SI.com college football writer Stewart Mandel shares his commentary, analysis and random tidbits on the latest developments around the country.
11/02/2007 08:58:00 PM
On the 'Animal House' Trail
Yes, the iconic 1978 fraternity flick Animal House was filmed on the Oregon campus.
EUGENE, Ore. -- So how cool is this? I am writing this blog entry from a table in the same cafeteria where Bluto shouted those two infamous words: "Food fight!"
OK, I lie. I'm writing from a Starbucks down the street. (Not just a Starbucks -- a Starbucks and a Quizno's under the same roof! Pete Thamel, if you're reading this: Eat your heart out!) But I did pass through the aforementioned cafeteria as part of my unofficial Animal House tour.
Long before Joey Harrington or Dennis Dixon, Oregon was best known for … running legend Steve Prefontaine, of course. While I did took a peek into Prefontaine's former stomping grounds, famed track venue Hayward Field, just a little while ago, I have to admit I was much more excited to learn that my host, Eric Goss (who hereby will be referred to solely as "Goss," as everyone on this campus calls him), used to live in the former Omega house from the movie. As he said, "Kevin Bacon got spanked in my living room."
That's right, comedy lovers. Animal House was shot at Oregon.
Sadly, the fictional Omega house, formerly home to Goss' fraternity, Pike, is now deserted. Even worse, the site of the fictional Delta house -- the building where John Belushi once uttered the words, "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?" -- is gone. Leveled. Replaced by a faceless doctor's office. Even the front-lawn where Belushi watched the movers "take the bar!" has been paved over by a parking lot. Only a nondescript plaque out front marks the property's claim to fame.
However, in addition to the Omega house next door, Goss also pointed out to me the sorority house where Bluto and D-Day tried to sneak in and the "women's house" where Otter landed himself dates for him and his three friends.
I was once in a fraternity myself, at Northwestern, but ours was kind of a PG-13 fraternity. I'm starting to get the sense that Goss, a "fifth-year senior," is a true frat guy. First of all, he's been taking calls all day from fraternity brothers having to do with some secret ritual taking place tonight.
And then there's the subject of his post-collegiate ambitions. Goss is currently torn between applying to law school or pursuing a potentially lucrative invention he and two fraternity brothers have gone so far as to get notarized.
I'll let him describe it.
"Gossinger Distilleries will become the premier licorice alcohol in the world, providing a fresh alternative to the one-flavor tyrant of the German company we do not speak of."
That's right, folks. Goss is going to start a rival to Jagermeister – one that not only tastes better but will come in a red-licorice form.
I test-marketed Goss' idea at a table of young women sitting next to us, and I have to say, the response was -- slightly above lukewarm. "I'd try it," a student named Amanda (whose last name I'm redacting over possible issues regarding her drinking legality) replied semi-enthusiastically.
Anyway … I should probably get back to why we're here: the football game. Earlier today, Goss was nice enough to chauffer me to a Home Depot about 10 minutes from campus for an appearance on local radio station 1320 the Score. Home Depot, as you're probably well aware, is the sponsor for ESPN GameDay, and fans (primarily parents with small children) had shown up for a sign-painting contest. Look for some of them on the air Saturday morning.
Like I've said, game-weeend atmospheres vary widely from campus to campus. At 5 p.m. on a Friday in, say, Baton Rouge, I'd probably be hearing "Tiger Bait" chants every 15 seconds. At 5 p.m. today, Goss and I strolled through the center of campus to the sounds of … a female a capella group.
But hey, half the people in the crowd were wearing Oregon sweatshirts. And while the tailgating hasn't started up yet (due, I'm told, to strict Eugene city codes regarding alcohol), I can already tell it's going to be in full effect Saturday morning. For one thing, the football team's indoor practice facility, the Moshofsky Center, has already been converted into an indoor tailgate party (literally, the field is covered with tables and chairs), and these girls next to me said they actually curtail their partying early on Friday nights in order to get an early start Saturday.
That's dedication, folks. Kind of like my dedication to this blog, whose next entry will come tonight -- after I've attended my first-ever (exhibition) basketball game in the student section at famed McCarthur Court.
Stew. First and foremost, thank you for coming to our humble city and being a part of our unbelievable season. I just want to let you in on a little tradition we have at Autzen. When the announcer que comes, be sure to shout "it never rains at Autzen stadium". Enjoy the game and GO DUCKS!!!!!
AW, you're a Pac-2 fan posing as an SEC "homer" as you say.
I'll take that bet anyday, but also, as a true SEC fan, I also realize the strength of the SEC is how tough our "bottom" teams are, and really, this year with what will be 11 bowl eligible teams, there is no bottom to the SEC unless you count Ole Miss.
So lets see, LSU v. Oregon. LSU wins. Georgia v. Arizona State. Georgia wins, as we'll see next year when my Dawgs travel to Tempe where we'll give the Sun Devils a steady dose of Special K. Tennessee v. USC. Okay, I'll give y'all that one. Florida v. Cal. Florida, and it's not even close. And either Auburn or Alabama v. who? Who's the 5th best team? UCLA? Once again, not even close.
AW, you're a poser, and not even a convincing one. Go enjoy your little game in Eugene, and don't ever pose as an SEC fan again, or I'll find you and give you a wedgie you won't ever forget, moron.
Oh, how things get lost in the lore of history. The Omega house was indeed the house on the corner. And the Delta house was the one torn down and replaced with asphalt. However, that was only the "exterior" for the Delta house, the closest they ever got inside that house was the scene where they are bringing out all the party equipment. And the house next to it was the "exterior" for the sorority (although the scene where Belushi jumps the ladder along the windows was filmed in LA). However, the house that was the sorority "exterior" was also the "interior" of the Delta house, where most of the filming took place. And parts of the bar may still be in the basement of it, where the filmed bar actually was. They let us keep the mermaid fish tank, and some other stuff. Top that SEC!