Monday, November 23, 2015

Green and Yellow, Finally!

It seems like the Ducks have been pretty coy with their uniform reveals this year (at least compared to the past, or other teams this year who tweet it out on Monday) Only twice have they made a big deal and announced a uniform multiple days before the game. The other time this year was kind of a mixed bag visually a major mixed bag score-wise! (WSU game loss)

I've been hoping that the Ducks would put green and yellow together all season, and the Civil War is usually when they do it. They've worn a fair amount of green/white and yellow/black (you'd think that they were an NFL team from Pennsylvania. But this week is the first true school color combo of the year.

And this week's helmet is another "new" one with a flying duck coming over the top. They have hinted at this helmet look and military look with their Spring games of late. Click here for Spring game pics.

Here are some artsy pics from GoDuck.com, which look like they were photographed during a forest fire (they did the same thing with the Pioneer uniform photoshoot)




Apparently this is supposed to honor the fact that Oregon was the 33rd state, but the Pioneer one was doing that already I thought? While most uses of camo in football uniforms look tacky, at least this seems somewhat tasteful and using a school color! Looks more like a Minecraft glitch than real camo, but that's ok, I guess.

According to GoDucks.com:

"The Oregon 33 uniform takes a futuristic spin on a traditional camouflage with a unique pattern on the jersey, expressing Oregon’s forward-thinking approach and innovative style of play. The pattern contains different geometric shapes than a classic camo, using multiple shades of green."

 I'd have loved to see a "normal" yellow helmet with green O, but otherwise I think this uniform is pretty strong and leaves out a bunch of extra fluff so the camp pattern can be the "star"  In person these will probably look better than the hazy photos presented.



Saturday, November 21, 2015

Week 12: Nov. 21, 2015

This was the first total blackout for Oregon this season (and the first since last year's Stanford game), and it came against an opponent that Oregon likes to wear the "ninja" look against: USC. They beat USC at home in 2011 in all back.


And the mojo worked again. And again this uniform combo is not a repeat of any other week and even the helmet is the 11th different helmet—barely—since it had two "Angry Ducks" rather than just one as in week 3. Now having appeared at least once on five helmets, ties it for the most common decal this season with the O.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Week 11: Nov 14, 2015

The Ducks headed to Palo Alto tempting fate by wearing an often-unlucky white jersey with silver wings. But they conjured the good "defeat Stanford on the Farm" mojo by wearing the black/white/black combo for the first time since their 2011 game at Stanford—another victory by the road underdog! 

This week's black helmet with yellow O marks the tenth different helmet combo of the season in ten games. The jersey was last worn in week five, and the black pants had not been yet. 

Here's hoping that sometime in the next two home games the Ducks wear green AND yellow together (rather than green/white and yellow/black or silver). USC and OSU games  are great candidates for that classic look! Bring on the yellow helmet with green O, green jersey and yellow pants, please! For all that is good in the world the Civil War in two weeks demands it! 


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Week 10: Nov. 7, 2015

You'd think that the Duck colors the first half of the season were yellow and black, and the second half of the season were green and silver. There has been no week that they they used BOTH their primary school colors in one uniform. This week is a continuation of the apple green and white combo that they do well in with a repeat of the sparkly helmet used at MSU but with only the Angry Duck in apple green. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Week 9: Oct 29, 2015

Finally, Oregon won a game this season while wearing silver/white! But just barely!

All their previous victories had been while wearing mostly black/yellow, and their three loses have been in mono-green or white/silver. They have yet to come out dressed with green AND yellow, so maybe that will be a look for Civil War or the tough stretch of Stanford/USC?

This week also seemingly is the first time in a long while that they have worn the same jersey two games in a row (road white with silver/apple shoulders)

But they have yet to stick with one helmet! This week's was silver but with very subtle sparkles (so subtle it's hard to replicate), but not the same as disco-ball-white from MSU game or the metallic silver "pioneers" from the WSU game.

My main pet peeve with this week and last week is that silver and apple green do not contrast enough. The O is better than the duck head, but still? I long for them to return to either just the O or Mariota-wings.


Monday, October 5, 2015

Blazing a new uniform trail



Oregon and Nike announced a "pioneering" new set of uniforms to be worn this week versus Washington State.

