Sleeping with the Enemy

newduck6

Oregon’s new Nike-designed football uniforms are being unveiled today. No, they’re not quite as extreme as the illustration shown at right, but they’re predictably silly nonetheless, featuring four different jerseys, four different pants, and three different helmets, all of which can be mixed and matched (plus there will be several different undersleeve options, creating even more of a crazy-quilt effect). They’ve also reprised the diamondplate pattern and the “Oregon” and “O” on the pants, all of which first appeared in last year’s Civil War game. Basically, the whole thing is ridiculous, which is pretty much what everyone expected.

I got a sneak peek at the new designs because I wrote a short piece about them for the new issue of ESPN [the] Magazine, which hits newsstands today. Naturally, I poked fun at the new unis, although I didn’t go overboard because by now everyone knows what to expect from an Oregon uniform. If ever there was a case of “Dog Bites Man,” this is it.

Anyway, here’s what I want to talk about today: While working on that article, I spent the better part of two hours interviewing Nike VP Tinker Hatfield (the guy who’s also largely responsible for the Air Jordan line) and Nike Creative Director Todd Van Horne. And as is so often the case when dealing with people you supposedly revile but have never actually met, they turned out to be really interesting folks. I remain diametrically opposed to their notions of branding, and I think their idea of good design is very, very different than mine (and, I hope, yours), but I enjoyed talking with them and gained a lot of respect for them in the course of our discussions. I also give them a lot of credit for being so open and forthcoming with me, even though they knew my feelings about a lot of their work. In short: classy guys.

Stockholm Syndrome? Yeah, maybe, at least in part. But the reality is that it’s easy to demonize a faceless abstraction called “Nike” (which is why I’ll no doubt continue to do it), but things get a bit trickier when you put living, breathing human beings into the equation. With that in mind, and in the spirit of fairness, I want to share some of the things that came up in our interview but didn’t make it into the short article I ended up writing:

• The Nike people are well aware that the approach they’ve taken with Oregon and with some other schools wouldn’t fly with some the country’s more conservative programs. “The University of Oregon is willing to partner with us on this approach, and I don’t think you’d find that in too many Division I programs,” Hatfield told me. “If we walked into Joe Paterno’s office and said, ‘How about putting “Penn State” on the left leg of the pants?,’ we’d probably get tarred and feathered. We think it’s great that there are these storied programs around the country that have tradition, and you just don’t mess with them. I love Michigan’s uniforms; I love the simplicity of Penn State.” He sounded pretty sincere about this (although, as I pointed out to him, Nike did “mess with” Michigan’s road jersey last season). Of course, it would be nice if he could bring some of that simplicity to other Nike-outfitted teams, but that’s another matter.

• If you look again at this photo, you’ll see that Oregon’s new pants and jerseys come in green, yellow, white, and black, but the helmets only come in green, yellow, and white. Why isn’t there a black helmet? “That was discussed — some players thought it’d be pretty cool,” Hatfield told me. “But I didn’t think it would be right, out of respect for Oregon State, because they have black helmets. So I vetoed any black helmet.”

• On the performance side, the new uniforms are made of a fabric called FA05, which is supposedly much lighter than its predecessor, FA04. You can see some statistical comparisons here and here.

• Nike’s Oregon program is all geared toward catering to the athlete — not just in terms of the uniform’s performance-based aspects (which makes sense), but also in terms of aesthetics (which doesn’t, at least to me). They hold focus groups with the players, have the players submit design sketches, and so on. So if you think these unis look like they were designed by a bunch of 20-year-olds, well, to a certain extent they were. “They want to feel intimidating, like gladiators coming into the arena,” Van Horne told me. And about the diamondplate pattern, Hatfield said, “It’s basically a graphic representation of toughness. The players want to look tough — it’s a tough sport, there’s a lot of intimidation.” Frankly, I think this is all pretty stupid, but hey, 20-year-olds are stupid (if anyone reading this is 20 years old, I apologize, but trust me, your smarter years are ahead of you). Of course, the larger issue is why Nike would cater exclusively to the athletes when there’s a much larger group of people who have to look at the uniforms, but that’s a separate issue.

• It could have been worse: Many of the players were in favor of going with the asymmetrical-sleeves look, but the Nike people decided against it.

• The tapered uni numbers (here’s the full set) are a new typeface called Bellotti Bold. They were essentially art-directed by Oregon coach Mike Bellotti, who didn’t like the numbers used in the Civil War game (and hey, who can blame him?). Hatfield said, “The tapered number just adds a little more of a dynamic attitude. Basically, if a player feels more invincible, he’ll go out and play better. That’s sports psychology 101.” Again, I think this is silly at best, but it appears to be another case of giving the players (and, in this case, the coach) what they want.

• Speaking of the numbers, the actual number fabric is stretch twill, so the numerals will stretch and give along with the rest of the jersey — apparently a first in uni design.

So have I suddenly become a Nike apologist? Hardly. I still think they’re the biggest problem in sports design today, I still think they usually have the manufacturer/team relationship backwards, and they reeeaaaalllly need to cut back on all the swooshes. And when Hatfield trots out a talking point like, “We’re used to the criticism, because that’s the role of the leader,” as he said to me toward the end of our interview, that’s just a convenient all-purpose dodge.

But it was good to trade ideas with Hatfield and Van Horne, and to be able to put a human face on Nike — to see the man behind the curtain instead of the Wizard of Oz, so to speak. Only problem is, the curtain is covered in swooshes.

 

151 comments to Sleeping with the Enemy

  • Warren Thompson | June 21, 2006 at 7:57 am |

    Oregon’s uniforms have to be among the butt-face ugliest ever, about as bad as BYU’s of several years ago (those obscenities in dark blue, white, and — gasp! — brown).

    And why does any team need three different helmets?

  • Dave Provost | June 21, 2006 at 8:01 am |

    So, while I’m generally a traditionalist in Uni design (Penn State, Detroit Tigers, Red Wings, Celtics, etc) I LOVE what they are doing at Oregon. It’s a guilty pleasure, and I would not like it if everyone was doing it, but at least they are trying something new and different. It’s like the Honda Element and Scion xB — you may not like the design, but you have to at least respect it for being daring and different.

  • Andrew | June 21, 2006 at 8:08 am |

    As soon as I saw those uniforms, I began to emit several loud shrieks. Just awful, but thank God they didn’t go with the assymetrical sleeves. I am a 19-year-old who hates these uniforms. The comment about how Nike catered to the athletes in the design of these uniforms reminds me of something I heard on an ESPN broadcast of a Va. Tech game after THEIR hideous assymetrical sleeves. According to the play-by-play guy, Frank Beamer basically said (I’m paraphrasing), “Yeah, the alumni hate the new sleeves, but the kids like them, especially kids we’re recruiting, so we’re gonna keep wearing ‘em.” Maybe I’m alone, but THIS college kid hates Tech’s one orange sleeve (although it isn’t as bad as Florida’s), and as soon as I heard that, I thought, “No wonder people think college kids are stupid.” Sadly, though, I may be alone, as all my friends who go to Tech seemed to like the new sleeves, and one of my friends once referred to the Seahawks’ unis as “sweet”. I fear for this country when my generation takes over, at least aesthetically.

  • cz | June 21, 2006 at 8:11 am |

    I agree, Oregon is nuts…but its always like what are they going to next its refreshing, but at the same time I’m glad they’re not my team

  • Ryan | June 21, 2006 at 8:24 am |

    [quote comment=”1143″]As soon as I saw those uniforms, I began to emit several loud shrieks. Just awful, but thank God they didn’t go with the assymetrical sleeves. I am a 19-year-old who hates these uniforms. The comment about how Nike catered to the athletes in the design of these uniforms reminds me of something I heard on an ESPN broadcast of a Va. Tech game after THEIR hideous assymetrical sleeves. According to the play-by-play guy, Frank Beamer basically said (I’m paraphrasing), “Yeah, the alumni hate the new sleeves, but the kids like them, especially kids we’re recruiting, so we’re gonna keep wearing ‘em.” Maybe I’m alone, but THIS college kid hates Tech’s one orange sleeve (although it isn’t as bad as Florida’s), and as soon as I heard that, I thought, “No wonder people think college kids are stupid.” Sadly, though, I may be alone, as all my friends who go to Tech seemed to like the new sleeves, and one of my friends once referred to the Seahawks’ unis as “sweet”. I fear for this country when my generation takes over, at least aesthetically.[/quote]

    I believe it is safe to say (or pray) that Universty Fashion design programs are football player free.

  • Lars | June 21, 2006 at 8:31 am |

    Horrid. Utterly and truly horrid.

    A quick question…In college it is said most kids play for the name on the front of the jersey and not the back, but doesn’t it seem like Nike – in its all too obvious self important way – believes they play more for the design and the logos? People will talk more about the unis than the team which is good for Nike (in a way) but maybe not so much for the U of Oregon. It will be hard to gain national respect in those costumes (the more I think about it those should not be called uniforms).

    On a wierd side note, I kind of liked the one asymmetrical sleve look for the withe and green uni. I guess by these insane standards that one couled be considered more traditional with a little of the new style.

  • Brandon T. | June 21, 2006 at 8:32 am |

    The yellow helmet has GHOST FLAMES!!! Ghost flames! Wait, maybe nobody saw the all caps…
    GHOST FLAMES!!!!!!!!!

    Althought not so distinct in the group photo, the tapered uni numbers photo clarifies the feature.
    http://static.flickr...

