It's midnight Eastern time, and I don't have time to post in the morning. So you get it now.
I haven't written anything about uniforms in a while, so after the jump is my take on the new digs, a uniform season-in-review, and a look ahead to 2010. For those of you anxious for axemen23's Tako Tuesday, I pushed it back to next week because I'm power-hungry and selfish. Deal with it.
I'm gonna modify ESPN uni guru Paul Lukas' mantra of "Is it good or is it stupid?" for my analysis. I'm more partial to "Helping or Hurting?" myself. First up, the big changes.
Diamond plating never made sense to me. Are we appealing to the truck driver demographic? Are we saying that we're not going to slip when we take the field? This was arguably the dumbest part of the Dixon-era uniform set. I mean, it looked cool I guess. And it made sense in that Nike was saying the shoulders were reinforced. But for the overall branding of the university, it never made sense. This brings us to wings. Ducks have wings. Ducks use wings to fly. Ducks with wings fly down the field and score touchdowns. There's metaphors, there's imagery, and yet it's so damn literal! Amazing! And it might just be me, but I look at the wings and kinda see those crazy crescent moon dagger things from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Regardless of whether or not you like the way it looks, you've gotta admit it's HELPING.
Let's take a moment of silence for the yellow pants. I liked them, I will miss them. They gave us my favorite uniform combo of the diamond plating set, they had historic significance, and they were bright and shiny. That being said, I won't miss them too much. The yellow helmet needs no moment of silence. Good riddance to that stupid thing. Flames? Bad idea. Grellow paint? Bad idea. Just a flat yellow with no frills, or the pearl treatment like with the greens would've been great. I have no good memories featuring the yellow helmets. Let's hope they were recyclable. An enthusiastic HELPING to this one as well. Note: this is dealing with the new set only. Throwbacks below.
In the most surprising move, the white/ it's called steel, don't call it gray uniform was introduced. Speaking purely on aesthetics, I like it. To me, it looks like something you'd create as an alt in NCAA 10 if you were a diehard Raiders fan. And being a baseball guy, gray (steel) looks like a road uniform to me. Does it look cool? Yes. Does it make sense? Of course not. Where is there green or yellow anywhere in that uniform? Is it necessary? Of course not! We've already got a great looking away uniform! While I think the uniform itself looks fantastic, I've got to give it a strenuous HURTING.
Outstanding. It's the yellow helmet we've always wanted, the yellow pants we always loved, and a simple jersey design that everyone over 40 can't grumble about. The Civil War edition of the uniforms looked great too. It'll be interesting to see if/how we use these next season. The yellow helmet doesn't match the yellow in the Wings uniforms, so we won't see a mixing of genres. I'd love to see it as a once-a-season kind of thing. If the set disappears, I'll be sad, but excited to see new wings combos, and what Nike's got on tap for a new gimmick. I want these. HELPING. SO MUCH HELPING. LIKE, DEVOTING YOUR LIFE TO VOLUNTEER WORK, HELPING.
A Look Back
In my Big Giant Uniform Post last April, I gave a series of recommendations for what the Ducks should wear to propel them to an undefeated season. Naturally, it was rendered moot by the release of the New Style. Let's see how I did anyway.
Boise State - Guess: Stormtroopers. I'll take some blame here. I was spot on with what we'd wear, and we stunk up the joint.
Purdue - Guess: All Greens. 2 for 2! It wasn't the blowout like I expected, but a win's a win.
Utah - Guess: Green-Yellow-Green. Okay, well this wasn't even close. But who would have predicted White-Green-Steel? Nobody but Casey Martin, evidently. It's important to note, I hated this the day of the game. Four months later? I'm starting to like it. If the O on the helmet is gray, with a single green helmet stripe, it'd be the rug from Big Lebowski - really tying everything together.
Cal - Guess: Green-Black-Black. Damn you throwbacks! The green facemasks might be my favorite part. Sure, it doesn't quite match the other greens, but it pops, and doesn't look out of place.
WSU - Guess: Green-Green-Yellow. Bumblebees! Wheeeee! Now, I like the way these look. That being said, I love green. That's all I'll say on that.
UCLA - Guess: Green-White-White. Close, but no cigar. My Stanford and UCLA picks are backwards. Would things have turned out differently if our defense shut down Touchdown Toby? Could Nate Costa have kept up with a couple more UCLA scores? Does our fate change if we beat Stanford, or do we still end up in the Rose Bowl? Personally, I think all white would have been a cool contrast against the blue-gold of the Bruins. Meh, we won, who cares.
Washington - Guess: White-White-Black. Almost nailed this one! Happy I Hate Washington Day everybody!
USC - Guess: Green-Black-Yellow. Here's what I wrote originally:
I'm torn on this one. IMO, the two choices are Green-Green-Black, which should produce around 500 yards of offense and a game that comes down to the final minute, or Green-Black-Yellow, which will produce exactly 35 points. Will 35 points be enough to beat the Trojans at home? The last time the Trojans came into Autzen with a first-year starter at QB to face an Oregon team ranked in the top 10 (which we will be if we're undefeated to this point), they only scored 17. 35 should work nicely then. Green-Black-Yellow it is.
