Once a Duck, always a Duck. But how do you know if you are a true Ducks fan?
In this quiet moment before Oregon football spring practice starts next week—yippee!—let's examine what it really means to be a Duck. The Tide may roll, the Mountaineer may walk around with a gun (what is that?!?), and they may hook 'em Horns till the cows come home in Texas, but a Duck is, well, a Duck.
If two or more of the following apply to you, it is safe to assume that you will always be a Duck.
You hate the University of Washington Huskies so much that you find yourself shaking your fist at cars with Washington license plates on I-5.
Why can't they stay in their own state?
And why do they always hog the left lane? Do they not see the parade building up behind them?
You know you're a Duck when the yellow and green section of your closet is wayyyy out of proportion to your other colors.
Your closet isn't color-coded?
You are not yet 30 years old, but you know who Otis Day & The Knights are. The end of the third period at Autzen Stadium is your favorite three minutes of the entire week.
"You know you make me want to Shout."
Since you have become a Duck, both your math skills and the number of push-ups you can do have improved.
Especially in multiples of seven.
You know you're a Duck when you are out hiking and a flock of ducks flies overhead and you wave at them and yell, "Go Ducks!"
Wonder if Alabama fans get the same joy when they see the tide. I doubt it.
You know you're a Duck when the first two words of a sports headline are "Colt Lyerla", and you hold your breath fearing the end of the sentence.
Maybe the next time you read his name it will be something wonderful (that's another sign that you are a true Ducks fan—unflagging optimism.)
You know you're a Duck when you truly despise Cam Newton and hope he has a horrible pro career.
You've tried to be big about losing to his Auburn Tigers in the 2011 championship game, but you just can't shake it.
You know you're a Duck when you leave the "O" with wings decal on your car year round.
There just doesn't seem to be a reason to take it off.
You know you're a Duck when you still have nightmares about that Oregon vs. Arizona game in 2007 when quarterback Dennis Dixon went down with that gruesome injury.
In my nightmare, Coach Bellotti keeps shaking Dixon and saying "No! No! No!"
You know you are a true Duck when you have taken out a loan to fund tickets to an away game.
But it was so worth it because the Ducks won! And, it's only money anyway.
The only things you need in life are to see Tina Turner live one more time, and for the Ducks to win The Natty.
Oh wait, that's just me.
You truly believe that the Ducks are America's Team. They are, after all, more exciting, faster and more fun than every other team out there.
And don't even talk about comparing mascots.
You are indeed a true Ducks fan because you are reading this article in the hopes of learning one small morsel about your beloved Ducks when there is nothing going on.
But spring practice starts next week! And because you are a true Duck, you just know that this is the year!
Kay Jennings is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.