— Fading but Not Leaving

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After having written more than 300 articles over the last four years — none were as hard for me as this one. … after having many false stops and starts in the past is finally downsizing – as we have attempted many times. The more than 50 writers and editors are now gone (at one time we had more than 100 volunteers in six departments), and it will simply be a personal playground for my own writing and analysis — a true blog, if you will.

The site will remain up so that coaches can still find older articles, and writers can post links of their work from these pages. After an extended break, I will be returning to do what I originally began the site for – personal learning about our beloved Ducks.

The Championship rings of the Texas Bullets who benefited from this site.

Adam Sharp

The Championship rings of the Texas Bullets who benefited from this site.

The original videos made in 2011 have been viewed more than 1.3 million times, and after four years? They are still being viewed every minute of the day on average (12,000 times in November)! The exposure for Oregon football was truly international, as I had coaches from most of the states in the nation as well as a ton of countries contact me.

I was asked by a coach in Brazil if I knew of any Club Football Coaches in South/Central America who had installed the “Oregon Spread Offense,” and I was able to give him the names and e-mail addresses of three — right there in Brazil!

I was told we needed to have content, or articles every day, and thus I put the word out that we wanted writers and editors who wanted to be a part of an All-Volunteer site. The photographers that joined us such as Gary Breedlove, Craig Strobeck, and Kevin Cline gave us unbelievable work for free (View the pics of amateurs and you quickly see the difference). I enjoyed the banter with these fellows, and they were professionals who donated their time for the site, for the readers.

Picking up Media/Photo passes is a happy day!

Lois Fischer

Picking up Media/Photo passes is a happy day!

The writers embraced our mission statement of “to inform, to entertain and show the love of our beloved Ducks!”

Since we began in August of 2011, the site has had nearly five million visitors, and the articles have been read over 9.7 million times as well. Last month our global ranking among active sites put us in the top 1% for hits/visits and we have had Duck fans from more than 50 countries come to this site to learn more.

Nothing happens without superb editing and I will forever be indebted to Mike Merrell, Dano Dunn and Natalie Liebhaber. Their expertise was amazing, and those three were here a very long time helping writers, and making the finished product on the site polished.

I am grateful to the UO Athletic Dept of Communications for granting Media and Photo Credentials, as we could cover the Ducks unlike anything I had imagined.

What is interesting is that we had a writer in the press box for every home game over the last five seasons, and yet I never got around to going up there even once. Why? I know my limits, and I wanted real writers up there who would give our readers observations rarely found elsewhere.

We wanted a site to make people ponder, and I would like to think we achieved that, as there are so many writers and articles from whom I have learned. Ultimately my happiest times with the site were with the “Grizzled Ol’ Coach” Mike Morris as we would have our two-hour “Skull Sessions” in the ManCave that left me overwhelmed from so much football.  

Why are we fading or downsizing?

Being a schmuck came natural for me...

Bob Wilson

Being a schmuck came natural for me …

There are a million details to managing a good site, and having volunteers makes it more difficult at times. In the end — it took too much of my time. I enjoy the investment business and the Planned Giving Workshops that I do, but all of my spare time was spent on the site, as there always are emails and phone calls to make, and details to quickly plan.

It was not hard, but it took all my spare time, and I would like to make the site a hobby again as it was originally intended. Forty hours of work in the office and another 25-30 hours a week with became too much after four years. Forget about vacations; I have had three weekends off in three years, and I would like to have a normal life again.

Abbie was always ready to play a part in a new video!

Christine Fischer

Abbie was always ready to play a part in a new video!

We broke ground in a number of areas, and I believe that some Oregon fans are more informed than before because of all of us on the site.

After a good rest I do have a new analysis surprise that will surface on this site — that I promise has never been done with any Oregon Sports Media in the past. I look forward to having the energy, and the time to learning more about our beloved Ducks, and sharing it with so many people that I care about.

It was a great run, and I thank you all for coming to the site — and I cannot thank all the writers and editors enough for making this a fun adventure for us all.

Do check in about two weeks after the bowl game, as this site will be breaking new ground — again. Because ….

“Oh how we love to learn about our Beloved Ducks!”

Charles Fischer  (FishDuck)
Oregon Football Analyst for CFF Network/
Eugene, Oregon

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Charles Fischer

Charles Fischer

Charles Fischer has been an intense fan of the Ducks for thirty years and has written reports on football boards for over a dozen years. Known as “FishDuck” on those boards, he is acknowledged for providing intense detail in his scrimmage reports and in his Xs and Os play analyses. He and his wife Lois, a daughter, Christine, and their dog (Abbie) reside in Eugene, Oregon, where he has been a financial advisor for 30 years serving clients in seven different states. He does not profess to be a coach or analyst, but simply a “hack” that enjoys sharing what he has learned and invites others to correct or add to this body of Oregon Football! See More...

  • Happyvduck blaser

    Charles, thanks for making us a better and a more knowledgeable fan base. A shout out to all that helped the site grow and share the insight. I will look forward to your newest venture with your site. Again, thanks for sharing so much time, energy and efforts to making us one of the nation’s more enlightened and up to speed fan bases. All fans that are familiar with owe you a debt of gratitude.

    • Happy-it is readers like you who sustained me; thank you so much for taking the time to comment.

      I will still be writing on this site, and doing analysis articles although I am taking a month break. But without all the other writers and editors on the site now–I will not have the time requirements I had with the site before, thus I can just focus on learning more about our beloved Ducks and sharing with other fans via this site.

