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Be loud, proud and yell O

Former Oregon player ready to settle in on game day. Viewing parties set for national championship game Monday night

College football fans in Oregon are usually divided between two camps — green and yellow or orange and black.

But when the Oregon Ducks take on the Ohio State Buckeyes in the College Football National Championship Game Monday night, Jan. 12, in Dallas, fans on both sides of the historic in-state rivalry will be standing together to “Yell O.”

One of those will be Rick Parrish of Fairview.

Photo Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Unabashed Oregon Ducks fan Rick Parrish, left, is ready for his team to take on the Ohio State University Buckeyes. Parrish and his wife, Beth, were supposed to be relaxing at the beach on Monday, but delayed their vacation a day to watch the game on their 46-inch flat screen.

“We each have a recliner and the TV is here and it’s right outside the kitchen so all the food is usually out on the island,” Parrish said. “We may do barbecue ribs this time, some kind of chips and dip. It’s just a great afternoon of three to four hours of watching a great team play. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Parrish himself donned the green and yellow uniform at the University of Oregon in 1967, though he spent most of his time on the bench.

“The season was pretty tough that year, we only won two out of 10. It was a lot of working at it, but not much success on my part,” he said.

With the draft approaching for the Vietnam War, Parrish abandoned his football career and enlisted instead in the U.S. Navy. There he played sand lot football and kept up with the Ducks when he could through the Armed Forces radio and newspaper clippings.

“The coaching was good back then, but we were very limited. We didn’t have the recruiting ability,” Parrish said. “East Coast teams have always been good because they’ve been able to recruit. It’s taken us time to get into that mode and get the support.”

Parrish called quarterback Marcus Mariota — and the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner — the “finest example of a team leader that any team could ask for” and said he’s most proud of the Duck’s evolution of camaraderie.

“They’re all about helping each other win the game and I’m really proud of that for the Ducks,” Parrish said.

Beth Parrish described her husband of over 40 years as an “Energizer Bunny type fan,” a characterization Rick took kindly too.

“I get a little excited when I’m watching the Duck game,” he said. “I might be the only one sitting there in the room and I’m still celebrating every time they make a touchdown. I’ve got my shirt on and a blow up duck in the front yard and a flag in my car.”

For those who want to see the game in a more rowdy atmosphere, here are a few places where you can go to watch the game.

n At the Hangout SportsBar and Grill, owner Sam Collins is expecting a big crowd for the game, which kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Along with food and drink specials, Collins will be raffling off Oregon Duck jerseys and handing out other prizes to fans.

Football in general usually packs the sports bar, Collins said, but the Ducks’ road to the national championship game has been quite the buzz among the Hangout’s regulars.

“This will be my 14th year as owner and I’d say this is the biggest game,” Collins said. “Even bigger than the Ducks and Auburn, because of the playoff system. I’m figuring seats will be at a premium, so it would be good to get here early. I’m expecting to celebrate a big win, too.”

n At Midnight Roundup, General Manager Chris Lee has planned ahead by ordering a truckload of commemorative beverage containers.

“You buy a drink, you keep the cup,” she said. “The game starts during Happy Hour so we will have Happy Hour prices on food and drinks too.”

The country-themed bar and restaurant has seven big screen TVs, Lee said, in addition to a 12-foot big screen, all of which are visible regardless of where you sit.

“The sound from the big screen makes you feel like you’re on the field,” Lee said.

Midnight Roundup also will have raffle drawings and prize giveaways for fans throughout the game.

Unless you plan to serve roast duck and Buckeye Bars to friends at home, rooting for the other team, fans will be out in droves at several local places pulling for a Duck victory. Just plan to get there early for the best seats.

n The Hangout SportsBar and Grill, 576 N.E. Burnside Road, Gresham.

n Midnight Roundup, 345 N.W. Burnside Road, Gresham.

n Buffalo Wild Wings, 22849 N.E. Glisan St., Wood Village.

n Mojave Grill and Cantina, 77 N.E. Fourth St., Gresham.

n Wing Stop, 2001 N.E. Burnside Road, Gresham.

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