RoboDuck: Where are you?
Changes have come to Autzen Stadium. After the Michigan State game, an MSU beat writer took Oregon to task for having the “most/loudest artificial noise of any stadium I’ve been in”. Being a Duck honk, I dismissed his gripe as sour grapes, but during the Wyoming game, we blared electronic music well into the Cowboys’ snap count at the risk of a penalty. In the Arizona game, the loudspeakers belted out an ear-splitting NBA arena techno-tune to arouse the crowd. You’d know the song; it’s the same one used by the Portland Trailblazers and Mississippi State Bulldogs to pump up their fans.
One music video that excites Duck fans is “Shout” at the end of the third quarter. It’s a brilliant idea that’s right rightfully become a tradition. But now, Dailmer Trucking sponsors that moment. You can’t miss their promo banner splashed across the bottom of the screen as Belushi wiggles his toga-clad tush. Commercialism in Autzen is rampant. Not only do we have our Chevron Techron races and a T-shirt cannon, but also Intel has been appointed our “Title” sponsor and On Point Credit Union is our “Presentation” sponsor. I’m still trying to figure our what a “Presentation” sponsor is or does.
The height of market absurdity comes in the form of the new “speedy” avatar phone application that’s hyped on the big screen. If you didn’t catch it, think of a poorly drawn South Park knockoff character dressed as a Duck football player. Now, you too can download the speedy avatar app and send insipid whiney-voiced messages to your friends. The folks in Section 34 agreed that the concept was the worst since RoboDuck, but at least RoboDuck brought with him a commercial-free dopiness, an honest attempt that missed the mark.
This movement into high tech commercialism reminds me of the 2002 Fiesta Bowl. Every stoppage in play, every end of the quarter was an opportunity for an in-stadium commercial, whether it be an on the screen ad for Bank of America or an on-field promotion for Frito Lay. At the time I was smug in my belief that we would never stoop that low at Auzten. Now, I just pine for the return of RoboDuck.