    I’m not sure if I absolutely love it, or absolutely hate it. Just like Nike in general I suppose, because I loved the infestation of black into my team’s football uniforms back in the day, but now I’m offended at the notion. To some degree, I love what Nike is doing with Oregon’s uniforms, and at the same time it’s an atrocity to me. This inner battle just received some more fuel to the fire today…

  • Lars | June 21, 2006 at 8:33 am |

    It’s early. Please excuse the horrid typing in the above post. It is alomst as bad as those Oregon costumes.

  • Brandon T. | June 21, 2006 at 8:46 am |

    Another thought though…

    Nike, please dump these uniforms in the sea.
    http://www.iona.edu/...

    And allow my beloved ‘Cats to wear this unis full-time.
    http://www.secstore....

  • Jill | June 21, 2006 at 8:53 am |

    As a graphic designer, I can appreciate trying to take risks in design in order to stay cutting-edge. However, as a person with eyes, I cannot appreciate these uniforms. The color scheme is so offensive, it’s hard for me to figure out how much I would hate the design in more traditional colors. The green and black are way too close in value, and the yellow is just plain ridiculous. How can they feel tough dressed up like a radioactive lemon?

  • Micah | June 21, 2006 at 8:58 am |

    Well, I for one, think they are pretty cool, even those concept drawings of the mis-matched sleeves. And yes, I am 22 years of age, so I guess I would be considered “stupid.” Recruiting nowdays goes a lot toward a brand, whether people want to admit it or not. Some kids just prefer to wear Nike than say an adidas or Reebok. So, it does make sense to let “kids” design some unis and give input on stuff that they like. Paul, you are the luckiest man on earth to meet Tinker Hatfield, a legend at Nike. His designs of most of the 21 (and soon to come AJ XXII) Air Jordans are what put Nike on the map in the basketball world. Say what you want about some of his design philosophy, his Air Jordan branding could’t have been better.

  • Warren Thompson | June 21, 2006 at 9:03 am |

    [quote comment=”1149″]Another thought though…

    Nike, please dump these uniforms in the sea.
    http://www.iona.edu/...

    Is the Kentucky player shown above wearing a T-shirt jersey or a T-shirt under a jersey? It’s hard to tell.[/quote]

  • todd krevanchi (krvanch) | June 21, 2006 at 9:08 am |

    paul, ive been waiting for this post and i think you know that.
    i kinda divulged my allegiance to nike in yesterdays post.
    ive wanted to have a sit down with tinker for a long time. pick his brain, you know?
    but on a more serious note, if my math is correct, (and please dont jump on me if it isnt) they have a potential of 48 different combinations of pant, shirt and helmet?
    so a freshman could theoretically go his entire college career without wearing the same uniform combination more than 1 time?
    another question, i wonder if their red practice quarterback jerseys play on this as well?
    my 2 cents…

  • Chris | June 21, 2006 at 9:11 am |

    I love that Nike is allowing the student athletes to contribute to the design of the uniform. The concern from Nike could have been “Let’s make a nice safe jersey that will sell.” Instead, they listed to voices not normally heard in corporate America and actually tried to satisfy their core group of users.

    And we shouldn’t overlook the performance factors of the new jerseys. I’d love to hear from the players after a particularly hot / wet game to see if the new jerseys performed as expected

  • nybatt | June 21, 2006 at 9:20 am |

    I recently re-designed and re-modeled the football uniforms for the high school team I coach.. while I didn’t invite any comments from the 16-18 year olds on the squad, a few did get a glimpse of what I was doing… surprisingly, many loved the conservative look I was putting together… there is hope!!!

    the only positives I could find with the oregon abominations were black cleats and grey facemasks… and even then they are not featured on every permutation!!!!

  • nybatt | June 21, 2006 at 9:22 am |

    by the way, was the “gangsta scowl” mandated by nike?? guess that goes along with the “warrior” mentality??!!??

  • Brandon T. | June 21, 2006 at 9:36 am |

    [quote comment=”1149″]Another thought though…

    Nike, please dump these uniforms in the sea.
    http://www.iona.edu/...

    Is the Kentucky player shown above wearing a T-shirt jersey or a T-shirt under a jersey? It’s hard to tell.[/quote]

    Rondo is simply wearing a t-shirt under his jersey. The t-shirt doesn’t bother me, what bothers me is the stripes on the collar and the overall piping on the side. Nike treats Kentucky basketball as though it were the “Oregon” of college basketball, when it should be treating it as the “Penn State”. The ’78 uniforms were perfect Nike, please take them back and leave them there.

    About the Oregon uniforms, why has Nike changed the shade of green they’re using? They’ve went from a lustrous, more vivid green…
    http://www.nationalc...

    To nearly (and dare I say?) olive drab green? At least keep the same shade of green.

  • Warren Thompson | June 21, 2006 at 9:59 am |

    While this will surely label me as geezer, old fart, reactionary, stick-in-the-mud, and mossback, I confess that I liked the Oregon uniforms of the 1940s and 50s. Shiny gold (not yellow) helmets and pants and Kelly green jerseys. Classy.

    BTW there’s certainly nothing wrong with designers taking risks, being innovative, and all that. However, the result ought not be an affront to the human eye. (And if these new Oregon uniforms could make noises, they’d likely set to howling all the canines in the Pacific Northwest. :()

  • Joe Hilseberg | June 21, 2006 at 10:01 am |

    on this pic http://static.flickr... it looks like there is some sort of silver flame pattern on the Oregon helmet…is this correct? It’s looks too crisp to just be reflections from the lights.

    And the number type is just horrible! Just look at #77 and try to make a case for having 2 different looking #7’s http://static.flickr...

  • AMS | June 21, 2006 at 10:10 am |

    it’s a shame…Oregon uniforms could be so nice, if done correctly…

  • Jill | June 21, 2006 at 10:12 am |

    I was unsure about the flames too, so I put the picture into a photo-editing program and messed with the colors. Sure enough – silver flames on the yellow helmet, but none that I could see on the green or white

  • mike | June 21, 2006 at 10:13 am |

    I’m an undergraduate at a D1 school, and it doesn’t suprise me at all that the rational behind these uniform decisions is that the players like them. I spoke to a handful of football players, and I was shocked how many of them really liked uniforms that I just assumed everyone hated. And so while I despise the decisions that Oregon makes, I do understand and respect them.

    On the other hand, that doesn’t excuse the Cardinals and Bengals of the world.

  • Scott M.X. Turner | June 21, 2006 at 10:30 am |

    It’s rare that people who do nasty things are as nasty as the the worst things they do. So it’s not surprising that these fellers aren’t evil incarnate. But it does seem like they don’t grasp how problematic their whole approach is.

    The Oregon uniforms are awful, but so awful they’re good. Like Plan 9 From Outer Space. Stupid as they are, at least they’re of this time, instead of today’s usual mashups of retro and contemporary designs.

    Soliciting input from outside the exclusive Designers Club is, on the surface, good. But what did Nike expect today’s bling-crazed, macho-obsessed “student-athletes” to suggest? It’s not so much “input” as a guaranteed seal-of-approval to bolster Nike’s hoped-for street cred.

    Props to Paul for soliciting Nike’s opinions…though it’s clear that anybody believing they’re on a deified mission is gonna wanna talk about it.

  • JTH | June 21, 2006 at 10:43 am |

    As hideous as the black, green and yellow jerseys are, I have to confess that I actually like the white one.

    I think that those, along with the green helmets and green pants, could look pretty sharp. An all-white uni might be OK as well.

    But why the hell aren’t the gold pants/jerseys the same color as the gold helmets? At least that’s how they look in this picture.

  • Rick V | June 21, 2006 at 10:49 am |

    How the heck do these monstrosities make the players feel “intimidating, like gladiators coming into the arena”?

    I was unaware gladiators dress like this

  • Doug | June 21, 2006 at 10:54 am |

    I agree about the Kentucky uniforms. Alabama had that same ugly templete this yr also. I loved UK’s throwbacks but Alabama’s was better . I’ve been told the SEC will NOT allow us to wear them next season.

    http://origin.xosn.c...

  • mark | June 21, 2006 at 10:58 am |

    the highlights (or in this case, the lowlights):

    1. Different helmets is just absolutely a huge no-no. YOu just can’t do that. Uniforms provide uniformity (duh) part of which is being able to instantly recognize your team on the field – even if all you are looking at is a quick clip on ESPN.

    2. no one has mentioned much about the gladiator terminology but that could be a real problem. in a society increasingly intolerant of violence, and in a sport that is becoming increasingly violent, the last thing we want is football to become today’s version of the gladiator games. it’s not, and it shouldn’t ever be. intimidation is okay, but simulating and consciously trying to look like the Roman blood baths isn’t a good idea. what’s next? putting a Nazi SS logo on a jersey might look intimidating but it wouldn’t be appropriate either.

    3. the real trouble here is that NIKE seems to be in charge of what schools wear instead of the other way around. NIKE dictates and even when the school doesn’t like it they win. uni controversy will accompany any change but they seem absolutely determined to make over every team no matter what, no matter the outcry. one wonders who is pleased by their designs? how many like them, apart from the University that reaps millions for dressing their teams like clowns.

    finally, I believe that forthwith Oregon be stripped of the term “uniform” and “costume” should be the official nomenclature for all uniwatch bloggging and posting regarding the travesty ocurring in the great northwest. if it isn’t uniform, then it isn’t A uniform.