      I am returning to the intent of what I meant this site to be at the very beginning…although I am very, very, grateful to all those who had fun writing and editing on this site over the last four years with me.

      Hits don’t matter now at all; I just want to learn and share it, and there are a couple of other coaches who are coming to me to do the same. Our amount of content will be scarce, but keep checking in on a regular basis and you will see new stuff.

      Bottom line is that I am removing the management part of the site from me, of which was 95% of my time spent on the site.

      Thanks again blaser,

  • OreotheCat

    What a great run! There is one thing though, could you all write a few articles about how Fish Duck is leaving, going away, fading, downsizing, shrinking, minimizing, and also ending forever? Content to this effect seems to be missing. Also, it would be great to have a whole article saying goodbye from each and every contributor. (And one written by each of their dogs, as well. Bye Abbie! I’m sad that Fish Duck is going to give you away!) I really am missing all the goodbyes and announcements of goodbyes-to-come. The duck news is great and everything, but what I really come here fore are the articles announcing that someone is leaving or that the site is possibly semi-hemi-demi-shutting down maybe forever, in some capacity or another.

    Thanks! I look forward to the wonderful transformation of this site!

  • BigBallzChipper


    I will really really miss it! I already miss the videos you used to do, and now the site is downsizing. I will really miss the analysis of the Grizzled Ol’ Coach. He was really a fun read, and learned a lot. Maybe I might meet up for a game sometime. Spring ball? All the best!


    • I would enjoy a beer with fellow fans, and the GOC is not going away; he has an always-open invitation to write and express his views on the site. He and I will have some major “Skull- Sessions” this winter as we begin tear apart the Cal-USC-Stanford games. Some interesting stuff in there…

      • BigBallzChipper

        Great I can’t wait to read about it whenever it comes up! This year seems very interesting we either played up/down to our opponent.

  • Rick Dyer

    Learned a lot about the Ducks here. Sorry to hear that it has been too time-consuming, but certainly understand Will look forward to reading your future articles.

  • waindim tufoin

    so would you say that it was the PAC-12’s fault saying that you couldn’t use footage so that’s why the website is fading

    • No. We got excellent traffic on the three years of analysis articles since video was removed as an option. Again (as you saw above) we were in the top 1% of the world in hits in our last full month, (November) and the majority came to articles other than the analysis articles.

      • BigBallzChipper

        I really loved those vids. I would have probably moved my site overseas and still kept using the vids don’t care about what PAC says!

        • Well….if you do that…then the site loses it’s Media Credentials, and that brings about other problems.

          Truth-be-told? Making videos is very time consuming and rigorous; I was ready for a break when the Pac-12 added the new rule in September of 2012. I had made a video nearly every week for a year in late 2011 to Sept. 2012 (over 50 videos) and I could not do the research, write the script, shoot the commentary, record and add the voice-over, and fully edit and post a video every week forever….

          Our current analysis articles are just fine with text and GIFs or short videos; if people want to learn, they’ll learn.

  • FunkyDucky

    Alright! FishDuck is BACK! Nice to see things picking up and more articles and information about our beloved Ducks! I was very worried for awhile because there have been 4X10 to the 8th power articles on FishDuck about it going away. But, nope! It’s back and I don’t even car if it’s just to deliver articles about how FishDuck is NOT back instead of Duck news. After clicking on the link and seeing the huge image of Charles looking very, very concerned and worried about FishDuck going away, I’m so glad to see that it’s not. Well, not until there is another article about it going away… But, we should have a picture of Charles with a very HAPPY face now that FishDuck is back….. more like the schmuck picture above, which is much more pleasant, than the picture in this article where Charles looks like he MAY have experienced untimely gas. I want to create a schmuck picture, to illustrate how I DON’T feel like a schmuck for clicking on the latest FischDuck article about there being no more FishDuck. Thanks for returning. I’m LOVING IT!

  • phxduck

    I look forward to your posts after the first of the year. Enjoy the Holidays, and get your normal life back.

  • Jerry Rovensky

    Charles, thanks for making us more knowledgeable Duck fans. We will be looking forward to your evolution.

  • duckusucker

    Thanks Charles for the wonderful four years! You have certainly impacted the lives of the faithful, providing in-depth information available nowhere else about our justly-lauded Ducks.
    I can’t wait to read your analysis of the pending shellacking of them Texas boys and then the development of our new players during the spring and beyond.
    You have provided an invaluable service to football lovers.
    Again, than you.

    • Sorry Ducku, but I will not be doing a TCU analysis; as I wrote above–I am taking a month off.


    WOW appreciate all the hard work Charles. I was always impressed with you guy’s from the start. Its always great when people volunteer their time. Shows so much that it’s not always about the money. Thank you so much.

  • goducks58

    What an amazing site you were able to put together, Charles. You should be very proud. I’m disappointed that there will be a drop-off in content but it’s completely understandable. You need to have yourself a life. Best wishes, I’ll keep haunting the site, and as always…….
    GO DUCKS !!!

  • schrambler

    Well, I, for one, have enjoyed your site tremendously. The differences in your vision and presentation style, compared to ATQ, proves your maturity and thoughtfulness. My only gripe is about the consistently poor writing and grammar from a handful of volunteers. These are my personal annoyances, mostly with maitaiduck. Simple spell checks, rereadings and care could make these issues less irksome. Young people dilute their own significance by being careless writers. Thanks you very much for your hard work on behalf of my team and alma mater.