The University of Oregon may not have won a national championship, but it can feel secure knowing that it made an impact on the American sports zeitgeist thanks to the program's giant, oversized play boards for audibles.
Three days before the Ducks fell just short of wresting the NCAA football championship from the SEC, the girls basketball program from Oregon City (Ore.) High used giant cue cards for its huge Three Rivers League face-off with Clakamas (Ore.) High. According to the Portland Oregonian, the high school hoops cue cards were almost identical to their college football counterparts, with the exception that the images were quite a bit more appropriate for the quick-fire memory of teenage girls.
Each of the three cards featured four icons. They included The Little Mermaid (one player's favorite Disney character), SpongeBob SquarePants, a cat, a team picture, numbers and colors.
The cards were necessary because of loud crowd noise at Clakamas, which is known for hosting large, noisy home games for all sports, not least of all girls basketball. The Cavaliers are out to a 10-1 start to the season after their 65-54 win against Oregon City's Pioneers.
"Last year in the game over there, the one we won in overtime, there were a few times we really had a tough time communicating on the floor," Oregon City coach Kurt Guelsdorf told the Oregonian. "I'm a big Duck fan, and I had a little fun with it. I came up with some things that a couple of kids had some ideas about, and we just ran with it."
Other Oregon City games are not expected to be quite as cacophonous, which will allow Guelsdorf to keep the cards on the sideline. Still, the coach indicated he wouldn't hesitate before bringing them back out later in the season for a big noisy game, particularly against the Cavaliers.
"If we get in the same situation, and it helps us communicate, we would certainly do it again," the coach told the Oregonian.