Oregon Ducks Allow You Run Virtually Through the Autzen Stadium Tunnel On Gameday


The anticipation is at its peak. The crowd is ready. The team is ready. You are ready. It’s time to go through the Autzen Stadium tunnel as a member of the Oregon Ducks football team. You’re in a bright yellow uniform. You take in every moment, looking high and low. You hear the clapping. The shouting. You hear the crowd. You jump around with your teammates. You run onto the field as the band blares “Mighty Oregon.” you look over at 55-plus thousand fans, ready to see you beat Michigan State.

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Is this from some sort of “Choose Your Own Adventure” book? No, it’s a new video called the “360 Autzen Player Experience” from the U of O. A 360 degree video camera (or, as I’m calling it, “the fanciest GoPro ever”) that also recorded audio was there during the tunnel run-out for the Michigan State game in September 2014. During the video, designed to be watched on your phone, if you tilt your phone around the perspective will move, and you can see the players beside you, what’s above you, and when out on the field, the Autzen Faithful.

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I’ve been inside the field side of the tunnel during run-out on gameday. It is a pretty cool experience to see the players come down and see that yes, they are excited to be there and they are very aware of the roaring crowd above them. It’s interesting to see some players bonking helmets and growling like bears with others standing quietly to the side, maybe saying a little prayer. I’ve seen players jump up so high they nearly hit the ceiling and screaming all the way down to the field, and I’ve seen other players strolling through like they’re on a walk in the park.

The unfortunate part of this video is that the camera is in the back of the pack. While you can hear the whoops and screams from some of the players, you’re not in the center of the action. When the team comes out of the tunnel, you’re not right behind Puddles on the motorcycle. You’re certainly in the team huddle, and you’re jumping up and down while a few of the players slap each other on the helmet. But there’s definitely something missing by not being at the front of the crowd.

It’s the closest millions of Duck fans will get to being in the tunnel during run-in. So for what it is, it’s a pretty cool thing to see. But take it from someone who’s been there. As a “Choose Your Own Adventure” story, it could have been a lot more exciting.