Mascot Bracket: Puddles the Duck versus the Clemson Tiger

Mascot Bracket: Puddles the Duck versus the Clemson Tiger

University of Oregon
Puddles is the mascot for the University of Oregon.

The Oregon Duck (also known as the Fighting Duck, or simply The Duck) is the mascot of the University of Oregon Ducks athletic program, based on Disney’s Donald Duck character through a special license agreement. The mascot wears a green and yellow costume, and a green and yellow beanie cap with the word “Oregon” on it. Oregon teams were originally known as Webfoots, possibly as early as the 1890s. The Webfoots name originally applied to a group of fishermen from the coast of Massachusetts who had been heroes during the American Revolutionary War. When their descendants settled in Oregon’s Willamette Valley in the 19th century, the name stayed with them. A naming contest in 1926 won by Oregonian sports editor L. H. Gregory made the Webfoots name official, and a subsequent student vote in 1932 affirmed the nickname, chosen over other suggested nicknames such as Pioneers, Trappers, Lumberjacks, Wolves, and Yellow Jackets. Ducks, with their webbed feet, began to be associated with the team in the 1920s, and a live white duck named “Puddles” began to appear at sports events. Journalists, especially headline writers, also adopted the shorter Duck nickname. In 1978, a student cartoonist came up with a new duck image called Mallard Drake, but students chose Donald as the official mascot by a 2–to–1 margin.

clemson-game
Clemson University’s Tiger mascot.

The Clemson Tiger was created by Walter Merritt Riggs, Clemson University’s president from 1910-1924. Known as the “Father of Clemson Football” because he brought football to Clemson from his alma mater Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University).  Riggs also brought API’s old football jerseys, the school colors and the school mascot to Clemson in 1896 when he fielded the first football team. The stories vary on whether Riggs or the football team decided to keep Tigers as the mascot. There was also mention of the team being inspired by the Princeton Tigers football championship that year.

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