Eugene, Ore. -- The Civil War, one of the most iconic and historic rivalries in collegiate athletics, has officially and indefinitely been retired. In order to display solidarity with black students and students of color, the Ducks and Beavers agreed Friday to no longer use the phrase to describe the heated in-state competition.
As one can imagine, fans have mixed feelings about the drastic change.
“Initially it was kind of a shock just because it’s been something that’s been grounded in our culture,” said Oregon alumnus Darien Mann. “But the essence of the rivalry doesn’t disappear.”
“It’s not out there to be racist in any way,” said Eugene resident David Black. “It is what it is. War is war. A civil war is that of two teams whether that be the military, football or baseball. So I think the heritage should stay.”
“This is Oregon. They don’t really like change,” former Oregon football player Osborn Thomas said. “It means a lot to a lot of people. It’s been around for a long period of time too. But at the same time, it’s a new era. We have to think of new ways to progress and move forward.”
Some of the best rivalry names in college sports include the Tobacco Road Rivalry, the Apple Cup, the Holy War, the Iron Bowl, the Battle for the Iron Skillet to even Clean Old Fashioned Hate between Georgia and Georgia Tech. The list is long and it begs the question of what will be the next iconic label to this historic rivalry here in Oregon.
“I’ve got a couple of ones that I like. I’ve heard the Platypus Cup. I think that would be fun. Here we have a huge pollen count. So why not the Pollen Bowl?” said Mann.
Other popular suggestions include the Fight for the I-5, the Cascade Classic and War on the Willamette. No official change to the rivalry has been made at this time.