SBD/October 5, 2012/People and Pop Culture

What's Up For The Weekend With Warsaw Sports Marketing Center's Paul Swangard

The Swangard family, including Ella and Annabel, is serious about its popcorn variety
Warsaw Sports Marketing Center Managing Dir PAUL SWANGARD was born about 200 yards from his office and is completely dialed into the Univ. of Oregon. The former track athlete sprinted for the school in the mid '80s, then went back for his MBA in the late '90s before returning to the campus to run the center in ’01. “Like any college town, there are certain days you want to remember your college days, and there are days you want to act like an adult,” Swangard said. This weekend, he’ll spice it up with a little bit of both.

MARGARITAS & QUESADILLAS: We usually try to find one night as a family to go out to have a bite to eat and I think that’s the plan this Friday night. We’ve got this little Mexican place that’s less than three blocks from our house. I think our dinner reservations will be driven by energy level more than anything else. My inclination is it may be margaritas and quesadillas on Friday night. It’s called Los Dos Amigos.

SHOW TIME: My oldest daughter is a voracious reader in her fifth grade year and she just plowed through the first book of “A Series Of Unfortunate Events.” There was a movie made around those books with JIM CARREY, and the thought was it might be fun now that she’s finished the book to see how close or loose was the movie version of the book.

POP SECRET: We will actually make three different varieties of popcorn based on personal preference. We will have the 10-year-old with the microwave pop-up bag. We will have the eight year-old with the fresh made in the mini movie-theatre machine. Dad will come through with an air-popped bowl for good measure. Mom tends to taste each. It’s probably the only item I buy at Costco when I buy in such large poundage, I actually see it as a short-term buy because we always seem to go through it so quickly. We’ve got a cross between a havenese and a poodle, with is actually known as a Havapo and she is remarkably smitten by the popcorn ritual that we have each night. She is a very savvy popcorn-spillover opportunist.

NOTHING LIKE HOME: Saturday afternoon I have a golf outing scheduled with my father and my uncle. My uncle played baseball at Oregon and is coming down to watch the game. My dad actually works with me here at the business school and is set to retire at the end of the year. We’re spoiled. Eugene Country Club is still ranked as one of the top 100 courses in the United States and we can go out and play a round on a nice fall day and enjoy each other’s company. I really value the fact that I live in the same town as my parents and in a community that I’ve lived in for a long time and that’s just one of those, “You know playing golf on an October sunny day in Eugene before a football game, that’s not a bad way to spend an afternoon.”

WONDER YEARS: The game is a workday for those of us here at the UofO. This weekend in particular is special. We host our rivals from Washington on Saturday night. In my prior life as a local TV anchor here for many years, I was behind the camera that captured an interception in an Oregon-Washington game back in the early '90s that, by most accounts, most fans believe was sort of one of the turning points for the program. And every year since then they have incorporated that highlight into the pregame video that brings the team out onto the field. In a small little way, one of my rituals has always been to try to be somewhere in the stadium watching that opening montage to see the crowd react to something that I did almost twenty years ago. That to me is kind of a cool little nugget that was very much a fun part of my career.

OREGON TRAIL: Sunday, if it’s a nice day, we’ll often try to jump on our bikes. Our house is actually located right along the Willamette River which runs through the middle of Eugene. The bike path system has several loops, but there’s a six-mile loop that we can jump on our bikes and ride along the river and enjoy the trees changing colors and do a little exercise. In the afternoon we have an epic six-on-six eight-year-old soccer game. Rounding it out we have a Canadian Thanksgiving. A longtime family friend visiting from Vancouver will be cooking up a Thanksgiving Feast at my parents’ house, it’ll include everything except the hockey.

FAMILY SMACK-TALK: As a family we are big fans of “The Amazing Race.” So we’ll end Sunday night watching it together as a family, popcorn always included. Last week, we conducted our second annual “Amazing Race” fantasy draft. The winning team each week, that person gets to choose a dinner out for the family, and the loser is responsible for dishes during the week. So it sets the stage for a lot of smack talking with the eight year-old. I would like to say that I was the winner of Week 1, so take that ELLA.
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