8 things you didn't know about the Oregon Duck

EUGENE, Ore. – The Oregon Duck has been one of the most recognizable mascots in college sports since the 1940s. But there's more to the Duck than sailor suits and viral videos. Here are eight things you might not know about the history of the Duck:

1. The University of Oregon used to use a live duck named "Puddles" as its mascot. Puddles, then his offspring, were mascots until the Humane Society complained in the early 1940s.

2. The Oregon Duck, based on Walt Disney's Donald Duck, was born in 1947. Oregon's athletic director made a handshake agreement with Walt Disney that Donald's likeness would be used in good taste.

3. When Disney died, the only proof that the agreement existed was an old photo of Walt in an Oregon jacket featuring an image of the Duck. That was enough for the Walt Disney Company, which agreed to let UO continue using Donald's image.

4. The Duck is known for doing pushups whenever UO scores a touchdown or field goal. The most he's ever done was 506, when the Ducks beat New Mexico 72-0 in 2010.

5. The Duck mascot as we know it has been in jeopardy twice: In the 1960s, football coach Jerry Frei wanted the duck to have teeth to make him look more like a "Fighting Duck." In the 1970s, a cartoonist for the student newspaper tried to switch the Duck with a Mallard Drake. That went up for a student vote and the Duck won out 2-1.

6. The Duck's incredible 'Gangnam Style' parody video has been viewed more than 7.3 million times on YouTube.

7. The Duck has performed live on stage with Seattle group Macklemore.

8. Even though people call him Puddles and Donald, he's so universally recognizable that he just goes by one name – like Madonna and Cher. His name is now just "The Duck."

For more on the history of The Duck, click here.


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