20. Experience: Autzen

I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness this Sunday. My typical Sunday routine consists of waking up late, finishing homework, and logging onto GoDucks.com at 5pm to ensure that I am in the online ticketing system to get a student ticket at 7pm. Those two hours of waiting usually mean moving my mouse so my computer screen doesn’t go blank and pulling out my hair as I complain about how stressful it is waiting for Duck football tickets. If the cards don’t fall my way, I usually spend the next few days in uproar over the injustice of an online system and go on rants about how I am a true, dedicated, fan that deserves a ticket. Then, I do it all over again the following Sunday.

This Sunday, I realized that those days of biting my nails and sweaty keyboards are over. For my entire life, I have been an avid duck fan. I remember dressing up in yellow and green before I learned how to tie my own shoes. For years, I have walked through those gates, anticipating the adrenaline of Autzen as I get ready to cheer for my team. I’ve stayed until the last seconds of a game while drenched in rain. I’ve lost my voice on multiple occasions. I’ve been ridiculed for the “O” tan-line on my face that remained after wearing a face tattoo on a sunny day.

When I saw the “Experience: Autzen” video, I couldn’t help but get a little bit emotional. That’s why people love sports — it’s emotional. There’s so much drama and intensity involved in sports. You never know if you’re going to get lucky or not. There’s also a lot of nostalgia that surrounds a team you’ve grown up with. I love this video because it truly captures the experience of a football game at Autzen stadium; an experience like no other.

Now, my days as a student at the University of Oregon are almost over. My last home football game as a student is this Friday at the Pac-12 championship. I’m not sure where the next phases of my life will lead me, but wherever it is you can bet that I’ll be watching those football games.

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