Duck Fans: Which Flock are YOU WITH?

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck Editorials

Sometimes on a Saturday or weekend article, it is nice to contemplate where we are as Duck fans! Especially in this off-season, as I am working to create something special with this site. I’ve been pondering some components of what makes great discussion about Our Beloved Ducks. In order to serve you better this football season, I need some feedback and that will also require each of us to look inward a bit as Oregon fans. Which flock is each of us in?

This might seem silly to many of you, but it is quite serious and one of national magnitude. Huge publishing websites such as USA Today, CNN and ESPN have eliminated comments below their articles entirely. The advice given to sites of all subjects is to remove them, since the nastiness can diminish the appearance of the site and actually downgrade their SEO ranking with Google.  The result is that thousands of websites are removing their comment sections.

By contrast, we are going the opposite direction.

We will not only have comments below articles, but will have our own forum the Our Beloved Ducks Board up by the fourth of July. We will be able to discuss everything about Oregon without ads annoying us, and while being in a protected “GUARANTEED TROLL-FREE” environment. The monitoring, deleting and outright blacklisting of comment offenders has been a hassle from a management standpoint, but this extra work and time has created a wonderful place to vigorously debate Duck topics without people taking personal shots at each other. There is truly no place like it on the web.

It is easy and fun when you are a part of the majority view…

Are you Part of the Crowd, of GROUP-THINK?

There are many aspects to create rules around, and some have evolved such as “no politics at all.” But a phenomenon never discussed is how crowd behavior can take place on-line, and how we have all been a part of it at times. It is a real concern of mine, of how to diminish the effects of Group-Think on the site. Let me give you an example…

After the San Jose State game last fall, I came out publicly on this site and the other two large subscription sites declaring that massive changes needed to be made on offense if we were ever to make the National Playoffs again. At the time, that was a minority view everywhere as most people were drinking the entire glass of Cristobal Kool-Aid. I was truly annihilated by the majority on the other sites, and received energetic push-back on this site — although everyone followed the rules here at

As one who has been in the minority opinion tons of times on these other sites over the last 20 years — it can be tough. What happens is that others on the site shout you down, imply your intelligence is lacking or your football knowledge so low that you are not qualified to even offer an opinion. The Group-Think is so strong that people are intimidated from even making a single comment that is considered outside of the majority opinion.

Why would anyone invite scorn and put-downs from others?

We need more in the minority to state their views on!

I do not want that at, and I need your help in coming up with solutions. In fact the view I expressed on the subject above is now the majority view on this site; most recognize the need for further change on offense and we all hope it will happen. Have you noted how I continuously invite everyone to comment, and how I do not want to discourage those who are in the minority opinion — who disagree with me? It is vital that those who are in the minority opinion of any topic do not feel intimidated to comment. How do we do that?

This is a crucial part of running a truly honest, open and protected commenting environment and nobody has ever addressed it anywhere. Sociologists study crowd behavior and how people will not behave individually as they do in crowds, and we certainly see that online — especially when most hide behind a “handle” and have no consequences to their personal attacks on others. I feel we have eliminated most of the nastiness witnessed elsewhere, but this Group-Think component is not as obvious to many, and it can be a massive inhibitor to readership involvement in comments below articles now, and in the new forum later.

I really want to solve this and have no model to turn to, as no one credible in this area has openly addressed this issue, let alone provide solutions to it. Instead the national trend is the opposite: eliminate the problem by removing the opportunity to make comments entirely.

Help me out my friends! What suggestions do you have to encourage those in the minority to voice their opinions? For that matter … what would you like to see in the new forum? What features and rules would you like? Keep in mind that this is your forum, for those who want a high-brow discussion among thoughtful adults.  What else can I add to these rules to make it the best place to discuss Oregon sports topics?

It is hard to be in the minority, so how do we encourage you to step up?

Could you be a Hall-Monitor for

Can you spare some time during the week to help keep in eye on the comments in our upcoming forum? I work during the day, but want to preserve this precious community that we have created. Let me know if you have some time to simply monitor things; it is easy work, but does take some time during the weekday.  Email me at

Do offer any and all suggestions in how to defeat Group-Think, and what you would like to see to make this new forum a treasure for us all!

“Oh how we are going to love to ponder Our Beloved Ducks in our new forum!”

Charles Fischer
Eugene, Oregon

Top Photo by Kevin Cline

New 2024 FishDuck Publishing Schedule….

During the off-season the publishing schedule will consist of articles on Mondays and Tuesdays. Do keep checking as new articles could be published during the week when a writer has something to say.

In mid-August of 2024, we will go back to the seven-days-a-week of articles during the football season as we did in the football season of 2023.

The Our Beloved Ducks Forum (OBD) is where we we discuss the article above and many more topics, as it is so much easier in a message board format over there.  At the free OBD forum we will be posting Oregon Sports article links, the daily Press Releases from the Athletic Department and the news coming out every day.

Our 33 rules at the free OBD Forum can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) do not tell anyone what to think, feel or write, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!

OBD Forum members….we got your back.  No Trolls Allowed!