It is really two questions now; what was FishDuck, and what is FishDuck now?
FishDuck now, is the personal sandbox of the founder Charles Fischer, (Mr. FishDuck) where he posts articles when he has something to say. (There are no longer articles published every day) He will be posting articles twice a week during football season, especially on GameDay, where people can comment before, during and after the game. The reasons why Mr. FishDuck made this change is explained right here, and it was not an easy decision for him.
In the off-season he will average an article a week and all readers can be notified about a new article by signing up for a quick email notification right here. If you posted a comment on this site before–you will automatically be on this email list. When a new article is up, come into the comments and banter with Mr. FishDuck as we’ve always had fun doing. Another objective for keeping the site up is to keep all the extensive archives available for all Duck fans in the Oregon Football Repository.
What has Mr. FishDuck and the FishDuck Staff Contributed to Oregon Football?
The short summary is below with more information about each item under this summary. In short, the staff at FishDuck has made quite an impact on the Oregon Football Community in a decade of existence, and this is meant to remember it and give tribute to the hundreds of people who were are part of the FishDuck family for the last 10 years. (I’ve numbered them so that you can go directly below the summary and directly to that topic and learn more.)
—1) Charles Fischer began the first “Casual” Updates of Football Scrimmages, the “Fish Reports.”
—2) The Oregon Fan base was shocked by Mr. Fischer’s 5,000 word White Paper announcing Oregon’s New Defense in the Summer of 2010, and out-scooping the sports media of the entire state.
—3) Created the World Famous Chip Kelly Instructional Videos of the Oregon Spread Offense viewed two million times by fans and Coaches/players around the world.
—4) Was startled to learn how this site helped coaches win games, and in some cases, championships. So many heartwarming stories below…
—5) Began Analysis articles, in addition to the videos numbering over 400 in the Oregon Analysis Library that help coaches and players to this day.
—6) Featured in the Wall Street Journal as a source and was quoted, along with being featured in the Washington Post on two occasions.
—7) Honored to received unsolicited endorsements of two Pac-12 SIDs in one day. (Sports Information Directors)
—8) The “Famous FishDuck” articles began with Opinion-Editorial topics discussed nowhere else among Duck fans and stirred so many epic Duck Discussions at FishDuck. (Over 5,000 articles published over the ten years!)
—9) FishDuck finished in the Top 1% in the World for pageviews each month among all active websites globally again in 2020 according to Alexa.com (Amazon Analytics) and Google Analytics. This was achieved year-after-year with an all-volunteer staff of writers, editors, football analysts, photographers and specialists in HR, Marketing and PR. Amazing!
—10) Implemented in summer of 2017 the pioneering and transformational moderating rules that created the most civilized, enjoyable Duck Discussions on the web!
—11) Was the first to state just one month into the Cristobal era, (September of 2018) that, “this offense will not take us to the promised land.” It remains true three years later…
—12) Started doing Critical Analysis of Oregon Sports teams where credit is given when deserved, and dispensed criticism when deserved as well. Mr. FishDuck does not “Suck-up” to the coaches for access, thus using that freedom to write what he sees as the truth in Oregon sports.
—13) Created the Oregon Football Repository with 12 different categories with thousands of articles, videos and analysis articles for fans to learn our Football History at Oregon for years.
—14) Helped writers, editors and HR volunteers get their first jobs and in some cases … their second one!
“The Rest of the Story”
1. Back in ’90s … Charles was frustrated with the lame coverage of Oregon scrimmages from the local newspaper, and felt that he could provide the “football gossip” to fellow fans in a way that gave them more information; hence the “Fish Reports” were born.
Charles would go to the scrimmages and come back to his office and write for three hours recounting what he just saw, and then he would post it on all the major Oregon message board sites. He just wanted to share, but his posts did become quite popular. Without realizing it, Charles had his first audience. Media around Oregon began to notice, and you could gradually see sports-writing becoming more “consumer friendly.” This turned out to be only the beginning…
2. Fast forward to spring of 2010 and Charles noted how the defense looked different in scrimmages, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. After talking to Casey Mathew’s father about it in the stands–he embarked upon a month-long quest to read up and learn about the “new” defense Oregon put into place that nobody in the media had mentioned, announced, or explained up to that point–Oregon had been running a standard 4-3 defense for years.
Do you remember the big blow-up on the web in summer of 2010 concerning Oregon moving to a 3-4 defense?
After meeting with Defensive Coordinator Nick Aliotti and confirming the big change in May, Charles released a 5,000 word white paper in early June 2010, discussing Oregon’s new defense in-depth, and out-scooping every sports media source in the state (Nick gave his blessing on the article as accurate). That whole summer Chip Kelly was hammered by media asking about the change, and Chip would deny it!
