EUGENE, Ore. — Chip Kelly may be gone but his impact on this town lingers, in the record books, at the university at even on the menu at the Wild Duck Cafe.
“Well, when we were thinking of coming up with some creative names, I mean we’ve got chips, we’ve got a chip–Chips Kelly,” said Bob Jensen, Wild Duck Cafe Owner.
It was originally decided on to honor the ever-victorious coach, and now it’s a way to remember him and his four famous years.
“Legendary status right now, and of course his time here has been well-served, and I don’t think any Oregon fan, if they think about it, really couldn’t be prouder of what he’s done over the last four years,” Jensen said.
“People realize that he’s done a lot more for us than any other coach has in a while, definitely.” Nick Vicino, The Duck Store employee.
Vicino looks at the marks Chip made every day when he tightens up the apparel at The Duck Store.
“The visors sell a lot more because of him. The Nike stuff he wears on the sideline is popular because people want to dress like him, and then you’ll see stuff like the Duck mascot wearing a visor, something that definitely wasn’t around until he came along,” Vicino said.
Something else that wasn’t around before Chip–Win the Day. It’s probably the most well-known label left by Kelly. Now trademarked by the university, the phrase is found on clothing, stickers, and placed prominently on the tunnel into Autzen, greeting players on their way into every game.
Chip’s gone, but his impression is not.
“Not every team–and all you have to do is look around the Pac-12–gets to enjoy the success we’ve had, so for me, I choose to enjoy those things, look forward to more opportunity as it goes forward. He’s put that program in an incredible place for the next person to take over, and I expect more of the same,” Jensen said.
So, whatever bitterness fans have left, they admit that’s it’s slowly melting into gratitude, knowing that the Chip Kelly era was an epic one for Duck fans, and we can all raise a Chips Kelly to that.