Since the yellow pants weren't a part of the new set, I think I get to defer back to my other choice. And guess who NAILED IT!
Stanford - Guess: Green-White-Green. Here's why I think my choice would have been better. Stanford also wears white pants, and I've always enjoyed the white jersey-colored pants vs. colored jersey-white pants contrast. We went all white, and you couldn't tell Stanford legs from Oregon legs. It would've been nice to know which legs were Toby Gerhart's.
ASU - Guess: Blackout. Mmmmm, the kid is HOT! That makes four NAILED ITs, and three almosts. Just wanted to point that out.
Arizona - Guess: Green-White-White. What a bold move by Casey Martin. If I had known we were in the Dixonpocalypse unis, I would have been way more nervous while I was booing the hell out of Tiger Woods at Stanfurd Stadium. We exorcised those demons in particularly dramatic fashion. Great game.
Civil War - Guess: Yellow-out. Well clearly I wasn't close. But the Throwbacks 2.0 looked great, and we won the Pac-10 and clinched a Rose Bowl berth. I can't complain.
Rose Bowl - Guess: Green-Black-Black. It might be because we lost the game, but I wasn't a fan of this combo. There isn't enough white in the jersey to tie it to all the white everywhere else. Oh well.
OK, let's gameplan for 2010. A couple things to think about. We didn't repeat a combination in 2009, but didn't repeat a home combination in 2006, the first year of the diamond-plate unis. We only repeated on the road because we only had one helmet and one jersey. Once 2007 rolled around, we started repeating. So I say yes, we'll see some of the same. I'm not omniscient enough to predict throwbacks, so I'm just going to stick with the wings. Here's a link to the OregonLive uniform creator, to get an idea of what everything looks like. Note: the black jersey has yellow number trim, not silver. So imagine that.
New Mexico - Call me old fashioned, but I think we should start every home season with the All Greens. We've done it the last four years. I don't see that changing.
@Tennessee - The Vols wear white helmets, orange jerseys and white pants at home. I think we should contrast that by going Green-White-Green, or Black-White-Black. But we love showing off the stormtrooper unis, so it's definitely in play. My vote is for Green-White-Green.
Portland State - The second home game provides an opportunity to contrast the all greens, and take a chance. I think we see something new here. My vote? Go with the Oakland Raiders-esque combo of Black-Black-Steel. Cut me off a big slice of that Awesome Cake, 'cuz that's gonna be tasty.
@Arizona State - The last time we were there was the infamous Banana Split game. Bill Lumbergh, wanna help me out on this one?
Yeeeeeah, I'm gonna have you not wear that again. You see, we're trying to not get made fun of by the national media. So how about you wear something different this time. Ok? Greeeeat...
Thanks Bill! I like the Stormtroopers for this one. ASU goes all color at home, and the all white looks wicked cool amidst all that maroon and gold. If not, I like the black pants as a contrast to ASU's gold, with either the green or black lids. But I'll go Stormtroopers here.
Stanford - I like Green-Green-Black here. It's a revenge game, and what better way to throttle the Cardinal than by wearing what we wore to throttle USC in 2009?
@WSU - I like a new combo here too. I'm going with White-White/Carbon-Steel. I don't think we break out the carbon lids in Pullman (more on those later), but I can't see us duplicating anything from last year.
UCLA - We wore white pants as the home team twice last year, our last two games of the season. My guess is Casey Martin really likes the look, and we'll see it again here when the Ducks run out in Green-Green-White.
@USC - Another USC clash on Halloween weekend. I say we go with Black-White/Carbon-Black, the Washington '09 combo.
Washington - Arrrrr mateys! Here be the Blackout game!
@Cal - Maybe the marquee game of the Pac-10 season, if Kevin Riley can get his act together. We haven't gone Green-White-White yet, but remember our first road game of November last year? There's a stigma. I propose White-White-Green instead. Reverse the colors, reverse the "November road game in the Bay Area" mojo.
We haven't beaten the WIldcats I know we lost to the WIldcats at home in 2006, when we went Green-Black-Green. And although the black jersey is completely devoid of green (my biggest gripe with the black jersey), I think this combo would still look sharp.
@Oregon State - After two years of anticipation, they're here. After a quick and easy proposal to the NCAA goes through without a hitch, the Ducks trot out onto Reser Stadium in Carbon-Yellow-Steel. The VD Special pees himself, completely overcome with emotion.
Bowl Game - Keep it simple Ducks. All Greens, or Green-White-White. Let the play speak for itself.
Keg Stickers this week go out to benzduck - because I've really enjoyed his writing and hope he keeps it up, axemen23 - for taking the abuse we've been giving him and not getting all butthurt about it, Gorby and Matt Daddy - for writing terrific Tako Tuesdays, and AllSaintsDay - because the city of New Orleans is probably about to run out of beer.
Addicted to Quack
Keg icon via www.beerguide.com.au
Topics for discussion: What uniform combos do you want to see next year that I didn't mention? What throwback should be next? What should never be attempted? How funny are those OSU sports bra unis still?