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SportsCenter anchor, Oregon alum Neil Everett preps to cheer his “underDucks”

Front Row caught up with Oregon grad Neil Everett (class of 1984) on his way to the College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T in Dallas, where his Ducks will meet Ohio State (tonight, 8:30 ET, ESPN). The Portland, Ore. native talks about his days in Eugene, Ore., how he approaches trash-talkers and a sentimental reason he’s hoping the Ducks win the national title.

My Grandpa died 30 years ago. If there’s a skybox, hopefully, he’s in a position to see Oregon do something not many ever dreamed it could.
SportsCenter anchor Neil Everett on his grandfather Neil Morfitt Sr., a member of the 1920 Oregon Rose Bowl team

Where will you be watching the game?
I will be at the game with my wife, Stephanie (Oregon, 2002). I think we are on the sidelines, which is always cool. I’m very thankful to the Oregon family for thinking enough of us to treat us so well. My cousin Eric Sporre will be with us as well.

Were you a big Ducks fan when you were attending Oregon? How’s the atmosphere changed there?
Back when I was a student, Oregon football was a middle-of-the-Pac-10-Conference team. The tailgates were more often than not better than the games. The atmosphere then was battery-powered, now it’s electric.

Did you ever imagine Oregon would become a powerhouse?
I don’t think of Oregon as a powerhouse. I prefer the “underDuck” role.

Have you heard from any Oregon or Ohio State folks this week, wishing you luck or trash talking?
If you are a trash-talker, the chances that we are friends is minimal.

What are you looking forward to tonight?
My Grandpa [Neil Morfitt Sr.] played on Oregon’s 1920 Rose Bowl team [Harvard beat Oregon, 7-6]. My Oregon highlight was taking him to a game at Autzen Stadium, 1982, when the Ducks tied Notre Dame. The place was packed — the only time I remember it being like it is now before Oregon was considered really good. My Grandpa died 30 years ago. If there’s a skybox, hopefully he’s in a position to see Oregon do something not many ever dreamed it could.

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