It’s a cold, Monday afternoon in Whiteaker, Oregon, and at first glance it would appear that most residents aren’t even aware that there is a football game today.
While there is no doubt that the Ducks’ national title run has been the talk of much of the town for the last couple of months, Whiteaker isn’t exactly known for its sports scene. But on such a special occasion, some of the bars in the area are putting up decorations and canceling their scheduled events for viewing parties. “Eveyone’s getting excited and ready for the game,” said Tim Roshnow, a street vendor selling Oregon merchandise on 6th and Adams. He explained that he is not from the Eugene area, and is simply selling Oregon gear for the weekend before moving on to Atlanta, Georgia to sell NFL playoff merchandise. Tim’s tent is fairly empty after three days on the street corner. “There’s really not much to see,” explains Tim with a smirk. “Everyone’s I’ve talked to is going to a party so that’s why they’re buying a shirt.” Despite not being from the area, Tim seems to have a minor case of duck fever, and says he feels as though the ducks will win in a close game.
Just down the street, bar manager Terry is setting up balloons and decorations for a viewing party at the Sidepocket Tavern. “It’s been a good season and we’re all happy about it,” explains Terry. Although he is not sure how big of a turn out there will be for the game, there still seems to be a buzz about the bar. “We’ve got a feed going on, so people are going to be there at halftime to eat.” Upon being asked who he thinks will win the game, he answers without hesitation. “Oregon,” states Terry without missing a beat. “It’ll be close, but I figure by about 10 points.”
Down at Sam Bond’s Garage on Blair boulevard, workers are on the roof setting up a satellite and a large widescreen tv for the game. Equipped with an ear-to-ear grin and a homemade Chip Kelly t-shirt, bar host Todd Davis can barely contain his excitement for the game. “I think the whole state is just ecstatic,” says Todd. “And you kind of have to be. It’s history in the making.” Sam Bond’s Garage had to cancel their open mic night for the game, which is usually held on Mondays. “I’m sure there are a couple of people who are upset that there wont be open mic night,” says Todd with a grin. “But I think it’s going to be exciting.” He went on to say that the bar usually doesn’t play sporting events; however they will show ducks games on special occasions. “Last year we showed the Rose Bowl… we don’t really have TVs here or anything like that.” Todd left with a bold prediction of the ducks winning 56 to 51.
Despite the small sports scene in the area, residents in Whiteaker will have options of places to watch the game a root for the ducks.