  • alvarez | June 21, 2006 at 10:59 am |

    with all that oregon color non-coordination going on, i’m surprised that none of those geniuses at nike noticed that those thin little bands the warriors have on around their knees and elbows (because as a gladiator there’s nothing worse than when the backs of your knees get sweaty) come only in white or black… now how are they supposed to wear all green unis with black kneebands??? :-)

  • Bill | June 21, 2006 at 11:03 am |

    Ok let me get this over with, My eyes! My eyes, it BURNS! it BURNS!! Please make it go away. What ever happened to vertical stripes on the pants and horizonal strpes on the sleeves.
    Giving the kids imput is fine. But shouldn’t there be an adult there to say NO! Too far. There has to be a line.
    Any one else think that the new numbers look like the numbers from “Rollerball” (the first movie?

  • erica | June 21, 2006 at 11:12 am |

    I rather like the green/yellow/black color combos, but the full-bodied yellow uni is just too much for me.

    Although, it does make them look more like Ducks…with the diamond plate on the green sleeves adding to a feather-look. That definately adds to the gladiator-like intimidation factor.

  • Warren Thompson | June 21, 2006 at 11:23 am |

    [quote comment=”1175″]

    … with the diamond plate on the green sleeves adding to a feather-look. That definately adds to the gladiator-like intimidation factor.[/quote]

    On the other hand, it might cause the opposing team to wet their pants laughing when the Ducks take the field in their new Nike “court-fool” costumes. ;)

  • Bill | June 21, 2006 at 11:29 am |

    At least NIKE has not come out with an assymetrical pant. OH God I hope they don’t read this then it will be my fault when it happens!

  • James Craven | June 21, 2006 at 11:40 am |

    They bite, blow, stink and suck all at one time.

    And that’s saying a lot.

  • Matt Walker | June 21, 2006 at 11:51 am |

    As a designer, having a great amount of input from the client is a good thing. BUT…. it is your responsibility to the client to take the “suggestions” and create something that makes sense for all of the overall goals of the school. All clients have ideas, but that doesn’t mean they are good for the design. Sometimes the ideas they have are good, but you as the designer need to create the proper execution, which is the difference between the client and the designer. If they could execute their ideas properly, we as designers would be out of business. There are no metrics to see if these jerseys help recruiting as people here are suggesting (for every player who says they came because of Nike, how many do not?), but I cannot imagine the millions of dollars they will lose in merchandise sales. Which, as the designer, is irresponsible and reckless and doesn’t achieve the overall goals of the program, which is… TO MAKE MONEY!!

    If the players came up with this, then what did the designers do? If putting a steel grade pattern on Duck Uniform to convey toughness is ok, then how blatantly literal can a design be to convey messages? What’s next? Little footballs all over the place so people know they are serious about football? Gimme a break!! Be creative, don’t be outrageous as a mask because you don’t have good ideas.

  • Rob | June 21, 2006 at 12:00 pm |

    I think its great that the university is willing to take chances in order to market themselves. If you think of it from that angle its a great move. When you turn on the TV there is never any doubt that Oregon is on TV.

    The uniforms on the other hand are o.k. I would have not put the diamond plate stuff on them, but I do like all of the color combinations… It should be interesting, over the course of the season, how many different combos we see.

  • AMS | June 21, 2006 at 12:31 pm |

    This whole issue bothers me just because it seems as though Oregon has allowed themselves to become real-life models for Nike’s whims. Yeah, the players had some input, but doesn’t it seem as though these guys have become Nike’s guinea pigs? When did the shift from football program to fashion testing ground actually happen? If Nike, for some reason, decided that a frilly wasitband would really enhance football pants, would Oregon be sporting a yellow, white, and green version next year?

  • Chris In Carlsbad | June 21, 2006 at 12:54 pm |

    Great post Paul. I admire you for meeting face to face with the enemy and being able to keep an open mind to the travesties they are bestowing upon our eyes. Too bad we don’t have a president with the same qualities. But I digress.

    What it comes down to is that Nike owns U of O and they pretty much tell them what to do and when to do it. I think they should change their mascot to the Puppets.

    http://falsevisual.c...

  • Texas_Islander | June 21, 2006 at 1:08 pm |

    If they want to be so intimidating, then why are they called the Ducks?

    Personnally even the asymetrical sleeve design, especially the white-on-white with green sleeve looks better than these designs. The asymetrical sleeve design might even be a huge improvement if the stupid diamond plating was removed.

  • JTH | June 21, 2006 at 1:17 pm |

    [quote comment=”1188″]If they want to be so intimidating, then why are they called the Ducks?[/quote]

    Because “Beavers” was already taken.

  • mike | June 21, 2006 at 1:17 pm |

    aside from the diamond plated look on the shoulders the uni’s really arent all that bad

    ya gotta look tough when your mascot is a duck

    new idea assymetrical jerseys AND pants
    now thats an idea!

  • Dan | June 21, 2006 at 1:51 pm |

    Well, at least they’re creative. Numbers are terrible, and three helmets are ridiculous. Have a black uniform and a dark green uniform that almost look exactly the same is strange. I say use the yellow uniform for home, with the green helmet, but use the numbers that the head coach said he didn’t like. Away, go with the look they had in the Holiday bowl last year.

  • Gordon | June 21, 2006 at 2:00 pm |

    Personally, I love the designs.

    But love it or hate it, at least you know it’s OREGON and it’s got you talking about the University of Oregon. I’m sure a TON of schools would LOVE to have that kind of public noteriety and name recognition from the casual fan…

    Nebraska and Ohio State changed the stripes on their uniforms for the upcoming season…do you care? Do you notice? Could you tell who’s playing if you’re casually flipping through the channels on a lazy Saturday afternoon? Is it NC State, Ohio State, Rutgers, Louisville…?!?!?! Oregon doesn’t have that problem!!!

  • Warren Thompson | June 21, 2006 at 2:03 pm |

    [quote comment=”1200″]
    Is it NC State, Ohio State, Rutgers, Louisville…?!?!?! Oregon doesn’t have that problem!!![/quote]

    Neither does Dr. Frankenstein’s monster ….

  • Matt Marrone | June 21, 2006 at 2:07 pm |

    Paul, would it have occurred to package designers that the word HEAT is in WHEATIES or is that a no-no?

    http://blogs.nydaily...

  • dave | June 21, 2006 at 2:08 pm |

    Oregon is the only school that Nike has this much influence over, and that is because Phil Knight is THE biggest donor to the school. Not just to Oregon’s sports programs, but the school in general. When you’re donating millions upon millions of dollars to a university, you’re going to be able to do stuff like this. They may have gotten Va Tech and Florida to go with the mismatched sleeves, but I dont think you’ll ever see those schools go to the extent that Oregon has.

  • Kahler | June 21, 2006 at 2:22 pm |

    Does any other school incorporate the primary color or its arch-rival in its uniform, like Oregon does by wearing black?

    Does USC wear light blue? Does Washington weat crimson, or Wazu purple?

    Hatfield can spin things any way he wants, but these uniforms and helmets are ugly, ugly, ugly. But we’ve come to expect that from Nike U.

  • L. Vasquez | June 21, 2006 at 2:28 pm |

    I feel very honored to hold the privilege of being insulted by one of my favorite sports-writers/weirdos. Great stuff, keep up the good work!

  • todd krevanchi (krvanch) | June 21, 2006 at 2:36 pm |

    any info on whether the tampa bay bucs have changed uniform typeface on their game uniforms as well?
    here are the extended sleeve vest jerseys they are wearing in minicamp…

    WHITE

    RED

  • Micah | June 21, 2006 at 2:39 pm |

    Dave has got it right. Phil Knight is an alma mater of Oregon so that’s why we see so much different variations of uniforms and the amount of influence Nike has on the university. Yes, in essence, Oregon is the testing ground for new Nike products, such as the air-cooled bladder vest system that their players wore in 2002. If you get millions of dollars in improvements to your stadiums, the best locker room that even rivals some of the major sport leagues, free and innovative equipment, then you are going to willingly put yourself to the test with different uniforms. In this case, it really is about the money.

  • Ryan | June 21, 2006 at 2:41 pm |

    [quote comment=”1182″]I think its great that the university is willing to take chances in order to market themselves. If you think of it from that angle its a great move. When you turn on the TV there is never any doubt that Oregon is on TV.
    quote]

    With 50 or so possible combonations? How is anyone to know by glancing at the TV its Oregon? Oh ya right………..because of the instant seizure you go into from optical overload.

  • Joshua | June 21, 2006 at 3:12 pm |

    Oregon’s football unis are a travesty and crime against college football and its traditions. Not only do they go against concept of football uni design, but they took their already extreme colors and made them worse. As a 20 year old, I would never think of designing something like that, let alone be caught wearing that. I would transfer! It would be interesting to see what the alumni thinks of their uni designs.

    Different helmets is a big red flag. Only one helmet for all uniforms is the unwritten standard for football. Baylor tried it last year (letting the players make the helmet decision) and they stomped all over tradition (and it will be the same next year too). Oregon needs to know how to say no to Nike and no to the players and stick to tradition.

  • Matt C | June 21, 2006 at 3:18 pm |

    All these changes – the steel grade pattern on the shoulders, the dynamic number font, even the sketch on the original post – seem to be following the athletes-as-superheroes motif we’ve been seeing a lot of lately (see: Kobe/Wade/LeBron in tights). Nike and Oregon seem to be working pretty hard to depict their athletes as gridiron superheroes and I don’t doubt that the players who gave their input want to look and feel like a team of supermen. I can’t say I agree with this trend; I think the depiction of athletes, especially college athletes, as übermensch sitting above us mere mortals is a dangerous thing. I think Sport is something greater than any of us, and I wish I saw a little more respect for that in the way sports and athletes are marketed.

