Talking Points: It's a rivalry weekend
Saturday, October 6, 2012
What's the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:
Rivalry weekends in this region just don't get any bigger than this.
Saturday in Eugene, the Huskies and Ducks meet in college football for the 105th time, with the Ducks seeking to extend their series-best string of wins to nine games.
Sunday in Seattle, the Timbers take on the Sounders for the fourth time as Major League Soccer rivals — and the 77th time dating to May 2, 1975 in the North American Soccer League — as the Timbers try to seal the Cascadia Cup.
Both events promise zany atmospheres. Night games at Autzen Stadium, when Ducks fans have all day to "warm up," tend to be particlarly boisterous.
At CenturyLink on Sunday night, a crowd in excess of 66,000 is anticipated for the final 2012 match between the Timbers and Sounders. Both teams have plenty of motivation. Seattle is closing in on a fourth consecutive playoff berth. Portland would like to win at least once on the road this season, or at least clinch the fan-driven Cascadia Cup on Sounders ground.
Good drama. Made all the more intense by the lack of other sports rivalries between Seattle and Portland.
(Yes, we know the Cougars visit the Beavers on Saturday. But those fan bases are just too polite to be called bitter rivals).
Oregon coach Chip Kelly might frustrate the media with his reluctance to provide any useful information. But it's hard to argue with his 39-6 record and three conference titles.
And, while Kelly might be evasive, he isn't always dull.
We had to chuckle at this response to a question about whether his players get more pumped to play the Huskies, who haven't beaten the Ducks since 2003:
"If you talk 10 years ago, they were 7 and 8. At 7 and 8 they were into SpongeBob SquarePants; they weren't worried about Joey Harrington."
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