As the sun projected down onto the brand new turf at Oregon State University’s renovated Reser Stadium at the start of the Vikings September 3 match up against the Beavers, the 42,263 fans in attendance knew that it was a perfect day for football. The sky was cloudless and shone a brilliant shade of blue. A sea of orange and black occupied the majority of the 43,000-seat capacity arena, yet a few specks of dark Portland State green were visible among these rabid Beaver fanatics.
Portland State fans made their presence felt, just as their football team did, even though everyone knew it would be an up-hill battle. This is the beauty of sports, the silent bond between fans and athletes. Though most probably felt that Portland State would return home a loser on the scoreboard, many faithful fans still made the trek down to Corvallis to support the Vikings.
Viking fans filed into Reser Stadium not in the thousands or hundreds but in groups of five to 10 people. They were definitely outnumbered severely by Beaver fans, however, this wasn’t apparent upon speaking with them. Paul Switzer, a PSU graduate and dedicated fan was ecstatic about the way the Vikings had played in the first-half.
“I love the fact that the Viks can hang with a Pac-10 school like Oregon State!” Switzer said. “The Beavers should be winning the game by over 30 points. I’m very, very impressed with the way that Portland State’s defense was playing.”
Another fan shared the same sentiments on the Vik’s performance. Jake, a 22-year-old PSU student and ex-player expressed that, “Portland State was playing very good goal line defense,” and he seemed quite satisfied. Jake also predicted in the vicinity of several of his OSU “friends” that Portland State would be able to edge this game out and win by a score 28-27. This prediction didn’t hold true but it was a very successful and promising day for Portland State overall.
Portland State and Oregon State hadn’t played one another for over 20 years before their game on September 3 and yet the schedulers picked a perfect day to schedule a rematch of the Beavers 51-14 win in 1983 at Civic Stadium. Despite the fact that it was the opening game of the season for both squads,
Portland State was playing a nationally respected opponent in Oregon State.
Both sides were even more fired up because it was the first game played in Oregon State’s newly remodeled stadium. The fans also recognized the significance of this game.
“It makes it fun to come down and watch Portland State participate in a game like this, playing a Pac-10 team under these circumstances,” Switzer said.
It was truly a luxury for PSU to play in a game of this magnitude. All of the additional non-sports plots made for a day that the fans felt was very beneficial not only for the football team and coaches nor the fans but for the University as a whole.
The day had all the necessary aspects of a perfect day for football, nice, sunny, picturesque weather, the extraordinary array of expectations a new season brings and a stunning stadium reopening after a $43 million renovation. And for all intents and purposes it was a perfect day of football, all except for that 41-14 final score.