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 DuckAccording to GoDucks.com, 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 DuckDisney 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 http://www.benzduck.com
Above images from http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/The_Oregon_Duck
Fighting Duck and the Nike OIn 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.
Above image from https://blogs.uoregon.edu/scua/2014/12/31/the-oregon-mascot-part-2-becoming-the-ducks/
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.
Above image from http://www.dailyemerald.com/2002/11/15/one-duckor-two-part-1/
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 http://www.sportslogos.net/logos/view/79742572013/Oregon_Ducks/2013/Alternate_Logo
Image above from http://www.examiner.com/slideshow/in-pictures-lamichael-james-historic-career-with-the-oregon-ducks
Combat DuckMaking 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