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Green, The New Blue

The State of Oregon, like the other forty-nine states, creates an image reflecting favorably on the region.

Part of the image is the Blue Book.

For some states it begins and ends with symbols and images. That’s their high water mark. 

Not Oregon.

Still a draw as a wonderland of natural beauty, Oregon also means football, big boy football, the sort of football you dream of for all your state colleges but never get.

Oregon gets it. You should too.

Oregon football isn’t a single season flash with junior college transfers making a one year stop before going pro. It’s either guys buying into the program and waiting their turn to contribute, or showing up ready to play on their first day.  

Due to the ever-inspiring feats of the University of  Oregon Duck football program, the word Oregon is on more lips than ever. With that in mind, why not upgrade, or re-imagine, the Oregon state symbols with UO influence.

The new Oregon Green Book, starting from the top in alphabetical order:

Old State Animal: Beaver, selected in 1969

New State Animal: Tiger

After the Auburn Tigers in the national championship, and LSU Tigers in the first game of 2011, Oregon needs to get a handle on these ferocious beasts, paint them green, lump them back into their cages, and roll them on down SEC way.

They will need special treatment if Auburn’s War Eagle ends up in the same cage with LSU’s Mike. Let’s hope future Tiger opponents do as well as the near extinct beaver in their rematches.

Old State Beverage: Milk, selected in 1997

New State Beverage: Beer 

The dairy farmers deserve to list milk as the official state beverage. Who but the lactose intolerant doesn’t love milk? It can still be listed in the books, but let’s be honest…milk?

From Blitz and Oly to the brothers McMenamin and Widmer, beer, and lots of it, is the state beverage. It might not be LSU tailgater amounts of beer, but they’re #1 for a reason: their crowd will storm the bus if they lose.

The Duck crowd has other micro-brew options. 

Old State Bird: Western Meadowlark, named in 1927

New State Bird: Oregon Duck

When you think of wild duck, you might think of the crested duck, the American black duck, the Spot-billed duck, the yellow-billed Pintail, or nearly one hundred others.

The Oregon Duck trumps nature with over 500 possible uniform combinations. This Duck is ready for all seasons and conditions in Oregon.

Old State Crustacean: Dungeness Crab, named in 2009

New State Crustacean: Coach Chip Kelly

Coach Kelly deserves the title for the way he takes over stadiums for post-game interviews.

Who can forget his words to rowdy fans behind Erin Andrews at Autzen with a crabby, “Hey, will you SHUT-UP,” after the Arizona State win.

It was a classic addition to, “Hey, can you people show a little respect,” after last year’s Stanford win.

The old crab might pinch you on the way from the ocean to the boiling water; the new crab puts you in your place and you thank him for it.

Old State Dance: The Square Dance, named in 1977

New State Dance: Throw The O

The Square Dance is shared by nineteen others as the state dance. It includes moving in a formation to the words of a caller, who often sounds like an auctioneer at an antique show.

Throw The O is the forbidden dance of Duck touchdowns. After moving in a formation, then breaking free with the football in the end zone, Duck players gather to raise their hands over their heads. Their index fingers and thumbs meet to create an O in celebration.

After too many O throws in recent years, this dance is now banned on the field but not in the stands or your living room. Reports of a new touchdown celebration that includes Allemande Left, Do Sa Do, and Weave The Ring are unsubstantiated so far.

As the season progresses toward another BCS Championship game, remember to include new state symbols for the old. While Oregon plays in this golden-era of football, future generations will want to know what it felt like.

Oregon Sports News works toward being a reference for the future by adding the right flavor today.

About David Gillaspie

Since I'm from Oregon I know all about wood; It's like writing a blog. For example I once made a four poster bed from rough cut lumber. It broke the first time I laid down. Now it's four foot stools. Every blog post on comes from the same process. Be a good surfer and sign up. You might be sorry, but not that much. Talk soon, David

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