My Eyes! Oregon’s Funky New Uniforms Are Here

Welcome to the University of Oregon, where a Nike designer’s feverish, drug-induced night terrors become the school’s football uniforms every two-to-four years. Only in Eugene will a press conference to trot out new football unis be big news. Well, here they are — I hope you’re wearing the sunglasses we’ve provided for this post.

My favorite part of the school’s press release is right here: “[The uniforms have] improved ergonomics and ventilation characteristics, and feature laminate numbering that does not soak up any moisture and has an 85-percent weight differential compared to traditional tackle twill.”

So they’ve got that going for them.

More press release goodness:

Nike designers have made advancements from Oregon’s last update in 2006, which featured uniforms that were more durable and 28-percent lighter than the previous generation. Laminate anti-abrasion shoulder reinforcement, in the form of wings, takes the place of “diamond plate” on the current jersey, a 200-percent savings in weight differential between materials. A lighter weight fabric has also been introduced for non-critical panels, trimming the weight from 7.46 ounces down to 5.5 as 75-percent of the panels from last year’s jersey have been replaced.

Additional improvements include titanium d-rings on belts and the integration of Nike Pro Combat pads, eliminating pocket bags and structures that accommodate various aftermarket pads. The benefit of the latter is streamlined pads and added protection. Total weight savings over the previous model is estimated at 25 percent.

Here’s one of the helmets. If you stare at it and relax your eyes you can see a clipper ship.

UNIWATCH BLOG has further analysis:

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).

Actually it’s all an improvement over this. So don’t bother me with this again until Oregon comes up with the first 3D uniform, and begin playing their home games in the IMAX format.