According to the press release:
"Oregon is a state that has bred innovators, freethinkers and risk-takers since its founding. Nike co-founder Phil Knight is the quintessential example, starting a company by selling shoes out of a car trunk and turning it into a $30 billion powerhouse. Despite Nike’s impressive evolution, he and his wife, Penny, still refer to themselves as "just a couple of kids from Oregon."
Besides honoring such pioneers as Phil Knight they use imagery from exploration into the Oregon Territory:
"This maverick heritage is similarly embodied by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, who introduced Oregon to the east in 1805, as a part of the Corps of Discovery commissioned by Thomas Jefferson. Aptly, the explorers serve as the key inspiration behind the new Oregon Pioneers football uniform, a freshly designed Nike Mach Speed uniform exclusively for the Ducks "

They go on to list the many subtle (at least for Oregon) features of the uniform, which you can read in full at GoDucks.com.

To me, this looks a lot like the various silver/white/gray ensembles that the Ducks have used when they've wanted to look special for big games like last year's National Championship or this year's Michigan State game (you can be the judge of how well that worked by looking at my post about the uniforms they ahem worn during losses)

The biggest takeaways from these artistically-produced (but kinda hard to see) photos is a white jersey with very subtle topographic map texture that is supposed to to evoke the exploring nature of the Oregon Trail etc. And a helmet that feels like it was designed by the same team that did the flying birds helmet at the Spring Game.

Having gotten a minor in geography at Oregon, I'm digging the idea of the map texture.



But the helmets take it from serious to just weird. Lewis, Clark ... and The Duck?


See more photos in the Go Ducks gallery

You have to assume that this was probably conceived and produced during the spring before the Ducks lost two games in September for the first time since the days of Lewis and Clark. Last week's bounce back uniform of "normal" yellow/white was a perfect way to quiet the doubters, but this announcement will most likely bring out the "it's a game, not a fashion show" crowd. Add that to the cool, but unpopular lack of school colors, and I can see this ending up being one of those awkward combos.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Duck from Puddles to Disney to Nike...

Since Oregon was one of the teams that started the whole uniform-as-canvas trend in the late 1990s (They rebranded for the 1999 season and have not been the same since), they have matured their multiple looks and now are branching out into alternate logos as well as color schemes.

2015 has seen the birth of Combat Duck as the newest member of the Oregon logo family. Here is a little history on the evolution. Check out links at the bottom for an much more exhaustive look at this topic!

Puddles vs. The Duck

According to GoDucks.com, Puddles was a live duck mascot from the 1920s when Oregon was known as the Webfoots. The current iteration of the live costumed mascot beloved by Lee Corso is usually called The Duck.

Donald Duck

Disney became involved during the 1940s when Walt Disney and Oregon AD Leo Harris shook hands on an an agreement to use a likeness of Donald Duck as Oregon's mascot. The agreement limited when and where the Donald version could be used and also limited the appearance of the costumed mascot.
Walt Disney and Oregon AD Leo Harris

Image above from http://www.benzduck.com



"Fighting Duck"
Above images from http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/The_Oregon_Duck

Fighting Duck and the Nike O

In a premonition of this year's Combat Duck, football coach Jerry Frei (1967-71) wanted the duck logo to have teeth to better personify the nickname "Fighting Ducks". In 1999, with the help of Nike, The University moved away from using Donald Duck or interlocking UO as its primary logo, and shifted to the sleeker O which is said to represent Hayward Field and Autzen Stadium.
Above image from https://blogs.uoregon.edu/scua/2014/12/31/the-oregon-mascot-part-2-becoming-the-ducks/

Robo Duck AKA "Mandrake"

Because of the limitations on the use of the Disney-derived duck, UO decided to shake things up a bit and introduce an additional live mascot in 2002. While officials claimed that this was not a replacement for the beloved—and much cuter—The Duck, the Oregon flock did not take this very well and he was retired.
Above image from http://www.dailyemerald.com/2002/11/15/one-duckor-two-part-1/

Nike "Fighting Duck"

For at least a decade in the early 2000s, The Duck as logo was underused in the era of the O and winged shoulders/helmet. Perhaps that was a hangover from the Robo Duck? But nostalgia began to creep back in. In 2010 Disney agreed that the costumed mascot "Duck" and Donald were not the same and that Oregon could use the mascot as it liked. The limits still seemingly pertained to printed logos though, which led to Oregon and Nike making a newer graphic that would  appear on uniforms and merchandise. At the 2011 Oregon-Cal game, the uniform's throwback shoulders sported a new version of the duck. This time it was less Disney and more like a carefree version of the costumed mascot. At this game, the players wore The Duck on their shoulders, but The Duck had a "Chip"on its shoulder!

