If you have been a University of Oregon Ducks fan for as long as I have, or for longer, then you know the emotional high I am on right now. Last night, Marcus Mariota (Mah-ree-oh-taw, you jerks who couldn’t be bothered to learn how to pronounce his name), No. 8, the flyin’ Hawaiian, the QB Duck fans everywhere have been waiting for, won the Heisman Trophy.
He’s the first Duck to ever bring it home to Autzen, though we all remember the players whose names were at least contenders for nomination (you hold special places in my heart, Joey Harrington, Dennis Dixon, and LaMichael James). But no one so thoroughly dominated his competition with league-crushing numbers, nor had such humility, respect, and goodness that recent Heisman winners have been without.
I remember watching him take the field for the first time. Before actually seeing him play, I’d despaired at Darren Thomas’ decision to enter the draft, and at whispers that Brian Bennett was considering leaving. Who was this red-shirt freshman? After one quarter, it was obvious what was happening. This was Mariota’s team.
So last night, watching ESPN’s recap of Mariota’s speech over and over and over purely wasn’t enough. He’s leaving, and he should; I understand it. But I want to preserve as much of him as a Duck as I can. Thus, I turned to GIFs.
Marcus actually looks sweatier here than I’ve ever seen him in a fourth quarter (oooooooooh that’s right, he’s played fewer than almost any winning quarterback ever!).
Game recognize game.
Behold: The most dad-esque dad-hug there ever could be. Please also note that Mariota’s tie is the same print as his dad’s shirt… and henceforth shall be the print of all my future cloth products. And china patterns.
“Awww shucks, guys! Well, I guess if you want a speech…” You can practically hear him blushing. It’s too much; I can’t handle it.
Oh god oh god oh god oh god those words strung together like that! “Marcus Mariota 2014 Heisman Trophy Winner – Oregon.”
Oh captain, my captain, our fearful trip is done!
Mariota takes a moment to steel himself against the oncoming deluge of emotions. Here they come. Right…
… Now! That poise, that speed. On and off the field.
Who wants to start a fan club for Mariota’s dad?
With a sweet “God bless and go Ducks,” Mariota took his trophy.
If you want an extra dose of so-good-it’s-soul-crushing footage, check out the Ducks’ video tribute to Mariota. At this point, I’m just a puddle of tears, sobbing into my Mariota jersey, weakly blowing into my Duck call whistle.
We’ll miss you, Marcus, and we’ll be watching. Win the day.
Photo via Oregon Football/Facebook