So guess what: I kinda like them.
I mean, I don’t like them the way I like USC’s uni set, or Michigan’s. But it’s sooooo much better than what they’ve worn for the past few years. Like it or not (and I’m in the “not” camp myself), Oregon is its own aesthetic category these days, and this is the best look that the category has come up with so far.
Would it be nice if they stuck to one helmet? Yes. Is it nuts for any team to have two different white jerseys? Yes. Did I crack up during the press conference when Nike’s Todd Van Horne boasted that the little D-rings on the belt are now made of titanium and are therefore 50% lighter? Yes. Is the center stripe on the texture-patterned helmet totally silly? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.
But let’s count the positives:
• The wings are a huge improvement over the diamondplate. In fact, if the wings had been used back in the 1940s by the Eagles or any other bird-named team, we’d all think it was a classic design and wish someone would resurrect it.
• No more yellow helmet.
• No more yellow pants.
• No more vertical “Oregon” wordmark on the thighs.
• Number font has been improved (although it still has a long way to go).
• I think this look is great — vintage Oakland Raiders! You say these colors have nothing to do with Oregon or its heritage? Dude, this football program hasn’t had anything to do with Oregon’s heritage in a long time. Just dig the look and be glad it doesn’t have a cape or something.
• Look at this photo. Now put your hand over the yellow-jerseyed guy on the far right, and try to forget that this team has worn a bunch of bad superhero costumes for the past few years. Just look at the other four guys and be honest. Not so bad, right?
No, not bad at all.
Two points that you might have missed unless you were watching the press conference: First, although it’s not shown in any of the official photos, the set does include a white set of pants. Yes, this just adds to the mix-and-match nonsense, but it’s hard to argue with white pants. And second, you may have noticed that the gray helmet had a pale-gray logo decal on one side and yellow on the other. They will not be worn at the same time; the idea is that they can switch decals depending on which jersey the helmet is paired with. And one thing I missed myself until I saw this photo: The gray pants apparently have a white stripe.
Oh, and I realize Nike and Oregon aren’t using the word “gray,” but I refuse to go along with any of their comic book color names, and I hope nobody else will either, at least on this site. Look, no matter what they call it, it’s green, yellow, gray, and black, the end. Don’t believe me? Just ask Mrs. Blandings’s painter.
As for all the “lighter, faster, dryer” performance points, nobody cares. Wake me when there’s a new uni set that doesn’t make all these claims. Until then, it’s dog bites man.
Anyway, I’m more interested in how it looks. And although I didn’t expect to be saying this, some of it looks stupid, but a lot more of it looks good. Who’da thunk?
Raffle/Redemske Reminder: Many thanks to those of you who’ve donated to the Bryan Redemske Relief Fund while entering the Wilco ticket raffle. For those of you who don’t know what I’m referring to, please look here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Check this out: Barbie foosball (with thanks to Ryan Connelly). … Remember all those charts from yesterday’s post? There’s an interview with the guy who designed all of them here (with thanks to Jennifer Muller). … And here’s an even better chart, but someone else. Further info here (with thanks to longtime Uni Watch pal Rob Walker, whose Murketing blog remains essential reading). … High school teams can’t sell ad space on their uniforms, but they could do so on warm-ups and practice gear (with thanks to Jason Hillyer). … Jeff Provo has a pet peeve: “In 1994, the Raiders wore a throwback uniform with a white helmet shield, which was supposed to represent the 1963 helmet. This has since perpetuated into every single using a white shield to represent the 1963 uniform. But the shield used in 1963 was not white. It was un-filled, and thus silver. Please help stop the spread of the white shield myth.” Consider it done. Happily, they appear to have gotten it right for the upcoming AFL throwbacks. … Thirty years ago, a Westbury, Long Island catcher named Tom Donohue had a cup of coffee with the Angels. “When the Angels came to Yankee stadium in June of that year, the town of Westbury announced ‘Tom Donohue Day’ and actually had it recognized on the Yankee Stadium field before the game,” writes Donohue’s nephew and Uni Watch reader Bryan Molloy. “But Angels manager Jim Fregosi, with probably half the town of Westbury in attendance, benched him the entire game. My dad still curses the mention of Fergosi to this day.” So last weekend, Molloy and a bunch of his relatives decided to throw a surprise party to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Tom Donohue Day. “I’m a graphic designer,” says Molloy, “so I wanted to treat it as if Tom Donohue was a superstar player (he was to us). I tried to come up with something that would be a fitting design if a MLB team was honoring one of their best players. The next thing I knew we were not just getting T-shirts, but ice cream helmets, jersey patches, a giant banner, giant cardboard cut outs of my uncle from his minor league days, and more.” Very nice — you can see photos from the event here. … The 76ers have officially gone back to their classic logo. According to a team source, “Uniforms will be announced at a later date, but will be an updated interpretation of the Hardwood Classics uniforms,” which is consistent with what I’ve seen and heard from other quarters. … Here’s the annual Roger Federer Wimbledon/fashion article (with thanks to Stephen Wong). … Darren Rovell called me yesterday to let me know he’d just written a CNBC scoop about Sammy Sosa’s elasticized sleeve cuffs. He seemed a bit disappointed when I told him I’d written about that many times over the years. I also don’t agree with his analysis that Sosa was trying to make his biceps look bigger, but hey, that’s just me. … Anyone know what logo is on Tom Brady’s cap? (As spotted by Matt Englander.) … There used to be a watchmaker’s school in Elgin, Illinois. And their basketball team was called, of course, the Watch Makers (with thanks to Jonee Eisen). … Second photo in this slideshow shows Wilt wearing No. 16. What’s the deal with that? (With thanks to Shawn Bleiler.) … Brutal Tiger Stadium demolition photos here (with thanks to Ethan Shull). … Reader Will Horowitz tipped me wise to golfer Anna Rawson, who has some interesting ideas about golfwear. … The Jets are the latest NFL team to opt for ads on their practice jerseys (with thanks to Brooks Simpson). … Nice story from Jonathan Backstrom, who writes: “I recently got married on June 13th, and we were able to get Carl Beane, the voice of the Red Sox, to announce our wedding party at the reception. He ended up bringing his two World Series rings with him for guests to take photos with. Our uni numbers alluded to the date of the wedding.” … Doug Keklak notes that Pirates pitching coach Joe Kerrigan was wearing the wrong cap last night. … Corporate naming rights aren’t just for stadiums anymore. The subway station in question is eight blocks from my house. As Brad Thomas suggests, I might need to make an “I’m Calling It Pacific St.” shirt. … Here are the shirts that the Reds gave out at the Civil Rights Game. “They were shirts, not vests, had the sponsor logo on the right sleeve, used black instead of navy blue, and the nameplate was one-color black instead of red with navy blue border,” gripes Mike Miller. On the plus side, the scoreboard featured old logos. Look closely and you can see that old Comiskey in the background of that shot. Meanwhile, you may know that Bill Cosby donned a Homestead Grays uni for the pregame festivities, but did you know he didn’t wear shoes? “He said the groundskeeper told him he would kill him if he did any damage to the field wearing spikes,” says Mike. And one final detail: “The White Sox coaching staff didn’t have navy shirts to wear under their jerseys, they wore their normal black instead.” … New Bundesliga jerseys here (with thanks to A.J. Zydzik).