Whether it’s on the field or off, the Ducks are the Laverne & Shirley of college football. They’ll be singing, “Doing It Our Way,” all the way to the first national championship playoffs. Here are just a few reasons that the Ducks, their traditions, and their fans are some of the best.
There are not many football programs that can pinpoint the exact moment when their team emerged from the shadows and became a contender, but Oregon can. That moment was in October of 1994 when Kenny Wheaton intercepted a pass from Damon Huard and returned it 97 yards for a touchdown. His pick-six preserved the Duck lead over the Washington Huskies and paved their way to the Rose Bowl. From that point forward, Oregon began a winning tradition. This play is so vital to Duck lore and tradition that it is played on DuckVision before every home game.
Style and Flavor
When it comes to modernizing football uniforms, no team can touch the Ducks. Dressed by Nike Inc., the Ducks have revolutionized college football uniforms and bucked tradition at every turn. While most teams utilize two main colors with a secondary accent color, Oregon has 5-10 main uniform colors. When you’re flipping channels, don’t depend on your eyes to help you find the Oregon game, you better check the guide. Whether you can recognize them or not, one thing’s for sure, Snoop Dog had it right when he commented on the Ducks’ uniforms, saying the Ducks have, “all that style, all that flavor.”
Animal House Party
Not every college can say it has made an appearance in an iconic film like National Lampoon’s Animal House, but Oregon can. To honor that appearance, Otis Day and the Knights’ scene plays on the big screen at the end of the third quarter at every home game. The entire stadium enjoys a “Shout” dance party, and you can even see fans of the opposing team joining in on the fun.
While the Ducks change their uniforms so often, one wonders if they are disposable, Duck fans have one t-shirt (or sweatshirt) that has been the mainstay of fan gear since 2009. The “I Love My Ducks” t-shirt comes from a song of the same name by a group called Supwitchugirl. Seasons come and seasons go, but this t-shirt remains a favorite for Duck fans. The beauty is in its simplicity. There’s not much else the fans want to say other than to proclaim their love for their Ducks. Chances are it will take a National Champion t-shirt to bump this one off the top spot of t-shirt sales.
The Duck & the Mascot Man
When the Ducks score on the field, fans have their choice of two sideshows to enjoy. On the sidelines, the Oregon Duck continues his quest to be the fittest mascot in the football world. The Duck celebrates each point on the scoreboard with a push-up. With Oregon’s high-octane, fast-paced offense, the Duck is developing some major muscles. While the Duck is beefing up, the opponent’s mascot is taking a beat down. In the northeast part of the stadium, you will find the “Mascot Man” who attends each home game with a plush version of the opponent’s mascot tied to the end of a long pole with a noose. After each score, the opponent’s mascot is slammed into the ground once for each point as the fans count out the points in unison.
While the Ducks may not have the decades of history that some football programs boast, they do have a fervent fan base that cheers them on as loudly and brashly as any other fan base. With only a couple of decades in the limelight, the Ducks have amassed as many popular traditions as other schools that have been at it for a century. With just another two wins, the Oregon Ducks can establish a new tradition, a national championship tradition. Win or lose, you can be sure that the fans will still be sporting their “I Love My Ducks” t-shirts, and isn’t that what true fans are all about anyway? Go Ducks!
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