Steel Makes the Day

Eugene -- The Oregon Ducks and Nike introduced the next generation of football uniforms today. The new outfits will save up the 25 percent in total weight from the previous model and next season the Ducks will have 80 different combinations (jersey/pant/helmet) to chose from.

"We have a phrase that Phil Knight coined," said Todd Van Horne, Global Creative Director for Nike Apparel of the creation of the new uniforms. "Always listen to the voice of the athlete."

And listen is exactly what Nike did in creating the latest on-field fashion. The latest uniform has a laminate anti-abrasion shoulder reinforcement in the form of wings. This will take the place of the diamond plate design of past uniforms. There is also a lighter weight fabric for the non-critical panels. Another improvement is a titanium d-ring on the belts and the integration of Nike Pro Combat pads.

Color-wise the Ducks again will sport green, yellow, white and black in jersey colors plus steel (looking very much like battleship grey) in pants, but no more yellow pants. Also gone are the yellow (pea-green) helmets.

One thing hasn't changed is that while the names will be on the back of the jersey, fans in the stands should not expect to be able to read it. That's because the players wanted the emphasis on the school, not the individual. There are several combinations of either Oregon, Ducks or simply the "O" on the front.

When asked about all the discussion the new uniforms will generate, Oregon Head Coach Chip Kelly was confident how his team would respond.

"I think we'll back it up on the field," responded Kelly to an observation that the uniforms would be the talking points on all sports shows tomorrow. "We won 10 games last year and finished ninth in the country. If people think that Oregon is all about the uniforms then wait till Saturdays this fall."

According to a media release this marks the fifth significant evolution of football uniforms that Nike has developed for Oregon since the 1996 Cotton Bowl.

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