ty burrell espn 'Modern Family's' Ty Burrell, Oregon Ducks fan extraordinaireThe Emmy-nominated Ty Burrell may play an easygoing husband and father on “Modern Family,” but when it comes to football, he’s a little more intense.

“The Oregon Ducks are on the verge of potentially going to the national championship game so we’re all on pins and needles,” the sitcom star tells Zap2it.

Burrell is an Oregon native and has a keen interest in the outcome of the classic Civil War game Saturday (Dec. 4) between historic rivals the Oregon Ducks and the Oregon State Beavers at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC. Offense has been the name of the game for the Ducks this season, and this game will determine their advancement to the national championship.

For Burrell, the more critical the game, the more he wants to watch it either alone or with family who are as passionate as he is about his teams.

“My mom is the same way. My mom is a huge football fan,” he says. “You don’t really want to be around people who aren’t as into it as you are. I had the worst experience a long time ago when my Rams were in the Super Bowl. We had an acquaintance pop by for the Super Bowl. There I was in my jersey, basically crouched down two inches away from the TV trying to be polite and make conversation when every single second was the most dramatic thing in my life.”

He admits that watching with him can get rather energetic.  

“Yes, a lot of kicks where my feet end up above my head,” he reveals. “If it’s with a group of people who are into yelling at the screen, then awesome. Bring it on.”

And although he gets involved with the plays, he doesn’t personally believe he can do any sort of rituals to affect the outcome of the game.

“Not really, no,” Burrell says. “I don’t fall into that category — if they start to play poorly I have to leave the room and then run back in — although I absolutely relate to it.

“The only thing I do that’s not superstitious is I don’t look at my phone at all because I’m usually DVR-ing something so I’m watching it after [it’s been over]. I also get floods of texts from family asking who won. I’m basically out of contact during games.”

Burrell keeps his celebrations simple but heartfelt — “just a lot of screaming and high fives.” If his precious Ducks do win, the “Modern Family” actor naturally wants to make the finals a family affair.

“If we go to the national championship, hopefully I’ll get to watch the game either in person or in front of the TV with a lot of family,” he says. “So if that were to come to pass we could all squeeze each other to death.”

[UPDATE: The Oregon Ducks did indeed defeat the Beavers 37-20. We can guess who’s voice is hoarse right now.]

Check back with Zap2it for Part 2 of our interview with Ty Burrell when he discusses what to expect on “Modern Family.”

Posted by:Hanh Nguyen