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The Lucky Duck: Oregon's loyal fans help drive team's success

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The MVP that never touches the ball

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

"I love being a Duck because I feel a connection to our teams."

Hana Kamata is a junior and drum major of the university marching band. As football season draws further away and basketball season starts to near the finish line; we should take a look at how the teams get there. No, we aren’t going to look at the individual players. We are looking into the people behind the team, the one’s that push the team when they have given up, the one’s that stand in the pouring rain because the game’s not over, the one’s that are there for everything and yet get no reward for it. These people are better known as the twelfth man to some, but here in Oregon we are calling them the Lucky Ducks.

The Lucky Duck is a term for the people that aren’t on the team, but a huge part of the team none the less. The fans, the band, the cheerleaders, the coaches, the alumni, the mascots, etc. are all a part of the Lucky Ducks pack. So who are the Lucky Ducks here at the University of Oregon?

"In my first year of college, we had a cold and rainy game. By the time half-time rolled around, over half of the stadium was empty because it was so cold and wet." Kamata claims that bands usually get a lot of flack for being the nerds, but they are always there. "The band stayed though, and through that I think we were able to show the team that we will always support them, no matter what." They bring the team and the fans back to life and get them involved when it’s needed most.

The fans are right there in the Lucky Duck's pack too. Student Justine Vanderpool says, "One of the best things about being a Duck is that at any moment you can yell 'Go Ducks' and within seconds people respond back with a 'Go Ducks!'" Looking into it logistically, if there are no fans there is no point for the event. "It's like this collective that we're all a part of and we understand. Becoming a Duck was the best decision I ever made." says Vanderpool. The fans are some of the biggest Lucky Duck's in the game.

Then there are the loyal fans. The fans that grew up cheering for the school, went to the school and call themselves alumni. "With some games I went to I could tell the energy of the stadium or arena was special and really connected with the players." says Sam Rohrich. Rohrich graduated in 2013 and has been loyal since day one. "As we say at Oregon, 'Once a Duck, Always a Duck'."

The Lucky Duck's pack is all over the nation. They aren't always at every game, but they are always supporting the Ducks and bringing that little touch of good luck. In a crowd of cleats and sneakers you are always going to find a pair of shoes that belong to a Lucky Duck.

We want to talk about you! Are you a Lucky Duck? Do you know someone who is? Send us why you or someone you know deserves to be a Lucky Duck! You might just be featured in our next story! Send all Lucky Duck nominations to bethreesemail@gmail.com.