This was what New Year's Day looked like leaving Sunriver. Okay, I can deal with this....2015 is looking kind of spectacular.
It was certainly very nice (and perhaps I should send a Thank-You note to Coach Helfrich letting him know) to keep me distracted from the post Sunriver blues by having our Ducks secure a berth in the Play-Off Championships on New Year's Day. This also served to encourage our crew to be uber-efficient in packing/cleaning up the house, so that we could leave in time to get home, slightly unpacked, and changed into cozy clothes before watching kick-off at the Whites House at 2pm.
I think, we, as Duck Fans, all believed our team could do it - but you just never know. Watching Devon Allen most likely tear an MCL on the opening kick-off was not encouraging. But, we did some good stuff in the first half - and while still feeling edgy and unsettled during half-time, we were certainly not without hope that we could pull off the win.
And, then, the second half happened. And, oh....it was glorious! But, for FSU, and more specifically the notorious Jameis Winston (the antithesis of our Marcus Mariota in so many ways), it was catastrophic. Fumbles, punts, and interceptions seemed to be the only thing they could pull off - and Jameis just self-destructed (memes about his trip, backward toss/fumble are all over the internet). Kirk Herbstreit and Chris Fowler who called the game even suggested the team had given up - with 10 minutes still left in the fourth quarter. The final score was 59-20 - Oregon broke FSU's 29 game win streak in SPECTACULAR fashion, and even broke records for the spread of points in the Rose Bowl.
I can't even tell you how much fun it was to watch. Travis, Stephie, Michele, John, and myself kept ticking Whitley off as we yelled so loud and made so much noise with each score or turn-over. SUCH HAPPY DUCK FANS!!! And, based on these pictures, our joy could barely compare with the team itself - who have become, over the course of this season (at least based on Social Media), "America's Team" - proving that you don't have to belong to the SEC to dominate in football. (And, you don't have to be cocky, arrogant, or a criminal to win a Heisman).
AND, for the first time ever - winning the Rose Bowl isn't the end of play. It means we go on....as the t-shirts proclaim - "WON, NOT DONE". In fact, Mariota and Grassu - both considered team leaders - prevented the "Gatorade Bath" from happening to Helfrich because there "is still work to be done".
That will happen On January 12th - when we face the Ohio State Buckeyes. While we would have loved to have made a statement ourselves against Alabama - to see them taken care of by this upstanding team in the other play-off was gratifying in and of itself. The two "Giants" of FSU and Alabama were struck out with this Play-Off System - and now the Big 12 faces the Pac 12 to determine who's really the best. Oh, it's gonna be fun!
I wish I could say the year started off so magnificently for Mikayla...but, it didn't Instead, she was the next victim of the infamous stomach virus - well, technically, I think Steph was, but we didn't find that out until the next morning. (And then, Travis....so far, that's it....)
Mikayla spent all of Friday in bed - much of it throwing up. POOR THING! at one point, after sleeping from about 3pm-6pm, she woke up thinking it was Saturday at 6am...."No honey, we're still on Friday!". This illness not only canceled her already-previously-rescheduled birthday party, but her involvement in her first Webfoot Tournament of the year too. It freed up our schedule, to be sure, but as a mom watching her daughter suffer, I can't say the extra free time was worth all the pain she went through.