SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A lot is being made this week of the obvious cultural differences between Auburn and Oregon.
Ryan Pugh, the Tigers’ senior center, was more than willing to play right along Wednesday with the media.
“It’s probably about as opposite as you can get in terms of politics,” Pugh said.
He added, “It’s liberal versus conservative.”
Clearly, the Ducks’ mascot has made an impression on Pugh, especially the way he leads the team out onto the field at home riding a motorcycle.
Pugh's also seen the clip of the Ducks' mascot beating up on the Houston Cougars' mascot in 2007.
“We learned their Duck, their mascot, is tough," Pugh said. "So we've been working with our mascot at practice. We're getting him ready for this upcoming event with their mascot, in case their mascot feels the need to challenge our mascot.”
Pugh joked that Oregon’s uniforms seem to change every week.
“We’re really hard after our alumni to let us change our uniforms that haven't changed for 200 years,” he cracked.
Asked what he knew about the state of Oregon, Pugh said, “The state of Oregon? I don't know anything about Oregon. I can’t even B.S. that.”
As for what the people in Oregon might not know about the state of Alabama, Pugh offered up this gem: “We’re not really as redneck as people think we are. I would bet Oregon people don't even know why we are called rednecks.”
A sampling of some Pugh’s other musings:
“We're a very hospitable people, passionate [about] football, lots of 'yes sir' and 'no, sir.'”
“Sweet tea is really good, if you’ve ever had it.”
He even took a good-natured jab at his Heisman Trophy teammate Cameron Newton when asked if the Tigers were a one-man team.
“If they consider five people one man, because the offensive line is obviously the best part of the team,” Pugh joked. “There's no doubt that if they could have given out five Heisman trophies, they would have given it to the offensive line. They would have never even considered No. 2 for the award.”
But then turning serious, he said, “People can say it's a one-man team because we realize that without that one man, we probably wouldn't be in this situation.”