TOLEDO, Ohio — The people of Oregon, Ohio might still refrain from referring to their hometown by its given name for the next week, but there will be no formal name change.
There were petitions calling for a potenetial change to “Buckeye Town” or any other title to show allegiance to Ohio State as it faces the Oregon Ducks in college football’s championship game next week.
The mayor of Oregon — a Toledo suburb — instead said he intends to issue a proclamation declaring it “Ohio State Buckeye week” in the city.
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.
“To change the name of Oregon just seemed wrong for us,” Seferian said.
The name debate 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 confused with who the city would be cheering for during the title game.
“Call it anything but Oregon,” he said.
They also think the city’s high school should temporarily change its colors from green and yellow, the colors of the other Oregon in the West.
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 faces Oregon for the national title on Monday in Arlington, Texas.