Typically the Oregon Duck mascot is a mallard of actions not words, unless he’s holding a sign. Known for his amazing ability to instantly bring smiles to every Duck fan and always presenting an undying enthusiasm for Oregon athletics, like most mascots The Duck does so while remaining vocally silent.
Perhaps it is because of The Duck’s silence that so many have inquired as to what exactly he’s thinking these days, is all the publicity and national media attention for his pushups or antics going to his head? What does Ducky do when not cheering on his Ducks? Some have tried to interview The Duck before, desperately trying to get him officially on the record, sometimes with the assistance of interpreters…
The Duck is of course quite busy these days, a superstar among his mascot peers. A finalist in the Capital One Mascot Challenge every year, appearing in national TV ads, and entertaining thousands any time he makes an appearance; it is difficult to find a more instantly-recognizable mascot today than The Duck. The media loves him, fans clamor just for the opportunity to take a photo with him, heck if The Duck ever sought political office in the state of Oregon he’d probably win in a landslide…unless it was for mayor of Corvallis.
Yet even with all of his media requests, busy travel schedule, and other duties associated with being the face of the University of Oregon program, we at FishDuck.com are very grateful that Ducky took some time to answer a few questions for us giving a little insight into what it’s like to be the Purveyor of Pushups, the Deacon of Dance, the Duckiest of Dudes…the Oregon Duck!
Q: What is it like being the most popular Duck on campus year after year?
It’s pretty neat. Walking to class, everyone says hi to me and it’s something that brightens up my day, especially at 8:00 in the morning and in the rain.
Q: You sure received a lot of attention for serving a USC cheerleader at College Gameday back in 2010, ESPN showed it a bunch of times. Did you feel bad knowing that it’s this girl’s life to entertain and she had no shot against your awesome dance moves? You definitely taught her how to Duckie, by the end she was actually crying from being served so badly.
I was just trying to dance! I wasn’t trying to hurt anyone’s feelings! I think her and I are ok now, I friend requested her on the Facebook and we talked about the dance and we’re cool. She’s lovely!
Q: The Duck first appeared at University of Oregon events in 1947, meaning you are now old enough to qualify for social security, yet look as spry as ever. Do Duck years count differently than human years?
Yeah, I never grow up. I’m at this stage in my life when I look big but I’m a child. I’m kinda like Robin Williams in Jack. But instead of being Robin Williams, I’m a duck.
Q: The Duck has a lot of talents…dancer, drummer, orchestra conDUCKtor, plays basketball and hockey and other sports…any hidden talents we haven’t seen yet?
I’ve picked up the accordion. I’ve always wanted to play it, so I got one and I play it around campus. I’m getting better! Also I’m really good at the boardgame mouse trap.
Q: You have quite an extensive wardrobe….some mascots seem to wear the same outfit everyday, but definitely not Ducky. The Duck has been seen as a B-boy, Darkwing Duck, a gladiator, a Trojan Horse a giant present, a lumberjack, Santa Duck, Lee Corso, and more. Whose closet is bigger, The Duck’s or the football team’s?
It’s close. I think they win though. I tend to donate my clothes to charity when I’m done with them.
I like to eat bugs near the Mckenzie River. It tends never to get too crowded and I can enjoy a little time to myself.
Q: The Duck has the coolest toys…a noisemachine, shakeweight, light saber, etc. Is there a personal favorite?
I really like my “hand on a stick.” I got a stuffed hand, and put it on a stick. I can use it to pretend I’m Gandalf or throw it like a javelin. My possibilities are endless.
Q: During football season you get a lot of notoriety for doing pushups after scores, and under Chip Kelly there’s been a whole lot of pushups done. Any advice for those out there wanting to be as fit as the Duck? Is there a special training program preparing for the season, needing to be as to be as fit as the football team?
Well Ducks are weirdly good at doing a lot of pushups at one time. I know that I do my pushups everyday and I recommend that to anyone who is trying to stay as fit as me. Other than that, eat your veggies and stay active!
Q: You have a couple good buddies at ESPN College Gameday; Lee Corso in particular seems to have a special relationship with Ducky, and Kirk Herbstreit is always sharing some inside joke with Ducky while on camera. How long until The Duck becomes an official member of the ESPN Gameday team?
It’d be pretty unfair if I was a part of their cast. I’d only pick the Ducks to win and would not be very good at commentating. So I don’t know if they would hire me, unless they needed an accordion player.
Q: Does the Duck participate in any clubs on campus?
Q: Donald Duck received an honorary degree from the UO in 1984, yet the Duck seems to still be a student, now at the UO for over 60 years! Do you ever plan on graduating? What kind of masters program requires 60+ years of studies?
I’m majoring in everything. I want to be as well-rounded and diverse as I can before I graduate, which doesn’t seem to be in the near future.
Q: It seems like the Duck likes to get away from campus and surprise his fans in some interesting locations…is there anything left on your bucket list that hasn’t yet been accomplished, or place yet to visit?
I’d like to go to Rio De Janiero, I have a pretty big fan base there. I went to New York last year to visit Jimmy Fallon and I miss the guy. I was hoping I could be there this week actually, but it didn’t work out that way unfortunately.
Q: What does the Duck think of all the cool new facilities around campus?
They are PRETTTTTTYYYY!!!!
Q: Any words of advice for all the aspiring ducklings out there hoping to one day grow up to be just like The Duck?
Win the day!
*a special thank you to UO Cheer and the University of Oregon for making The Duck available amidst his very busy schedule…
Top Photo by Kevin Cline