A musical scene from the movie "Animal House" holds a special place in Ducks lore
PASADENA, Calif. — John Landis' first directorial hit Animal House arrived in theatres in 1978, long before any participant in the 2020 Rose Bowl Game was born. But Oregon linebacker Troy Dye is a man who has studied the classics.
"Have I seen it?" Dye asked mock-incredulously. "Of course I've seen Animal House. Who hasn't seen Animal House, man. Don't play with me."
The raunchy college comedy has come to have special significance for the Ducks — and not just because Faber College is actually the University of Oregon.
The film's most famous scene depicts a toga party at the Delta House, with fictional R&B band Otis Day and The Knights performing a lively rendition of the Isley Brothers' hit, "Shout." Between the third and fourth quarters at Oregon home games, "Shout" blasts over the Autzen Stadium PA, complete with a Ducks-themed remake of the Animal House scene played on the video board.
The dichotomy of 2014 Heisman Trophy recipient and 2015 Rose Bowl Game winner Marcus Mariota playing the role of 0.0 GPA Bluto Blutarksy aside, the Oregon version is a perfect reimagining of one of the most fondly remembered scenes in any comedic film.
It includes the real Otis Day & The Knights, as well as cameos from a number of former Ducks greats. Dye hopes to one day be among the Oregon alumni decked out in a toga.
"If they update the video, they for sure have to call me," Dye said. "Otherwise, I'll be really, really upset."
"Shout" is already synonymous with Dye's impressive legacy at Oregon, regardless if he appears in a remake. A four-year starter, the standout linebacker fulfilled his goal of helping the Ducks build from the cellar of the Pac-12 back to the conference championship.
He has doubled as an on-field leader, and as an impromptu choreographer. His spirited dances before fourth quarters became a tradition at Autzen — so much so that when the Ducks trailed at Arizona State on Nov. 23, Ducks radio play-by-play announcer Jerry Allen opined on-air that perhaps the team needed "Shout" there in Tempe.
It's not a tradition that can travel — usually. At this season's Pac-12 Championship Game, the video aired not between quarters, but at a timeout in the fourth at Levi's Stadium. Utah rallied from a deficit of three possessions to pull within a touchdown, and the Utes seemed to have all the momentum on their side.
"Shout" played, Dye led the pump-up... and on Oregon's immediately ensuing possession, CJ Verdell broke a touchdown run of 70 yards that punched the Ducks' tickets to the Rose Bowl.
So after it played in one championship game for the 2019 Ducks, it seems not out of the question for it to play at another. Can Dye envision a crowd of more than 90,000, at least half Oregon fans, joining him in "Shout" one final time in his illustrious career?
"It'd be awesome for our fans to hear," he said of a hypothetical rendition at the Rose Bowl. "I know Wisconsin has their own thing they do, too."
Indeed, the Badgers usher in the fourth quarter with the early '90s hip-hop staple, "Jump Around." Perhaps a kind of battle of the bands in Pasadena between Otis Day & The Knights and House of Pain is in order.
If that's the case, offensive tackle Penei Sewell summarized what will ensue best: "You'll for sure see 35 [Dye] over there do his thing. Everybody would be hyped, especially these seniors."
Although leading the team and fans in "Shout" has become such a signature of Dye's, the tradition began accidentally.
"The first time I did it, I didn't even really know what I was doing," he said. "I was just trying to have fun with it, get the crowd into it. From that moment forward, I knew I had to keep going with it. My teammates got involved more."
"If you watched the Colorado game, when I came out I watched it on TV and between the third and fourth quarter, Lamar Winston and the young guys kept it going," Dye added. "That was the moment that I understood that it was a tradition, and something I hope lives on for a long time."
Not unlike the winning standard the senior class with Dye reestablished at Oregon, those lively celebrations do in fact resonate with the Ducks who remain in Eugene after the Rose Bowl caps 2019.
"I love it. It's a great atmosphere, and it's an opportunity to just sit back and enjoy the game," said freshman defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux. "Not just play, but enjoy the little things."
— Written by Kyle Kensing, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a sportswriter in Southern California. Follow him on Twitter @kensing45.