November Nuances – Be Careful of Your Terms

(If you are seeing this post through an e-mail, please visit the blog by clicking on the title above to see all of the photos and the video at the end of the post and so the narrative is not clipped or shortened. # External photo attribution at the end of the post. #1 – #2)

On Saturday, November 25th the Oregon State Beavers will host the nationally-ranked University of Oregon Ducks at Reser Field in Corvallis for this legendary gridiron contest – known until 2020 as “The Civil War.” 

(See Thebeerchaser post entitled “History, Semantics, Sensitivity and Common Sense”  regarding my emphatic sentiments about this change.)

As stated at the beginning of a wonderful book by the six-time winner of the Oregon Sportswriter of the Year Award, Kerry Eggers entitled, The Civil War Rivalry – Oregon vs Oregon State:

“Thirty-five years after Oregon reached statehood and fewer than 30 years after the end of the Great War between the Union and Confederate States, the University of Oregon and Oregon Agricultural College (OAC) met on the gridiron on a sawdust field in front of 500 curious observers….The Farmers beat the Lemon-Yellows 16 to 0…that cold, wet November day in 1894.”

Politically Incorrect Ribaldry

While acknowledging – although not agreeing – with the view of those who advocated the name change, I’m also not in favor of the milque toast and staid options offered in lieu since 2020 – primarily The Platypus Bowl and The Oregon Classic the moniker for the last three games.

I think sportswriter and media expert, John Canzano, has the best idea:

” ‘The game formerly known as the Civil War.’ That’s what I’m calling it until they re-name the thing. Our long-standing state rivalry. Two winning teams and a lot at stake.”

Canzano in his most recent column hits the nail on the head in his second column this week on this controversy.

“Meanwhile, it’s been almost 30 months since that joint announcement. UO and OSU have had plenty of time to figure out this rivalry naming business. They’ve left us a mess. It’s time to stop puttering around and name the Beavers-Ducks rivalry.
On that note, I’ll bet most of you still call it “The Civil War.” (#3 – #5)


I should disclaim that I graduated from OSU in April, 1971 and my wife of 42 years, Janet, is a 1976 Oregon graduate.  Our older daughter, Lisa, and her husband, Jamie, are both University of Washington Huskies – he a third generation “Dawg.” 

Janet reminds me that Lisa turned down a full academic ride to the U of O and we paid out-of-state tuition because I told her she could go to UW if she was admitted to the Honors College.

I respond that because of my foresight (rather than the rationale being my distaste for the Quackers), we have a wonderful son-in-law (and his family) and two granddaughters and a new grand-puppy who we treasure 

Two Husky alums and family

College Years

I was fortunate to live with twelve of the members of the football team during the Giant Killer era in the SAE House at OSU.  They included my 1970 classmates, defensive back starters, Larry Rich and Don Whitney

Craig “The Dude” Hanneman – class of ’71, was profiled as a Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter in 2012.  Other SAE’s footballers during those years were Jim Scheele, Chris Wahle, Clyde Smith, Don Welch, Jim Blackford, Jess Lewis, Roger Cantlon, and Gary and Duane Barton.  

(From left clockwise – OSU SAE’s 1967, Jess Lewis, Capt. Jud Blakely, Dirt and The Dude, Duane Barton)

And the Giant Killer years for us on campus were wonderful – not only from a football perspective, but as a time in our lives that would never be replicated – essentially insulated, carefree and, for the most part, absent adult responsibilities.

And the impact Dee Andros “The Great Pumpkin” had on his players was a foundation for that team and one which shaped their character for the rest of their lives as well as establishing lasting bonds.

Years Later – Coach Andros with Jossis, Freeburn, Dippel and Hanneman

Post Graduation

After college and the Navy, my employer was Clackamas County for seven years.  I worked closely with County Counsel who were my legal advisors when I worked in the Elections Department and then for the County Commissioners.  I was about the only OSU grad, since most of the lawyers went to the University of Oregon for undergrad or law school or both.

Each year I had a bet on the Oregon vs OSU game with the late Mike Montgomery, who was the Chief Deputy DA.   The loser had to wear a tie to work and buy the winner lunch the Monday after the game and be the brunt of sarcastic comments from co-workers.   I still have Mike’s tie – probably because I was the one who usually had to wear it……

For the last twenty-five years of my career, I worked in an outstanding large Northwest Regional law firm (Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt) and two of our five offices were in Portland and Seattle. 

Since both UW and U of O have law schools, the Washington Husky vs Duck rivalry was almost as heated and perhaps more so than OSU vs Oregon.   

The Schwabe firm had a great culture and an organizational sense of humor was part of it. The week before the Civil War game, electronic missives about important cases and issues at the firm would be actively supplemented by multiple All-Firm e-mails with jokes about the Beavs and the Ducks.

