We are all here because we all follow the Oregon State Beavers. We all have different backgrounds and walks of life, but this one thing connects us. I've always wondered how other people ended up here and I hope others will share. Tell your story in the comments and I'll give mine below, though I will do my best to keep it brief.
I grew up in a family of Beaver fans, though my mom was mostly just an alumnus more than fan. My dad was more of the hardcore fan, even though going to OSU in the 80s definitely left him cynical (as the present day has done to many more of us). There was never any pressure to cheer for the Beavers, but naturally I gravitated towards Oregon State. I was often told there was no malice towards the mallards to the south, but yet I still could not bring myself to do more than sit neutral.
Throughout my formative years I can still pick out tidbits that helped build my passion. I recall watching the Beavs drub Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl, and the celebratory hat is still in my parents' house. I remember helping with yard work and listening to Alexis Serna kick the worst game of his career against LSU. The 2007 Civil War win after my high school Sadie Hawkins' Dance. These were merely building blocks however as my interest in the Beavs kept growing.
My OSU fandom finally erupted from it's cocoon when I stepped foot on campus to actually attend the school. It was the first week and the line for student tickets wrapped around Gill, although the box office was at Gill then as I recall it. The others from my dorm had headed out earlier, so I hopped to the back of the line and waited for my ticket to the 2008 USC game. All the students were certain the Trojans would stomp OSU, but we decided it was worth experiencing the #1 team in the country come through town.
I can still remember the buzz in Reser that day, the electricity in the air from my spot in section 109. From the kickoff the crowd was booming, helping trap the Trojans in their own end. Jacquizz Rodgers carving up the Trojan defense, the Beavs building up the early lead, and watching USC build towards the comeback only to have it snuffed out by Greg Laybourn with the play of his career. The ole Beaver cynicism still remained for me as I watched the orange wave of students start to flood onto the sidelines, all I could see was the chance to collapse. When that failure never came, I joined my orange-clad brethren down to the field as we shut down all the cell towers.
That was really the moment I couldn't get enough of OSU athletics, in fact it made me look for OSU blogs/articles and led me to this very site. There have been many moments that have supported my interest in the Beavers since, the 2009 season, the kiss the sky jam, the CWS run, but that moment will glow brightest for me as the moment that really energized me about the Beavs.
That's my story. Apologies if it got a little long-winded, but share yours in the comments as well!