“Duck Dynasty” cast visits University Center

The non-profit organization Woodland Outdoor Ministries, based out of Springfield, La., strives to bring the hunting experience to disabled people. Their goal is to assist those individuals, regardless of age, who are less fortunate in fulfilling their outdoor wishes. In order to do this, the organization runs solely off donations. The donations brought in by the people who purchased tickets to Friday’s Duck Dynasty event will for sure help their cause.
The University Center was filled with almost 3,000 people all there to see Phil, Kay and Si Robertson from A&E’s “Duck Dynasty,” which averages 8 million viewers an episode. The show just wrapped its third season and the celebrity that comes with reality television has given patriarch Phil Robertson the opportunity to spread his love of God.
“We hope through our endeavor here that it will help our culture and our society think a little more about the advantageous nature of loving God and loving each other for crying out loud,” Phil said. “That’s all we want to do.”
Before Phil took the stage to demonstrate duck calls and speak on how he found Jesus, his wife Miss Kay and his brother Si answered questions from the audience. The most popular questions had to do with Si and his tea. Si is famous for carrying around his blue cup that his mother sent to him while he was serving in Vietnam. He drinks two gallons of un-sweet tea a day from no other cup.
Miss Kay said since the show she is, “Happy, happy, happy, but I’m also tired, tired, tired,” this being a play on words to her husband Phil’s New York Times best-selling book “Happy, Happy, Happy.”
The Robertson clan is known for their strong family values and Christian faith. Every episode is closed with a scene from the dinner table. The dinner table is where Si, Phil and their parents learned about each other and formed close bonds.
“[God] is first,” said Si. “It’s always been that way, since childhood. We were raised by my mom and dad, both of them were Christian. So we were raised in a Christian family. Our family has always been close. We were dirt poor when we were growing up, but I always thought we were rich because we had God first, family and then we hunted.”
Hunting has been a part of Phil’s life since his childhood, and believes there is no downside to loving God and one’s neighbor. Before his family begun filming for “Duck Dynasty” they all knew the most important thing to remember was God first, then family and then hunting.
“When you start an endeavor, I think you best know who you are before you go out on the other side of that particular endeavor, that way whatever happens you’re the same going out of it as you were going into it,” Phil said. “That helped us a lot because believing that kind of keeps everything in perspective.”
Before Phil created his famous Duck Commander Duck Call in 1973, he was the starting quarterback for Louisiana Tech, where he also graduated with a Bachelors in Education. His understudy was Terry Bradshaw, now a NFL Hall of Famer. Phil’s innate love for duck hunting caused him to pass up a career in the NFL and choose the simplistic view of life, something he does not regret at all. He chose to chase ducks instead of being chased by large men on the football field.
“44 years went by and [Bradshaw] ran into me,” said Phil. “He grabbed me from behind at LAX airport, and I looked around and it was Bradshaw. I’d seen him on Sunday evening while playing ball, but I never had seen him personally for 44 years. I turned around I said, ‘Bradshaw, you did pretty well,’ he said, ‘You did pretty well to.’ He’s a good dude.”
On stage, Phil talked about how he came to discover the Bible when he was 28, something he referred to as “eternal health care.”
“One way or another, we’re all going six feet deep one day,” Phil said.
Reality television puts families in the spotlight and can sometimes break them apart, but through all of the filming, personal appearances and celebrity Phil says he and his family stay connected by knowing who they are.
“It’s not hard once you know your identity,” Phil said. “God is my God, my wife is my wife. So basically, we’re just being who we are and that part is no act. These things come, beauty, fame, it’s all fleeting. Here today, gone tomorrow. Lord Jesus gives us that peace of mind.”