Why is Oregon called the Ducks? And why are they green and yellow?

Find out why the lovable Oregon Ducks' mascot is who he is and why he dons green & yellow every Saturday in the fall.

Oct 22, 2022; Eugene, Oregon, USA; Puddles, the Oregon Ducks mascot, does push up after a touchdown.
Oct 22, 2022; Eugene, Oregon, USA; Puddles, the Oregon Ducks mascot, does push up after a touchdown. / Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Football fans across the nation fell in love with Oregon’s retro uniforms this season. With bright green and yellow plus the throwback logo, the Nike unis received a ten out of ten from just about everyone.

Looking at the uniforms a little closer, people noticed that the beloved Oregon Duck looks a bit like another famous mallard: the one and only Donald Duck.

What is the history behind Oregon becoming the Ducks? And why on earth are the team’s colors green and yellow?

Why is Oregon called the Ducks?

Before the darling character frequently referred to as Puddles came to Eugene, many UO students called themselves Webfoots or Webfooters.

The state of Oregon was referred to as the Webfoot State until 1909 when it became the Beaver State… which happens to be little brother Oregon State University’s mascot.

In the ‘20s, a real-life Duck lived in the Millrace that flows through campus. The Duck, named Puddles by members of Greek life living next door to the Millrace, was walked to various athletic events by his neighbors.

While Puddles’ attendance at games caused backlash from the Humane Society, the Duck mascot was sticking around. In 1947, athletic director Leo Harris struck a deal with Walt Disney.

Oregon could now use Donald Duck’s image and likeness as its mascot. Basically the first NIL deal.

The Oregon Duck was the only duck mascot in collegiate or professional sports for decades until the Anaheim Mighty Ducks joined the NHL in 1993.

To this day, Puddles or just simply the Duck is one of the most lovable mascots in college sports if not the entire world.

Why is Oregon green and yellow?

Oregon's state flower is the wild grape which blooms beautiful yellow flowers every spring. In 1893, UO students voted to adopt the flower's yellow as their school color.

Believe it or not, with how often the team wears the color, green was never officially voted in as one of Oregon's school colors. However, it has been used so frequently alongside the yellow that it has nearly become the primary color for the Ducks.

The green and yellow combination has been taken left, right, up, and down over the years by Oregon's famous Nike uniforms. Fans cast ballots for their least and most liked uni combos each season and the Ducks' have even been nicknamed the team with a million uniforms.

Eugene is one of the most picturesque cities in the nation with its rolling green hills and beautiful spring flowers. The Ducks have embraced their rather unusual color scheme and made it absolutely priceless to fans.

Next. Autzen Stadium. Why is Oregon's stadium named Autzen?. dark