The Pac-12 is giving Autzen Stadium a serious makeover for Friday night's first-ever Pac-12 championship game, and one of its moves was to relieve longtime stadium announcer Don Essig of his full game duties in an attempt to make the game somewhat more neutral.
Essig has been the PA announcer in Autzen Stadium since 1968, and his voice is among the most recognizable in the state of Oregon. In a longtime tradition, the fans join Essig prior to the start of every home game in saying, "it never rains in Autzen Stadium."
University of Oregon athletic department spokesman Dave Williford says that he isn't sure yet if Essig will be allowed to lead the Ducks faithful in the saying, but he did tell the media "Don will be involved in some of the pregame announcements."
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