    That said, as long as the Ducks went in the superhero direction we should all be thankful they didn’t gravitate towards this.

  • Lars | June 21, 2006 at 3:19 pm |

    Looking at the fact that there have been 50+ posts I think that the University of Nike in Oregon got what they wanted with these costumes. We know who makes them. We are talking about them. We will be talking about them throughout the season. I am not up on my PAC10 projections, but I don’t think UNO is supposed to go very far this year so it is a way to get people to talk about an also-ran team.

    Living in Buckeye Country I can tell you that it is true that 95% of the people here do not know that OSU changed their jerseys, but I would guess 99% also don’t care. It was not drastic and the focus is on a National Title with our returning offense. UNO has no such hopes, but they will double OSU’s preseason press with these costumes.

    It is a means to an end in any case.

  • JTH | June 21, 2006 at 3:22 pm |

    [quote comment=”1208″]Does any other school incorporate the primary color or its arch-rival in its uniform, like Oregon does by wearing black?
    [/quote]

    In the late ’90s, Indiana added black (big surprise) as a dominant color for footbal. Purdue’s colors are black and old gold.

    They scrapped this about five years ago, when the university decided that all of its teams would wear cream and crimson (the official school colors — what a novel concept.)

    And Duke has the black basketball jerseys. Is Wake Forest considered Duke’s arch-rival? Don’t they wear black and gold?

  • Grant | June 21, 2006 at 3:23 pm |

    As bad as the are, the whining in the comments is even more pitiful. The kids like them, or else they wouldn’t be wearing them. That’s how it works in play-for-no-pay athletics, get over yourselves.

    It’s easy to switch and the uniform gods have a short memory. Witness the Bucs. Come down off the ledge you cranky bastiges.

    Kids never appreciate much in the way of classics. If you think a h.s. senior is going to wish his Scion were a Metropolitan, you’re living in a snow globe called the past. Go beat your wife, fire back some brown liquor and crash out in your Barcalounger.

    Does anyone remember the pre-Nike onslaught Oregon togs? Maybe having garish-to-ugly futuristic and unique uniforms is Oregon’s brand niche, maybe they’re fine with that. Put down the Chesterfields, go breath some clean air.

    Now, what I want to know is if Nike’s designers have considered the counterbalancing effect of the opponent having their own confidence boosted by realizing they’re playing a bunch of guys who look like clowns.

  • JTH | June 21, 2006 at 3:24 pm |

    Yeah, I guess those links don’t work. But trust me — the helmets were black and now they are crimson.

  • Grant | June 21, 2006 at 3:25 pm |

    [quote comment=”1223″][quote comment=”1208″]Does any other school incorporate the primary color or its arch-rival in its uniform, like Oregon does by wearing black?
    [/quote]

    In the late ’90s, Indiana added black (big surprise) as a dominant color for footbal. Purdue’s colors are black and old gold.

    They scrapped this about five years ago, when the university decided that all of its teams would wear cream and crimson (the official school colors — what a novel concept.)

    And Duke has the black basketball jerseys. Is Wake Forest considered Duke’s arch-rival? Don’t they wear black and gold?[/quote]

    All of your examples are black. Black is an accent color that teams have added in the last 20 years to toughen or bolden up their image, not to steal chromatic thunder from a rival.

  • Chaz | June 21, 2006 at 3:29 pm |

    Does that yellow helmet have freakin’ silver flames on it? And it’s too bad you couldn’t have gotten in a Barrett-like sucker punch to one of these bigwigs. And I’m 21, and trust me I love tradition and loath these.

  • Tedrow | June 21, 2006 at 3:33 pm |

    Question regarding the O/Bellotti number set: Was it a conscious decision to leave ’18’ as the only non-tapered number? If so, reason?

  • Matthew | June 21, 2006 at 3:38 pm |

    Great Jim Rome impression by Grant.

    I think I’ve vomited shades of the same colors that now make up Oregon’s uniforms.

    In all seriousness, the black and green isn’t bad, but the yellow is atrocious. Make it a darker, more golden yellow and maybe they’ll have something.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that uniforms tend to grow on people. I went to SMU and I hated when in 2002, they changed their uniforms from a unique design to one that imitated Ole Miss. But, with a few very minor changes (e.g. some white outlining around the red Mustang on the blue helmet) and red home uniforms with white pants instead of the dark blue all over, I’ve come to like the current scheme over the previous.

    I guess my only problem with the Oregon uniforms (other than the hideous shade of yellow chosen) that they’re too busy. Like the Houston Rockets jerseys from 1996-2003 or so, there’s too much going on.

  • JTH | June 21, 2006 at 3:39 pm |

    [quote comment=”1226″]Black is an accent color…[/quote]

    Sure, in some cases, such as adding black stripes to a red helmet or blue jersey. But a red logo on a black helmet or blue numbers on a black jersey make black a dominant color.

  • Matt | June 21, 2006 at 3:40 pm |

    Chances are if the players like it, then non-athletes the same age and younger will like it. And that’s the objective- the appeal to the kids. It’s why Fox and CBS and other TV companies make broadcasts look like video games with all their stupid sound effects and graphics, and why Nike will continue to come out with such silly uniforms- because it’s what the kids want. If you’re old enough to remember the USFL, New Coke, or the first President Bush, then your opinion doesn’t matter, to Nike or the TV networks.

  • Morton | June 21, 2006 at 4:20 pm |

    Lost in all of this is the fact that, in college sports, there’s one really good reason to let the players have input into uni designs: Recruiting. If letting the players choose the jersey colour creates (in the minds of potential recruits) the impression of a program that values players’ interests, said program gains a competitive advantage.

  • Laura M. | June 21, 2006 at 4:21 pm |

    I have been attending Oregon football games since I was about a month old and I have seen a lot of transformations of our uniform. I remember when we moved to the Joey Harrington era uniforms and the huge uproar when that happened, what I would give now to have those uniforms back.

    On another note, it was really cool to be standing in the marching band tunnels before the game started at the Civil War and having the team run out in the ugly uniforms, the crowd went nuts, and it made us feel really excited about the game. However, I think that one game is okay, but these uniforms are over the top. I just hope Nike doesn’t have anything in store for my band that is worse than the football uniforms.

  • Stevie K | June 21, 2006 at 4:36 pm |

    Those jersey numbers remind me a little of the original “Rollerball” unis http://www.moviestor...

  • Kahler | June 21, 2006 at 4:47 pm |

    Duke’s azrch-rival in hoops is Carolina, not Wake. You make sure to call me when you see Duke wearing Carolina-blue uniforms, OK?

    Black ceases to be an “accent” color when it covers half or more of the uniform.

    Indiana got it right. Use the officiala school colors, not those that are Nike-approved.

  • JTH | June 21, 2006 at 4:58 pm |

    [quote comment=”1236″]Duke’s azrch-rival in hoops is Carolina, not Wake.[/quote]

    I always thought, historically speaking, that NC State was UNC’s true archrival.

  • Micah | June 21, 2006 at 5:16 pm |

    Oh heck no!! Duke vs. UNC is the biggest and best college rivalry in basketball. There is no way that NC State even approaches that level.

    Morton, great point about the recruiting too.

  • Kevin | June 21, 2006 at 5:35 pm |

    These uniforms wouldn’t be so bad if they picked one helmet, two jerseys, and one or two pairs of pants.

    The best comment of all was the one that mentioned the 48 different combinations. Very well said.

  • Jeremy | June 21, 2006 at 5:40 pm |

    Tradition? Who’s Tradition?

    Those uni’s are BRILLIANT! Sure has us all talking!

    As in Hollywood, no publicity is bad publicity!

    Good for Oregon!

  • Bryan S | June 21, 2006 at 6:11 pm |

    As much as I hate the logo creep, and the terrible looking jerseys, I do think that it’s good to see something new, even if it is horrible… Hey, I mean Paul wouldn’t have much of a job just talking about the same things over and over *btw, I am now a stirrup addict* if there weren’t some new things do discuss.

    I like that Nike is willing to try new things, and while the student-athletes may not be the best ones to ask, it’s nice to see that not all of their decisions are coming from a boardroom on the 20th floor.

    And THANK GOD that they aren’t trying anything like this on the pros, I mean, let’s be real here… It’s Oregon football… big deal.

  • Tom | June 21, 2006 at 6:31 pm |

    No matter how you slice it the oregon unis are a disaster. Using Nike logos as an accent really doesn’t work. Also the diamond plate has no place on a football field, especially since its done in silver, which is not one of oregons colors. The funny thing is if it wasn’t for the little gismos on them they’d actually stand a chance of looking good. It seems that too many teams these days are opting for large blocks of color (see the new Vikings Unis and the AZ Cardinals) as oposed to the more traditional striping (Bears, Packers and Steelers). I find this to be a disturbing trend that is stripping away the unique character of team unis.

  • Bob | June 21, 2006 at 7:48 pm |

    These are the silliest looking uniforms made yet by Nike. First of all the shoulder pattern looks like the patterns seen on truck bed liners and has no useful purpose at all except to remind players that they need to a car oil change soon. The three helmets are a bit much. This is going to be a nightmare for players/equipment managers to keep track of. The numbers look like something from the first-year art student’s recreation of the uniforms from the movie Roller Ball. They look like my seven year old was doodling and sent it to Nike as a joke.

