What are your favorite game-day traditions in the Pac-12?
This was 50 years ago, but my Dad was one of the early landscapers in Eugene. We would work on some of his accounts in the morning and then go to the game in the afternoon. In those days the games always started at 12:30 and so we would quit at 11:00 am and change clothes at a gas station and then go to the stadium when there were still parking spaces. We got to see Dan Fouts beat Sonny Sixkiller at Auzen one year.
Btw, I was Mike Parker's original stat guy in high school when he called games for KNND in Cottage Grove....he's always worn his heart on his sleeve for games. He's a genuine guy...haven't seen him in years but really enjoyed those times.
"Traditions...you tell me," you ask, John. Excellent question. I can predict almost all the responses will center on a game day experience. There's nothing like actually being there to give us that deeper sense of participation. That's where traditions are born. Television will never match it...but that's where CFB is headed. It will become an entertainment commodity and as much as we groan in the loss, we really have only ourselves to blame. We fans asked for this. We begged for more than the simple enjoyment of rooting our team's effort and a good football game--we wanted WINS! We wanted coaches who were perfect, not just good; we wanted 5-star players, not just student-athletes; we wanted National Champions, not just a successful season. We killed the joy of the good for the clamor to be the best.
The Husky band rolling out the giant American flag across the field in the lead-up to the National Anthem
My best memory: Singing the OSU fight song, at the top of our lungs, multiple times during the game. "OSU fight B-E-A-V-E-R-S....." while waving our index fingers toward the sky.
2nd best memory: The announcer saying "It's an OSU...FIRSTDOWN!" The crowd signaling a first down in unison, with bended elbow and pointing downfield.
1. The cannon next to Tightwall Hill going off after a Cal touchdown
2. Pre-game concert in Sproul Plaza followed by march up to Memorial Stadium with the Cal Band
3. The ridiculous stare down between the Cal Rally Committee and Stanford Axe Committee before transferring the Axe to winners.
Tailgating at Autzen with the same set of families since I was 8 (1976). Our parents ran the tailgate then. My generation ran it for about 20 years from the late 90s until about 5 years ago. Now our kids do all the organizing and cooking. We have long lived in San Diego...still make it up 2-3 times a year.
Walking to a evening ASU game in September along the streets with folks BBQing curbside.
Memories of hearing the boos when fans think we made an incorrect call (no such thing as a "bad" call, just a few "incorrect" calls now and then) --- and knowing we are correct! :) :)
The Holy War game between Utah and BYU! It is anything BUT holy in the stands!
John, I am really enjoying your columns, but please, take a day off! Seven days a week is wonderful, but we can live with six or five.
Being a Duck season ticket holder it gave me goose bumps to read the Oregon game traditions! 💚💛💚
Hi John, another great article as always. Don't know if you saw the article with Rich Brooks in The Oregonian but he was such an inspiration for the rise of Ducks football. I remember watching the Wheaton pick 6 on my couch and crying like a baby, and they could actually go to a Rosebowl??? Thanks for all you do John and God bless Rich Brooks.
I get it! Easy to sit on a couch and get all view perspectives coming at you. I have had season tickets for the ducks for over 20 years. In that time I have seen my kids and grandkids share in great traditions. Everyone of them have had the opportunity to take a picture with the duck, cheerleader or player! You can’t do that from a couch. Even on away games when the duck team scores we get out our horns and blow them 3 times just like Autzen. Something the grandkids love to do and hold them in their hands waiting for their team to score! Yes, I would greatly miss all of that.
No matter who you root for, the game day experience in person cannot be replicated on TV or in the virtual world. We attend the games not only out of a sense of tradition and support for our schools, but also (mostly) to watch the excitement and unpredictability of live football. We all have our short list of memorable plays we've witnessed and it's that sense of "what am I going to see today" that keeps us coming back. Oh, and the tailgate parties help, too!
Excited about your new venture - have now joined the Canzano family of articles. Will try to only say the words when it's not raining.
The Legendary Don Essig
Thanks for another great column. It brought a few tears, smiles, laughs and remembering great games. I saw my first Duck game in 1958 in Multnomah Stadium proudly wearing my first mum corsage. Can’t remember who we played but it was the beginning of my love affair with college football. Seen many memorable and not so since but nothing beats them….anywhere, anytime.