Finally, in late August, Coach Kelly admitted to Fox Sports that “if you count a change of 16 months ago a change, then I guess it is one” (This is precisely what Charles reported two months earlier; now it was confirmed by the head man himself). This was the first major media contribution by Mr. Fischer about Oregon Football, and he may have got a swelled head as his wife Lois said that he had to turn sideways to get his head through a doorway at that time. While that may have been true–he deserved it.
It was a good thing that Charles simply enjoyed just doing the analysis because there was never any recognition for him as over the ensuing months and years–sports journalists would refer daily to Oregon’s new 3-4 defense and never once credit Charles Fischer as they would any other media source. (Not the last time that would happen either.)
3. In the spring of 2011, Charles decided to open FishDuck.com, although the site was not supposed to bear that name. He wanted to learn the Oregon Spread Offense, and create instructional videos for Oregon fans to learn right alongside with him. This project began in earnest in July of 2011. He did not know a thing about making videos, but struggled through learning the football part of it, writing a script, editing, shooting, and all the technology.
Charles also had no idea the stir these videos would create, and the splash among fans and media sources was massive. The videos brought a simplistic understanding of Duck football to allow the typical fan to enjoy Oregon games that much more.
Meanwhile, Charles was told that daily articles were needed, and thus began the inception of daily articles that eventually would be over 5,000 pieces published.
These World Famous Instructional videos have been viewed over TWO million times, and even now they are viewed at an average of every hour every day… and Mr. FishDuck has not made a new video in over nine years! He truly just wanted to help others learn.
4. What Charles did not see coming was the popularity of the videos among high school coaches and players. Charles was approached by a young coach at a Coaching Clinic who asked, “you’re FishDuck, aren’t you?” When he answered in the affirmative–this coach told him that he, “wants to shake his hand and let him know how he helped us.” The coach went on to explain…
“We are the little team in our league–the one that everybody beats the brains out of every year … until this last fall. I found your FishDuck videos and hooked the laptop up to a projector and showed the videos over-and-over to our offense until they each could see what their position would do. We went on to the best season in the history of the school and actually made it deep into the State of Washington playoffs.”
Charles told him … “Coach–these videos were not made for coaching, but simplistic for fans!” He waved Mr. Fischer off and said that,
“They are perfect for high school football players to learn from.”
Hence the hundreds of emails from coaches around the United States, and even the world. At one moment Charles had emails from Germany and England, as coaches of club teams continue to ask for more information. At one Coaching Clinic–Charles was told by one coach that,
“Where we are in Canada–not only has every coach heard of FishDuck.com, but we all run the Oregon offense because of it!”
Without trying to, the site became an Ambassador for Oregon football worldwide, thus contributing to increased fan interest, and as a result, to the Oregon brand.
At one point Mr. FishDuck received an email from Brazil asking for any other coach in Central or South America that was running the Oregon Spread Offense that he could turn to for more help. Charles was able to send the contact information of not just coaches in in the southern hemisphere, but three of them in Brazil that had emailed him over the years.
The site’s assistance extended even to a Semi-Pro Team in Fort Worth, Texas that had a meteoric climb as a result of their head coach sharing the videos and analysis articles from the site with his team. They went from being a .500 team on to become the best in the nation among over 2,900 Semi-Pro teams.
One coach told Charles that he had been going out of his way to ask every coach he ran into if FishDuck.com was a site the other coach had heard of. He went to to explain that he had not met a single coach yet that had not heard and been on FishDuck.com! The site’s impact on Oregon Football is simply not realized by most, as one coach told Charles…
“I can’t hardly research anything on the Spread Offense without a FishDuck.com article coming up in Google!”
Coaches come to us from across the United States and we’ve been contacted by coaches for Club Teams internationally in Canada, Mexico, England, Scotland, Poland, Germany, (many more),….I’ve found articles translated into tons of different languages, (the most interesting was Romanian) received emails in Portuguese from Brazil and listened really hard to the Southern drawls from coaches Louisiana and Texas. We have had coaches contribute articles to the site from Hawaii all the way to upstate New York.
We have made a permanent contribution to the sport of football; do this—Google the words, “Inside Zone Read” or “Outside Zone Read” and FishDuck articles are right at the top of the first page out of millions of listings. We had an article about boring Zone Blocking read over 20,000 times a year, and it was created in 2012!
5. The over 400 analysis articles in the Oregon Analysis Library are unsurpassed by any other Oregon site, and by most coaching-centric sites in the world.
