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!

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