Unless you’re living under a rock, you have probably seen the famous U of O Duck mascot just about everywhere on campus! It’s hard to miss him, but how much do you really know about him?
In 1876, when the University of Oregon was founded, an unusual mascot that went by the nickname “Webfoots” emerged when a local sports editor by the name of L.H. Gregory coined the phrase. The nickname was to remain for around 60 years until it took on a very different form.
The Duck mascot first took shape in the 1930s in the form of a white duck, a duck by the name of Puddles. Puddles made many appearances at big games and became a huge hit throughout campus and in the community.
Inspired by the popularity of cartoons in the 1940s, the mascot took on its first cartoon form. Over time, however, this form became more and more inspired by perhaps the most famous cartoon duck of all time, Donald Duck.
In what now may be considered a very fortunate and quite unique deal, an agreement was reached with Disney to continue using the likeness of Donald Duck. This manner of agreement would be near impossible to reach in present day, but a stroke of luck had Oregon Athletic Director Leo Harris sit down with Walt Disney himself to cement the verbal deal. It was later set down to paper and now U of O has the only Disney approved mascot of any sports team around!
Did you now that The Duck is that it has never been displayed on a team helmet? The U of O helmets have either been blank, displayed a number, an interlocking U & O, or just the Oregon O.
Though the mascot may have once been “Webfoot”, these days the U of O Duck goes by many names such as Donald Duck, The Fighting Duck, and simply The Duck. Needless to say, no one has called it Puddles in a long time.
We’re proud of our Fighting Duck and look forward to seeing it proudly displayed on all our local teams for many more years to come. Go Ducks!!!