Saturday, September 26, 2015

Week 4: September 26, 2015

The Northwest was a technicolor dream with the three active school's going mono-dominant color. The Ducks went full-Apple Green (like—but unlike—the 2015 Rose Bowl); the Beavers went full-Pumpkin Orange (and it's not even October yet); and the Huskies went almost-full Grape Purple. I'm a sucker for these three secondary colors so thought this was a real nice look, especially since these three colors are unique to their schools in the Pac-12!

Not to be left out of the mono-dominant weekend though, were the two Arizona schools that did a Wildcat "Red-out" and a Sun Devil "Maroon-out." The Wildcats debuted a pretty cool red chrome helmet.

That left the more traditional schools to wear their normal road jerseys and Utah to go for a white out victory in Eugene.

Monday, September 21, 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

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"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


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Week 3: September 19, 2015

Almost half the Pac-12 opted for white-outs this weekend, and some were at home! But there were a lot of traditional uniform combos this week. especially at the stalwart USC-Stanford game. UCLA and UW were both classic looking and shiny: UW in their gold chrome domes and classic purple/gold, while UCLA had the same combo of gold/blue/gold as week one. WSU was a bit drab in their gray, but thankfully the crimson helmets brightened that combo. Arizona and Utah were matched opposites in their reds and whites.

Oregon has yet to wear any green this year, keeping its two home games a Pittsburg-like Black and Yellow affair. Maybe they are saving Green for conference play? I wonder if after the MSU white/gray uniforms produced a loss, that look will be benched for big games?  Since the UO's last three big games while wearing mostly white/silver have been losses.

The Ducks also went with a glossy-black helmet a week after sporting the sparkly-white one. And to really annoy the OCD uni-watchers out there, Oregon used their newish Nike Duck (the update to the Disney Duck) on one side and the brand-new "Combat Duck" on the other! As a Duck fan I will love anything they do, but find those two duck cartoons way too similar! This "Combat-Duck" gives me cold-chill memories of RoboDuck!  And their jersey shoulders sported the older feather pattern compared to week one that had the similar-but-different pattern. As a graphic artist and fan, that odd difference drives me bonkers.

Drawn by Dennis Bolt (  for