    Uniforms are the only thing that link several generations of teams together and these uniforms (like the 1960 Denver Broncos’ brown and white vertical-stripped socks) need to publicly burned. Oregon can simply look at an old press guide to find an appropriate replacement.

  • Dan | June 21, 2006 at 7:48 pm |

    I loved the pic of the Oregon marching band uniforms from last fall. Any updates for them?

  • Bob | June 21, 2006 at 8:25 pm |

    If I was a recruit, I would want to look cool. USC, FSU, MIchigan, UCLA, cool uni’s. I would be embarrassed to be seen in these.

  • foley | June 21, 2006 at 8:46 pm |

    I happen to love the new jersey Nike designed for Oregon, but I am 14 and modern the yellow one looks like a highlighter though(my least favorite) the green and black are sweet. The white one is cool too it looks like an Ipod. If they mix and match there could be 48 possibilities

  • Ian | June 21, 2006 at 9:48 pm |

    Okay… I just sat down and saw this, and I haven’t read all of the replies, but…

    FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Nike is making the Ducks look fluffing rediculous, taken a good looking team and made them look ugly, and made the U of O athletic department look like fools.

    Thank God I’m an OSU fan…

  • Jim | June 21, 2006 at 9:57 pm |

    The University of Nike should just replace the O on the helmets with the swoosh. Someone earlier had it right, these aren’t uniforms, they’re costumes. Everything that’s wrong about the rampant commercialization of college sports is shown in that first picture.

    I remember when Oregon actually had a logo that reflected the nickname. What is there about diamond plate, silver flames and tapered numbers that says “ducks”?

    As much as you don’t like purple, at least you knew what the Anaheim hockey team was the (Mighty) Ducks.

  • joe d. | June 21, 2006 at 10:10 pm |

    The white uni’s look good, the rest of them are not so good. But man, those cleats are totally sweet !!!!!!

  • smcs | June 21, 2006 at 10:13 pm |

    There are actually 96 possible combinations because they are wearing two different types of shoes white shoes (with black swooshes) and green shoes (with yellow swooshes). Has anyone cared to count up all the swooshes that are visible? I stopped once I got past 10

  • Bo | June 21, 2006 at 11:52 pm |

    Don’t understand the black version for a school with green and yellow as colors, but whatever. I do think they are cutting edge design and will gather attention typically monopolized by USC in the Pacific time zone. Apparently the guys on the team were involved in the design, and at my age I don’t understand teenagers wearing their jeans low enough to show their crack, so don’t think I’m qualified to judge what young guys want in uniform appearance.

  • Bo | June 22, 2006 at 12:04 am |

    Look what that truck bed liner on the shoulder looks like on a foggy night in late November.

    http://cache.nmn.spe...

    Photo shows that the material on shoulder pads and knee pads is reflective. Perhaps helps a QB pick out a receiver in those kind of weather conditions?

  • Adam | June 22, 2006 at 12:56 am |

    good find…could it be that there is a purpose to those stupid things? I almost like the all white unis…I wonder what helmet they’ll pair them with…although as someone suggested earlier, they can just about just a different combo every game for a 4 year career…of course by their senior year this year’s freshmen will be wearing even more ridiculous uniforms…

  • mark | June 22, 2006 at 1:02 am |

    what if Nike U played Oregon State on Boise State’s field? that’s right: those green costumes versus the Beaver’s in orange ON A SMURF BLUE FIELD!

    oh, the humanity!

  • Laura M. | June 22, 2006 at 1:29 am |

    There are no updates to the marching band uniforms, I am the outgoing uniform manager for the band. Although we might need new head pieces soon because our helmets are getting beat up. If you want to see some pictures of our uniforms close up go to http://www.uoregon.e... This will take you to the marching band council website. Enjoy!

  • Darryl | June 22, 2006 at 2:05 am |

    I am a 7 year Oregon football season ticket holder. Each year I get more and more embarrassed for the program. What is Oregon known for? Unis. Not the fact that, win wise, they’re the most successful program on the West Coast over the last 15+ years. Which is pathetic. Even more pathetic is this latest design. At this point, I am done supporting the program and will look to sell my 06-07 season tickets…which are already paid for. Great, the players will feel invincible…while being the laughing stock of uniforms around the friggin WORLD! Horrible. Does fake chrome on the shoulders and knees really make someone feel tough? I am pretty much fuming right now…which will eventually temper a little. But man, give me a break…

  • Mat | June 22, 2006 at 3:03 am |

    [quote comment=”1221″]

    Living in Buckeye Country I can tell you that it is true that 95% of the people here do not know that OSU changed their jerseys, but I would guess 99% also don’t care. It was not drastic and the focus is on a National Title with our returning offense. UNO has no such hopes, but they will double OSU’s preseason press with these costumes.

    It is a means to an end in any case.[/quote]

    Uh, actually all I hear is pissing and moaning about the piping on the OSU jerseys.

    And by the way, hate to break it to you, but with that defense, OSU is nowhere near a national title this year. Next year might be different. Personally, I am not expecting Oregon to replicate last season’s 10-2 season this year, but this team is built to make a run for a title in 07, especially if they get past Michigan in Ann Arbor (which would make even a Buckeye proud). Hell, you might even sport a Lightning Yellow jersey if/when that happens. :-)

  • chris | June 22, 2006 at 10:24 am |

    The numbers are made to contour to the shape of an athlete. Broad at the top(SHoulder pads), small at the bottom (waist). They will look great on smaller players liek WR QB RB and DB’s. The numbers wont look liek they are falling off towards the back.
    Chris

  • JJD | June 22, 2006 at 10:24 am |

    As a proud Washington Husky-alum, I feel obligated to comment on these new jerseys of our most hated rivals.

    I actually LIKE the all white jersey, maybe because that guy in the pic looks a LOT like Vince Young, down to the knee support. I’d rather they stuck with the green helmets with the white, but they’ll look just like Texas if they go all-white.

    I don’t mind the number-style, especially in light of the above post showing the Bucs’ practice jerseys. Washington changed their numbers font from a traditional serif-font like Michigan to a (Ozzie Guillen-descriptive here)-rounded number-style that works on all the UW apparel EXCEPT football. (Hopefully they are changing back this year.) The problem is the outlines make the numbers look worse, ESPECIALLY the yellow shirt that has silver outlines around the green numbers. Ugh.

    The previous Oregon duds grew on me, especially the yellow shirt/green pants-combo, and their basketball team looks SHARP, especially in their all-green road get-ups, so hopefully they don’t carry this over to other sports. (Although a softball team in similar uniforms is amusing to visualize.)

    I REALLY REALLY REALLY hate the steel-plate pattern, though. That’s what RUINS these jerseys for me. Ick.

  • JJD | June 22, 2006 at 10:27 am |

    Aw crap, I forgot my comment about the different helmets. Although the yellow one is silly with the flames and all, I like them. The Cougars had a similar thing going where they wore red helmets with their white jerseys and silver helmets with their red jerseys (during the Jason Gesser-era, not last year though) and I always thought they looked GREAT, especially when we kicked their butts every year.

    (Although thinking about it now, they stopped doing that last year and broke a six-year losing streak to UW. Hmmmm.)

  • Tom O'Grady | June 22, 2006 at 10:43 am |

    Name Change-

    The Oregon YUCKS.

    I had a ton of respect for their design team in the mid 90’s…

    Rodney Richardson. Ken Black. Eric Bodamer. Jannet Nichols, Matt Park adn Chris McClure…they must all be gone now.

    Holy bad taste Batman…what the hell happened? Did the Illustrator program crash during downloding final files?

    Tom O’Grady

  • Todd | June 22, 2006 at 2:06 pm |

    [quote comment=”1264″]I am a 7 year Oregon football season ticket holder. Each year I get more and more embarrassed for the program. What is Oregon known for? Unis. Not the fact that, win wise, they’re the most successful program on the West Coast over the last 15+ years. Which is pathetic. Even more pathetic is this latest design. At this point, I am done supporting the program and will look to sell my 06-07 season tickets…which are already paid for. Great, the players will feel invincible…while being the laughing stock of uniforms around the friggin WORLD! Horrible. Does fake chrome on the shoulders and knees really make someone feel tough? I am pretty much fuming right now…which will eventually temper a little. But man, give me a break…[/quote]

    I’m a big Duck fan and the unis are horrible, but as a long time Duck fan I along with 50,000 other people would love to buy your tickets. The Ducks can wear purple, pink, and brown with a toy rubber duck mascot for all I care. The Ducks will continue to get my support regardless of what they wear.

  • Jared | June 22, 2006 at 2:22 pm |

    [quote comment=”1211″]any info on whether the tampa bay bucs have changed uniform typeface on their game uniforms as well?
    here are the extended sleeve vest jerseys they are wearing in minicamp…

    WHITE

    RED[/quote]

    Those practive jerseys have been around for at least the last year (actually I think the last 2….) It was stated that the font is to be used ONLY on the practice jerseys …..

  • Kahler | June 22, 2006 at 2:46 pm |

    Hey Mr. Bandman,

    You guys look like SS storm troopers in those stupid helmets. When does the invasion of Poland begin?

  • James Craven | June 22, 2006 at 3:51 pm |

    [quote comment=”1190″][quote comment=”1188″]“If they want to be so intimidating, then why are they called the Ducks?”[/quote]

    Because “Beavers” was already taken.”[/quote]

    OH, SNAP!

