An Exclusive Interview With Penn State Ducks

Nestled in front of University House and the Hintz Family Alumni Center sits a picturesque slice of campus known as the “Duck Pond.” There, ducks of all sizes run amok as they go about their daily routines. Swimming, cleaning themselves, and eating are some of the many things you can watch the lovable ducks do if you happen to take a stroll by the pond!

As I walked past the Duck Pond the other day, I thought to myself, “Gee, I wonder what opinions these ducks have about current events happening in the world today?” Like any young student journalist, I decided to take it upon myself to convey the insight of Penn State’s faithful mallards and broadcast their ideas to the world. So I sat down for some questions with Penn State’s ducks.

David The Duck Whisperer (1 of 4)

Onward State: A recent study conducted by the New York Times found global warming could potentially drive as many as one in six animal or plant species to extinction. As a member of the Penn State community, are you worried for what the future holds? 

Duck: Quack, quack *ruffles feathers*

OS: Hmm, alrighty then. That question may have been a bit sensitive. Well, I guess we’ll switch gears. Every year THON generates millions of dollars for children suffering from pediatric cancer, and is the largest student-run philanthropic event in the country. That said, why do you THON? 

Duck: Quack. Quack! *Points at baby duck*

Our mallard friend seemed to grow tired of my questions, and promptly walked away. Luckily, ducks are not the only inhabitants of the Duck Pond.

David The Duck Whisperer (2 of 4)

OS: Hello there, turtle friend. President Eric Barron touched on the Joe Paterno statue in a recent interview at Old Main. Do you think the statue deserves to be resurrected? 

Turtle: *Inaudible noises* *Retracts head into shell*

So much for Mr. Turtle.

I meandered back over to the flat rocks where a group of ducks began to gather. I was determined to get an answer this time.

OS: Recent controversies involving fraternities across the country have cast a shadow of doubt over the “fraternity culture.” Do you feel as though action must be taken in order to send a message? 

Duck: Quack. Quack! *Pecks at female duck*

I began to doubt this interview, as it was getting me nowhere. Why? Why, of all creatures, would birds as majestic as the Penn State’s ducks be so unwilling to cooperate? These ducks have seen the highs and the lows of this university! I was perplexed.

David The Duck Whisperer (4 of 4)

But then, it hit me — ducks love sports! For crying out loud, the University of Oregon’s mascot is a duck! So I kept hammering away, hoping for a response.

OS: Christian Hackenberg is preparing to enter a pivotal third year as quarterback of the Nittany Lions. Signs of regression displayed by him last season caused many to doubt him going forward. Do you believe Hack can pull a 180 and prove the haters wrong? 

Duck: Well Dave, it all boils down to whether or not he can get comfortable in John Donovan’s system behind a shaky offensive line. *Ruffles feathers* It definitely helps having his core group of receivers back, because as you know, chemistry is everything for a quarterback. I truly believe he’ll put up a monster year, and could even wind up a top-ten pick in next year’s NFL draft!

OS: Thank you, duck. 

So, as it turns out, ducks are really offensive gurus, and big time Christian Hackenberg supporters. I tried to get a few more questions in, but the crowd of mallards diverted their attention to some leaves blowing in the wind.

Ducks are some of nature’s wisest creatures, and if today’s interview didn’t prove it, then I don’t know what will. So next time you’re curious as to what certain species of birds think about current issues, ask a duck. Especially if it’s about football.

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About the Author

David Abruzzese

David is a senior from Rochester, NY, nestled right in beautiful Western New York. He is majoring in Broadcast Journalism, and as an avid sports fan, he passionately supports the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. He is the first Penn Stater from his family, and couldn’t be prouder to represent Penn State University. In his free time, he likes to alpine ski, and play golf. You can follow him on Twitter @abruz11, and can contact him via email at [email protected].

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