Fri Oct 30 10:28am EDT
Our weekly tailgating guide veers west for Saturday's all-important USC-Oregon showdown. Bring your yelling lungs and your beer-snob buddies for this one.
Visitors from more storied programs in the south or midwest will be delighted at what they find in Eugene. West coast football doesn't always get the media love it should, and in this case it's a shame, because Oregon is the best road trip in the Pac-10. The fans are friendly, the beer selection around town is nigh unparalleled and the stadium is shockingly loud (Autzen only holds 54,000 people, but try telling that to nearby Richter scales). One embedded Duck correspondent explains:
We have three levels of loud. There's first quarter against Utah State, Montana, Portland State loud. It's a good early effort, but dissipates as the score gets ugly. The next level is conference opponent loud. It's a game that matters and we take our home field advantage seriously ... we're not going to let up on you. Finally, there's Michigan, USC, Wisconsin, Oklahoma where we have a one-score lead late in the fourth and you're trying to take it away from us loud. For those sensitive to extreme volumes, that last level can be downright painful. We recommend ear plugs for children. Seriously.
Parking, as with any popular gameday locale, is a headache and a half, but you can generally find a $10 spot within walking distance of the action if you don't have a stadium pass. For maximum scenic enjoyment, our Eugene blogger brethren recommend parking around Franklin Boulevard and taking the path over the Willamette river and through Alton Baker park to the stadium. The school also offers cheap, secured bike storage during games, and the city also offers a gameday park-and-ride shuttle for $5.
What To Wear.
If you really want to blend in, join the popular student pasttime of trying to match the players' ever-changing uni combinations, which get "leaked" to local media outlets the week of the game. (This will involve packing everything stadium-worthy you own that's white, green, yellow, black, silver, or "carbon." Nobody said it would be easy.) And if it gets chilly, there's always the spandex body stocking (below), an alternative to body paint for the brave of heart and high of BAC.
If you are going with the full-body stocking, we recommend proper ... uh, insulation. Please. There are children.
• The Glenwood, 1340 Alder Street. Kickoff's not until 5 p.m. local time, but if you're making a full day of it at the tailgate, stop here for breakfast first.
• Track Town Pizza, 1809 Franklin Boulevard. Try the meat-tastic Heptathalon pizza.
• The Moshofsky Center, Oregon's practice facility next door to the stadium, and the site of a weekly family-friendly indoor tailgate party. Take shelter here in case of rain, grab a hot dog and catch up on scores of interest, and don't miss the players' pregame walk-through. You'll need to have your ticket handy to get in.
• The Cooler Tavern, 20 Centennial Loop. Stadium-adjacent A-frame bar with good grub.
• The Bier Stein, 345 E 11th Avenue. A little ways out from campus, but well worth it. Every beer you've ever heard of has passed through these taps at one point or another.
• Jackalope Lounge, 453 Willamette Street. Good spot for some blogging (the Web site proclaims, "WE GOTS WIFI OUTDOOR SEATING FOR Y'ALL SMOKERS"), and it's hard to dislike any establishment that promotes the majesty of the jackalope.
What To Drink.
You're in a microbrew town, campers. Ask your friendly barkeep for anything brewed within state lines and it's hard to go wrong. We prefer Ninkasi's Tricerahops Double IPA, because it is delicious and named after a mythical, boozy dinosaur.
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Thanks this week to Jeremy Conant, Lloyd Keith, Shea Miller, and Damion Whitt.
Holly welcomes your adulation and veiled threats at nastinchka-at-yahoo, etc.