I was in a rush to get to Corvallis when I first arrived in Portland.
I know that sounds weird. What Oregon resident is ever in a rush to get to Corvallis?
I was. I held a ticket to arguably the biggest Civil War college football game ever – Oregon playing at Oregon State for the right to play in the 2011 BCS National Championship Game. And as a new Oregonian, it was imperative I make it to the game.
Since then, I haven’t been back to Corvallis. Cue the standard Portland response: “You aren’t missing much.” Overall, I have traveled south of Portland about five times total in 18 months living here, and I do feel like I am missing something. Whether I am missing Corvallis is another story.
Today might be one of those blessed days where I get on Interstate 5 and aim south – just for the hell of it.
Well, maybe not quite for the hell of it. I noticed Friday that Seattle hip-hop duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are playing a free show at Oregon State University tonight.
Corvallis is roughly 90 minutes south on I-5.
To most of the Portlanders I know, the idea of traveling 90 minutes in a car in any direction would be cause for revolt: cars are foreign objects for many twentysomething Portlanders and they share a “why leave Portland” attitude.
I understand those reasons but Portland starts to feel like an island after a while. A small, hipster-laden island. Same activities, same bars, same stoned people.
Back to that Civil War game: I learned a harsh truth that day. I live in Oregon but I am not an Oregon sports fan. Just last weekend, I attended a Portland Timbers soccer match. One of the more G-rated cheers went, “When I root I root for the Timbers.”
Except I don’t. I root for the New Orleans Saints. I root for LSU teams. I have even jumped on the woeful New Orleans Hornets bandwagon now that they’ve won the right to draft Anthony “Unibrow” Davis.
Do I root for the Portland Trail Blazers or Oregon Ducks as hard? Of course not. I don’t root for them at all. I did not grow up with them and I see no reason to join their bandwagon just because I live in the city/state where they play.
Some would say how can you assimilate into an area if you don’t root for their teams – to which I would say, there’s a lot more to life than sports.
More to life like exploring the state where you live and seeing artists you like.