An Autzen Gallery Masterpiece

Great art needs a great stage.

The Mona Lisa is 30" X 21". Small enough to hang on a bathroom wall. It hangs in The Louvre.

Faberge eggs are big bird egg-sized packed with huge detail. But still small. They belong in treasure houses.

Oregon Duck football games at Autzen Stadium are just the right size. Big enough to grab hold of, and packed with thrills.

The field frame, 100 yards X 50 yards, is just big enough to hold the concept of victory on Saturdays.

The Ducks' win over UCLA is a perfect example.

Tied 14-14 at the half, the game didn't make natural sense. It looked like one of Michelangelo's unfinished statues showing human form emerging from stone.

The Ducks needed to chip away the extra rock to come out looking like the famous David statue. All the pieces were there, but no harmony.

Yet the final score, 42-14, showed a giant David stepping out of the marble.

Duck players/artists brought the hammer and chisel down on the Bruins in an unexpected way. The Oregon offense gets credit for its surgical precision.

Last Saturday the defense brought a jack-hammer to the Autzen Gallery. Once the dust settled the critics spoke: Oregon improved to #2 in the BCS ranking.

Sports fans and art fans share common interests. The experienced art collector warns against buying art as an investment, or on someone's suggestion.

They use the word love. Buy art you love. Look at it, hold it, cherish it. Be a part of it. Feel the passion.

They could be talking about Oregon Duck fans.

Saturday's 4 p.m. start allowed for cherishing the experience before kick-off. In their case 'cherish' means tailgating.

While art fans swarm galleries for their next love affair fueled by wine and cheese, too often they wake up the next day with remorse. How can they get their new art out of the house without making it feel like a one night stand? What will their friends think when they come to visit and it's not there?

Sports fans don't have the same problem. Their passion is fueled by other means.

They cruise from parking lot to parking lot with a beer in one hand and a grilled meat sandwich in the other. They move from one over-the-top-tailgater to the next before the game, collecting memories along the way. The only remorse they wake up with happens after a loss.

Since the Autzen Gallery is full of winners, it doesn't happen very often.

The final score against #12 UCLA was a work of art. A 42-14 final after a halftime score of 14-14 explains more than just numbers can say.

The great sportscaster Leonardo Da Vinci called Saturday's game a study in chiaroscuro with thirty dark minutes in contrast to the bright final thirty. Color commentators Rembrandt and Caravaggio agreed.

Leo's game wrap: "There is no doubting the dominance of these Duck artists. Their play today showed a group who grows together in the face of challenging circumstances. There is no sfumato in their intentions, no soft lines blurring the first and second half.

"The Oregon Ducks showed how to come together against a common foe, how to close out an important game. Florida State must be reeling. Nick Saban will go back to the drawing board after Alabama sees the Duck highlights. This Duck defense gathered themselves and came out in the second half loaded for bear. Will they mop up the Crimson Tide if given the chance? Put me down as a yes.

"My colleagues Rembrandt and Caravaggio agree, the Ducks are no Notre Dame. If they win out and meet The Tide for the BCS Championship, Alabama will leave Pasadena bowed and bloody as if lashed by a thousand rose bushes."

The art world complains that real art will disappear if no one buys it.

The sports world has no fear, not when masterpieces created in backyard football moves to places like the Autzen Gallery and beyond.

About Arran Gimba