Although practices have already begun, the seal on a fresh 2018 Oregon football season will not be opened until September 1st. And, since we can only read through practice reports so many times, we still have to find something to do with three more weeks. I present to you twenty different activities to prepare your mind for the upcoming season:
Color code Oregon gear
So you’ve got a lot of Oregon clothes in your closet. You don’t wanna be unprepared come September. Organize all your stuff — I know some of you have mountains of shirts. Plan different outfits for individual color schemes. Have a default favorite outfit for yellow, green, black, and white. Show up to the function with that snazzy Oregon fit that you planned weeks in advance.
Rank top 10 plays from the 2017 season
I know last season may have been underwhelming at times, but sift through the highlights from all of Oregon’s games and make a top 5 or top 10 favorite plays. Nothing gets the excitement going like all of the incredible stuff you witnessed last season. That Charles Nelson touchdown pass has to be number one, otherwise don’t show me your list.
3. Willie Taggart VooDoo Doll
I’m not versed in black magic but, if you’re up for a lengthy project, then a Willie Taggart VooDoo doll might be a crowd favorite. I don’t endorse any harming of Willie but maybe give him a back itch at 2 AM. Plus, if you’re the type that hasn’t let go of Taggart, maybe a physical manifestation of him will do the trick and close that book. Closure, ya know?
Brainstorm Oregon themed food and drink recipes
Whether it’s for parties or tailgates, there is nothing quite like knocking it out of the park with a crowd pleasing food/drink item. For those of you in the culinary arts, brainstorm all kinds of different Oregon puns and different recipes. Imagine a lemon-lime homemade Justin Sherbert. (Editor’s note: I’m a Husky fan but endorse this idea.) Perhaps red cake pops called Mario Cristoballs. The world is wide open to amazing foods and it pays to be prepared with recipes.
Place a small bet on Justin Herbert for Heisman
Vegas has Herbert at 1-33 odds for the Heisman trophy right now. Go stash anywhere from $5 to $20 and then forget about it. If our superstar quarterback does go and secure that trophy, you’re gonna earn yourself a jackpot of anywhere from $165 to $660. If you’re not old enough to place that bet then go and find a willing friend to take your money for 1-40 odds or 1-50 odds.
Continue cashing in on the 69-10 while you still can
After a pounding of the Oregon State Beavers in 2017, simply referencing 69-10 is a beautiful way to jab at them. You’ve only got a few more months to take advantage of that meme. Brainstorm some new ways to keep the sting alive without letting the joke get stale.
Creatively trolling other Pac-12 fans online
For those of you that love to talk college sports on places like Reddit, there’s a variety of strategic and harmless ways to poke fun at fans of other schools. It can be casually replying 69-10 to an OSU fan on a completely unrelated post in a different forum or catching someone in confusion about how it never rains in Autzen stadium. Screenshot a confused fan trying to understand how it can rain all the time in Eugene and not in Autzen. For those of you that know the joke, try talking about our new recruit Sugandese and how coach Ligma is gonna play a huge role in the upcoming game. If successful please send results my way @mstrite61.
Join the battle for paying NCAA athletes
Giving college athletes a basic universal stipend feels like something that is inevitable. Do your part and put pressure on the NCAA because every petition or letter moves the needle and brings the day closer that college football players can at least receive a fraction of the millions of dollars they generate for others. Feel free to have your own stance, but I would push for the entire roster of active players being paid equally. Furthermore, that specific per player amount would be a fixed percentage of the revenue generated by the program, so certain schools with small programs wouldn’t be hampered by now being forced to pay players, while the players at massive programs can at least share some of the wealth they primarily generate. Tweet in support, start a petition, write a letter — the players you expect to win games this season probably appreciate it.
Memorize bowl games
This one might sound like a snooze but I told you these are supposed to be time killers. Plus having an encyclopedic knowledge of all the bowl games is a neat party trick. You can strive for just memorizing all 43 bowl game names, or you can research the geographical location of each bowl as well as what conferences traditionally play in it. Do five or ten games every day and watch the days fly by. (Editor’s note: Nerd alert.)
Memorize Oregon’s 2018 roster
Find yourself a copy of Oregon’s 2018 Football squad and start memorizing what uniform numbers go with every player. There might be a handful of players whom you just recognize instantly. Go through and remember a little fact about every player and work on memorizing what his number is. Putting in the time to study the entire roster will be useful once the season starts. Someone will make a tackle and while everyone else will wonder, “Who was that guy again?” you’ll not only know precisely who that player is, but you’ll also have a fun fact about them buried in the memory bank from that preseason memorization.
Pick a recruit and be a big fan
Everyone loves talking about the high profile four or five star recruits. Marcus Mariota was not a five star recruit. Research all the underrated players joining Oregon this season and pick a favorite. Find something that stands out to you and just be a big fan of that one random player that nobody else recognizes. Maybe he’ll never play and you’ll totally forget but if you pick someone that ends up with a wholesome productive career at UO then you get that added pleasure of “being a fan before it was cool.”
