Monday, 7. September 2009
Because I couldn’t find a former player with a Purdue connection, I went a different route with this week’s Q&A.
An old friend gave me a heads up that one of Oregon’s assistant video coordinators worked at Purdue before joining the Ducks’ staff in 2008.
I thought he might be able to give some good insight into what his job entails and how the two programs differ. At this point, football is basically a year-round sport and the people that work with the program – marketing, public relations, video, etc. – work very long hours with almost no days off.
So, I really appreciate Eric taking the time to answer the following questions.
1. Introduce Yourself: My name is Eric Day. I am the assistant video coordinator for the University of Oregon Athletics. I mainly work with the football team, but do work with almost all teams. I grew up in Indiana as a Purdue fan my whole life. I graduated from Purdue with a degree in Statistics and minors in English and Economics in May 2007. So my education has nothing to do with what I do for a living. I worked for Purdue football as a student for the 2004, 2005, and 2006 seasons. I worked full time for the 2007 season. I moved to Oregon in June 2008. This is my second season in Oregon.
2. Explain your duties as video coordinator: I’m responsible for making sure the coaches have all the video they need to be prepared for every game. All of our video is digital, so I basically maintain a network of digital video. The coaches watch every practice as soon as they walk off the practice field. They also want every game we play plus every game our opponents play. They also watch a lot of NFL or other college teams in the off season. The video is also linked to a database, so each play has a ton of information attached to it that includes down, distance, play name, or anything else they want. They can then use that information to game plan and make reports. The coaches spend a lot of time watching video, I just make sure it’s there for them.
3. You’ve worked for Purdue football and Oregon football. What’s the biggest difference between the two programs? I would have to say the biggest difference is national exposure. If Purdue went 10-3 last year and won the capitol one bowl, they wouldn’t be on SI or anything like that. At Oregon, we started using helmet cams on the QBs’ helmets this year. We weren’t the first school to do it, but it got more publicity than when other schools did it. I don’t know if it’s because of the jerseys, but the national media seems to like Oregon better than Purdue, even when Purdue was having success.
4. Be honest, will you be sporting a Purdue t-shirt under your Oregon gear on gameday? I will not be wearing any Purdue gear whatsoever. I usually wear a Purdue sweatshirt Saturday morning when I watch the Purdue game on tv, but I won’t be doing that this weekend. I love Purdue, and I will always love Purdue. I hope they win every game, except for when they play the Ducks.
5. Best memory of Coach Tiller? Coach Tiller is one of the greatest people I’ve ever been lucky enough to interact with. My favorite memories of him are just day-to-day interactions that aren’t entertaining enough to write in this blog. However, my most interesting memory would be when he called me in his office the day after my car caught on fire during practice. It’s a long story…don’t ask. However, I will say this about Coach Tiller. There seemed to be a large group of Purdue fans that loved to give him a hard time as if he wasn’t good enough. They quickly forgot where Purdue football was before he took the reigns. Coach Tiller brought in a level of success that Purdue football had never seen before and may never see again. 10 bowls in 12 years with one rose bowl after Purdue had only 5 bowl games before he came. I know there are more bowl games now, but it was almost embarrassing to be a Purdue football fan in the early to mid 90′s. I hope all fans give him the credit he deserves now.
6. You moved to Eugene from Indiana. What was your first impression of Eugene? I first noticed how green everything was. When you look north from the top of the press box, there are tress everywhere, but I know there’s houses everywhere there, too. I love Eugene. It’s a great place to live. And after a year of the weather, I’m kind of mad at my parents for making me endure Indiana summers and winters. Although when you live there, you don’t know any better. It makes me laugh when the students that work for me tried to warn me about the “horrible” winter here. 40 and rainy is way better than 15 and snowy any day. I went back to Indiana in January for a week, and the car at the airport said it was -10. People that have lived here their whole life don’t even know that temperature exists. I wear shorts year round here. Plus if I miss sledding, I just hop over to the pass and sled/snowboard for a day.
7. How do the coaches fare with the video technology? How many times are you called in for computer assistance? I am called into their offices all day for computer assistance. Half the time it’s because they messed up, the other half is because the program/network is messed up. I will give them credit though. The software we are using is very powerful and very sophisticated and none of them grew up using computers. Some coaches are better than others, but all of them know enough to get done what they want to get done.
8. Fill in the blank: Autzen Stadium _______________ Autzen stadium is great place to watch college football. It is also the loudest place I’ve ever been for a football game, and I’ve been to Michigan, Penn St, and Ohio St. I hope our fans show Purdue just how loud it can be. I watch from the top of the press box, so I can see it all. I have the best seat in the house because there is nothing I can’t see and I don’t have to crane my neck to see a certain part of the field.
9. You haven’t sent any video to Purdue have you? I have sent lots of video to Purdue. I sent all of our games from 2008 and our Boise St game from 2009. But they sent me their games in exchange and that’s normal. Besides that, I haven’t sent them anything.
10. What is the one thing about Purdue football that will surprise Oregon fans? I hope I’m right since I haven’t checked this fact in awhile, but I’m pretty sure Purdue has had more starts by alumni in the NFL than any other college during the super bowl era. I found that to be surprising. There is definitely a history there of good players. I just hope Purdue can keep the momentum of the Joe Tiller era going.