2018-06-06 15.33.32

While the Ivy League law grads who didn’t send similar barbs about the Princeton vs. Harvard game weren’t always amused, most of the firm enjoyed this tradition. The majority of the barbs  could be sent by a fan of either school, but since OSU was an aggie school, many were based on images of country or “hill folk”.

While a lot of them would now be considered politically incorrect, they were done without malice and in the spirit of good fun.  I’ll finish with a sampling.

Q – What did the Beaver say while swimming when he crashed into a concrete wall?     

A – Dam!  (#6)

Q – What’s the best thing to come out of Eugene?

A – Interstate 5. (#7)

A Beaver alum came home and found his house on fire. He rushed next door, telephoned the fire department and shouted, “Hurry over here. My house is on fire!”

“OK,” replied the firefighter. “How do we get there?” “Shucks,” says the OSU alum, “Don’t you still have those big red trucks?”  (#8)

Albert Einstein arrives at a party in Eugene and introduces himself to to the first person he sees and asks, “What is your IQ,” to which the man answers, “241.” “Wonderful,” says Albert, ” We will discuss the Grand Unification Theory and the mysteries of the universe.”

Next, he introduces himself to a woman and inquires, “What is your IQ, to which the woman replies, ” 207.” “That’s great,” said the physicist, “We can discuss politics and the scientific implications of world affairs. We’ll have much to discuss.”

He approaches a third person and asks, “What is your IQ,” to which the guy holding a beer, answers, “51.” Einstein ponders this for a micro-second and says, “Go Ducks!”   (#9)

Q – What do they call 100 John Deere tractors circling a McDonalds in Corvallis.

A – Oregon State Prom Night.  (#10)

An Oregon State Trooper pulls over a Prius in Eugene driven by an Oregon alum and asks, “Got any ID?”

The Duck replies, “About what?”  (#11)

An Oregon grad, a Cal grad, and an Oregon State grad are waiting to be executed by firing squad. The Oregon grad is first, and as he is waiting to be executed, he
yells, “Earthquake!”

The firing squad panics and runs away, allowing the Oregon grad to jump over the wall and escape.

The Cal grad is next, and as he is waiting to be executed, he yells, “Flood!”

The firing squad again panics and runs away, so the Cal grad also jumps over the wall and escapes.

The Oregon State grad is last.  As he is waiting to be executed, he remembers what the other two had done, so he yells, “Fire!”  (#12)

Fire! — Oh Wait?

Two Oregon football players in their dorm rooms were going crazy with excitement as they just completed a jigsaw puzzle in just under one year.

When asked why they were so ecstatic they showed the jigsaw puzzle box where it said 3-6 years and they exclaimed, “We completed it in one-third that time.” (#13)

 And finally, to end on a “neutral field,” of sorts:

A guy in a bar leans over to the guy next to him during the week of the Apple Cup and asks, “Wanna hear a Husky joke?” The guy replies, “Before you tell that joke, besides being 6’2″ and weighing 240, I’m a UW graduate.”

“The guy next to me is 6’5′ 225 and played linebacker under legendary Husky Coach Jim Owens”

“The woman next to him is a UW Grad, a karate black belt and currently coaches at the University.”

Now, do you still want to tell that Husky joke?”

The first guy says, “No, not if I’m going to have to explain it three times….”

In Conclusion

Enjoy “The Civil War Game” or whatever college contest you either attend or watch – and do it with friends regardless of their alma mater. (Some of you might even want to take in the World Cup)…but Go Beavs!

External Photo Attribution

#1.  Wikimedia Commons ( Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.  Author:  Flickr user “VRC Jeremy” – 2 March 2008.

*2.  Wikimedia Commons ( Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.  Author: Ray Terrill – 19 November 2011.

#3.  Oregon Historical Society. 

#4. Public Domain -Wikimedia Commons (( This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or fewer.  Author: John Gould – 1864.

#5.  Wikimedia Commons ( Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.  Author:  John Robert McPherson 1 January, 2015.

#6.  (Picture of Dam) Wikimedia Common ( The copyright holder of this work allows anyone to use it for any purpose including unrestricted redistribution, commercial use, and modification.  Author:  Hahnenkleer  30 October 2013.

#7.  Wikimedia Commons (   his file is in the public domain because it comes from the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, sign number M1-1. Made to the specifications of the 2004 edition of Standard Highway Signs  16 MY 2007.

#8.  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (  This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Jackus2008 at English Wikipedia. This applies worldwide. 22 November 2007.

#9.  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (  This image is available from the United States Library of Congress‘s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3b46036. 1947.

#10.  Wikimedia Commons (  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported2.5 Generic2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.  Author:  Reise Reise 30 July 2009.

#11.  Wikimedia Commons (  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported2.5 Generic2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.  Author:  Ildar Sagdejev (Specious)  13 March 2008.

#12. Wikimedia Commons (  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.  Author:  Arun Agrawal  9 September 2012.

#13.   Wikimedia Commons ( Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.  Author: Balise42  10 February 2022.