The Tako Tuesdays Uniform Index: "Wings"

Origin story!

I got my start at Addicted to Quack with a labor of love. Growing up, I was a baseball player, and the baseball community is notoriously superstitious: rally caps, not talking to a pitcher during a no-hit bid, or wearing the certain uniform components that made you a better player. It was this last quirk that drew me to the subject of Oregon football, and the myriad of uniforms they wear. After much box score digging, and a whirlwind trip through the Google Images wringer, Takimoto's Big Giant Uniform Post was born. That baby got me a vote of approval from Peter Bean. That's right, Peter Effing Bean. Like a boss.

Three years later, Oregon football is on the cusp of another major uniform overhaul. All signs point to a new uniform set that closely resembles the 2012 Rose Bowl uniforms, signaling the end of the Wings Era. For the record, I don't think Oregon can do much better than the wings. The design was clean, versatile, and iconic; it swept away the puzzling-in-hindsight diamond plate set, and was a part of three BCS bowls and three Pac-10/12 championships. If it were up to me, we'd wear the wings for the next fifty years, and it would eventually join the likes of Michigan's helmet, Penn State's all whites, the numbers on Alabama's helmets, and Notre Dame's golden domes as college football's timeless designs. But that doesn't make Nike as much money selling all new merch. And as Swoosh Empire's flagship, Oregon is locked into the role of guinea pig. It's extremely beneficial to the program, but the loss of the wings unis is nonetheless a casualty.

Let's start from the beginning:

The Debut: November 15th, 2008, vs. Arizona.

Oregon broke out the wings for the first time with a blackout under the lights at Autzen, and jumped all over the Arizona WIldcats. Jeremiah Masoli broke a 66 yard touchdown drive on the opening drive, and Patrick Chung pick-six'd Willie Tuitama on the Wildcats' first possession. The score was 45-17 Oregon at halftime, with the Ducks holding off a furious fourth-quarter comeback by Arizona for a 55-45 win. Masoli began his best stretch as Oregon's signal caller, completing 21 of 26 passes for 298 yards and two touchdowns, and rushing for another three scores. Oregon carried the momentum into the next week in Corvallis, where they ran up 65 points and almost 700 yards of offense in dashing the Beavers' Rose Bowl hopes. /giggles

Let's take a look at each winged combination, in the order they were first used, and how the Ducks performed in each uniform. The combos will be listed Helmet-Jersey-Pants.


  • Utah 2009 - W 31-24: LaMichael's first 100 yard game, Masoli 4-16 passing, Walter Thurmond punt return TD

  • USC 2009 - W 47-20: most yards gained against USC all-time, James and Masoli rush for 150+, scored on every second half possession
  • UCLA 2011 - W 49-31: Ducks pile up 571 yards of offense, 219 of them coming via LMJ
  • New Mexico 2010 - W 72-0: Kenjon Barner 5 touchdowns, Cliff Harris 2 punt return TDs, 59 first half points, 107 offensive yards allowed


In the three year run of the Wings unis, the Ducks never lost while wearing yellow jerseys or green pants. However, the Ducks never wore both at the same time.

The Ducks are also undefeated when wearing steel pants at home, with an average margin of victory of 46.5 points.

When wearing black helmets and black pants, but not a black jersey, Oregon is 5-0, and never scored less than 43 points. Incidentally, they scored EXACTLY 43 points in three of the five games.

The best solution for defensive excellence? The carbon helmets. In seven games wearing the carbon lids, Oregon only allowed an average of 14.7 points per game

Oregon is 12-1 when the helmet is a different color than the pants, and only 5-3 when wearing all black or all white.

Did you realize both of Oregon's losses last year came in the all-blacks (or all-anthrocite)? That came after Oregon averaged over 50 points per game in the all-blacks from 2008-2010.

The bumblebee unis yielded an average final score of 51-15. Dominance, and a palindrome.

LaMichael James is already a mythical beast patrolling my mindchasm. But in taking another look at his stats, his career at Oregon is absolutely mind-boggling. Statistically, he's one of the most prolific running backs ever to play college football. We're spoiled. Don't forget that.


Oregon is almost certainly moving to a new design for the 2012 season. It will undoubtedly contain all the signature components of the Oregon Nike brand: lightweight fabrics, interchangeable pieces in a rainbow of colors, custom shoes that can't be had anywhere else on the planet, and at least one design facet that Duck fans will have trouble embracing at first. Nike will continually push the boundaries of college football apparel, and Oregon will be the first to showcase it. If I had to guess, I think we see the wings on at least one new helmet design, though the O helmet will remain in at green and white, at least five jerseys, and the new number font and shoulder panels from the Rose Bowl unis. That's just one man's moderately educated guess. But no matter what happens this summer, I'll still miss the wings.
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