So despite living in Portland for over 20 years, I'm far from a Nike fan, and seeing how they've changed the way sports uniforms are both designed and made in that time, after seeing what rival Under Armour did to the Maryland Terrapins' unis last night, I can't help but think we've gone a BIT too far.
Remember when the Oregon Ducks has just TWO uniforms? Home's were green and yellow, away's were white and green. Simple, classy, unnasueating. Now the Ducks have 250,000 uniform combinations at their disposal, and next year, when Nike changes them all over again, they'll have pommegranate and puce in them too!
Now I understand that college football is a big, monopolistic business which cares nothing for its fan base anymore, and I'm not a "purist" either. But I just have one simple question...
What is wrong with the Oregon throwback jerseys is that they look like pop warner uniforms. They don't fit right, they are sickeningly plain, and they don't use a very good shade of green and yellow. I think the modern thunder green and lightning yellow add some cache and it removes the childish look from the uniform. Now with regards to Maryland's uniform, I will say that a bad idea is a bad idea no matter how you slice it. That uniform was destined to fail. Oregon is also guilty of having a bad look from time to time (2009 game against Utah), but it isn't "unclassy" to have more than a solid green jersey and uni-color pants. Football is a technological game and it is garnering more new fans than any other sport, so fans should expect that the look of football is going to push forward to the future. This whole movement of bashing new uniforms is pure bullshit. This is a case of old timers creating archaic and baseless rules as to what is "classy" and wishing to have some visual memento of a time when they were younger. It's not that the uniforms of new are "unclassy", it's just that the sport has moved on from the look that YOU grew up with, and you can't get over it. Every time a football team like the Bills reverts to its look from the 60's it is heralded as "a classy uniform change. They now look like one of the league's best". No they don't. They look like what YOU grew up watching, not like the league's best. Some of these retro uniforms look terrible. Don't sit there and tell me that the Buccaneers did not look like a bunch of cream sickles for thirty-some years. Now they have brought that look back and it's fucking horrifying to have to watch. This new wave of uniforms that do not exactly reflect the times of old is how things are supposed to be. The game of football is supposed to move forward in time and push the aesthetic envelope. You don't see people saying that football should be played in long sleeves with leather helmets anymore. Why? Because the game has moved on from that look. One day, the steel-winged Oregon uniforms will be old and dead, and I might be sad because that is the iconography I associate with U of O football, but that is exactly how it is supposed to be.