In an effort to understand how Oregon grew from a perennial .500 level team to a national powerhouse, I dove deep into the history of ducks and all duck lore. And I may have found the thing that gave Oregon its power over the PAC12. That thing is the Pokemon Psyduck. Psyduck first appeared in Pokemon Red and Blue in Japan in 1996. In the 22 years since Psyduck first appeared in Pokemon lore, the Oregon Ducks have had only two losing seasons. In the 22 years prior to Psyduck’s appearance, the Oregon Ducks suffered 12 losing seasons.
The Year By Year Breakdown
Below are the 22 seasons before Pokemon Red and Blue’s release in Japan.
And here are the 22 seasons after Pokemon Red and Blue’s release in Japan.
Oregon’s winning percentage jumped from .449 during the 22 seasons prior to Pokemon Red and Blue were released to .715 during the 22 seasons after Pokemon Red and Blue were released.
Psyduck’s TV Appearances & Duck Victories
During those 22 years, Psyduck appeared in multiple episodes of the Pokemon TV show. I gathered the shows that Misty’s Psyduck appeared in that were released during football season and compared them to Oregon’s record during those weeks.
|Pokemon Fashion Flash||10/14/1998||W|
|The Ninja Poke Showdown||10/20/1998||L|
|The Misty Mermaid||9/23/1999||W|
|Lights, Camera Quacktion||10/8/1999||L|
|The Perfect Match!||9/27//2001||W|
|Luvdisc is a Many Splendored Thing||9/23//2006||W|
Oregon was 5-2 during games released in the same week as the episodes were released. Both of these losses were to the UCLA Bruins. If we view the Bruins as Snorlax, this isn’t a shocking result because Snorlax can defeat most Pokemon.
Catching Psyduck & Oregon Victories
I also compared the release date of Pokemon games during football season in which you could catch Psyduck in the wild or safari zone to the result of the Oregon game on that day or within that week.
|Game||Release Date||Game Result|
|Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire||11/21//2014||W|
|Pokemon Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon||11/17//2017||W|
In games played on or near the release dates of games that Psyduck is able to be captured, Oregon is 9-2. The two losses in these were against Oregon State and Indiana. Oregon State can be compared to Bidoof as a beaver which is just an unlucky break. And I can’t explain Indiana, that’s just embarrassing. Also, Psyduck is unable to be captured in the wild in Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald. Only in the Safari Zone. This matches up with Oregon’s two losses.
The Evidence for Psyduck’s Influence Mounts
Further proof that Psyduck influenced Oregon is that in spite of being a water type Pokemon, Psyduck cannot swim. Prior to every game, the PA announcer at Autzen Stadium announces that it never rains in Autzen Stadium, which could insinuate that the Oregon Ducks cannot swim. #StayWoke #DontWorryImAlreadyWoke
Further evidence is shown in the Pokedex entry for Psyduck in Pokemon Red:
While lulling its enemies with it vacant look, this wily Pokemon will use psychokinetic powers.
Oregon is famous for its showboaty jerseys and helmets. Some (jealous rival) fans criticize for them being vapid and pointless. This could cause their opponents to underestimate them. And then POW! Oregon’s high-scoring, high-powered offense leaves them mystified.
The Pokedex entry in Pokemon FireRed:
It is constantly wracked by a headache. When the headache turns intense, it begins using mysterious powers.
In 1996, the Oregon Duck’s headache reached that level due to all the losing, and it unleashed its mysterious powers on the unsuspecting FBS.
As supported by the evidence above, I believe that Psyduck influences the Oregon Ducks football team. Its appearance in TV shows and Pokemon games only adds to the truth. Its first appearance in 1996 propelled Oregon to the powerhouse we know it as today.