  • James Craven | June 22, 2006 at 3:53 pm |

    [quote comment=”1313″]“Hey Mr. Bandman,

    You guys look like SS storm troopers in those stupid helmets. When does the invasion of Poland begin?”[/quote]

    OH, DOUBLE SNAP!

  • James Craven | June 22, 2006 at 3:55 pm |

    Those Oregon Unis make me like Penn Stae’s “boring” no-frills unis even better.

  • Stephen Smith | June 22, 2006 at 4:26 pm |

    [quote comment=”1172″]the highlights (or in this case, the lowlights):

    1. Different helmets is just absolutely a huge no-no. YOu just can’t do that. Uniforms provide uniformity (duh) part of which is being able to instantly recognize your team on the field – even if all you are looking at is a quick clip on ESPN.

    2. no one has mentioned much about the gladiator terminology but that could be a real problem. in a society increasingly intolerant of violence, and in a sport that is becoming increasingly violent, the last thing we want is football to become today’s version of the gladiator games. it’s not, and it shouldn’t ever be. intimidation is okay, but simulating and consciously trying to look like the Roman blood baths isn’t a good idea. what’s next? putting a Nazi SS logo on a jersey might look intimidating but it wouldn’t be appropriate either.

    3. the real trouble here is that NIKE seems to be in charge of what schools wear instead of the other way around. NIKE dictates and even when the school doesn’t like it they win. uni controversy will accompany any change but they seem absolutely determined to make over every team no matter what, no matter the outcry. one wonders who is pleased by their designs? how many like them, apart from the University that reaps millions for dressing their teams like clowns.

    finally, I believe that forthwith Oregon be stripped of the term “uniform” and “costume” should be the official nomenclature for all uniwatch bloggging and posting regarding the travesty ocurring in the great northwest. if it isn’t uniform, then it isn’t A uniform.[/quote]

    Isn’t it great that people think they have a right to dictate what other people can and can’t do? I love the new uniforms, and the mere fact that Oregon’s uniforms cause you people anxiety makes them worthwhile.

    Uniformity in the sense of team doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing every day, and Oregon is already one of the most recognized teams in the NCAA.

    Sure, Oklahoma has classy and traditional uniforms, but if you’re flipping channels and come across them on TV, you may find yourself straining to see if it IS the Sooners, or if it’s Indiana, or Alabama, or Texas A&M, or any of a dozen similar-looking teams.

    Nike is footing the bill, and Oregon agreed to change their uniforms every three or four seasons under the agreement.

    I love ‘em, and the more they bother all of you “stodgemeisters”, the better.

    By the way, the yellow helmet is still in development, and may or may not have “ghost flames” in its final version.

  • steve | June 22, 2006 at 10:10 pm |

    fyi the diamond plating is in titanium not steel or chrome. I hope they end up making all the facemasks in titanium as well; it was in the early designs. It looks awesome under the lights imho.

  • Justin P. | June 22, 2006 at 10:41 pm |

    Best uniforms ever created. Why are all you guys hating? I think your just jelous of how much better they look then everyone elses.

  • Jack H. | June 22, 2006 at 11:05 pm |

    I must say, I hate Nike, but I like what they did with Michigan State’s basketball uniforms, especially bringing back the “State” on the front. But I do hate some of this crap that they do with teams like Oregon or Florida or BYU (atrocious. The royal and white was so classy, then Nike just medded it up).

  • Bobby D | June 22, 2006 at 11:41 pm |

    I feel for Oregon’s players, but some have gone on record saying they like that crap. Buwahahahahahaahaha. Go ahead and convince yourself that those are nice designs, Quackers, but those plain suck!

    What’s up with the steel-bumper-looking graphics (shoulders and knees) anyway? Make those rubber and you might be onto something there….like crack! = D

  • Bobby D | June 23, 2006 at 2:26 am |

    [quote comment=”1152″]Well, I for one, think they are pretty cool, even those concept drawings of the mis-matched sleeves. And yes, I am 22 years of age, so I guess I would be considered “stupid.” Recruiting nowdays goes a lot toward a brand, whether people want to admit it or not. Some kids just prefer to wear Nike than say an adidas or Reebok. So, it does make sense to let “kids” design some unis and give input on stuff that they like. Paul, you are the luckiest man on earth to meet Tinker Hatfield, a legend at Nike. His designs of most of the 21 (and soon to come AJ XXII) Air Jordans are what put Nike on the map in the basketball world. Say what you want about some of his design philosophy, his Air Jordan branding could’t have been better.[/quote]
    Some of the Air Jordans are plain hideous, e.g. III, IV, V, XV, XVI, XVII, etc.

    The 11s were one the best designs ever for a b.ball sneak. Overall I think the newer the shoes got the uglier they got. With so many resources and money they had available I would disagree, I think the over designs of Jordan sig shoe is not good at all. I think a lot of guys bought them because they had Jordan’s name on them and then later thought, ‘Why the h—l did I buy these ugly as- sneaks? > link

  • Bobby D | June 23, 2006 at 2:28 am |
  • Kyle | June 23, 2006 at 3:16 am |

    How many other college football teams have such long articles written about their uniforms with all of these people commenting?

    How many other college football teams are even being talked about right now at such a national level?

    Oregon’s mission: complete

  • Chris Mayberry | June 23, 2006 at 7:37 am |

    Paul, call me old-fashioned, but I think those are the ugliest uniforms in the history of athletic competition. Is Oregon counting on winning games by having the opposition collapse in helpless laughter? Nausea-Inducing Klothing Emporium strikes again!

  • Micah | June 23, 2006 at 11:53 am |

    Bobby D, I didn’t say the designs themselves were all good; I said the branding was great. But, how can you hate on the III and V???? That is absoutely ludicrous, IMO. Of course, everyone sees design differently, so apparent in this long comment section about people’s different views of the Oregon unis.

  • Blenkinsop | June 23, 2006 at 12:46 pm |

    The Ducks can wear pink and/or lavendar; as long as they win the National Championship! Seriously, I like some of them especially the all white. The numbers are great. Now if they will only revert back to the larger properly spaced letters on the back, (players names). Then GO DUCKS

  • pants | June 23, 2006 at 12:57 pm |

    I’m not a fan of most of Nike’s recent shoe or clothing design. With that said, I kinda love these uniforms. I think they managed to bring the football uniform into the 21st century without over-doing it, common with most redesigns.

    My only disagreements with these unis are I’m not diggin the pale yellow, and diamondplate mesh on the knees might be a little too much for me. Team name on the pants? Kinda hard!

    (But yeah, the flame detail on the helmets might be a sucky move.)

  • Micah | June 23, 2006 at 2:19 pm |

    Wish I woulda found this the day Paul wrote this article, but here is an interesting read on the unis from GoDucks.com

    EUGENE – The University of Oregon football team will utilize a new look in 2006 that promises to be unique in the world of college football as well as striving to enhance the performance of those players wearing them.

    The Ducks’ game-day apparel will consist of four different colors of jerseys and pants to go along with three different helmets Oregon is expected to wear at some point during the coming season.

    But of greater importance is the advanced design and technology of the uniforms will help to diminish the weight of the uniforms by 28 percent when dry and help make them 34 percent lighter under wet condiditions. The jerseys and pants also encompass a diamond-patterned grid on the shoulders and knees, respectively, to improve the durability of the product in areas susceptible to greater wear.

    In addition to the green, yellow and white uniforms Oregon has employed in the past, it will add a predominantly black version to the wardrobe similar to the uniforms the Ducks unveiled in last year’s 56-14 win against Oregon State. The option of helmets Oregon will have available will expand from the one green version that it has worn since 1999 to an all-white variety and a third yellow helmet that is still in a developmental stage.

    The new-look attire also will include “Oregon” inscripted down the left leg of all four pants while “Ducks” will appear on the front of the jerseys above the numbers to help further enhance the identity and exposure for the university.

    The uniform designs are a result of a two-year process that involved Nike designers and Oregon alum Tinker Hatfield, vice president for special projects at Nike, Todd Van Horne, creative director of U.S. sport apparel, and a committee of the school’s past and present football players.

    Players offered their input and sketches of what they envisioned the direction the uniforms would take, with the Nike designers developing those concepts into reality.

    Oregon players involved in the process included wide receiver Cameron Colvin, tight end Tim Day, quarterback Dennis Dixon, tight end Ryan Keeling, free safety J.D. Nelson, tight end Dante Rosario and receiver Jaison Williams.

    This marks the fourth significant evolution of football uniforms that Nike has developed for Oregon since they first designed the game-day apparel for the Ducks’ appearance in the 1996 Cotton Bowl. The first major redesign took place in time for the 1999 season, followed by a revision in 2003.

  • Tom | June 23, 2006 at 2:29 pm |

    Im only 18 and I really like the old Oregon uniforms from the Joey Harrington/Onterrio Smith team http://espn-att.star...

    They were weird but very unique and better than the newest version. However except for the yellow and white helmets i really dont mind these new threads. The yellow jerseys i could do without, but a black helmet wouldve been pretty cool

  • Shawn | June 23, 2006 at 2:43 pm |

    This is awsome so many people discussing Oregon football in the offseason. If a lot of you would of seen our uniforms in the 80’s with Donald Duck you would’ve laughed pretty hard, but we so go awful that no one cared. It’s nice to have some sucess and then people pay attention to whatever you do with your program. Hopefully in 20-30 years the Ducks will have a tradition of winning and everyone will know we were first to have the new age uniforms. By then Penn St. helmets willprobably remind us of the old leather helmets.

