Nothing is worse than watching your beloved mascot taunted and pushed around on YouTube with Survivor’s "Eye of the Tiger" playing in the background. Unless you consider the comments underneath the video: "This quacks me up." "Kick his ass." "Go Ducks!" "Anyone who considers this to be an assault, get a freakin’ life!"
The video starts with Shasta doing his standard push-up – a move that signifies that the Cougars scored. The University of Oregon mascot thought that Shasta was mocking his own signature move, which also happens to be push-ups after a score.
Shasta’s push-up, supposedly on the Duck’s turf, incited numerous pushes from the Duck and eventually built up to a body slam. The fight happened in the first and second halves of both teams’ season opener at Autzen Stadium in Oregon earlier this month.
And although names were not disclosed, the Associated Press reported that two students were involved.
Although the Oregon Duck mascot was suspended for one game against Fresno State this Saturday, no repercussions were made toward the student who engaged in the fight.
More "disciplinary" measures will be taken, but UO’s spokesperson said he couldn’t disclose that because of "privacy reasons."
It was, in fact, the physical mascot – the costume – that had to sit out the game, not the guy behind the beak.
What’s even more appalling is that the Duck made a brief appearance at Saturday’s game, and was welcomed by roaring applause. The fact that the punishment isn’t being revealed to the public is a bit misleading. At least for the retribution of our mascot, UH should be informed what the punishment was.
Whatever repercussions UO decides to give the Duck, University officials should keep in mind the humility that Shasta mascot Matt Stolt has suffered from the national coverage.
With the video posted on Yahoo!, Inside Edition and CNN Headlines, Stolt has responded well considering all of the comments have been to his pride even through Shasta.
Stolt said that he didn’t fight back not because of fear, but because he was trying to be decent and professional.
Even UO alumni have written Web logs, expressing their disdain and shame on the whole incident.
It seems that Stolt avoided making a bad situation worse by not further antagonizing the Duck. Because of that, Shasta still has some decency on the field – even if the Duck tried to take that away.
But in the end, bullying is not a way to show school spirit and UO should encourage that sentiment. In light of everything, UH students should be proud of Shasta for taking the dignified route, even if that was on the ground.