Scour the internet for cheap green and yellow items
With all your free time you can dig around on Ebay or Amazon and hunt down bargains on green and yellow crap. Whether it’s looking for items for tailgates or just home décor, you can always upgrade your boring things to festive Oregon themed ones.
Identify good luck charms
A true college football fan has their lucky charm. Round up four or five different items that feel like they have lucky energy being emitted. Have your lucky charms ready so you can cycle through them and figure out which one’s got the most good luck stored for the season ahead. Remember to stick it out with your first charm until you’re confident it’s not gonna help Oregon’s field goal gently hook through the uprights.
Make an Oregon themed fantasy football team.
It’s that time of year when fantasy football leagues are hosting drafts. Whether it’s a random league or one that you have with friends, dedicate an entire fantasy football team to Oregon alumni. You’re obviously allowed to draft players from other schools, because an exclusively Oregon fantasy team might not win many games. Write down all the following players and make sure you jump on them a couple rounds earlier than the competition. Obviously you need Marcus Mariota to be the QB. There’s lots of RB options, with Jonathan Stewart, LeGarrette Blount, Royce Freeman, Kenjon Barner, and De’Anthony Thomas. Unfortunately you’re totally out of luck for Oregon wide receivers, but be sure to snag Ed Dickson at tight end. Defense is up in the air but as long as the team has Haloti Ngata, Patrick Chung, TJ Ward, Jairus Byrd, Kiko Alonso, or DeForest Buckner, then you can pass it off the most Oregon themed fantasy football team that anyone will possibly draft in the world.
Play NCAA Football 2014
This is obviously for a handful of readers, but for those of you that played EA’s NCAA Football games can understand the magic. Although the five year old game is starting to feel outdated, I firmly believe it was the greatest sports video game to ever be created. I can only sit and cross my fingers that someday the franchise will be revived, but for those of you that know, dust off that old Xbox360 or PS3 and play your heart out. Operation Sports even keeps updated rosters available to be downloaded in game. This game has a passionate community that is dedicated to keeping the game alive. Even if it requires you to dig up that Xbox360 and the graphics are starting to look dated, the mechanics and core gameplay of NCAA Football are truly phenomenal and I pity the video game fans who never stumbled upon that gold mine of a game.
Start a Pac-12 Pick’em pool with friends and family
One of the fun things that you can organize before the season and officiate as the season goes on is a Pac-12 Pick’em. Every week of conference play, everyone involved makes one and only one prediction for the week’s slate of games. You basically get to look over the matchups and decide which one you have the most confidence in picking a winner. This comes with added twist that you can only pick each team once. Once you’ve used USC in a prediction, you have to choose a different team next week. To avoid everyone picking whoever plays Oregon State that week, you can also throw in a rule that you can only pick a certain team to lose twice for the whole year as well. Track the standings and maybe get a cash prize for the winner. Perhaps in the event of a tie you can see who predicts more Pac-12 bowl games correctly.
Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve seen your local Oregon colleagues. Host a fun little preseason get-together and use it as an opportunity to accomplish some of the other items on the list. Experiment with different recipes, get advice on outfits, or organize the Pac-12 Pick’em. There’s a whole host of activities to do but the main idea is it’s never too early to party!
Indulge in Jim Leavitt Twitter
Our wonderful Defensive Coordinator Jim Leavitt is still at Oregon this season and that means Pepsi Man is here to stay. For those of you unaware, Jim Leavitt’s Twitter feed is a magical place where every other tweet features reference to “ice cold Pepsi” and ends with “Go Ducks!” Make a compilation of how many times the word Pepsi has been used in a Leavitt tweet and send it my way. If this is the first you’re hearing of it then do yourself a favor and go to Twitter advanced search. Once you’re there look for tweets containing the word Pepsi from @CoachJimLeavitt.
Watch Oregon volleyball and soccer
You simply are not allowed to only be a fan of Oregon football. Support the other teams as well, and get out to watch these teams play. Oregon Volleyball will be going on all season long and this team is an absolute treat to watch. Both teams have their season start roughly a week before Oregon football so come out to at least one game for both teams. Oregon women’s sports did finish 13th in the Capital One Cup standings after all.
Maintain other hobbies, don’t miss football too much
It might come as a surprise, but even if we love that crazy passion for Oregon football, you gotta keep up the rest of life too. You can be excited about football season, but if you’re missing it a little too much then be sure to pick up extra hobbies. I know I just told you to memorize bowl games, brainstorm Oregon recipes, and troll other fans online, but at the same time have a life! Keep yourself entertained by other Oregon sports and different passions so that when the season comes back, you’re feeling a little bump of excitement and not any relief from the hole it left in your soul.
Enjoy yourself with those ideas and 100% send them my way if you’ve taken any of my advice. September 1st will be Oregon football’s season opener but don’t forget about Oregon volleyball in action at Matt Knight Arena both August 31st and September 1st playing three different opponents. Oregon soccer also plays both August 31st and September 2nd so treat yourself to a whole weekend of welcoming a new year of Oregon athletics.