There is a lot of “Where were you?” moments in Oregon State history. The Oregon State football team defeating the then #1 ranked USC Trojans back in 2008, the women’s gymnastics team punching their ticket to the national championship back in 2019, and even the famous Jarod Lucas buzzer-beater at the 2020 Pac-12 Men’s basketball championships.
But the one that will forever stick with me is September 24, 2020, when the Pac-12 Conference announced that Pac-12 football will be played in the Fall after it was previously announced that football would be postponed until the spring.
I still remember that day like it was yesterday. I had just gotten out of my one and only class of the day, and I was sitting at my desk, bored and not wanting to start any of the work that my professor had just assigned. I looked out my window, and saw that the sun was shining, as it had been raining only an hour before. I thought to myself, “it’s a beautiful day for some kicking.”
One of my newest hobbies that I have recently picked up is kicking a football down a field, and seeing how far it goes. After all, it is my favorite part of any football game. I just think it’s so cool that both teams are on the field at the same time, with one team waiting to receive the ball and try to score an opening touchdown, while the other team is in a line, patiently waiting to run down the field to try and stop the receiving team from getting good yardage. And of course, this all starts, because of the kicker blasting that football downfield.
So I walked to the Oregon State Intramural fields, which isn’t that far of a walk from my apartment. It was just me, my kicking tee, my football, and my GoPro, as I like to record footage of me kicking just for fun. I pressed record on my camera, and just started kicking. I placed the football on the tee, took a couple of steps back, looked down the field, and pretended I was getting ready to kick off the Super Bowl, going as far as pretending to be Pat Mcafee himself.
I started off well, kicking at least 45 yards every time. This went on for some time, until my kicks started getting shorter, not even going past 20 yards. And eventually, my kicks started to shank right. And then they started to shank left. They even go to the point where the ball would bounce off the ground in front of me. I still kept kicking just because I was getting a good workout in, and I wanted some more footage of me kicking.
After shanking about twelve more kicks in all different kinds of directions, I decided to call it a day. I was pretty bummed out, mainly because I didn’t get any good footage. It was so bad that I just deleted all the footage from that day, not even wanting to see if I could salvage anything. Tired and thirsty, I decided to walk back to my apartment.
It was halfway through my walk when I got a text from the OMN Sports Editor, Brady. It was a long text, but there were a couple of words that stuck out to me the most. “PAC-12… announces...football… back.”
I literally stopped in my tracks, and my jaw dropped to the floor. My emotions quickly changed from being tired and worn out, to being filled with excitement and joy. After realizing the text was asking if anyone was available to write a breaking news brief about this announcement, I quickly ran home, eager to write some good news.
I immediately started texting all my friends and family about the good news. I texted my friend, Ana, who shoots photographs for the OMN sports team. I texted my friend, Julia, who is an intern for Beaver Athletics. I even texted my friend, Alex, who is a member of the Oregon State football team. And, not surprisingly, all three of them were just as excited as I was that football was coming back.
Circling back to the beginning of this story, I‘m pretty sure that myself, along with so many other PAC-12 fans across the country will always remember where they were when the conference announced that there will be football after all in the Fall. The announcement served as a sign of hope during such difficult and challenging times. This certainly will be a moment that I will remember for a very long time.