin menginci aku nak kena pindah ke Emerald Tower ni. Cuma masanya je tak tau bila, tapi kerja dah start kena buat. Hmmmm....

Ok lah, gua nak tidur dah ni, kepala berat gila. Tak pernah kepala aku kerja seteruk hari ni. Memang belajar ni lagi teruk dari kerja. Dan aku baru realized that you can't bluff your lecturer the same way you always do to your boss! Hahahah...

Oregon Journey - BCS t-6

by Andy McNamara, Assistant Director Media Services, Football

It's Day 3 in the Desert, but it feels like it's been longer than that because the Ducks are so well settled into their routine.

The second of six full practices here in Arizona is now in the books, and players once again hit the books this afternoon, doing their best to simulate the second day of winter term classes from their satellite campus consisting of a giant tent in a Scottsdale resort parking lot.

Weather-wise, Tuesday was the best day yet with loads of sunshine to serve as a distraction from the still cool temperatures. Oregon hit the practice field just after 10 a.m. local time to the Journey hit "Don't Stop Believing," and just like home sessions, the tunes continued throughout a brisk workout lasting less than two hours.

Today was the first day for media to get a look at the Ducks since their arrival, with just about every Oregon based outlet taking advantage of a 15-minute window at the start of practice to snap photos, roll video and basically observe 100-plus athletic guys warming up.

As is typically the case during bowl week, or before any game where the stakes are so high, practices are closed and security is tightened. On Monday, an onlooker was removed from a tree, but outside of that there have been no other breaches.

The first bowl-related press conferences are set for tomorrow with defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti and five defensive players scheduled to appear. They will follow Auburn's offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn and five AU offensive players, including Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton, in a group interview session at the media hotel.

David Paulson hopes to capture the same tight end magic that Stanford's Coby Fleener had in the Orange Bowl.

Cliff Harris is a fan of chicken and waffles ... Daryle Hawkins was one of the most photographed players during the media availability thanks to his blue jersey with an orange No. 2 on it ... As if it wasn't evident during the last two regular season games, Kenjon Barner has his timing and confidence fully back after that frightening collision at Washington State ... Rob Beard was striping field goals from left, right and center hashes ... Justin Hoffman flashed great hands on a couple of grabs during 7 on 7 drills ... The video crew is a little too proud of their sweet golf cart that has a stereo and dub minus deuces.

Lunch for the players was prepared on the premises. Today's fare: Chicken and waffles.

Locals can't miss the Ducks when they roll through town this week.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Oregon Journey - BCS t-7

by Andy McNamara, Assistant Director Media Services, Football

The Valley of the Sun stayed true to it's name early Monday as the Ducks woke to bright, blue skies ready to begin their final week of preparation for the BCS Championship Game.

The early morning consisted of treatment, breakfast and meetings at the hotel before heading to the practice site for lifting. Practice - on a meticulously manicured sod pitch - formally got underway shortly before 11 a.m. local time. It was UO's first time practicing on grass since preseason camp back in August.

Fourth-year senior Kenny Rowe will play in his 52nd game as a Duck one week from today.

The workout was typical for a normal game week Monday, but the guys seemed to bring a little extra pent up energy to the field with them. Not sure if it was due to a change of scenery or just the anticipation of playing in the biggest football game of their lives, but the team's spirit and enthusiasm was incredibly high throughout the entire session.

The Ducks' timing off the field proved to be as good as it was on it. As soon as the team arrived back at the hotel, clouds moved in, the temperature dropped and it started to hail before switching to a light, but steady rain. Some might consider that to be perfect studying weather, which is what the team commenced doing after lunch, participating in the first day of winter term classes despite being more than 1,200 miles from campus.

Oregon has another early night in store before doing it all again on Tuesday. This time next week, they'll be playing for the national championship.

Bryan Bennett throws bullets ... Darron Thomas is throwing a better ball now than he was early in the year. It's always been accurate, but now it just looks prettier ... The Ducks have their share of playmakers, but the way the entire group approaches practice is what makes this team so good ...

Next year's stable of potential punt and kickoff return men is going to be the best in program history ... Kenjon Barner and LaMichael James have either gotten faster or those Volt Green cleats really do create a blur effect ... There was no real wind to speak of, but I've got to think the video student-assistants who went up on lifts for the first time since August had thoughts of Notre Dame's Declan Sullivan while they were up there.

Go Ducks!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Oregon Journey - BCS t-8

by Andy McNamara, Assistant Director Media Services, Football

And away we go.

Depending on who you ask, the last four weeks have either gone by at a snail's pace or like an Oregon scoring drive. I'm in the latter camp, but for some reason the eight days in front of us seem like eight weeks.

It started today as the regular travel party, plus a few additional support staff, boarded a giant Delta 767 in the Emerald Valley and ended up in the desert.

Turns out that we arrived about an hour ahead of schedule, but there were still plenty of bowl volunteers and representatives on hand to greet us, despite what had to have been a late night for most of them on Saturday with their Fiesta Bowl duties and all.

Chip Kelly was the lone speaker at the welcome press conference that took place inside a tent on the tarmac, and I counted just four regulars from the UO press corps in attendance, which led to what had to be the shortest presser in BCS title game history at 9 minutes flat.

After a police escort to the hotel, most members of our party were checked in and taking in the grounds by mid afternoon. The hotel's efficiency was put to the test as they had to turnover rooms and alter the bowl related decor from UConn to UOregon in a span of a few hours and they did a remarkable job.

Once they had a couple hours to settle in, the players and coaches got back to the business at hand, meeting and setting the tone for the week ahead. Unlike every other bowl trip in Oregon history, this one takes place during school, meaning it was a quiet, early night in Scottsdale.

Monday marks the first day of bowl week practices is also the first day of winter term. This team will undoubtedly attempt to do what they always do: Win The Day.

Go Ducks!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Awesome Chenang

Arrived in Langkawi around noon Friday, took cab to the hotel in Chenang Beach and while waiting for 3pm to check-in, I strolled along Chenang Beach Road and right away I fell in love with this place. I know this place is many many more times better than Ferringhi. And I couldn't wait for the New Year parties that night.

Was met by a long-time friend whom like a brother to me, Abg Nuar, who now resides in Langkawi for a dinner at the nearby ikan bakar parlor. At around 10.30pm I was all alone to usher into the New Year but it ain't a problem to me.

The atmosphere was great. There were at least 5 resort/pubs offering some kind of New Year celebrations. Although there were lots of people on the beach but it wasn't crowded. It wasn't like the one we always see in KL. And everyone was in casual mode, wearing shorts, some guys went shirtless, ladies in parios and bikinis. Unlike in KL where people outshowing one another with designer's clothes then showing off their expensive cars. Bodo!

Met few friends while partying that night. There were bunch of guys from Satun, Thailand, who can speak Malay. So, they were my companies that night. We hang out until 5am. Even by that time, there were two pubs still having things going on, playing dance musics, and still serving foods. Awesome!

Went back to the room slightly after 5am, took a 45-minute nap and went out for a short run, my first run since 24 days ago. Ran 6.7km on the road before continuing the last 4km on the beach. The run on the beach was hard but nice with the sun started to rise and the sound of the waves. Priceless!

The rest of the day was just about laying on the beach, most of the time sleeping under the sun but cool breeze with the sound of the waves, soothing music from nearby pubs and voice of children playing with the sand on the background. Greatness!

I vouch to come back to Chenang for New Year 2012 if everything goes as planned. Now, am going back to the beach...

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