The elusive ornithorhynchus anatinus


Don’t ask me how to pronounce “ornithorhynchus anatinus.”

That tongue-twister is the scientific name for the platypus — a duck-billed, semiaquatic egg-laying mammal. 

It looks like a sort of duck-beaver hybrid. Something all sports-enthused native Oregonians should strive to be – yes, even if you attended University of Oregon or Oregon State University.

As an OSU alum, I of course root for the Beavs. And I will root for the Beavers over the Ducks in every single occurence. If the Ducks have a National Championship appearance on the line, I’m still rooting for the Beavs in the Civil War game.

My Beaver fandom ends however when the Ducks are facing any other opponent. Yes, that means I also root for the Ducks (when they’re not playing OSU). Such a novel concept, I know.

And if you’re a Duck alum, why wouldn’t you root for a Beavers squad against any other opponent?

Did an actual Beaver maim one of your pet ducks as a child? Did you lose at Beaveropoly once because someone stole from the bank? Did someone from OSU steal an old girlfriend of yours? Ok, that last one really happened, but that’s besides the point.

See how silly that sounds? That’s how ridiculous it is to be deathly adversarial to an in-state rival.

It’s not limited to Duck fans either. My buddy trolls Duck friends by showing up to watch parties wearing the UO opponent’s fan gear.

In my 39 years of existence, I’ve witnessed lots of audacious acts by fans (including but not limited to): countless physical fights, tasteless verbal altercations and name calling, even beverage dumping on heads.

It’s worse when impressionable kids witness this poor behavior by grown-@#% adults. Then the cycle repeats, and maybe your little angel ends up becoming a bully, which opens the door to an entirely different conversation that I will avoid at this time.

So, while I can’t help you say “ornithorhynchus anatinus” — please be a respectable, level-headed, rational one, and avoid the pitfalls of your fanaticism.

(Andrew Jackson is the Keizertimes production manager, graphic designer and resident smart aleck.)