6. Most major publications have linked FishDuck.com over the years… I’m not just referring to sports sites like ESPN.com, but the Wall Street Journal interviewed Charles and used him as an authority source (and linked the site!) for an article. That was fun for him, but the Washington Post did two extensive articles about the Oregon Spread Offense and this site and lavished praise upon it.
7. In a recent fall–a particular SID (Sports Information Director) of a Pac-12 School decided that they would not give Media Credentials to independent websites even though FishDuck.com had such credentials for years. This school cited that “only if the site was part of a national chain, and not a blog,” and refused to talk about it any further with Mr. Fischer. Charles then got on the phone with another Pac-12 SID and asked him for a favor–to call that other SID and express his time working with FD.com and the quality of the site.
Forty minutes later Charles received the call from the second SID who explained that he told the reluctant SID of this Pac-12 school to:
“Go check out the site and see if you don’t think it is the best Oregon site out there, as I do.”
The Sports Information Director who had his doubts then returned the second SID’s call ten minutes later, explaining:
“This is the first time I have ever granted Media Credentials to an independent site, but I agree with your opinion about the site.”
Of course Charles was thrilled, because in the span of 40 minutes, two Sports Information Directors of Pac-12 schools said that FishDuck.com was the best (He had to turn his head sideways again to get into the house).
8. While the next-level commenting community is something Mr. FishDuck is proud to have created, the Opinion-Editorial articles published by the FishDuck staff are a source of pride as well. We routinely had topics not seen anywhere else for discussion, with new perspectives to ponder, and new facts that can alter those perceptions. Nobody else in the Oregon Sports Media world provided the Ponder-Points that FishDuck did.
9. It is amazing that an All-Volunteer website has been in the Top 1% in the World for pageviews in a month among all active websites (by Alexa.com, of Amazon Analytics) for seven straight years.
10. This website is dedicated to serving what we call the “Next-Level” fan who wants to learn a little about Oregon football, (but not as much as a coach) and yet be entertained in the process. This is a more discerning fan who not only wants the news and information, but this FishDuck reader wants to ponder it over and discuss it all with other readers within a safe internet environment like none in the world.
Our focus has been on this wonderful Oregon Sports Community, on you. Since there is no revenue from FishDuck, (there are no annoying pop-ups, videos or ads) Charles does not care about “hits” or page views. He has only cared about civilized discussion and banter with fellow Oregon fans through our 32 rules that can be summarized to this:1) be polite and respectful, 2) keep it clean, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!
It has become routine at FishDuck where we have had over 3,000 posts over a stretch of time and I did not have to delete a single one, and that never happens on the web. We had over 150 comments/posts to an article a while back, and everyone was courteous and respectful of one another, yet we had vigorous debate on a very controversial subject. It was fun, it was great reading and it was an example of this unique community of Oregon fans at FishDuck.
Even in a contentious 2021–I did not had to delete a single comment among our “regular members” until we had nearly 2,900 comments! Why does this happen so routinely? It is not because people are so afraid of the rules, it is because they want the rules. They wish to engage in discussions about the topic without any personal attacks, and they wish to be protected from the Trolls. There is nothing on the web like what we achieved at FishDuck with our moderation policies, and never will again.
11. In mid-September of 2018, Charles came out in articles on this site declaring that this offense will not take us to the ‘Natty unless major and dramatic changes were made. That view was in quite the minority view at the time, as everyone was completely on-board with head coach Mario Cristobal. Charles was pleased with what he saw of the leadership, culture-building, hiring and recruiting under Cristobal, but likes to quote DuckPop22 concerning the worst offense in a decade in Eugene. “Mario Cristobal has held the Oregon offense down better than any defense since Auburn of 2010!”
Such remarks and analysis were not endearing to the remainder of the media and other Oregon sites, yet after the Redbox Bowl in December of 2018, Coach Cristobal admitted that major changes needed to occur on offense in the off-season, and yet only one change was made in the WR coach. It was not enough to suit Mr. FishDuck, but his view was vindicated by the head coach himself.
There have been other smaller predictions that were big in that particular year such as in 2017 when Charles wrote in his editorials, that running a slender 6’6 quarterback between the tackles was “stupid as hell” and sure enough Justin Herbert got hurt the very next game and that 2017 season suffered.
12. In 2016…Mr. Fischer knew there were problems with the football team, but he was a “positive-only” writer, and did not allow negative articles on FishDuck. Yet he could see issues that were making him fume…until finally he allowed writers to state what they were seeing each week. Charles vowed to never do that again–to restrain from the truth, thus he embarked the site on a write-it-as-you-see-it from that point forward. This means giving grief where deserved, but also giving tons of credit when deserved as well.
