FINAL FOUR, GAME 1: 2014 These Ones Go To Eleven vs. 2011 How Could We Lose When We Look This Awesome?
This is the most intriguing matchup of maybe the entire bracket for me. Throwback Nike vs. Nouveau Nike. School Colors vs. Neutral Colors. Beating The Crap Out Of Washington vs. Not Beating The Crap Out Of Washington. That last one is really how we should choose public officials as well as uniforms, now that I think of it.
TO THE MODELING RUNWAY!
2014 These Ones Go To Eleven
Photo credit: Steve Dykes
Time: October 18, 2014.
Result: Oregon 45, Washington 20.
Bracket victims: Sweet Jesus These Things Are Ugly, Stop Me If You've Seen This One Before, Chimera, Badasses Wear Yellow.
Laundry: The second Final Four entrant worn in a victory over Washington. Oh, I'm so sure that has nothing to do with this at all. Though it really wouldn't have mattered who we beat wearing this. We'd still look incredible. You'll also notice a distinct Heisman vibe in the photos I've chosen for the Final Four so far. I just want to keep looking at Marcus in an Oregon uniform forever and keep him for my own little bunny rabbit and I will hug him and pet him and squeeze him and I will name him George. Sigh.
So, yes, the uniform. This was the Disney Duck's first appearance on the UO uniform since the 1995-1996 season, and of course specifically throws back to 1994's set worn for Kenny Wheaton's pick and eventual Rose Bowl berth. It's the prime example of how a uniform really can be more than just laundry. So many memories are wrapped up in this one for us. But beyond that, it really is just a solid uniform: hat matches pants. Two tones only, a few flashes of white. Honestly, it translates just fine to today's era of uniform craziness that we in fact spawned.
It also bears mentioning that Washington tried that kind of inspiration on their own uniforms that night, with the number font's top left corner being colored gold, to imply they were Kings of The Northwest. Which I suppose they were before, oh, say, 1994.
2011 How Could We Lose When We Look This Awesome?
Photo credit: Ronald Martinez
Time: September 3, 2011.
Result: LSU 40, Oregon 27.
Bracket victims: Bitchin' Camo, Olive Drabs, Blackout, Bumbling Bees.
Laundry: I loved this uniform so much at the time. I bought the jersey for my trip to the NCG. I still wear it for some gamedays. And...I voted against it the last two rounds. So I'm kind of surprised it made it all the way to the Final Four, but here it is.
It must've been the numerological football gods smiling on Darron Thomas, because this completes a Final Four including one uniform from each of the last four years. In other notable weirdness, each Final Four matchup is a season opener vs. a Washington game.
The uniform itself, of course, is two completely fabricated Nike colors called Anthracite and Volt. Now if it got right down to it, I wouldn't mind having Anthracite and Volt as our school colors. And I'm no curmudgeonly traditionalist, either: I am decidedly in favor of our uniform innovations, for a lot of reasons. But this uniform still doesn't have green or yellow, it still conjures up memories of Cliff Harris being suspended, Kenjon Barner returning punts in his place and getting stripped by the Honey Badger. Not to mention debutante DAT fumbling on consecutive touches when we still could've made a game out of it.
In brief: it is the uniform that best encapsulates the ESS EEE CEE narrative and why we loathe it so much.
Are you voting against it yet? OK, remember the great things about this uniform: Even if you don't like volt, we look like badass space warriors from the future. Look at the flair pieces: the uni number on the undershirt? Awesome. Win The Day ringing the ankles in Volt? Awesome. Reflective wings also in anthracite? Awesome. On its own merits, it might truly be the best looking uniform we've ever worn.
Is that enough, though? This bracket has been a psychology experiment as much as anything. We'll see how much our precious memories mean.
Lastly, here's the link to the Google Sheet of the bracket, for those of you who want to check on the latest tallies, or simply reminisce about all the time we've wasted on this over the past month.
POLL WILL CLOSE NOVEMBER 22, 2014.