oregon sports

What Happened to those wacky Oregon Ducks play call placards?


Does anybody recall last season’s University of Oregon football’s bizarre play-calling code?

You know, the one that had analysts and pin heads from around the college football globe trying to crack the code, like it was some sort of Rubik’s cube.

The fact of the matter is, no one really knew what Chip Kelly’s bizarre form of cryptology or wacky systematic approach to scientific algorithms really meant, except well, Kelly and a few of his players and staff.

Maybe it was pure genius, or maybe he just likes screwing with his opponents’ heads.

Whatever it is, we all know Oregon’s relentless speed and resourcefulness on offense works well, and the giant poster-board-sized placards, each containing four images, seemed to be part of the entire scheme.

But what happened to those sideline hieroglyphics?

Oregon Ducks Football

The code still remains a mystery

The peculiar images of planet earth, the word “GOMER”, the face of  Lee Corso, or a picture of a college mascot.

Preferably, the blue head of a wildcat, ala Kelly’s alma mater, the University of New Hampshire.

The scariest, being the image of that creepy Burger King dude. Creeps me out just thinking about it now.

They all just disappeared.

But the code still remains a mystery, and we here at Northwest Sports Beat have decided to keep the college football season alive by enlisting you, our readers, in helping us try to decipher Kelly’s modern-day Da vinci Code.

So, while we don’t know a lot of  the meanings, what we do know is that the Ducks adopted the cloak-and-dagger system for a couple of reasons.

One, was that the coaching staff felt that other teams may have been stealing the Ducks’ hand signals during the 2010 season, and two, because of the Kelly’s hurry-up offense, the team needed a faster way to communicate.

I mean, what works better when you have an offense that snaps off a play about every 15 seconds, than a bunch of goofy-ass pictures to stick in the minds-eye of some worn-out post adolescent 20-somethings in the fourth quarter?

We also know that Oregon stole the idea from Oklahoma State, which used a similar signaling system against the Ducks during the 2008 Holiday Bowl.

Just not as effectively as the Cowboys lost that one.

Okay,  Northwest Sports Beat fans, this is for you, especially those that are addicted to quack.

Ducks Play Calls

Here is the first one to help you out! What does it mean?

Do your research and tell us the meanings of the Ducks play calling placards, make up your own, and post ’em in the comment section below.

Here is the first one just to help you out.

Madonna, Tom Brady, the INTEL logo, and  Forest Gump.


A “spread” formation, snap count on two (because that’s how many Super bowls Manning has owned Brady), inside run.

See, they aren’t all that deviously complex.

So what are you waiting for?

Get busy.


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About Matt Martz
  • I’m not a huge NCAA fan or anything and I don’t even know if a play with this name exists in football but the Forrest Gump one could mean ‘box out formation’ or something to do with box

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