The problem with writing Critical Analysis is having limited access; the coaches will grant interviews to only those who “suck-up” to their philosophies, results, etc. It is why Mr. FishDuck used to be invited to the annual High School Coaches Clinic each spring at Oregon, (due to his help with these coaches with videos and analysis that enlarged the Oregon football footprint) but now he has become “Persona Non Grata” to Oregon Football program.
It has also unleashed the wrath of some fans who take every criticism of the program as a personal affront, and feel it is their duty to “defend” the program from those who ask the tough questions. No matter, as Mr. FishDuck is independent and not reliant or answering to a larger corporation. He also realized that he does not need access, as his opinions are generated from results, and not the nonsensical coach-speak “blah-blah” you usually hear in interviews.
13. FishDuck now has an incredible Oregon Football Repository that has over 1,000+ articles and videos about Oregon football in 12 separate categories. It is an amazing resource for Duck fans and you can learn about it here, as well as in the Toolbars on every page.
14. Charles Fischer is very proud of helping former writers, editors, HR specialists and technicians get hired after leaving FishDuck. He has helped writers get hired by newspapers, bigger sites and even the NFL. In two cases he helped former UO students get their second job as well after leaving UO and FishDuck. While he admits this won’t happen forever–he is batting 1,000.00 at convincing employers to hire the former FD associate when they call Mr. Fischer to learn more about the applicant.
We built the site for fans, but coaches have used it for Pee-Wee football right up to through colleges. It has been a labor of love and for those who want to learn more football—FishDuck is a good resource, thanks to all the coaches and analysts who have given their time and expertise as a volunteer.
Without intending to–FishDuck has become an ambassador of Oregon football to coaches and fans around the world as over 50 countries have had readers visiting the site each month over the years.
Charles is available for interviews and in this one was anointed by the host as “The Godfather of Oregon Football.” This site has been costly for the principal (Mr. FishDuck) and although it does not pay for itself, the 12 sections of the Oregon Football Repository remains free to all.
“Oh how we love to learn about, ponder and discuss Our Beloved Ducks!”
Charles Fischer (Mr. FishDuck)
FishDuck has been an invaluable resource for our offense, players, and staff here at Villanova. The tutorials of Chip Kelly’s offense at Oregon are the best and most accurate analysis of the Spread Offense and its philosophy, schemes, and operation out there. I look forward to his weekly analysis of the upcoming evolution of the Spread here in Philadelphia.” – Brian Flinn, Receivers coach for Villanova University
Fish, when it comes to old, gray, over the top Duck fans with the heart of a ten year old, you are the best thing going! Had to put work on hold this morning, with 2 phone lines holding, my secretary trying desperately to get my attention, and a spill in the warehouse, telling all I had important work that could not wait, while I finished your report! SACDUCK
Thanks for the great and informative videos and analysis. This discussion of Xs and Os and how the offense is designed to work is really well done. Much better stuff here than the sports media analysis ever puts out. – “iggles fan “via FishDuck
Help us Build and Maintain an Oregon Football Repository at FishDuck for all Duck fans!
The Oregon Football Repository is massive and contains 1,000+ Articles and Videos in 12 sections:
Oregon Analysis Library
ChileDuck’s Updated Football Depth Chart
Oregon Highlight Videos
Music for Ducks’ Ears
History of Oregon Football
Men of Oregon: Players and Coaches
The BEST Recruit Talent Evaluations
The BEST of “The Duck”
The BEST of FishDuck.com Humor!
Oregon’s Amazing Uniforms
Savor the “Autzen Magic”
We Love to Hate our RIVALS
Click on the live links above and enjoy!
Current articles of Analysis, Editorials, Coach’s Opinion, and Talent Evaluation will continue with new articles every week on Mondays and Wednesdays (and sometimes Fridays) at FishDuck as before.
Mr. FishDuck has already put tens of thousands of dollars into the site (with nothing in return) and needs help to keep these 1,000+ articles (incredible!) available, to add to them over time, and to allow him to continue to write every week. We want to keep all of this on the site free to all Oregon fans, for a very long time.
Please donate to make this site a gift to all Oregon fans as a long term source of Oregon Football Information!
Could you send a gift of $100.00 of which is eight dollars a month or a cup of coffee a week. (Two dollars a week-cheap!)
Please donate to FishDuck at the PayPal button below under the account of firstname.lastname@example.org and you can also donate using your credit card by clicking on the button below. Thank you from all of us at FishDuck!
Want to send a check? Make it out to FishDuck.com and send to:
FishDuck.com, Charles Fischer
1500 Valley River Dr. Ste 315
Eugene, OR 97401
Our entire staff thanks you!