In the second part of Hyundai's Fanthropology series we get to meet a die-hard Oregon fan. I had a conversation with current Oregon student Anthony Marincovich and that is posted below. We talk about our favorite players, teams, and a prediction for the future.
RR11: First, tell us a little about yourself.
AM: I'm a 5th year senior at the University of Oregon studying biology and psychology and have been going to duck games for as long as I remember. I'm a big sports fan, love playing and watching, and proudly wore the green and yellow while playing for the Oregon Men's lacrosse team for four years while at the university.
RR11: For me I'm not exactly sure when my fandom even began. I was truly born in to it. Many of my first memories involve Oregon football in some way. It probably all has to do with being a now 3rd-generation Duck on my dad's side of the family. How did you first become a fan?
AM: Just like you I was born into it. Both my parents are big duck fans, my mom a proud alumnus, and I remember going to games at Autzen when I was small enough that I didn't even need a ticket I could just sit on my dads lap. I can remember watching the legendary Kenny Wheaton game at my Uncle's house when I was four years old even though I didn't understand the gravity of the situation. Id say I truly became a fan when I was a little older and could actually understand the game, the thrill of victory and pain of a loss during the Joey era.
RR11: The Joey Harrington era was one of the best. Joey was, and still is, just so dang likeable. Part of me almost thinks it was more fun to be a Duck fan then than now. There was so much unpredictability with Bellotti and his moustache at the helm. Especially with being in elementary and junior high during those years when the awesome teams featured Joey Harrington, Keenan Howry, Sammie Parker, Maurice Morris, and Onterrio Smith were winning. Looking back, who has been your favorite Duck and Duck team so far?
AM: The Fiesta Bowl team stands out, and obviously last years rose bowl champs, the national title run, and Dixon's ducks... But If I had to pick a favorite team I think I would go with the 2009 squad with Chip Kelly in his first year at the helm. That season was so damn fun. I'll never forget the pit in my stomach after that opener at Boise State then the absolute joy storming the field after stomping USC on Halloween night and beating the Beavs to secure our spot in the Rose Bowl. I was a huge Masoli fan and loved the toughness he brought to the QB position. The emergence of LMJ was fun to watch and I still proudly rock my #23 Jeff Maehl Jersey. Picking a favorite duck is really hard for me, like picking a favorite song or movie but if I had to choose Id go with Casey Matthews. I played linebacker back in the glory days and love watching the position and seeing him lead our defense was a real treat.
RR11: Great picks all around! The comebacks in Joey Harrington's season were amazing as were the highlights from the Fiesta Bowl. 09 stands out to me because it was the realization of the spread offense's potentials while being the first Rose Bowl that I went to. I don't think there has been a lower low than when Oregon was stymied on offense and then Blount punches Byron Hout. To think that season ended with a PAC-10 championship and Rose Bowl appearance is crazy.
My only complaint with college football is that we get such amazing players for only such a short amount of time. Another year of Jeff Maehl would have been awesome. Casey Matthews was the rock of the defense. LMJ was the greatest running back in our school's history and most likely the best player ever in Oregon history. How rough has it been watching LaMichael James be inactive every week on the San Francisco 49ers?
AM: It's crazy to me. I know they've got a lot of talent at the running back position but to see him not even get the chance to suit up seems almost criminal. I hate to see any more fuel added to the tired argument that the spread doesn't prepare players for the NFL just because he's not getting a chance to prove his worth this year. Especially when you have Colin Kaepernick a "spread guy" step in for them last week, have success and start a full-fledged QB controversy. LaMike will get his shot though, I have no doubt.
RR11: We should start the FREE LMJ movement. On any other team I think he would be such a solid contributor. I was stoked when he got drafted so high by the 49ers, but at the same time the 49ers already have Frank Gore, Ted Ginn as the lead return man, and Kendall Hunter as an experienced back that does the same types of things LaMichael James does. I hope he gets traded or starts getting playing time soon.
Personally, I'm a big fan of traditions. I wake up at the start of College Gameday, wear the same shoes every game day, and do too many other things I'm too embarrassed to tell people about on game day. Do you have a routine or ritual for the day of the big game?
AM: I've got some traditions and superstitions, some probably shouldn't be shared on the Internet. I always wake up on fall Saturdays with a big smile on my face. I like to make a big breakfast, catch the end of game day, and take a nap through the Big 10(12? 14?) games that some people still like to call football. After that I usually blast the fight song and put on my #23 jersey, duck watch, socks, rose bowl shirt and hat and get ready to head to Autzen. I bought a new hat for the Stanford game last week and didn't wear my lucky one. I'll probably never be able to forgive myself for that...
RR11: I literally laughed out loud. There isn't much better than a fall Saturday in Eugene. Sometimes I dream Heaven is a constant stream of Saturday's filled with college football. That is why I am so bummed about the Civil War game being the last one of the season. Unfortunately, we've got only one game of left out of our 2012-2013 Oregon Ducks. What are your initial reactions and plans about Oregon being projected to go to the Fiesta Bowl?
AM: My initial reaction is painful disappointment. It's not crazy to argue that this was the best team the ducks have ever had, even with their youth. The season was going great, almost too well, and there was no real dominant team out there. I really thought this was our year. It's amazing how one game, and a few plays change everything. Then I stop and think how spoiled we've become that going the fiesta bowl is somehow a disappointment. An 11-1 season is something all duck fans should be proud of. I've got family down in the Phoenix area that I'd love to see so I plan on heading south for the Fiesta Bowl. Plus, who can turn down free Tostitos?
RR11: Nobody. Nobody can turn down free Tostitos. Throughout this conversation it is clear that you're a lifelong, diehard fan with a lot of great memories. Say you've got a kid down the road, what do you tell him are the best parts about being a fan of the Oregon Ducks?
AM: The best parts about being an Oregon Duck fan are in no particular order: walking over the Willamette bridge on the the way to the game, making a fool of yourself during shout before the start of the fourth, wearing highlighter yellow and thinking you look good, watching the huskies lose, watching the beavers lose to Sacramento State, having the best mascot in the nation, having the most exciting offense in the nation, yelling your heart out at Autzen on 3rd down, and going nuts before the game when they show the Kenny Wheaton interception and Joey stumbling into the end zone during the holiday bowl even though you've seen those plays a million times.
RR11: Wow. That hit me, where, I, live. Since Hyundai is such a great sponsor of college football as a whole, and a car sponsor of our beloved Oregon Ducks, it makes sense to plug them some more in to this conversation. Check out Hyundai and their cars. Also, since Hyundai is giving away bowl tickets for next year, what is your prediction for next year's Oregon bowl game?
AM: Easy. Behind a stout defense, a workhorse in Byron Marshall, a more seasoned Marcus Mariota, and do everything playmakers De'Anthony Thomas and Josh Huff I predict Oregon will head to the BCS National Championship Game next year.
RR11: I love the prediction! Thanks a lot for showing your true colors as an avid fan of the Oregon Ducks. Hopefully the college football Gods select you as worthy of winning two bowl tickets for next year to go see the Ducks!
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