This is a nice little post inspired by a question, in a comment, from the illustrious Desert Songbird, who asked.
Desert Songbird said...
Bite me, Sparky.
BTW - did you take your pseudonym from the Sun Devils mascot?
Firstly, the bite me of course comes from my fun little barb in the comments section this week. When you get the win, you just have to rub it in a little.
But, yes, Sparky comes from the Sun Devils mascot Sparky, um the Sun Devil or something like that. I actually had this blog started back before my folks moved to Arizona, but I was using my real name. As I got more opinionated, I had to think of a nome de plume. Then I saw 3 Arizona State games that year, and absolutely loved the way that the Sparky Sun Devil came flipping out to the song Thunderstruck before the games and it hit me.
Sparky was the name, but I needed a last name, since while I like Arizona State when they are not playing Oregon, they are not my team.
So, the next thought, to stick with the football vibe was of course to take the Duck as my pseudo last name. I have always liked Ducks, always thought they were cute. Growing up I liked Daffy and Donald better then Mickey and Bugs, so its not just an Oregon thing. But, it also was kinda an Oregon thing, since they are my team.
Which of course lends it self to another question, why in the blue blazes is Oregon my team in the first place. Well, thats a long story, which you get to enjoy right now.
Back when I first got cable in my bedroom, late night sports was a hit or miss. Sometimes you would get a good game on ESPN, but you also had the chance of seeing Professional Darts. So, on the smaller stations, you would sometimes get a really really cheap College Football game. You know, the dregs of the NCAAs of the time, Akron vs Lousiana Tech, Wake Forest vs Duke, and late at night, alot of Oregon football, usually in the pitch dark and rain of an Oregon fall. I thought the Ducks were such a plucky team, even though they were retched and there two toned football field was cool. Plus, any football fan will tell you they love watching a game in the rain.
Fast Forward to the late 80s. I had always checked to see how Oregon was doing as a team, and while they had the occasional 7 win year, which would again get them on a bowl game that was available always on public access, they just were not consistently good. And for some reason, I wanted them to be consistently good. Then, there was the Rose Bowl year. They played Penn State, who I always hated when growing up, and the Ducks were the little Engine that Could. So when Oregon stayed close for a half, I was hooked.
Follow that up with the Joey Harrington years, where Oregon was close to Championship level for 3 out of his 4 years, as well as 3 trips to Portland Oregon, where I loved the weather, the skyline, Mount Hood and the fact that you could drink beer in the Food Court and I had my team. Plus, Oregon was on TV almost every week, while my alma Mater, Delaware, was on once a year, and you had the Oregon Duck fan that you have today.
Plus Sparky Duck sounds alot better then Donald Devil.