In 2011, I spent the final 101 days of the offseason listing cool, random things I love about the Oregon Ducks. It was a fun way to pass the time during the football-less summer, but a lot of cool stuff happened in 2011, too.
Here then, in honor of Valentine’s Day, five more random things I love about the Ducks, all from the 2011-12 season.
The Rise of DAT
If De’Anthony Thomas had done nothing else in 2011, spurning Lane Kiffin and USC for Oregon would have been enough for him to be a beloved figure in Eugene. Thankfully for Oregon fans, his performance on the field in 2011 was so dynamic, so breath-taking, that the departure of LaMichael James (more on that in a bit) was made just a bit easier.
3000 Days of Summer
Nobody lives in the past quite like a Washington Huskies fan. They’re always talking about things that happened 10+ (last Rose Bow appearance) or 20+ (faux national title) years ago. But the inescapable reality of now is that the Oregon Ducks have won eight in a row against Washington—the longest winning streak by either team in THE HISTORY OF THE RIVALRY.
During the streak, Oregon has played in two Rose Bowls and a Natty. Washington, meanwhile, has gone 0-and-12, given up 67 points in a bowl game and crowned themselves the 1960 national champions. Smallest margin of victory in eight years? Seventeen points. Now we have two little brothers.
As of Valentine’s Day 2012, it has been 3,027 days since Washington beat Oregon in football. If you had a kid in the summer of 2004, s/he would have seen the Red Sox win not one, but two World Series championships, the Saints win a Super Bowl, and an African-American elected president of the United States. But no Washington wins over Oregon.
The Chip Kelly Leap
If you want to know what winning the Rose Bowl meant to the University of Oregon, just watch Chip’s reaction to Michael Clay’s 4th quarter fumble recovery. I think we all felt like jumping up and down on January 2.
Redemption at the Rose Bowl
Chip Kelly got the BCS monkey off his back.
Alejandro Maldonado made a field goal in a big spot.
Lavasier Tuinei caught everything and was named offensive MVP.
Kiko Alonso activated beast mode, and might finally be known more for what he does on the field than off.
Heck, the Ducks as a whole finally put 1917 to bed.
Sweet, sweet redemption.
27 Minutes of LaMichael James Highlights
Goodbye, LaMike. And thanks.