PORTLAND, Ore. Back in 1998, Oregon and Nike teamed together to tinker with the Ducks' traditional but tired uniforms. Out went emerald green and lemon yellow, in came spruce, mallard and a little something called "lightning."
That was just the start. The gaudy uniform craze that began with Nike co-founder Phil Knight's alma mater has gripped every school from Maryland to Boise State, hitting Notre Dame and Michigan along the way.
Nike is taking over the pros from Reebok with a gala uniform unveiling set for Tuesday in New York City. The design details are a closely guarded secret at the Beaverton-based shoe and apparel maker, but some images there's no way to know if they're real or fake have circulated on the internet.
The biggest changes will likely be in the performance aspect of the uniforms, like newer lightweight fabrics and a sleek silhouette, but a few teams could get the Cinderella treatment.
Nike isn't commenting until the big reveal.
"I think that what we'll see is a subtle homage to the collegiate revolution in uniform design, but in the framework of arguably the most successful sports franchise there is, the NFL, which is more steeped in tradition that the college landscape was when Nike really got into it with Oregon," said Paul Swangard, managing director of the university's Warsaw Sports Marketing Center.
The Ducks signed their contract with Nike in 1996. After the first major makeover in 1998, the school introduced the Nike-designed "O'' logo in 2002.
In 2003's opener against Mississippi State, the Ducks wore neon yellow from helmet to shoe, which some dubbed the "Human Highlighter." In 2006, Oregon introduced black uniforms, while "wings" were incorporated to jerseys in more recent years in a nod to the school's mascot.
"We aren't like USC or Notre Dame or Penn State or Alabama, which are really traditional," said Jim Bartko, who holds the title of executive senior associate athletics Director at Oregon and has close ties to Knight. "Our philosophy was that every four years we were going to change, so that every player that comes into Oregon in the football program will have a chance to be a part of a design."
Today Oregon has five different helmets, seven jerseys and six pants for 210 possible uniform combinations, enough to carry them through 17-plus seasons, minus bowl games, which usually get new garb. And that's not counting different shoes, socks and undershirts.
Old-schoolers claim that Oregon's countless uniforms are an annoying distraction, while kids see them as cool. There's no doubt that they benefit the Ducks in lots of ways, from merchandise revenue to the immeasurable buzz among potential students and recruits.
"It's taken off," Barko said. "I don't think we would have ever thought back in 1998 that the uniform craze would be where it is now. Our goal and philosophy has always been to be a step ahead of everybody. If they want to copy us or follow us, that's great. We want to be the leader."
Copycats abound. Arguably the most shameless was Maryland's so-called Pride uniform, a hodgepodge of so many elements that one critic suggested it looked as if someone had thrown up the state flag and put it on a jersey.
The uniforms were the work of Under Armour, whose CEO, Kevin Plank, played football at Maryland. Say what you will about the design, they got noticed.
"If this university had to go pay for that publicity, we'd be broke," Terrapins coach Randy Edsall said at the time.
Many college programs, even the most traditional ones, are bandwaggoning with throwback uniforms or even "alternate" jerseys, so as not to stray too much from convention. Notre Dame and Michigan wore retro adidas attire to mark last season's first night game at Michigan Stadium.
The Fighting Irish's showy shamrock-emblazoned helmet still raises the ire of some of the team's more stodgy followers.
"I think in some ways we're seeing now what we always see with marketing, which is that a good idea is originally seen as innovative, but now that everyone is going it is becoming sort of commoditized," Swangard said. "I think some teams have almost tried too hard, whether it's the highlighter uniforms of Baylor in the tournament, or what Maryland did with their uniforms this past season.
"Now people are doing it just to do it, rather than doing it to convey something about the school's brand or its athletic brand."
A handful of teams, like USC and Penn State, are still shunning the trend for now. But Nebraska Egads! will wear an alternate adidas jersey at a home game this season, athletic director and former coach Tom Osborne told The Associated Press on Monday.
"It does seem to appeal to the student-athletes. Most older fans don't get overly excited about it," he said. "We're walking a fine line because we are traditional, but we also recognize the fact that we don't have to stay the same all the time."
