Beavers become Ducks fans — momentarily
CORVALLIS — The Beavers, rooting for the Ducks?
Hard to imagine, yet Oregon State players became fans of rival Oregon, if only a few moments last Saturday night.
The Beavers (8-3, 6-2 Pac-10) were on their way home from Pullman, Wash., where they had just defeated Washington State 42-10.
As they were getting on the plane, rival Oregon's game against Arizona was under way but the Beavers had to switch off their phones and other electronic devices. The players didn't know what was going on while in the air.
Oregon State coach Mike Riley takes it from there:
"As soon as we got on the buses at the airport it was toward the end of regulation, so it was on the radio. We had three buses all listening to the game. On the bus I was on, everybody was listening and cheering. It was quite a bus ride because of all the ramifications for us, and, in the end, a definition of what this game was going to be about."
Hold the phone. Cheering? For the rival Ducks?
Turns out Oregon State players wanted what just about everyone else in the state wanted: A winner-goes-to-the-Rose-Bowl Civil War. Oregon (9-2, 7-1) beat the Wildcats in double overtime.
"I think people on our bus were — because they wanted this game to be a defining moment," Riley said.
The No. 16 Beavers visit the No. 10 Ducks next Thursday.
ARIZONA APOLOGIZES: University of Arizona President Robert Shelton and coach Mike Stoops have apologized to Oregon for what happened in the aftermath of last Saturday's game.
Wildcat fans, who had spilled onto the sidelines in the final minutes expecting an Arizona win, threw debris on the field when the Ducks pulled out a 44-41 victory in double overtime.
Oregon cheerleader Katelynn Johnson was hit in the head with a bottle and had to be taken to a hospital. She suffered a concussion but is doing fine.
"It was disturbing when you think about that. It can hurt somebody — kill somebody, actually — when people are throwing something like that from the stands," Stoops said. "It's something that we'll continue to look at, securitywise, I'm sure."
Arizona athletic director Jim Livengood addressed the issue in a letter to Arizona's student newspaper, the Daily Wildcat.
"We had a chance to show the country our best, and instead we showed them our worst. On behalf of Arizona Athletics, I can only say how sorry we are for what occurred, and offer my assurance that we will take every step necessary to find the person responsible for throwing the bottle that struck Katelynn, and ensure that this sort of behavior is not repeated at future games," Livengood wrote.
MASOLI RHYMES WITH RAVIOLI, BUT NOT DUCK: Some are crying foul over the University of Oregon's reaction to a humorous rap video paying homage to the Ducks that has gone viral on the internet.
A local rap group that calls itself "Supwitchugirl" posted its musical ode to Oregon's football team on YouTube a couple of weeks ago and it immediately took on a cyberspace life of its own.
"I Love My Ducks" has since been feted on a national sports radio show. Coach Chip Kelly saw it and invited the group to his office. The rap challenged Lady Gaga's latest on a local radio station's top songs list.
The song is infectious, even if the rhymes aren't exactly cerebral.
"Holy moly! Is that my boy Masoli? Cookin' up the offense like he's cookin' ravioli," it goes, giving due to Ducks quarterback Jeremiah Masoli. It also describes coach Chip Kelly: "And then there is Chip. So crispy, so nifty, so cleeeaaaan."
So what is all the controversy about? The rap video, filmed over the course of a few days and put together on a personal computer, features an appearance by the Oregon Duck mascot.
Oregon uses the Donald Duck character as its mascot under a special agreement with Disney. Because of the sensitive copyright issue, Oregon's athletic department contacted the group and requested they remove it from YouTube. They did, but it was too late — the video had been reposted on different sites many times over — more than 300,000 times according to the group.
The student in the Duck suit who was in the video was suspended for Oregon's game this past weekend at Arizona State. There are four students who earn the right to portray the Duck for different events.
Some, including a columnist for The Oregonian newspaper, have said the university is being a wet blanket. The rap has no bad language words and no one is making any money off it. It's all in good fun.
A spokesman for Oregon's athletic department did not respond a request by The Associated Press for comment.
Meanwhile, Supwitchugirl says on their Facebook page a Portland company has offered to edit the Duck out of the rap, in hopes of being able to put it up on Autzen Stadium's video scoreboard during the Civil War game on Dec. 3.
No word from the university whether the proposal was even a possibility.
BEAVER BRIDGE: This week the Morrison Bridge over the Willamette River in Portland is glowing orange, thanks to some Beaver boosters.
The Bridge is illuminated at night by orange lights until next Thursday, when the Ducks and Beavers meet in the showdown for the Rose Bowl.
Costs associated with the bridge lighting are being shared by Bob Miller, morning radio host for KPAM radio, and Pat Reser, co-chair of The Campaign for OSU.