When people think of rivalry week in college football, many bring up games such as Ohio State versus Michigan or Alabama versus Auburn.
However, the Oregon Ducks and the Oregon State Beavers is a unique and passionate rivalry. It's the West's oldest, dating back to 1894, making it one of the oldest college football rivalries in the country.
This year, the rivalry has a lot at stake as both still have a chance to win the Pac-12 North. But it isn't just about what's on the line that makes this rivalry great, but it's about the fans of the game that's formerly called the "Civil War."
While the two teams will compete on the field this weekend, the rivalry also will extend 3,000 miles away in an unexpected location.
In New York City, the University of Oregon's alumni chapter, called the New York Ducks, gathers UO fans for football watch parties at Legends Bar. The group meets for every game, and throughout the year for other sporting events, volunteer opportunities and social gatherings.
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The alumni group also offers an internship scholarship program awarding one $1,500 New York City Intern Scholarship annually to a UO undergraduate or graduate student participating in an internship program in the New York City area.
For Eugene transplants who have moved to the New York City area, this is a place where alumni can feel like they're at home every Saturday for gamedays, including during the Ducks annual rivalry against the Beavers.
"It's a subculture that a few people might not be familiar with," New York Ducks President Oliver Schweizer told The Register-Guard. "You have all of these universities like the University of Michigan and the University of Florida that have alumni watch parties here, but the University of Oregon is in the fabric of that.
"We have a hashtag called #AutzenNewYork, and it is all about the experience. There's a Pac-12 holiday party coming up, and we have a Pac-12 tailgate to start the season. When you're at our watch party after every touchdown, the Oregon fight song is played.
"Thirty minutes before the game starts, we do 'Louie, Louie,' and the Oregon Marching Band songs people are familiar with. It's an experience that, while you're not at Autzen, it feels close to."
Schweizer certainly understands the Oregon-Oregon State rivalry and its importance to the Beaver State. He grew up in Eugene and attended Marist High School before enrolling at Oregon.
Recently, the rivalry has been a bit one-sided as the Ducks have won 11 of the last 13 matchups. However, Oregon State upset Oregon 41-38 in Corvallis last year.
No matter what the records are, Schweizer says this game means everything to Oregonians.
"That game means more to us even more than the team up in Seattle," Schweizer said. "It's bragging rights for the state under the regime under Mario Cristobal. Our goals are much bigger than bowl eligibility and the game versus Oregon State.
"To me, it is always the biggest game on the schedule."
Abellon keeps her Oregon Ducks pride no matter where she is
Emily Abellon grew up in Portland and the Ducks were always a part of her and her family since she was a young child. After her family embedded more and more fandom into Abellon, she became passionate about the University of Oregon and its football team.
Even as she has moved around from San Diego and is now living in Denver finishing up her doctorate program at the University of Denver, Abellon has continued to maintain her love and passion for the Ducks.
While she isn't living in Oregon, social media has helped Abellon keep up with everything going on with the Ducks program, especially the football team.
"I grew up in Portland and in San Diego, so I was in USC territory, and it was different and came with its challenges. I was always lucky to stay close with it.
"Growing up with other college football fans, no matter if it was Oregon or not, developed my passion for college football."
While Abellon is from Portland, her family extends to Salem, Eugene and Bend. So she is certainly familiar with the passion that comes from the Oregon-Oregon State rivalry and all that comes with that.
However, the Ducks don't just have a rivalry with the Beavers, but also with the Washington Huskies, who they play annually. Although Abellon thinks Oregon's rivalry against Washington is "bigger," she doesn't discount the history between the Ducks and the Beavers.
"Around the time that my passion started developing for college football, Oregon was on a pretty good winning streak against Oregon State, just in the beginning when I was starting to comprehend that rivalry and how college football worked," Abellon said.
"I think the UW rivalry is much more hatred fuel where Oregon State hatred comes out the week of the game. Then it might stick around, especially when in 2020, Oregon State beat Oregon. I think when Oregon State beats us, it is interesting to see how that hate can come out."
"I think it is interesting to see how it has gone back and forth where the games between Oregon and Oregon State have had mass repercussions such as trying to get to the Rose Bowl or to the Pac-12 Championship. So I think the rivalry has such power, and it is a different dynamic than UW and Oregon, but it definitely doesn't discount it."
Growing up in Eugene, Hubler was always a Beaver
Tyler Hubler makes a living flying around the world as a pilot. But during his travels, he still finds a way to keep up with his Oregon State Beavers. In the Beavers' last victory against the Arizona State Sun Devils, Hubler stayed up until past 1 a.m. in Cleveland to watch the game.
Growing in Eugene, Hubler stuck out like a sore thumb with his Oregon State Beavers gear. He and maybe one other kid in his classes were Oregon State fans, he said. What made it especially tough for Hubler was the Beavers finished with 28 consecutive losing seasons (1971-98).
Hubler grew up with his father taking him to Oregon State games, which began his Beavers fandom. During games where his family didn't attend, Hubler's family would treat every Oregon State game as a party as they would make a bunch of food and invite fellow Beaver fans over.
It helped that Hubler's fandom that he wanted to stand out among his classroom peers in Eugene. Because he lived in Eugene, Hubler has a different perspective of the Oregon-Oregon State rivalry.
"It was tough because I was the only one that could stick up for myself," Hubler said. "Everyone else was hardcore Oregon fans, and I'm the lone Oregon State fan. It got to the point where friends would invite me to Oregon games whether they were playing Oregon State or not, and I would wear a Beavers shirt just to rebel against everybody.
"It might not have not been the best idea, but my age at the time saved me."
Hubler loved the Beavers so much that he transferred to Oregon State after attending flight school at Lane Community College for a couple of years. He actually did his first few terms living in Eugene and just driving back and forth to Corvallis along with taking a few online courses before moving there.
Even after he has finished at Oregon State, Hubler has not only kept up with his Beavers, he has handed it down to his son Clipper.
"Oregon is our largest rivalry in every aspect that it is," Hubler said. "Oregon has never looked at us as the team that's a real big challenge, they're just the other school.
"Oregon State has always looked at Oregon as a ranked school. It is the whole David versus Goliath thing to me. The winner does a lot with this, and the loser usually goes downhill.
Hubler won't be in Eugene for Saturday's game, but he plans on listening to the game on the plane thousands of feet up in the air.
While Oregon has the Portland Trail Blazers and the Timbers, the Oregon-Oregon State longstanding rivalry has withstood the test of time, which is why it's important to Hubler and to many Oregonians who will be tuned in to watch.
"It has more or less always been a state holiday," Hubler said. "It's the one game in the state where every single Oregonian is tuned in to the same TV for that one.
"A lot of times, the Oregon State fans watch their games, and the Oregon fans watch their games. But now we can come together as it is the same game."
No. 11 UO football vs. Oregon State
When: 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Autzen Stadium
TV: ESPN. Radio: KUJZ-FM (95.3) and KUGN-AM (590).
Contact Antwan Staley at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.
This article originally appeared on Register-Guard: Duck-Beaver rivalry extends beyond state's borders for passionate fans