We purchased the tickets for the civil war way back when they first came up for sale. I waited until after midnight that night to get the best seats that I could get....or at least I thought they would be. They were in the fifth row along the side on the third level. Close to the corner but the picture online of what the floor was to look like looked pretty good. As the season progressed and the Ducks continued to lose, we all wondered if the game would be any good at all but we were excited just to go to Mac Court for a game.
We left Judy and Casey working at the diner. Business was brisk and I felt a little guilty about going but I promised the girls we would get going early so around eleven, we headed out.
We had a great trip over and pulled into the parking lot of the Broadway motel on Franklin to get our room. I had found the motel online and it had not only had one of the best rates but was also one of the highest ranking stays. I had booked a twin room with the girls in one side and Jay and I in the other.
The motel was old and I remembered staying there once with Judy. We checked in and found the rooms to be small but very clean. The girls wanted to go to a shopping center so we went off to Valley River. After a quick snack, we split up with Jay and I heading for the sports stores. He had ten dollars in his pocket burning a hole and we found a pretty nice basketball with a penny change on top.
Jay showed me how he could dribble between his legs which very much impressed me and that little red haired girl that watched from a distance. After purchasing an ice cream, we sat on a bench in the middle of the mall and waited for word from the girls.
It was then off to Track Town Pizza which is the only place to eat on game day. We all ordered individual pizzas and sat watching the beginning of the Blazer game on one of their TVs.
Afterwards, we cruised by Mac Court and decided that it was best that we drove over since it was threatening rain instead of walking as we had originally chose to do. We parked just across the hill from Mac Court and walked through the cemetery. It brought back plenty of memories. You really have to walk through the cemetery to the game to have the full experience. As we came up to the lights of Mac Court, it brought back a very vivid memory of back in the late sixties. Undefeated UCLA was in town and the game was sold out. I walked through that same grave yard and stood on that same lit sidewalk in front of Mac Court and with a twenty held up in my hand, I yelled, "I will give you twenty bucks for your seat.". I remember people looked at me like I was crazy but back then, twenty bucks was quite allot. I thought someone would take me up but no one did. I ended up going to a drive in movie, turning down the sound and turning up the radio and listening to the Ducks giving the Bruins the first defeat of the season.
We entered Mac and made our way to our seats. They had to be one of the worst seats in the house. The fifth row was the last row. The seats were bench and not that much higher than the ones in front of us. We could not see the scoreboard and had to twist and turn to just see most of the floor. Jay could not see at all so we sat on the back of my seat to try and get a better look. The girls had a vent just above them so they could not sit as we were. As the game got closer, I spied four seats together just over and right after tip off, we all moved to those seats. They were much better with a great view of the floor and scoreboard.
The game started off with the Beavers easily handling the inexperienced Ducks. Try as they did, the Ducks just could not stay with them and at half time were down by ten points.
I needed to go to the bathroom and since Mac only has a couple of those on the main floor, I decided to wait until midway through the second half to get any chance. I ducked out with the Beavers up by twelve points.
The line was long but not close to as long as it would have been at half time and as I locked the stall, I noticed the noise level of the stadium seemed to be getting a little louder. The roars continued to intensify and the walls and floor started to shake. It was so intense that the lock on the door kept unlocking on me. I was wondering what I was missing out on. When I washed my hands, I noticed something else. I was the only one in the bathroom. With 9000 people and four bathrooms, I really began to wonder what was happening in the game.
I soon found out as I walked out and looked up at the scoreboard that showed that the game was now tied. The last part of the game was well worth the ticket as the place had erupted as Mac Court of old. Fans clapping, stomping, and yelling so loud that the refs could not even hear the buzzer. The Ducks with the help of the fervor of the fans threw the Beavers way out of whack and the Ducks ended up beating them by ten points.....a twenty point turn around from half time. Now, I have always challenged Jay to watch the flow of a game and was pleasantly surprised when he made an analysis of the Ducks point guard. "TP needs to pass the ball more, he is ball hogging and is missing allot of open guys.". I told him to remember that when he played and he said that he would.
We walked amongst students and supporters back through the erie graveyard, to our car, a stop at Safeway for snacks, and back to our room. Along the way, we called Casey up to sing the Oregon fight song to him. Casey is the only Beaver fan in the family. I did everything that I could to make him one including taking him to quite a few games and introducing him to players and coaches but in the end, his buddy, Jason, went to Oregon State and he became a Beaver believer.
We wound down in the room with a movie and snacks and went to sleep around midnight. Carrie had warned me about Jay being a somewhat active sleeper and around one or so, he raised up and yelled, "Blocked Shot, where is the ball!". I reached over and pulled him back down to the bed, ruffling his hair and joking with him saying, "Did you win the game?". He dropped back to sleep only to wake up an hour or so later, raise up on his arms, look at me and yell, "Why?". Laughing, I quipped back, "Why not, little buddy?". He then dropped off for the rest of the night.
The motel had a very nice little continental breakfast in the morning. There was coffee in the pot with a air pot right next to it. I figured that it was decaf so I put some cream in my cup and pressed down on the cup to find orange juice coming out. I started to throw it away but after tasting it realized that it was kind of like a creamsicle so I just filled the cup and drank.
A good time with the kids, a great game in one of the last at Mac Court, and a fun day away, we left early to get back to Bend and be with Casey as much as we could before he left. I think it will be an adventure that we will remember for many years to come.