You’re probably going to see a lot of Oregon Ducks posts here leading up to New Year’s Day as I’m about as excited as I could be, but I’ll try to keep them relevant. For instance, I’m not going to just write entries telling you that LaMichael James is filthy and an AP All-American (he’s both). That being said, there’s a pretty significant built-in viewership for articles regarding Oregon Ducks uniforms (which tend to be Nike, so circle gets the square), and this is too rad not to cover so here it is. After the jump, check out the Oregon Ducks’ uniforms for each of the four Rose Bowls to which they’ve been invited, including all the way back in 1917.
Big ups to Michael Princip, who did a ton of work on the graphics and tracked down a lot of background on the teams. He documents every uniform combination the Ducks wear at his website, MichaelPrincip.com. Check it out. And now, behold …
The 1917 Rose Bowl, Oregon’s first, back when they were known as the Oregon Webfoots. What was the deal with the names back then? The hoops team was the Tall Firs. Love both, really. Anyway, the underdog Webfoots pulled off an upset of heavily favored Penn, putting Oregon football on the map. Notice the colors. While the University voted to adopt green and yellow as school colors in the 1890’s, the football team chose to sport blue and yellow, often switching between solid blue sweaters and horizontally striped sweaters, a la Cal’s current rugby shirts. All fashion stems from the state of Oregon.
The 1920 Rose Bowl against Harvard, thus starts a bit of a slide for Oregon in the Granddaddy of Them All. The Ivy League teams are tough. Notice the similar uniform to the 1917 squad, albeit different socks. The school would vote in 1925 on a rule forcing the football team to wear green and yellow, marking this as the last time the Ducks would wear non-school colors in the Rose Bowl. (“Except for this year lol!!111” Beat you to it, pipe down.)
1958, a loss to Ohio State (rematch!!). Oregon followed the unfortunate trend of sporting the player’s number on the helmet, otherwise really nice uniforms. If you think about it, Bama still does that helmet thing. Ugh. Notice the logo in the header, also. This was at a time when Oregon briefly departed from the interlocking “UO” we know and love to just sport the old-fashioned “O.” I think we’ve changed for the better.
1995, Penn State, the last time the Ducks hit Pasadena. Except for when they play UCLA. You know what I mean. 38-20 PSU. Gut-wrenching. This is the first year I can remember religiously watching the Ducks. And these are arguably the greatest uniforms the school has worn to date. What could Oregon possibly have in store for this New Year’s Day? I’m still holding out hope for invisible uniforms, or maybe spinning O’s on the helmets, but we’ll see.