?'The Bachelorette': Desiree Hartsock and Chris Siegfried's love crashes
Desiree Hartsock and Chris Siegfried have kept very busy since her season of "The Bachelorette" on ABC. The biggest project for the couple has been the release of his poetry book based on the poetry he shared during the season. His poetry was a big part of their love story on the show. On Saturday, Sept. 21, Chris Siegfried went to his Twitter to share about a problem with the book release. The site for the poetry book had become so popular that it had caused a crash of the site. Users reached out to him on Twitter, and he informed them of the issue. He said the following on Saturday morning:
Hi all! Thanks for visiting http://dhpoetry.com so much! Traffic overload crashed the site, but it will be back up today!
He promised another user that the site would be 'up and running soon' on his Twitter as well, and it was up and running by Saturday afternoon. However, the site is having issues again on Sunday morning. This once again shows the popularity of Desiree and Chris' love story and his book.
The site issues being corrected on Saturday allowed Chris and Desiree time to enjoy an outing with friends in Seattle. Desiree went to her Twitter on Saturday afternoon to share a photo from the outing. The photo is on the sidebar. She said the following on her Twitter:
Sunny Seattle day showing our friends around!
Desiree and Chris have definitely had their fun exploring Seattle since Desiree made the move there following the finale of "The Bachelorette" on ABC. Both Desiree and Chris have capitalized on their reality star fame as well. Desiree shared another post from her new bridal blog on Twitter on Friday. Things seem to be going well for the couple, and they have no trouble letting their fans know of their happiness.
"The Bachelorette" will return to ABC in 2014.
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Are you serious? Why is it that every one of these pump and dump blackberry lovers comes out from under their rock and says this CRAP!!. While you chirping away with unrealistic ideas of this companies value, people have lost their shirts!! You should be ashamed of yourself. Their business is falling to pieces, market share plunging, their burning cash, fired 40% of the current staff, written off 1 billion dollars in inventory, screwed up the launch of BBM, oh and their being sued by the shareholders. I never shorted this stock ever, so I'm saying this from my point of view and not a conspiracy theory. What you saying is against reality and makes no sense at all. It upsets me that investors are going to listen to this crap and end up in the poor house.
This is the best thing that can possibly happen for the other 3 major ecosystems. Every developed nation that is not China will drop BBRY device use in government or corporate environments. State controlled companies, Huawei and ZTE already give the PLA back door access to their radio base stations. Lenovo is no different, with several 'princelings' from the old party heading the company. Sales tanked due to Lenovo's piss poor quality control. Add that to the security concerns and it will be a death kneel for BB10 hardware. There are currently 100MM+ legacy BB7 devices in use today. Most users are already looking to switch out of BBRY, else they would have adopted BB10 by now. Sales fell along with overall demand for PCs when applefans learned they could play Angry Birds on the iPhones. or other Canadian companies to put in a bid for it. The media, government, corporations and wall street have driven Blackberry to this point. So now its in survival mode. If Blackberry can serve their shareholders best by selling to the Chinese, well, then that says something doesn't it. The government has also granted itself broader powers to halt takeovers of Canadian firms by foreign state-owned companies, particularly those from China. And Ottawa recently barred a bid for Winnipeg-based telecom company MTS Allstream by an Egyptian-led group on national security grounds."If the Egyptian company raised some red flags for the Canadian government, we should have red fireworks going off if a Chinese company wants to buy BlackBerry," said Michel Juneau-Katsuya, the former head of Asia-Pacific at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and chief executive of the Northgate Group, an Ottawa-based cyber-security firm. "BlackBerry is the prime phone used by all government officials and top officials. For that reason alone, it shall not and could not be sold to a foreign entity that is not within the realm of <our> close network of friends."."
The polls are showing that Canada's Conservative government is in disfavor. The opposition Liberals are ahead. There will be an election in a couple of years. To win it the Conservatives are going to need every seat they can muster in Ontario. Five of those Conservative seats are in Kitchener-Waterloo, home of BlackBerry. So, folks, it's politics first and foremostthat will determine whither goest BB.
LYogi, I'm pretty sure this deal is (wink wink) for real. The Onion learned that, according to the instructions on the box, "The Bribemaster 21-C is state-of-the-art hands-off delivery system. With a range of 1/4 mile (.4 km), it can accurately drop a box on a breakfast or luncheon table with barely a detectable sound owing to the Xenon explosive and compressed gas.