We had a small gathering at our house tonight to stuff ourselves and watch the Oregon Ducks play the Oregon Beavers.  I’m not originally from Oregon so it took me two decades, when my son went to college at Oregon, to understand that Oregon is the name for the University of Oregon, and Oregon State is the name for Oregon State University. Oregon’s team is the Ducks, and Oregon State’s team is the Beavers

I have to say that it was a good, clean game with only one broken leg, one guy vomiting on the sidelines because he got kicked so hard in the stomach, only a few guys limping and staggering, and one poor coach with a barrel of iced liquid poured down his back in the 25 degree night.

It was a cold and clear, and the teams facing each other on the line of scrimmage were huffing clouds of steam. They looked like cartoon bulls getting ready to charge the red cape – you know where the bull stands still and takes his front leg and paws the dirt three times while steam clouds come out of each nostril. That’s what these guys looked like.

My brother came over, and he was rooting for the Beavers. He kept telling the coach what to do. “You need to go for the two point conversion, then if the Ducks get ahead and you get two touchdowns, you’ll win by one point.” Unfortunately the Beaver’s coach didn’t listen, and when the game was over and the Beavers lost by four points, my brother told the TV as the coach was walking dejectedly off the field, “See, if you would have gone for that conversion and tried for that field goal, you would have been one point ahead right now, just like I told you.”

I’m glad the coach didn’t listen to him, because the Beavers might have won. Which makes you wonder, who came up with the school names for these Oregon teams? Ducks? Now that name sends a chill down the spines of their opponents. And Beavers? That’s a mighty fierce image.

The thing I like about Oregonians is that they are proud of their teams, no matter what some well-meaning person named them. For instance, there is a town just off the Oregon coast name Tillamook. Yes, Tillamook. And this town is famous all through Oregon and surrounding environs for having many, many cows – mostly because you can smell the town from hundreds of miles away if the wind is just right. You’ve got to do something with all those cows, so they milked them and set up a factory to make cheese called the Tillamook Cheese Factory. Then they got a high school and named their football team the Tillamook Cheesemakers. Google it if you don’t believe me.

I don’t know if people look at these names from every angle. Immediately when we saw the name of this high school on the way to the beach, the whole car erupted into one “who cut the cheese” joke after another. We came up with millions of variations opponents could use to humiliate Tillamook’s team. “You guys sure cut a bunch of cheese in here…your team stinks like Limburger cheese.” Hilarious stuff.

I Googled other Oregon teams and most of them had appropriately fierce names like panthers, tigers, Spartans. Except for the coastal town of Astoria, who were the Fishermen. Ditto the humiliation for this name as above, “PU, it smells like fish in here.”

Well, back to the Rose Bowl, which is much better than the Commode Bowl. Yuk Yuk. Yuk. The Ducks will be playing the Buckeyes. What’s a Buckeye? I guess it’s the eye of a buck – a male deer. I’ll have to think of some good eyeball lines – like “Hey you bunch of eyeballs, get back to the buck head where you belong.” Gosh I’m funny! GO DUCKS! Woo-hoo!