January 22, 2011 - 2:16 PM
In the words of our Mayor of Eugene, Kitty Piercy, "Do we know how to throw a party, or what?!?"
Yes, Mayor Piercy, we sure do. Downtown Eugene was the place to be on today's surprisingly sunny Saturday afternoon where thousands of University of Oregon students and Eugene and Springfield locals swarmed to celebrate champions on the field, in the classroom, and among the community...and, man, do we have a lot to celebrate.
Seriously, there were almost fifty groups and floats marching from campus to downtown! If you ask me that might be a little overkill, but this is the first ever Eugene Champions Parade, so we might as well start it off with a bang.
On a personal note I was invited to march (or cycle) in the parade by a few different groups, and I was planning on riding with the Eugene Bicycle Champions, i.e, the UO Bicycle Program plus any other bicycle advocates around, which means just about everyone. Let's just say I didn't make it due to an ‘alarm clock malfunction,' coupled with a desperate need for sleep that overrode my brain's ability to control my body.
So, instead of waking up early to be in the parade, I settled for a few extra hours of shut-eye and a chance to watch the parade as a sidewalk spectator. I was able to watch friends walk with the UO School of Architecture & the Allied Arts, and the UO College of Arts & Science. I saw co-workers on the UO Facilities Services trailer, which I caught a sneak peak of in the Facilities warehouse when I was at work Friday afternoon. All in all, I'm pleased with my decision.
Other parade groups included the UO ROTC & Color Guard, UO Gospel Choir, Emerald City Rollergirls, Oregon Bach Festival, Lane Community College, Oregon Daily Emerald, Ninkasi Brewing Company, On the Rocks, Samba Ja, the Slug Queen, Safe Routes to School, McCornack Unicycle Club, Queer Eugene, Sanipac, and UO Honors College & National Champion Debate Team. Yes, we had plenty to celebrate.
The headliner of the parade, however, was Chip Kelly and the Oregon Ducks football team. Ironic, I know, because technically speak they aren't champions, but that doesn't mean we can't be proud of what they did accomplish in their historical season. Just because we lost one game doesn't been we should forget about the twelve wins.
Chip spoke very eloquently about the team's loss. "I told our team one thing: we were not playing for a ring, we were not playing for trophy, we were not playing for a crystal ball," said Kelly. "I told them to think of the person in there life that meant the most to them and that all I wanted to do after the game, was that if that person could smile at them and tell them they were proud, then they were successful." Well said, Chip.
For more info on the Parade, check out this article from KMTR Eugene. It includes a recap about the day's highlights and a nice video. Also, check out photos on taken by UO photographers. Finally, I've embedded a video below that my roommate, Kevin, took while he was riding on the football team's trailer.
Video courtesy of Kevin Yamaka
I said it last week after the National Championship and I'll say it again. I still love my Ducks! And, as you can see, I'm not alone.