No matter where you are, whether on campus or at Autzen Stadium, our Duck mascot “Puddles” is sure to be nearby making new friends with Oregon fans. With his loving personality, the fun qualities he exhibits, and powerful chest from all of the pushups he has to endure throughout the season, our mascot is one of the best in the nation. But we have to wonder as the greatest college football fans in the nation, where did Puddles originate?
To answer this question, we have to go back in time to the 1920’s, when we were originally known as the Webfoots (named after a group of fishermen’s descendants from Massachusetts who were a big part of the American Revoluionary War). Throughout the 1920s, there was a live white duck that would appear randomly at sports events that was named Puddles by the people of Oregon. Over time, many sports analysts began to refer to the Webfoots as the Ducks because of the live duck that appeared at sporting events.
In the late 70’s, a student cartoonist came up with a sketch for what the Duck mascot should look like, and the sketch resembled the duck that we see today. However, the sketches truly began in the 1940’s and as more and more sketches came out, each one resembled Disney’s Donald Duck. Walt Disney saw this issue, and eventually Oregon conceded the rights to the duck to Disney, who in turn allowed Oregon to use the duck, with certain strings attached.
Because of the limited appearances that our duck was able to make due to Disney’s control, Disney and the U of O decided to part ways, and began allowing the Duck to do his own thing. As soon as they parted ways, Puddles was once again reborn and able to be the loving duck we see today.