Duck fans celebrate BCS game at local hotel

The excited crowd at the Red Lion Hotel’s BCS championship party cheered for all of the University of Oregon’s big plays, but one couple in the crowd cheered especially loud whenever one Oregon football player laid his hands on the football.  Julie and Jeff Lopeteguy loudly cheered on Jeff Maehl, the Wide Receiver who was instrumental in the Oregon’s storybook year.
The couple has followed Maehl’s career since his high school football days in their hometown: Chico, California. Jeff Lopteguy, who coaches football at Butte College in Chico, was aware of Maehl’s rise to prominence.  Julie says “It’s like he was our own son” of the hometown star who became one of Oregon’s top players.
The Lopeteguys made up just a small piece of the green and yellow tableau in the Oregon banner-strewn lounge of the Red Lion Hotel on Coburg Road. Front Desk Manager Eddie Franklin says that the hotel hosts watch parties with food and drink specials for all Oregon football games, but that the busiest parties are for home games.
“We usually just have these events in the fall,” he says, “but it’s nice to have these championship games in the winter”.  The hotel usually triples the number of staff working the lounge in anticipation of the turnout for the viewing parties.
The hotel’s combination of low-priced food and drinks attracted fans both new and old to the BCS viewing party.  Deborah Garlin moved to Eugene this year and says that she has become a Duck fan over the last five months.  Garlin commented that she enjoys being able to just say “Go Ducks!” to elicit a friendly response from Duck fans.
Conversely to the newer fans like Garlin, Eli Meyer, a former graduate student in the International Relations program at the University of Oregon, says that he has been following the Ducks for the last five years. “We’re not big sports people” he says of himself and his companion Brook Edwards, “but we’ve really enjoyed being part of the energy of the Ducks.”
Meyer says that while they’ll never be season ticket holders they’ve often gone to watch parties at local establishments like The Cooler and Cornucopia.
Edwards, another UO graduate, says that sports are such a large part of the community that they help to bring people together.
Meyer and Edwards had differing opinions about how the game would turn out.  Meyer was cautiously optimistic, but said that the game would be “a real struggle.”
Edwards was a bit more confident and said that the Ducks had enough spirit to win the game.
Edwards added as a final note that “Even if they are not having a bang-up year we’ll probably still follow the Ducks in the future.”

About anthonyrimel

I graduated from OSU in 2008 with a degree in International Business and I am currently working on a second bachelors degree, this time in Journalism. In the time since I graduated I worked a variety of temporary positions in the corporate world. After a long and windy path I settled into an IT position at SUPERVALU where I worked on a variety of communications projects. I quickly began to realize that I was a lot more interested in the communications side of my job than I was about business or IT. Photography and writing have always been passions of mine so I decided that going back to school wouldn’t be such a bad idea. I’ve had a few people ask me why I want to get into Journalism in times where the industry is struggling as much as it is. Newspapers are dying out, TV viewership and book sales are down and the industry is shedding jobs like mad. While this is certainly true and it does seem like a difficult time to be entering the industry I also see a lot of opportunity out there. This generation of students is the one that gets to go out into the world and be pioneers that will shape the future landscape of media. The old industries are dying out or drastically changing but people are consuming more media than ever. While it is certainly a difficult environment it is also a time of tremendous opportunity. Students today are the ones that are going to be inventing new ways to bring the world it’s news and being involved in that is tremendously exciting to me! I’m here to write about Journalism, talk about my current experiences as a student traveler and observer of the world.
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