Ducks Add a Baseball-esque “WARNING TRACK” to Rich Brooks Field?

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck Editorials

Is FishDuck the only media source in Oregon that has noticed the new Baseball-like Warning Track on the field at Autzen during the Oregon Spring Game? Yes, I could not attend as either a fan or credentialed media, but I do have eyes that can observe on television a very big change on Rich Brooks Field. Yet I have not read or heard about it from any other source; have you?

As you see from the screenshot above–it is about two feet wide and starts at the sideline. I am assuming it is like a warning track in baseball that tells the outfielders that they are getting close to the wall as they back up. Is the objective here is to let the receivers know as they are looking up to catch a pass that they are now out-of-bounds and will be out of running room shortly? Perhaps it is also meant to protect the photographers and spectators as an ancillary benefit?

I had a ton of questions:

What is the stated purpose of the surface?
What is the substance in the track area? Is it sand or gravel?
Could it create injury of its own suddenly running and tripping/slipping on a new surface?
Why is now in Autzen? Is it due to legal actions in the past against the university?
Have there been serious injuries that initiated this creation?
Is this a new conference requirement?  An NCAA requirement?
Is this an experiment? Does it extend to this fall?
Why no announcement or explanation?

It looks like it surrounds the entire field…

I have not witnessed this warning track inserted anywhere at the college or professional level. The Oregon Sports Athletic Communications Department gave me a very brief answer to my questions above; they tersely wrote that “it is turf dyed grey.

That’s it? Why would you have this just for appearance? Boy, it’s great to get all the information! (Sarcasm)

What are your thoughts and theories about this new look?

FishDuck is All About YOU, the Community

If there has been one consistent thing about the site, FishDuck, over the 10 years of existence … it is change. So many changes, so many format differences, so many pivots of emphasis, but now I believe we are settled into a format and an objective that will remain stable for quite some time. It is my realization that what I care most about–is this community of similar souls who want to discuss Our Beloved Ducks with debate and disagreement, yet done in civility and peace.

If I had my druthers, I would just want to be a writer for FD, and discuss the topics every day in the comments. But the site requires a boatload of work to keep things coordinated, running and maintained. I grew weary of training writers for 10 years continuously, and took a break from it at the first of the year. Problem is, as writers cycle out–we had no new ones and thus we dropped to four articles a week.

All types of Oregon fans, and I love them all.

On the web, “if you don’t have content every-day, the readers go-away.” That is web behavior and it cannot be changed and our readership dropped a ton when we reduced the number of articles per week. A Duck-Buddy of mine suggested I check a site for another school where they post a topic and the writer gives his take on it and invites discussion–of which they do all day long. Is this “conversation-starter” type article something we could do at FishDuck?

I tried it with this article several weeks ago, and we had great discussion from an article that was equivalent to only two paragraphs! A normal article will take me from three to five hours to complete, (not complaining as I like to write) but that short one took me 20-25 minutes is all. And the objective of initiating a great exchange of thoughts was achieved because the purpose is to start the conversation, and not focus on just the article.

That is what I mean when I state that FishDuck is all about you.

Be Sure to HUG a FishDuck Writer!

I went to the FishDuck writers–you know their names–and asked them that instead of writing every four weeks or every two weeks … would they write every week, only in the new conversation-starter format since it takes so little time to create them? They all answered “yes,” and thus why we have an article every day of the week again, thanks to these wonderful writers who give us great topics every day to ponder. I told them that when they have the time, to please give us a full article every couple of weeks or so as I have done.

In the past week we have had three full-sized articles with the rest of the articles meant to begin the Duck Discussions. Through the summer the topics are much more scarce, but once the season begins–I assume that most articles will be full-sized as we’re used to. And yours-truly will be moving from writing on Sundays to full-sized articles on GameDay Saturdays. (And it will be a blast!)

I can’t wait for GameDay!


Can you believe it? I have not had to delete a single comment since we began again with comments under articles in mid-March! Most would say that hundreds of comments without a snide remark, a demeaning put-down or even a backhanded compliment is impossible. But not with this community that wants protection from the Trolls, and receives it.

Thus there is no other site where you can give us the most outlandish opinion … and people still have to be nice! A perfect place for the entire spectrum of opinions and I would invite you all to jump into this Duck Pond as the water is just fine! And do give me your thoughts about the warning track, and the direction of FishDuck.

“Oh, how we love to ponder about Our Beloved Ducks!

Charles Fischer   (Mr. FishDuck)
Eugene, Oregon
Screenshot on top from Pac-12 Video

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!