My weekly routine for home games – arrive in the Red Triangle parking lot early, stare at a few of the listless vendors before the home crush gets in and make my way down to "The Zone" to watch Husky fans drink merrily – was unfortunately interrupted today because of bad traffic.
Must have been those driving north on Interstate-5.
Glancing from the press box over to the practice field on the east end of the property, I see a couple 20-something Ducks' fans showcasing a bright-yellow "Oregon football" sign for all of Husky-ville to witness.
Sounds like a death warrant, if you ask me.
Which reminds me of something I forgot about during fall camp – which should shed a little more light about how much the UW despises its neighbor to the south.
Midway through an open-to-the-public practice, a couple of men – presumably students – walked in with Oregon garments on, partially hidden. Yeah, as they strolled around the track, they began revealing their T-shirts. If they were Oregon fans, I'm not sure. For all I know, they could have been Cougars.
As soon as a couple UW staffers, and a pair of security folks saw this, they immediately took action. In not-so-polite terms, they asked the two men to depart the premises.
All week, I've felt both coaches – UW's Steve Sarkisian and Oregon's Chip Kelly – have done their best to sort of underwrite the hatred both universities share toward each other. Understandably, it's not their job, or in their best interest, to fan the already-raging flames of this rivalry.
But as the week went on, Sarkisian's extended we-respect-the-rivalry bravado kind of died down, to the extent where if he was asked a question about Oregon, he kept his response brief.
Speaking of the two coaches, they are meeting right now in the purple "W" near the 50-yard line, talking. We're 50 minutes before kickoff – of a game I'm sure both fan bases have been anticipating for weeks now.
** PRE-GAME UPDATE: As expected, UW defensive tackle Cameron Elisara (neck stinger) is out. … Oregon's Jeremiah Masoli (knee) came out in pre-game warmups and looked sharp without limitations. I would expect him to start at quarterback.
** UPDATE II: Cornerback Adam Long and safety Tripper Johnson are game-day captains to go along with regular four season-long captains (Jake Locker, Ryan Tolar, Daniel Te'o-Nesheim and Donald Butler).