Happy National Mascot Day: Here's everything you need to know about The Oregon Duck


The Duck, don’t call him Puddles, is one of the most beloved mascots around the country.

But have you ever wondered if he is related to Donald Duck?

He does have that loveable Disney feel and yes, there’s a reason for it.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast!]

The University’s first athletic director Leo Harris made it a goal to have an official representation of a Duck as the mascot.

And Walt Disney was involved.  

Harris had a friendship with a Disney cartoonist, which helped him and Mr. Disney reach an informal agreement, which some say was just a handshake, back in 1947 that made the grumpy and famous duck the school’s mascot.

It would make sense that Donald was Oregon’s true first mascot after thinking about all the various battles between him and Benny the Beaver at Oregon State.

Donald Duck has a mean streak in him after all. 

In 2010, Disney and the University of Oregon agreed to disassociate Donald from the Duck with both parties agreeing that the current version of the Duck didn’t closely resemble Donald Duck enough to be subject to the Disney trademark. 

So, maybe you could say the current Duck is a distant cousin of Donald?

Oh, and don't forget, his name isn't Puddles.

However, there was a Puddles... In the 1920s, "Puddles," a resident of the nearby Millrace, was Oregon's first LIVE mascot. 


He made his way to football and basketball games and was part of the Duck sports scene until the early 1940s.

And then there’s Mandrake, the RoboDuck...

In 2002, the school decided to adopt a new-sleeker mascot with bulging muscles. 

Mandrake was definitely a less huggable mascot. 

He couldn’t fly and he didn’t fly with Oregon Duck fans. 

Mandrake’s last appearance came in 2003 at a basketball game, and since then fans realized just how much The Duck could never be replaced.

Happy National Mascot Day!!