“Blitz This,” the enormous, neon-hued banner taunts any Buckeye who happens to pass through Northwest Portland.

Three University of Oregon offensive linemen stare meanly from the plastic sheet, delivering a clear message to Ohio State University’s defense: Try it. We dare you.

The banner erected above Overhead Door Company of Portland’s warehouse sticks out on Northwest Marine Drive, where most business is industrial and owners have little reason to decorate.

Russ Faltyn isn’t doing it to lure in business. He’s just that die-hard.

“My wife and I have gone to every bowl game since 1994,” said Faltyn, the company’s co-owner.

The 1973 Oregon alumnus hung the banner after losing a coin toss that could have sent him to the national championship game. Instead, his business partner Jim Stumpf is there.

The banner is one of three Faltyn owns. If he had room, he just might hang them all.

“They were sitting in a loading dock at the Oregon practice field, and a friend called me up to tell me the groundskeeper wanted them out,” Faltyn said. “Within three hours I was down there and loading them in my truck.”

I stopped by Faltyn’s shop to snap a photo of the Ducks banner as part of a gallery on public displays of Ducks fandom. When Faltyn pulled up in his big green truck and stepped out wearing his University of Oregon letterman’s jacket, I realized I was dealing with a superfan.

He invited me into his office, where framed photographs of Autzen stadium adorn his desk. A Ducks-themed woodcarving sits next to a photo of Faltyn’s two sons. On the wall, he and two Oregon cheerleaders pose next to a bowl championship trophy.

He took the day off work Monday to prepare for the game, but found himself too excited to relax.

“I’ll get a lot done because I can’t sit down,” he said.

His game day prediction? Ducks by 17.

“They’ll take care of business, especially in the second half,” he said. “They’ll turn it on just like they’ve done all season long.”

–Kelly House

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