Morning, folks! Nary a football player to be spotted from either the UW or Oregon side so far this morning (nor a media member, except freelance color man Hugh Millen, for that matter in the Autzen Stadium press box).
The Ducks' marching band is occupying the field while thousands of Oreogn fans are in adjacent parking lots already tail-gating for the big homecoming matchup against the hated Huskies.
Tried getting on the road early this morning. Stayed in south Salem. At 7 a.m., traveling Ducks' fans were already up eating breakfast before hitting the road.
Guess the sign of all signs - possibly the most appropriate thing I saw on the way in this morning - was in the line of traffic.
Out front was a green-colored Honda Civic with pon-pons fastened to the hood (assuming they were meant to be duck feathers). Four Oregon flags were whipping through the airstream, and more pon-pons in the back.
Trailing the car was a sports utility vehicle with Washington plate. Inside was a man wearing a Husky hat. The windows of the vehicle were tinted. Took a few squints to make out the occupant.
And the third car was another Oregon fan. No decorations. Just two people ready to roll (and a few hundred yards in back of them was a car with a bunch of Oregon State memorabilia ... maybe Beavers' faithful will be ready to join in on the pile-on).
Sat in a long line of cars, trucks and RVs waiting to get into the "media" parking lot at 8:15 a.m. (former Seattle Times writer Craig Smith always asked me when we were on the road with Washington State football, what would I be listening to in the car? Today, it was Earth, Wind and Fire and Donna Summer ... see the 1970s' influence?)
Lots opened for tail-gating at 8:30 - four hours before kickoff. By the time I got to the lot, it was already full.
"It's crazy," the parking attendant told me as she redirected me to another lot, which seemed like another three miles from the press-box entrance.
Should make for an action-filled day. Will be back later with personnel updates. Hoping to make it out of here by 8 p.m. to get back in Tacoma, and join a few buds for that "extra hour" of chatter.
** UPDATE I: My man, former P-I sports scribe and current ESPN 710-AM radio jockey Jim Moore, has been grousing that nobody loves him. Well, here is a link to the "Great Coug's" picks this morning. Check it out here.
** UPDATE II: Travel roster just handed out. Guys not here include the following:
LB Jonathan AmosaOL James AtoeLS Peter Becker (walkon)SS Zach Beebe (walkon)CB Anthony BoylesLB Victor BurnettWR DiAndre CampbellDB Laroy Chase (walkon)RB Deontae Cooper (INJ)DE Talia Crichton (INJ)OL Mike CristeRB Joey DeRitis (walkon)FS Ken Egu (walkon)DE Cameron Elisara (INJ)RB Johri Fogerson (RB)DE Pete Galbraith (walkon)DB Anthony GobernTE Michael Hartvigson (INJ)OL Micah HatchieDE Andrew HudsonTE Chris Izbicki (INJ)LB Jamaal KearseLB Alec Kimble (walkon)WR Din Kuses (walkon)DT Lawrence LagafuainaP Will Mahan (INJ)FB Kimo MakaulaS Ryan McLoughlin (walkon)S Marquis PersleyWR Jordan Polk (INJ)OL Ben RivaDL Drew Schultz (walkon)DE Josh ShirleyP Evan Steinruck (walkon)OL Colin TanigawaFB Tobias Togi (walkon)OL Derek Weston (walkon)QB Erik Wilson (walkon)
The head-scratcher is Izbicki, who practiced fully. UW coach Steve Sarkisian does not like taking guys on the road unless they are fully healthy (Jake Locker is the exception ... he is on the travel roster even though he's out with the broken rib).
After traveling to Arizona, Shirley was left back in Seattle. ... A surprise addition was walk-on Willis Wilson, a running back from Lakes High. It is the true freshman's first road trip. ... Which is more than can be said for Boyles, who has not made a trip all season.
As far as the uniforms ... the all-whites are on display today for the Huskies.
** UPDATE III: Looks like senior Gregory Christine will go at right guard, not Colin Porter. ... Also, quarterback Keith Price went through a usual pre-game warmup without limitations. Price apparently was visiting with a UW athletic trainer after practice Thursday.