Dee would have loved it
Published: Monday, November 22, 2004
Updated: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 21:07
Now that was a Civil War game Dee Andros would be proud of.
I have a soft spot in my heart for the roly-poly, Oregon State legend that passed away last year.
I didn't know him well; in fact, I'd wager a bet that he passed away having completely forgotten about the one-hour conversation we had in his office four days before Oregon State beat USC way back in 2000.
I, however, will never forget it.
Andros was a good football coach, an unsuccessful director of athletics, and the greatest representative this school's football program has ever had.
He loved the Beavers like nobody ever has and he loathed the Ducks like nobody ever will.
I ventured into his office, mesmerized by a story I heard about his 1967 OSU football team. Dubbed "the Giant Killers," Andros' Beavers had beaten No. 1 USC, No. 2 UCLA and played to a tie with No. 2 Purdue.
I wanted the coach to tell me, and consequently the readers of the Barometer, all about it.
What I got was five minutes about the Giant Killers and 55 minutes about beating Oregon.
For the record, Andros beat Oregon with more efficiency than anybody at this school ever has.
He lived to beat Oregon. And he taught me, as he did so many others inside Beaver Nation, that the Civil War truly "was for the right to live in the state of Oregon."
Those were his words -- and they are absolutely priceless.
I couldn't help but think of coach Andros on Saturday as Derek Anderson, Bill Swancutt and Mike Hass took turns tar-and-feathering the Ducks.
Andros would have been pleased as punch by the whooping that took place. Thirty-seven thousand people were in his stead.
The Beavers played with the passion, purpose and intensity that were nowhere to be found on the Oregon Ducks sideline.
They played the game exactly how it is supposed to be played -- the way Andros intended any and all Oregon State teams to play it.
The result -- the Beavers go bowling and the Ducks go home.
Think Andros is proud?
I'm sure of it.
How could you not be proud of a football team that erases all nightmares associated with a dismal 1-4 start to a season?
How could you not be proud of a football team that turns 1-4 into 6-5 and qualifies for its fifth postseason appearance in six years?
How could you not be proud of Anderson, who finally and officially became the quarterback all Oregon State fans longed for when he signed a letter of intent to take the Beavers where they had never been before?
How could you not be proud of Swancutt, who Saturday night looked like the greatest in a recently long line of great OSU defensive players?
How could you not be proud of guys like Hass, or Alexis Serna, or Trent Bray, or anybody else on the Beavers sideline Saturday night?
They believed, whole-heartedly, that no matter how deep the hole got, they could win enough football games to become bowl eligible.
And so when the opportunity to prove they were indeed good enough to play in the postseason presented itself Saturday evening, Oregon State jumped all over it and jumped all over Oregon in the process.
They, according to Andros, earned the right to live in the state of Oregon, and this season, that also means the right to play in the postseason.
Beating Oregon to become bowl eligible ... I spent one hour with Coach Andros and I guarantee you one thing -- he wouldn't have it any other way.
And the rest of us Oregon State fans shouldn't, either.
Ryan Gabriel, sports writer