There’s an old off-color joke that goes like this (you should skip down to the 5 asterisks if you would rather not be subjected to Welsh humor and sheep jokes):
A young man moves to a village in Wales and gets talking to an old man from the village. He asks the old man what his name is; the old man gets very irate at this point and says: “See that line of houses over there? I built them all, but do they call me Jones the house builder? Do they hell! See those railway lines over there? I laid them all, but do they call me Jones the engineer? Do they hell! See those bridges over that river? I built them all, but do they call me Jones the bridge builder? Do they hell! But, a long long time ago, I fucked *one* sheep…”
I’m a Duck lover. I’ve been an Oregon Ducks football fan for years now. Until just recently, this was a recipe for heartache. Oregon seemed to put together a great squad that would implode after about 4 games. Usually a quarterback’s arm would fall off or something. I’m bad luck you know. I can’t watch an Oregon game because it’ll make the Ducks lose. So I keep my distance and peek at the score every now and then, just to make sure my Ducks are doing ok.
The last 2 years, something amazing happened. In 2010, I watched 9 of their games, and they won 8 of them. The boys in green went to the BCS championship, and lost by a hair’s breadth to a fine Auburn team, led by Cam Newton. This year, they did something they’ve never managed in their 100+ year history fielding football team: they won the Rose Bowl!
I’m not telling you this because I love recounting the glory days of fooball for the Ducks (although that’s kinda nice), but because I’m suddenly getting recognized whenever I wear my hat. I joked on my Twitter feed the other day that nobody asks me what the “O” stands for anymore, or why Oklahoma/Ohio State has changed their school colors. People recognize my hat for what it is: a University of Oregon hat! All the way over here in Virginia, nonetheless.
I should thank them for winning, but it’s getting me notoriety that I’d rather not have, in places like grocery stores. Twice, today, on a shopping trip, random people flashed me the “O” sign. Another person, an older man with a Texas accent and WAY too much chest hair sticking out of his purple polo shirt, started chatting me up about his favorite brand of soap. It took me all of 30 seconds to begin wondering where he’d escaped from. He held me in conversation for 5 minutes. He was once a professional soccer player. We talked about Daisy Picking (literally… bending down and picking daisies…), and things she made him buy. He never told me who “she” was… I assume it was his wife. Maybe his spirit guide or his talking pants weasel? No clue.
Fortunately, another woman walked by, saw my hat, flashed me an O sign and began chatting me up. She was sane enough to hold her conversation to “my nephews both go to Oregon…” Crazy pro soccer man followed her away, talking about her demands to buy stuff for that recipe, and he has no idea what it is.
I made a hasty exit. I was just there to buy eye drops. Really.
So, I’d like to thank LaMichael James, and Lavasier Tuinei, and of course our QB Darron Thomas, for giving us an excellent 2 season. I wish I could keep the weirdos away from me. I don’t mind if they recognize our school hat and all… but I can’t have 10 minute conversations about soap just because we’re all famous Duck lovers now.