Oregon, Ohio, clarifying its allegiance before championship
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) The Ohio city of Oregon is adding a twist to its name and declaring its allegiance to its home state Buckeyes as they face the Oregon Ducks in college football's championship game next week.
The mayor of the Toledo suburb announced Monday that the city will be known over the next week as "Oregon, Ohio: Buckeyes on the Bay, City of Duck Hunters."
The move comes after a petition called for the Ohio city to make a temporary name change in honor of the Buckeyes. City leaders decided against dropping its name entirely while also declaring it will be "The Ohio State Buckeye Week."
Mayor Mike Seferian said he looked into the history of the city's name and found it goes back to 1838, when the area became Oregon Township well before the state of Oregon got its name in 1859.
Both got their names from the Oregon territory in the Pacific Northwest.
The city of Dayton got in on the fun on Monday, too, announcing that its downtown "Oregon District," known for its bars and restaurants, will be renamed "The Buckeye District" over the next week.
The name debate in Oregon, Ohio, started after two natives of the city who don't normally cheer for Ohio State started the petition. One of the men is more into soccer and, perhaps shockingly, the other roots for rival Michigan.
Matt Squibb, one of the petition organizers, said he didn't want anyone to be confused about who the city would be cheering for during the title game.
"Call it anything but Oregon," he said.
They also thought the city's high school should temporarily change its colors from green and yellow, the colors of the other Oregon.
Mark Rabbitt, a lifelong Michigan fan, said he helped start the petition because "any success at Ohio State not only helps Michigan but anyone else who plays them."
Ohio State and Oregon will play in the first College Football Playoff championship game next Monday at AT&T Stadium in Texas.