Duck students worst fans in the country? I beg to differ.
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A passionate, die-hard fan's rebuttal to preposterous accusations
In case you fans did not know, Oregon Duck fans, more specifically the students, have been under verbal attack and harsh accusations the past few days. Oregon just finished a great game that turned into a blowout against #12 UCLA last Saturday. The crowd was the loudest and most passionate it has been in a while, and I personally was very impressed with my fellow students in the rowdy student section. HOWEVER, two days later, a former Oregon player anonymously sent OregonLive.com a letter complaining about Oregon fans, saying that he is disgusted with the way they are.
Then, today, former player Andy McIntire weighed in, saying that the Oregon student fan base is one of the WORST in the country. As a good, true, passionate student, I am a quite offended, and I would like to defend myself and my fellow students in this article.
First off, I implore you to read this article. It will be the article that I will be responding to
There are 3 major points that McIntire makes that I think are completely false.
1. "People were not saying “we” played a bad game, it was “they played horrible”, as if now they no longer wanted to be associated as a member of the team."
McIntire first claims that Oregon students dissapointed him in 2009 after Stanford beat Oregon. Oregon had beaten #6 Cal and #5 USC, both at home that year before they went on the road and lost to Stanford. McIntire claims that Oregon fans and students were saying "we" did a good job and "we" played well. However, once Oregon lost to Stanford, McIntire heard people saying "they" played badly, as if students only identified themselves with the team when they were winners.
First off, I would like to point out that saying "we" and "they" are INTERCHANGEABLE. Sometimes I'll say, "We have a big game this weekend," while other times I might say, "They played really well tonight." McIntire may have heard it differently, but I know for a fact that I and many other fans interchange "we" and "they" as I'm sure fans of all other teams do as well.
Second, I would like to point out that I'm sure McIntire was not talking about the same fans that he saw the first time. It is very possible that the fans he observed after the big-time wins were fans that use "we" terminology and the fans after the loss are "they" users.
Third and most importantly, I would say that home games deserve a "we" while away games deserve "they." When you are the home team and part of the home crowd, you are a PART of that win. Especially in a 12th man stadium, you as fans provide a spark. You provide noise during big 3rd and 4th downs. In many cases, you help your team, especially the students, who are the loudest in the stadium. None of this is the case for an away game. So it makes sense to say "we" for those big wins.
2. "While in attendance at the Cal home game this year, I saw something that proved my theory on how terrible the fans in Oregon’s student section are to a T. Following halftime, even with the torrential downpour and game already in hand, all around the stadium Duck fans still sat occupying their seats, trying to stay warm and cheering on their team. Though a lot of people had left due to the rains, a majority of the stadium was still full, all except the student section. All that was left standing were a few dozen students who, when it all boils down, I consider to be the only students worthy of watching this incredible stretch of Oregon football that has truly become a privilege to watch."
This pissed me off. For those of you that do not know, I have been born and raised in the State of Oregon. I have experienced bad rain and bad weather. The Cal game was the worst rain I have ever experienced in my life. Many students came totally unprepared, wearing jeans and regular sweatshirts. Tons of girls were shivering, and a few were very concerned about getting sick. So trust me, it wasn't just raining. It was a MONSOON. Also, the game was OVER. 41-3 at haltime. I know that lots of people are coming out, angry about fans leaving soon, but the blowout PLUS the rain was enough for one to leave. The team had their subs in by the third quarter anyway.
Also, students didn't pay a bunch of money to go to the game like many of the single ticket/season ticket holders. Many of which had drove from 2-4 hours away. So it makes sense that they would stay for the game. Students get in the game free. (not really, because students pay tuition. But still.) Students live right by the stadium, so it doesnt hurt to just walk home. Plus, many of the fans that stayed at the game were in sections 26-37*. Those are the COVERED SEATS. Those fans were covered, and thus not rained on nearly as bad. Even my friends and I that left due to the insane weather conditions huddled around the television and still watched the game passionately. So McIntire needs to calm down.
*Sections 26-37 are covered. The student section at Autzen is 4-8.
3. "I plan on going to the remainder of the home games this year, and will not let the ignorance of my former peers deter me from what I enjoy most, but it is a sad truth. Oregon has one of the most ungrateful, ignorant student sections in the country and I am glad that another former player has the same feeling that I do."
This one really hit home for me. I like to think of myself as one of the best Oregon Ducks fans there is. I am there for them win or lose, and I rep Oregon gear after a win or loss with pride. I go to every game that I can, and ALWAYS stay till the 4th quarter strikes 0:00 (The CAL game is the ONLY game I have EVER left early. Trust me, it was bad.) I understand how hard the players and coaches work. I never blame them or criticize them or act like I am smarter than them. I am respectful, passionate, and educated.
I want to say this: every fan base has bad fans. Every fan base has HORRIBLE fans. I know for a fact that you have all encountered ignorant, selfish, stupid, awful fans for your respective team. The bottom line is that there are idiots in every state, city, and fan base. Just this last Saturday I personally had to turn around and tell this stupid girl that she didn't know what she was talking about, calling Mariota out for making a bad throw.
Andy McIntire is a former player, and a walk-on at that, so he knows what its like to be on a team and work your tail off. He obviously took things sensitively and I think it is very wrong for him to group all students into a bad category and talk bad about a fan base that crowded Autzen and screamed their heads off for him and his teammates. I know many many passionate fans, and all of my friends are good, respectful, educated fans. I take pride in our student section and I 100% DISAGREE with McIntire's accusations.
We are not ungrateful, ignorant fans, and we do not have a self-entitlement. Duck fans and duck students are STARVING for a title and we pack every game and yell at the top of our lungs at every game to ensure that we do our part to help the team get the victory.
I hope that you all ignore McIntires ridiculous accusations, and think higher of Oregon students. We love our team and are there with them, thick and thin. There are bad fans no matter what, and McIntire needs a reality check.
Photo is of my friends and I in 2011 after just beating UCLA in the Pac12 Championship.
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