Monday, September 28, 2015

The Duck from Puddles to Disney to Nike...

Since Oregon was one of the teams that started the whole uniform-as-canvas trend in the late 1990s (They rebranded for the 1999 season and have not been the same since), they have matured their multiple looks and now are branching out into alternate logos as well as color schemes.

2015 has seen the birth of Combat Duck as the newest member of the Oregon logo family. Here is a little history on the evolution. Check out links at the bottom for an much more exhaustive look at this topic!

Puddles vs. The Duck

According to, Puddles was a live duck mascot from the 1920s when Oregon was known as the Webfoots. The current iteration of the live costumed mascot beloved by Lee Corso is usually called The Duck.

Donald Duck

Disney became involved during the 1940s when Walt Disney and Oregon AD Leo Harris shook hands on an an agreement to use a likeness of Donald Duck as Oregon's mascot. The agreement limited when and where the Donald version could be used and also limited the appearance of the costumed mascot.
Walt Disney and Oregon AD Leo Harris

Image above from

"Fighting Duck"
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Fighting Duck and the Nike O

In a premonition of this year's Combat Duck, football coach Jerry Frei (1967-71) wanted the duck logo to have teeth to better personify the nickname "Fighting Ducks". In 1999, with the help of Nike, The University moved away from using Donald Duck or interlocking UO as its primary logo, and shifted to the sleeker O which is said to represent Hayward Field and Autzen Stadium.
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Robo Duck AKA "Mandrake"

Because of the limitations on the use of the Disney-derived duck, UO decided to shake things up a bit and introduce an additional live mascot in 2002. While officials claimed that this was not a replacement for the beloved—and much cuter—The Duck, the Oregon flock did not take this very well and he was retired.
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Nike "Fighting Duck"

For at least a decade in the early 2000s, The Duck as logo was underused in the era of the O and winged shoulders/helmet. Perhaps that was a hangover from the Robo Duck? But nostalgia began to creep back in. In 2010 Disney agreed that the costumed mascot "Duck" and Donald were not the same and that Oregon could use the mascot as it liked. The limits still seemingly pertained to printed logos though, which led to Oregon and Nike making a newer graphic that would  appear on uniforms and merchandise. At the 2011 Oregon-Cal game, the uniform's throwback shoulders sported a new version of the duck. This time it was less Disney and more like a carefree version of the costumed mascot. At this game, the players wore The Duck on their shoulders, but The Duck had a "Chip"on its shoulder!

Image above from
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Combat Duck

Making it's debut on Sept. 12, 2015 vs. Michigan Sate, the Combat Duck looks a bit like the Nike Duck but with a meaner look and chapped lips. Like Mark Helfrich and discussing injuries, The UO is a bit mum about discussing the newer duck logos. Craig Pintens, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Marketing & Public Relations, is helpful in tweeting images of Nike's newest creations, but said that they will not discuss the design. I guess that makes it even more mysterious!

Images above from Twitter feed Oregon Football @WinTheDay

The University of Oregon has an even more historical article on this topic

Fish Duck has a great chronicle as well


Week 4 Sept. 26, 2015

Oregon 20
Utah 62

Week 3 Sept. 19, 2015

Oregon 61
Georgia State 28

Week 2 Sept. 12, 2015

Oregon 28
Michigan State 31

Week 1 Sept. 5, 2015

Oregon 61
Eastern Washington 42

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Unlucky Duck Uniform Combos?

With today's loss seemingly out of the norm both for its lackluster play and bright green ensemble, I thought it would be nice to find out if uniform combo has anything to do with Duck performance.

We all have heard the complaints when the Ducks employ unconventional uniform combos, especially when the traditional green and yellow are notably absent (Think the last two "Nattys")

People say Oregon "doesn't win big games" especially when they don't wear their colors. Is that true? Is there a uniform combo that seems cursed? Keep in mind that many "big games" are played away from Autzen against highly ranked opponents who dictate that Oregon wears its "away" jersey....

(But they can lose even when they wear all green like today Sept. 26, 2015)

Lets look back at the 13 losses in the past six+ seasons since the Chip Kelly era began in 2009:

September 3, 20097:15 PMat #14 Boise State*#16Bronco Stadium • Boise, IDESPNL 8–19  

November 7, 200912:30 PMat Stanford#7Stanford Stadium • Stanford, CAFSNL 42–51  
January 1, 20102:10 PMvs. #8 Ohio State*#7Rose Bowl • Pasadena, CA (Rose Bowl)ABCL 17–26 

January 10, 20115:30 PMvs. #1 Auburn*#2University of Phoenix Stadium • Glendale, AZ (BCS National Championship Game)ESPNL 19-22 

September 3, 20115:00 PMvs. #4 LSU*#3Cowboys Stadium • Arlington, TX (Cowboys Classic)ABCL 27–40 

November 19, 20115:00 PM#18 USC#4Autzen Stadium • Eugene, ORABC/ESPN3L 35–38  

November 17, 20125:00 PM#14 Stanford#1Autzen Stadium • Eugene, ORABCL 14–17 OT

November 7, 20136:00 PMat #6 Stanford#2Stanford Stadium • Stanford, CAESPNL 20–26  

November 23, 201312:30 PMat Arizona#5Arizona Stadium • Tucson, AZABC/ESPN2L 16–42  

October 2, 20147:30 p.m.Arizona#2Autzen Stadium • Eugene, ORESPNL 24–31  

January 12, 20155:30 p.m.vs. #5 Ohio State*#3AT&T Stadium • Arlington, TX (CFP National Championship)ESPNL 20–42  

September 12, 20155:30 p.m.vs. #3 Michigan State#5Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MIESPNL 28–31  

September 26, 20155:30 p.m.vs. #18 Utah#13Autzen Stadium, Eugene, ORFOXL 20-62 

Notice anything?

When I set out to look for all these combos, I had it in my mind that it was a going to be a pretty white/gray bunch, but not to the extent that it has been! Only four losses involved green or yellow, and those were mostly partial uniforms! All but one of the losses have been while wearing some combo of White, Gray/Silver, and Black. There have been some great wins in those combos as well though  (Civil War that propelled UO to first National Championship game) but most losses—and loudest howls from fans— have come while wearing non traditional colors!

For more detailed Duck trackers click here: