If you look up Oregon, Ohio on Wikipedia right now, you’ll find that it’s officially going by a very different, more complex name: Oregon, Ohio Buckeyes on the Bay, City of Duck Hunters.
This was actually a legal change precipitated by the city’s mayor in anticipation of Monday’s National Championship Game against … Oregon.
The highly anticipated matchup between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Oregon Ducks left the city of 20,000 people in a bit of quandary. Its residents may be mostly loyal to Ohio State, but their city instead bore the name of its imminent rival.
While the city has been called Oregon for 177 years, for the next seven days, at least, it will have a new name that will be a bitch to fit onto a single envelope.
Is this cool or over the top?
Regardless, it’s revealing of just how devoted people get behind their state’s premier university. It’s a phenomenon not really experienced here in the tri-state area, where students often leave to go to schools across the country. There is no Ohio State, or Nebraska University, or Tennessee University where your attendance is predetermined at an infant stage.
New Yorkers don’t unite behind their local colleges the way those in the south or midwest do.
It remains to be seen just how long the city will keep its elongated new name, but my guess is that it will drop the extra words shortly after the game, whatever the result. Because, after long, the reality of the name will set in and people will actually realize that they are living in “Oregon, Ohio Buckeyes on the Bay, City of Duck Hunters.”
I also can’t help but think of this new name and not think of the classic Ninteno game, Duck Hunt.
The National Championship Game isn’t quite the Super Bowl, but it’s a pretty big event as far as the attention it receives. While I intend to watch, I personally couldn’t care less who wins. If anything, I think this name-changing story will be the most interesting thing that comes out of the game for me.
It also makes me wonder what other states hold city names that resemble more prominent locations. For example, there is a Manhattan, Kansas. There’s also a Paris, Texas. And a Naples, Florida.
If we ever find ourselves competing against Paris, France in ultimate international sporting showdown, will the 25,000 people of Paris, Texas also petition for a name change? This could ultimately be setting some type of precedent.
I’m going to immediately stop worrying about this extremely unlikely hypothetical scenario and install my old Nintendo console.