  • michaels | June 24, 2006 at 1:00 pm |

    Black helmets would of been the way to go, some part of that ‘uni’ needs to mean business. Everything else besides the colors seem to be an improvement, what the hell, they’ll get new ones in a couple years anyhow.

  • br | June 25, 2006 at 3:38 am |

    The new duck unis look great–but what I do I know, I am only a colleg student.

    113 comments so far? Seems like the new duck look is a success no matter how you look at it.

  • WirelessBuzz | June 25, 2006 at 5:07 am |

    I like the Oregon look. They typically have a very cutting edge look. that I find appealing. That being said, it works for them and that is what I like. However, I hope that Georgia Tech never comes out in anything remotely close to that type of look. For us, I prefer that we keep our more traditional look with nothing more than tweaks here and there from time to time.

  • Phil Swain | June 27, 2006 at 10:22 am |

    I just wanted to throw in my laughs over Oregon football. The “team” is now more known for its costumes than how they/it plays on the field. And Nike needs to learn their place. They could really learn from the saying “you don’t fix what isn’t broken”. Changing the universities unis that play football and don’t play dress up is a huge mistake (see OSU, Michigan, FSU, VTech, etc.)

    I for one have not and will not spend money on Nike apparel anymore. Everything the company tries to do involves adding more and more color and pattern. Whatever happened to shoes that looked like shoes and not a picaso piece? Everyone I know complains about how the designs look these days. Leave tradition alone, it is a very important thing. The Kentuckys, Ohio States, Michigans, Penn States, Florida States, Floridas, and Virginia Techs all have had uniforms that many kids would’ve died to wear because those uniforms are what the storied players that came before wore. Give me tradition every day. That is what makes college sports great. Unlike pro sports our uniforms don’t need to change b/c there are thousands of alumni who love them. I personally feel sorry for U of Oregon.

  • Freehawk | June 29, 2006 at 4:28 pm |

    Nike and Oregon — always eerily fascinating.

    I think you could and should write an indepth story for publication on this interview.

    To me, that “chroming” looks like nothing else than the pattern on an iron wheel cover or mud flap on an 18-wheeler tractor.

  • TJ | July 5, 2006 at 8:02 pm |

    I may be one of the few non-Penn State fans, and only 21 year old, that absolutly loves thier Uni’s. I mean very plain and simple. The colors contrast well and they look great. I hate Oregons. Anyone who would go there to play just because of those god awfull ugly ass things needs a labotamy. I am a student and fan of Oklahoma state. We are changing our uni’s to some stupid Nike design. It will have that ugly bra strap in black on the orange jersey. Last year we had Orange with white numbers and black trim. No names kind of an odd font, but they looked good. These new ones are just ugly but better than Oregons.

  • Dave | August 31, 2006 at 6:22 pm |

    Interesting column. I’m just happy to be a Penn State alum with a football team that celebrates tradition in its uniforms and has recognition across the nation for it.

    Anyway, here’s a link y’all might enjoy:
    Link Namehttp://www.nationalc...

    Some interesting catalogues of helmets through the years.

  • Ryan | August 31, 2006 at 9:12 pm |

    Coming from an Oregon Alumni, most individuals appreciate the different uniforms. Yes most Oregon fans think they look ugly, but if our playing can’t get the attention of the east coast fans, then how else do you get their attention.

    As for Nike owning UO, your right. They are our largest donor. We have a brand new Knight Law School and Knight Library. Absolute beautiful buildings. Also don’t forget where Nike started. If it wasn’t for Oregon’s track program Nike would have never existed. Oregon was blessed with ugly colors, and personally I think these uniforms are much better than those of the mid 90’s!

  • Aaron | August 31, 2006 at 10:38 pm |

    Oregon needs to know how to say no to Nike and no to the players and stick to tradition.

    The simple minded don’t understand, that change and progress are Oregon and Nike’s tradition. The best part about all the people who hate our uniforms, is that true DUCK fans could care less. Half the city of Eugene comes to every home game and is happy knowing that our colors inspire such a love-hate dichotomy. Hey, it’s been us against the rest of college football since I can remember. Happy to keep pissing you off!

    GO DUCKS!

  • Erik | August 31, 2006 at 10:51 pm |

    100+ comments here, an entire story on them at ESPN and full on coverage around the PAC-10 schools…who cares what the uniforms actually look like. This is marketing at it’s best.

    Everyone now knows about the Ducks.

    Just like last year…

  • Aaron | August 31, 2006 at 10:53 pm |

    Allright, allright. I think it’s pretty clear whats going on here…

    The DUCKS are the best. Your team stinks. Oregon State and the Washington Huskies suck. Quit complaining about our uniforms and go back to wishing your team was still winning like it was back when your current jerseys were new.

    Oh, and why won’t your team come to Autzen Stadium?

    Oh my MIGHTY OREGON!!!

  • Jordan | August 31, 2006 at 11:39 pm |

    These uniforms are freakin awesome…who wants to have the same style uniforms as always for the next 50 years?! Oregon is the first school to push the limit on design and go against the norm. Great design nuff said.

  • nick | September 1, 2006 at 12:55 am |

    this garbage just continues an alarming trend in sports, especially football towards arena league/wnba unis. it seems like theres always some kind of goal behind them, like trying to embody progressiveness, boldness, whatever, how bout not looking like an idiot that should be priority #1 IMO. I love how the players are supposed to come out feeling like “gladiators” with the word “DUCKS” across the front – to me that was the clincher. at least oregon has always looked ridiculous and they arent ruining an already classic uni like they did in the NFL with the falcons, cardinals, and now the vikings. and im not some chrotchity old timer sitting on my portch cussing out passing teenagers, im 19 and i can tell this crap is getting out of hand.

  • Zubin Mehta | September 1, 2006 at 1:37 am |

    Wow, I would like to thank Oregon for making the greatest uniforms I have ever seen.

    I like to see boldness, uniqueness in uniforms. I mean, these are great. Three helmets? I think all teams should go to multiple helmets. I think I might become an Oregon fan just for their great uni’s year after year.

    (Note: This post is not at all sarcastic)

  • marty casado | September 1, 2006 at 1:46 am |

    I’ve lived in Oregon for a long time, and we love our forests, beaches, mountains, and our innovative uniforms.

  • robbie | September 1, 2006 at 2:07 am |

    Some schools have football tradition, some have great weather, and others have lots of generous boosters. Oregon takes advantage of being innovative in its marketing, locker rooms, and Oh yes, uniforms. Don’t like them, Oregon does’t care. Oregon will always be an underdog in the sports world and the Ducks have to do what it takes to get noticed. Oregon has had great teams over the past 10 years but still no respect.

  • jt | September 1, 2006 at 2:27 am |

    I think the idiots are the ones writing the comments at the top of this page. The only reason the Duck uniforms are getting so much flack is because 1. People are jealous. 2. The uniforms look better on the players than the ones buying the jerseys from the store. (if it’s a Duck fan). 3. Are bord and having nothing better to do than write about the uniform trends. Oh, and if people don’t want push innovation, maybe all the other colleges should remove their practive gyms, NEW workout equipment, and stadium remodels.

  • jt | September 1, 2006 at 2:31 am |

    Oh ya, and least the Duck’s uniforms don’t look like USC’s Ronald McDonald outfits.

  • Matt Sillaman | September 1, 2006 at 3:20 am |

    I think they look awesome! and anyone who doesn’t like em’ can go to hell, your just jealous. Oregon never gets enough credit

  • Scott | September 1, 2006 at 3:50 am |

    As I was in the student section during the Civil War game, watching my boys come onto the field with their new jerseys, I was astounded at how proud they were to be wearing the best jerseys in the world. They played like it, too. They KILLED Oregon State that night.

    As a Sports Business major at the University of Oregon, I know a lot about the direction of which our AD and Nike is choosing to take our school. With amazing ideas like purchasing/creating Joey Harrington billboards to put on the sides of buildings in Time Square, the school has chosen to be the most innovative. That offends a lot of schools because they are founded on tradition. We’re just not. We’re founded on innovation. The Cassanova Center is the nicest locker room/sporting facility in the nation. Autzen Stadium is the loudest football stadium in the country. Hayward Field’s tradition is greater than any program in the country. At Oregon, we know how to go big.

    In a couple months, we will break ground on our new basketball arena to replace MacArthur Court (one of the oldest arenas in the country … there’s some TRADITION). The new arena will be estimated to cost around $140ish million dollars. Talk about going big. It’s the biggest, most plush arena. All because we are going to get the recruits.

    Oregon’s football team looks amazing. The only people that don’t like our uniforms are the people we play against. Oregon is dangerous on the field. You don’t get a #7 ranking for being a push-over team. Phil Knight, I applaud you. Mike Belotti, your numbers are a new idea, I applaud you. To the Oregon FB team: KICK SOME STANFORD HEINEY ON SATURDAY in your B-A uniforms. YELL-O. GO DUCKS!

  • Joe | September 1, 2006 at 5:31 am |

    Chiming in as an Oregon student, I can say that, to put it bluntly, the only people who matter as far as critics to our uniforms are the students, alumni, faculty, and fans of the Ducks.

    That’s all. If you wouldn’t even give us the time of day outside of the uniform, then you need not apply anyway.

