[Ed. note: bumped to the front page. Thanks to TheDuckster for starting this conversation. We're going to make a better effort of bringing to light great community-generated content more often.]
If you were to take a glance in my room, shuffle through clothes in my closet, and sit on my bed, you would notice 2 things: 1. This guy has a ton of Hollister polos. 2. He absolutely loves Oregon football.
However, there are times my fandom for everything Ducks related still gets called into question
Born in New York, raised in Florida, I have absolutely no affiliation to the great state of Oregon. No one in my family resides on the west coast and the closest I have been to Eugene, Oregon is when College Gameday is there.
These are the facts friends and family give me to discredit my fandom and reasons why I am not a true fan of the Ducks.
Growing up in Florida during the 90s and into the millennium you were either a Nole, a Cane or a Gator. My favorite color was yellow and I hated the color of purple - purple jelly beans being the main reason, they taste awful - so whoever had that was going to be my team. When I saw the Fiesta Bowl between Oregon vs Colorado I knew right then, I was a Duck for life.
I remember the 2003 Sun Bowl where Kellen Clemens was showing glimpses of becoming one of the best Quarterbacks in Oregon history. I remember the night we came out in spaceship uniforms vs BYU only to get destroyed and spark the debate of whether Dennis Dixon or Brady Leaf should be next year's starter.
I also remember when TJ Ward almost put Zac Robinson in the hospital in what would be Mike Belotti's last game as head coach.
As a 21 year old college student at Florida Atlantic University, I had the option of going to the University of Oregon but due to out of state tuition and having a major of Multimedia Journalism, I figured taking advantage of in-state tuition and finding a media related job in south Florida would be better.
But something bothers me. Do I need a degree from the University of Oregon to don the Jonathan Stewart jersey in my closet, or is my experience of rooting for not just Oregon football, but Oregon everything, enough to validate my fandom for a university I have no connections to.
My answerer is an emphatic no. But do fellow Oregonians and graduates of the University of Oregon agree?