Image above from http://www.sportslogos.net/logos/view/79742572013/Oregon_Ducks/2013/Alternate_Logo
Image above from http://www.examiner.com/slideshow/in-pictures-lamichael-james-historic-career-with-the-oregon-ducks


Combat Duck

Making it's debut on Sept. 12, 2015 vs. Michigan Sate, the Combat Duck looks a bit like the Nike Duck but with a meaner look and chapped lips. Like Mark Helfrich and discussing injuries, The UO is a bit mum about discussing the newer duck logos. Craig Pintens, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Marketing & Public Relations, is helpful in tweeting images of Nike's newest creations, but said that they will not discuss the design. I guess that makes it even more mysterious!

Images above from Twitter feed Oregon Football @WinTheDay


The University of Oregon has an even more historical article on this topic


Fish Duck has a great chronicle as well



Links:



Week 4 Sept. 26, 2015

Oregon 20
Utah 62


Week 3 Sept. 19, 2015

Oregon 61
Georgia State 28


Week 2 Sept. 12, 2015

Oregon 28
Michigan State 31


Week 1 Sept. 5, 2015

Oregon 61
Eastern Washington 42


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Unlucky Duck Uniform Combos?

With today's loss seemingly out of the norm both for its lackluster play and bright green ensemble, I thought it would be nice to find out if uniform combo has anything to do with Duck performance.

We all have heard the complaints when the Ducks employ unconventional uniform combos, especially when the traditional green and yellow are notably absent (Think the last two "Nattys")

People say Oregon "doesn't win big games" especially when they don't wear their colors. Is that true? Is there a uniform combo that seems cursed? Keep in mind that many "big games" are played away from Autzen against highly ranked opponents who dictate that Oregon wears its "away" jersey....

(But they can lose even when they wear all green like today Sept. 26, 2015)

Lets look back at the 13 losses in the past six+ seasons since the Chip Kelly era began in 2009:


September 3, 20097:15 PMat #14 Boise State*#16Bronco Stadium • Boise, IDESPNL 8–19  

November 7, 200912:30 PMat Stanford#7Stanford Stadium • Stanford, CAFSNL 42–51  
January 1, 20102:10 PMvs. #8 Ohio State*#7Rose Bowl • Pasadena, CA (Rose Bowl)ABCL 17–26 



January 10, 20115:30 PMvs. #1 Auburn*#2University of Phoenix Stadium • Glendale, AZ (BCS National Championship Game)ESPNL 19-22 

September 3, 20115:00 PMvs. #4 LSU*#3Cowboys Stadium • Arlington, TX (Cowboys Classic)ABCL 27–40 

November 19, 20115:00 PM#18 USC#4Autzen Stadium • Eugene, ORABC/ESPN3L 35–38  

November 17, 20125:00 PM#14 Stanford#1Autzen Stadium • Eugene, ORABCL 14–17 OT

November 7, 20136:00 PMat #6 Stanford#2Stanford Stadium • Stanford, CAESPNL 20–26  

November 23, 201312:30 PMat Arizona#5Arizona Stadium • Tucson, AZABC/ESPN2L 16–42  

October 2, 20147:30 p.m.Arizona#2Autzen Stadium • Eugene, ORESPNL 24–31  




January 12, 20155:30 p.m.vs. #5 Ohio State*#3AT&T Stadium • Arlington, TX (CFP National Championship)ESPNL 20–42  

September 12, 20155:30 p.m.vs. #3 Michigan State#5Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MIESPNL 28–31  


September 26, 20155:30 p.m.vs. #18 Utah#13Autzen Stadium, Eugene, ORFOXL 20-62 




Notice anything?

When I set out to look for all these combos, I had it in my mind that it was a going to be a pretty white/gray bunch, but not to the extent that it has been! Only four losses involved green or yellow, and those were mostly partial uniforms! All but one of the losses have been while wearing some combo of White, Gray/Silver, and Black. There have been some great wins in those combos as well though  (Civil War that propelled UO to first National Championship game) but most losses—and loudest howls from fans— have come while wearing non traditional colors!

For more detailed Duck trackers click here: