I can't even tell you how excited Michael has been for this Civil War game and for the success of his Oregon State Beaver team. For those of you who aren't up to speed, if Oregon State beats out Oregon on their home field today at the Civil War, they are Rose Bowl bound. That is huge. It's been since the mid-sixties that that has happened. The Ducks' fate is pretty much secure win or lose - I think we are headed (no matter what) to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego. One would think we should just roll over, then, and let them have the win, huh? Something tells me that that is NOT the message Coach Bellotti is drilling into his players right now. And, for those sentimental readers, let us not forget 2005 when the Beavers took the Ducks out of the Rose Bowl with their meaningless victory- oh, we have been on the other end, my friends, many times!
But, that doesn't mean I'm not conflicted today. Honestly, it's kind of a win-win either way for me. Ideally, we would beat the Beavers, and then USC would lose to UCLA next Saturday, and therefore USC, OSU, and UofO would all share the Pac 10 title and the Beavers would still go to the Rose Bowl. However, that scenario is highly unlikely as UCLA frankly stinks this year (since I'm not a "Ricky" fan at all, this brings me great satisfaction) and has little or no chance to defeat USC. Also, it causes the Schillings anxiety for another week, and of course, leaves their fate in another team's hands.
No matter the outcome of it all, one thing's for sure - the excitement over this Civil War is bigger than it's been in a very long time. Traditionally, (for 10 years), whoever is hosting the event wins, but last year, those Beavs came into our stadium and beat us. Once again, another reason why our team isn't going to forfeit the game so the Beavs could skip on down to Pasadena.... Michael has been spending a lot of his free time devouring any website that mentions the Beavers and their rankings for the week and mention of them by prestigious sports writers. To say he's been psyched for going to this game with John today is a serious understatement.
Which makes hearing him get violently ill last night (the room I slept in was right above his room) all the more heart-breaking. Yes, that stomach thing that he's been avoiding like the plague (literally) for the last three weeks - taking vinegar each day (it's supposed to make it harder for the bug to survive), and being so careful around each of us and his own family to not catch it. But, it was hosting his own extended family at their house on Thanksgiving that was his demise. Last night, he found out that three of the family members that were there on Thursday came down with this thing, and sure enough, he was about 6 hours behind.
When I heard him, I started thinking about Plan B scenarios (yes, always the planner). The obvious thought is to let Michele go with John, or Travis and John, or whatever. But, why not turn this into something they could benefit from? And so that's why John has been working on selling these tickets on Craigslist since about 6am. Personally, I'm rooting for a certain Christmas present they've been talking about getting, but couldn't afford - but, of course, if the tickets sell, whatever they choose to spend the money on is their choice. I don't think they'll be able to get to the Rose Bowl on the profits, but sadly that would be the only thing that would make this sacrifice worthwhile for Michael.
So, if you are interested in going to the game, check out Craigslist - the tickets are posted. (And, we put Michael's sad story on there as well for hopeful selling impact). And, if you would pray for Michael to start feeling better, that would be great. At the very least, it would be wonderful for him to be able to watch the game from his bedroom without physically feeling absolutely miserable. As for who to root for, I'll leave that one up to you... =)