I can’t help think back to the TV show Leave It To Beaver starring Jerry Mathers (As “The Beaver” Cleaver). It aired from 1957-1963 in glorious black & white. Ipana toothpaste might have been a sponsor with a mascot named Bucky Beaver.  Since this is a family blog, I won’t get into any other childhood Beaver references. All silliness aside, our move to Oregon seven years ago put me in touch with both Beaver and Duck sports, so I’ve become a fan. I’ve visited both campuses and watched both schools play on several occasions. As a Hoosier, I liken it to the rivalry between Purdue and Indiana, but instead of an Old Oaken Bucket, it’s a Civil War. 

A few years ago, I followed the Baseball Beavs to the College World Series in Omaha with a good friend. We also watched both basketball teams play at the Moda Center for two of Phil Knight’s Nike Invitationals, the first to celebrate his 80th birthday. We then saw the defending national champion Beavers play at T-Mobile Stadium in Seattle, along with our Alma Mater, Indiana. In addition, there were Oregon State baseball games at Ron Tonkin Field, home of the Hillsboro Hops, that we attended. I even saw the team play at Surprise Stadium in Arizona for a preseason tournament. 

It was almost exactly a year ago that I was on a flight to Phoenix with the Beaver baseball team. In route, all their games were cancelled along with Spring Training and the NCAA basketball tournament thanks to Covid. Next weekend, I finally get to go to a live sporting event after this year-long hiatus. Despite only 25% capacity, we have tickets to the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Indianapolis. Today’s Selection Show will determine if I’ll get to see the Ducks or Beavers play. They are my dogs in the fight. (See Post  #1626).

The Beavs had to win the Pac12 title to make the Big Dance, a remarkable feat they pulled off last night. Three straight victories over UCLA, Oregon, and Colorado elevated their overall record to 17-12, while claiming the conference automatic bid. It was their first ever Pac12 tourney crown, earning the ticket to Indianapolis. Mine was hard to come by, but not that hard! I’ll pack my Beavers and Ducks gear and take-in the tournament aura in my former hometown. I’ve got Duck Dreams and Beaver Fever!