    You know what? Knight’s boostership of Oregon isn’t entirely harmful. Yes, we have to put up with crap, but the tradeoff is a renovated library, law school, football stadium that is ranked among the best in the nation, non-sport scholarships, and recognition.

    Think about it. The University of Oregon has been to 13 bowls since 1989. 13 in 16 years. That’s only one less than Notre Dame. But do we get ANY recognition? Of course not. Thanks to the rampant media bias, the Ducks are shelved in the eternal “flash in the pan” drawer, while upstarts like Fresno State are welcomed like the coming of a new Michigan.

    Two of our bowls include a defeat of Texas in 2000 followed by a drubbing of Colorado in a 2001 season that most people with a brain admit our title shot against Miami was stolen by Nebraska’s aura.

    If we have to put up with these uniforms to even get us a mention in the “WTF?” file of national media, then I say great! Without the uniforms, nobody would give a crap about us anyway! If somoene like Nebraska leaves the polls, people have a heart attack, but if the Ducks make it to the top 10 (gasp! Heaven forbid!), nobody bats an eyelash.

    Hell, I bet we’re not even going to get a half-hearted mention of how good the Ducks can be when we kick Oklahoma’s butt on the 16th. I’ll be there, will you?

    Go MIGHTY OREGON!

  • Gabe | September 1, 2006 at 9:50 am |

    I find it funny that every “journalist” writes how ugly the uniforms are, and then you see variations of them all over the nfl. It’s just like street fashion. You go to the show and say “what the hell are they wearing” simply because they are wearing something that nobody else is…yet. That’s the key. The Duck uniforms set the trend for the more subtle designs of other teams.

    I don’t think they’re perfect, but I’m tired of hearing how hideous they are. It’s just become vogue to bash the ducks. Go ahead “journalists” stand up, be your own person and admit the uniforms can be cool.

  • Christina | September 1, 2006 at 11:02 am |

    I spent my undergrad years at Oregon and always attended games. After the uniforms changed AND the introduction of that stupid futuristic-looking duck mascot, I became more than a little embarrassed for the school. They want to be taken so seriously and are always bitching about the bias that prevents them from BCS games and all that, but then they don’t look professional on the field. They are dressed like morons.

    I now attend Notre Dame for grad school and cannot help but be awed at the classic and proud design of our team’s uniforms.

    Brady Quinn for Heisman!

  • Smitty | September 1, 2006 at 11:13 am |

    Division I has 119 teams, and none of the 118 could generate this much banter about their uniforms.

    Since 1999, Oregon has agreed to to have Nike re-design its uniforms every three or four years, so those of you that think they’re a “travesty” will probably only have to wait ’til 2009 or so.

    I love ‘em.

  • Dustin | September 1, 2006 at 12:17 pm |

    [quote comment=”7308″]I spent my undergrad years at Oregon and always attended games. After the uniforms changed AND the introduction of that stupid futuristic-looking duck mascot, I became more than a little embarrassed for the school. They want to be taken so seriously and are always bitching about the bias that prevents them from BCS games and all that, but then they don’t look professional on the field. They are dressed like morons.

    I now attend Notre Dame for grad school and cannot help but be awed at the classic and proud design of our team’s uniforms.

    Brady Quinn for Heisman![/quote]

    Christina,

    We at the U of O couldn’t be happier to have you off campus. As a clear sports bigamist of the worst kind (Notre Dame), it’s not suprising you didn’t fit in as a Duck. Good luck trying to fool the South Bend faithful into thinking that you’re a lifelong domer.

  • devon | September 1, 2006 at 12:17 pm |

    It is truly amazing for me to hear so many people bashing the Ducks uniforms. I am a former college football player and a current teacher in my twenties (SO I AM NOT STUPID), so I have a somewhat unique perspective about a football players view in regards to uniforms and tradition. When I was in college and we saw those uniforms we were somewhat jealous and envious of Oregon players. The fact that they had multiple uniforms and they were all interchangeable is a players DREAM. Players like to look different and we love to have the ability to look different from week to week. I’ve heard many people talk about tradition, and how they absolutely love the Penn State or Michigan look. Let me let all of you in on a little secret with how the players not the boosters, but the people being exploited view that stuff. THEY HATE IT!!! I guarantee that if you could speak to some PSU players and concealed their identities they would love to have blue pants also. Or ask a Michigan player if they would like to wear gold on gold most of them would say yes. The bottom line is that players simply like to look different, that’s why XBOX 360 users envy PS 2 users because on Madden 2007 we can’t play with the throw-back uniforms, and we all can’t wait until they are available to download them. However, before I leave I want everyone to think about this. If you are an 18 year-old senior high school player, and you are being recruited by multiply schools and Oregon is one of them. Various coaches come to your home trying to sell their program to you and your family. For the sake of time we will use Oregon, PSU, and Michigan. Now for the most part the conferences are about equal with the PAC-10 winning 3 out of 4 of the past National Titles. PSU and Michigan can offer you the athlete tradition over Oregon. However, the Oregon coach can offer you unlimited access to state of the art facilities, unlimited access to brand new Nike products that no other school has (Which is huge because kids love Nike), and Multiple uniforms with the possibilities to never repeat which no other school has also, and I almost forgot Phil Knight, Nike founder the pumps millions into the football program. Now my question again to all of you is this WHERE ARE YOU GOING???

  • Kenny G Sax Guy | September 1, 2006 at 12:27 pm |

    Hey Devon….do you think anyone just read your novel?

  • Scott | September 1, 2006 at 12:47 pm |

    Hey “Kenny G Sax Guy” — Don’t be a deusch bag.

  • devon | September 1, 2006 at 1:17 pm |

    Don’t get upset because I played college football, and you were my water boy:)

  • marty casado | September 2, 2006 at 11:45 am |

    I read it, and found it extremely interesting. few who have posted above have his perspective, the one Oregon is worrying about. that of the PLAYERS, not fifty and seventy year old fans (i’m fifty).

    i have heard many players say they LOVE it, they even get to DESIGN them for goodness sakes. thats cool!!!

  • Greg | September 4, 2006 at 5:08 am |

    i have always loved the green helmet with the O on them, the yellow one with the ghosted smoke is fricken awsome!

    i am a fan of the duck’s unis as they are so different, where its starting to become tradition for them to be on a different wavelength from everyone else.

    i remember watching a game of theirs last year where it was raining and there was a lot of mist in the air, and you could still make out the duck’s players from their yellow unis.

  • 4 da dux | September 6, 2006 at 8:59 pm |

    Okay,I think i heard all of evry body’s Negative and Positive’s coments,But let’s face it America is the land of the people who is Very Creative and Bold dont hate our Oregon Ducks And Nike for being different trust me we love our DUCKS. so what if we did not follow the same old Uniforms like your Grandpa wear in his prime and so if we have 4 different Jersey’s and 4 different pant’s and 3 helmets Becouse we want to be different.the PACTEN confirence will never get the respect that we deserve even the Pac is back to back Champins at least we have the coolest JERSEY that all of you haters cant have..

  • Aaron Hill | September 9, 2006 at 12:28 pm |

    I’m assuming that you were joking when you said the quote below. Name 1 athletic clothing company that doesnt cater to the athlete? Nikes slogan a couple of years ago for their Running line was “you’re faster than you think.” People play better when they feel better, and when they’re wearing somthing that they like and feel good in, they’ll play better. If they didnt cater to the athletes everyone would be shopping at American Eagle or whatever other dumb clothing stores you can think of for “Athletic Clothes.”

    “Of course, the larger issue is why Nike would cater exclusively to the athletes when there’s a much larger group of people who have to look at the uniforms…”

  • blake collins | September 16, 2006 at 9:12 pm |

    Tinker Hatfield is a design god.

    He didn’t pick the colors of the U of O.

    So those of you saying the colors are horrid- blame the University for that.

  • Jack Rabbit Slim | September 28, 2006 at 3:06 pm |

    Honestly, I don’t have a problem with all the Oregon jerseys, just the all-yellow ones. They look like an 80’s Day-Glo suit. Scrap those jerseys!!! Other that the jersey itself has a innovative and cutting edge style of its own. I admire that from UNO (enough with the swooshes,already), and i can truly say I wouldnt mind looking at them on a game-day basis. Now as the Sabres (and Vikings)on the other hand….
    NOTE: Every time i see those jerseys, I cry a little, and wish to stab myself in the eye with a safety pin!!!

  • Steve Rounds | November 2, 2006 at 1:50 pm |

    You mean to tell me that U. of Oregon has a football team?

  • derek | December 6, 2006 at 4:36 pm |

    Hey does anyone know where you could buy the “electric” yellow jerseys?

  • wasteoftime | December 22, 2006 at 5:53 pm |

    I think all of you who care this much about what a football team is wearing should really take a step back and realize that you are CARING ABOUT WHAT A FOOTBALL TEAM IS WEARING. Christ get a life.

  • Michka | January 25, 2007 at 11:36 am |

    I just love how 50 year old announcer / fat middle aged men with no style, taste or design background are making personal taste / judgment comments on Oregon Uniforms (or any team uniform that tries something out of the norm). We don’t need to hear their opinion on the Football style of a certain team because I don’t respect their style (or lack of it) or knowledge of design (because they have none) and maybe we should start critiquing the way they present themselves. They need to stick to announcing the game. Same goes for any of you people writing in here with your opinionated paragraphs about Oregon Uniforms because a majority of you have little or no formal training in Design and most likely have no style.