The Oregon Ducks and the Oregon State Beavers will clash for the 111th time this Saturday. But in this civil war football game they'll actually be fighting for something tangible.
The fabled Platypus trophy will be awarded to the winner after being absent for almost fifty years.
It was first carved in 1958 by UO art student Warren Spady and it was actually used for several years until it was stolen in the OSU basketball arena.
The Platypus didn't surface again for decades — that is until Spady visited the UO campus in 1986 and spotted his work. It was disguised as a water polo trophy.
There have been talks ever since then about bring the trophy to the civil war tradition, but the UO and OSU athletic departments didn't think it was a high priority.
Jennifer Casey is the Communication Director for the UO Alumni Association. She says that's partly why the alumni associations for both schools decided to take matters into their own hands. She says she thinks it won't take long for excitement to spread to the athletic departments.
Jennifer Casey: “I think they will when they see the excitement that students have for it and the need for campus traditions which we typically don't have on this campus, but we all want and as an alum I understand that and there are very few traditions that we have so this could be one that really grows.”
It was the students who didn't let the platypus fade away. Petitions, student groups, reports and class projects gave the Platypus the right amount of publicity for both UO and OSU Alumni Association to adopt the trophy.
Jennifer Casey: “I've gotten a few calls, I actually got tone this morning from an alum that thought it was great and he remembered it. I've also gotten some emails including one from a Beaver that said he was really happy we're doing something with it and to thank everyone that's been involved.”
The Platypus will shed it's water polo plaque and have a new one installed. The exact time and place of the award ceremony has not yet been determined. And of course neither has the outcome of the civil war game. Go Ducks and Beavers.