The University of Oregon Ducks football program was established in 1893 and played it first game in March of 1894. Why did they play football in the spring? “It’s Oregon, dude, we had to wait until it stopped raining,” one player said.
In their first game, Oregon beat Albany College 44-2, at which point coach Cal Young promptly quit. He commented, “I just wanted to leave my coaching career undefeated.”
Oregon beat the University of Puget Sound 115-0 in 1910. Asked why he ran up the score, the coach said, “The President of the University said that if I get the score up over 100, I could sit in the Presidents chair for one day, spinning and spinning and spinning.”
The Ducks were known as the Webfoots as late as the mid-60s. They changed as a result of a lawsuit by Mrs. J.G. Webfoot, a longtime local who said the name infringed on her personal rights as a citizen. “It just wasn’t those ruffians over to the school using my name for such a horrible display of violence they call a sport.”
Coach Hugo Francis Bezdek led the Ducks in 1906 and 1913-1917. Recognized around the country as a great coach and motivator, he also coached the University of Arkansas team from 1908-1912. After one unbeaten season, the team had a crazy party to celebrate, leading Bezdek to call them “a wild bunch of Razorbacks.” The name stuck, and they have been known as the Razobacks ever since.
Later in his career, Mr. Bezdeck coached my 7th grade football team and he called us “a sad, pitiful bunch of Mama’s boys.”
One kid said, “I think I’d rather be a Razorback.”