Oh come on, did you really think the Ducks were going to lose this category? Let’s look at what Oregon State has to offer. Orange gives you the appearance of a giant anthropomorphic pumpkin, which may be useful if you’re into some sort of squash-themed performance art but doesn’t exactly scream, “I’m a hustla, homie.” Black is traditionally “gangsta,” sure, but it is also entirely unimaginative. It’s like saying you enjoy pie. Really? That’s so original! I don’t think anyone in human history has ever found pie tasty before! I’m going to resurrect the print newspaper industry just so I can stop the presses!
Now, in regards to the Ducks, I have to go on the record as saying Nike is evil. It isn’t Disney-villain evil, with a cackling and wicked visage that is actually a front for a sensitive and damaged inner core. It is the embodiment of pure corporate greed, rotten to the soul. The rampant labor violations, oppressive branding, and monopolistic sensibilities are all stark juxtapositions to the assumed liberal-leanings of your average Eugene resident. It’s all a series of contradictions in the name of money and fame…which I’m pretty sure constitutes the marketing strategies of 90% of all rappers.
Listen, you can label the Duck uniforms a variety of things: trendy, flashy, garish, blinding, spectacular, horrifying, futuristic, so-ugly-I-should-gouge-my-retinas-out, whatever. One thing that can’t be denied, however, is that they attract a ton of attention. This helps piques the interest of recruits (how else are you going to convince fleet-footed running backs who grew up in warm climates to come endure the dreariness of Eugene?) and gives stodgy, olde-tyme sportscasters something to complain about. In a world defined by conformity, wouldn’t you rather choose to stand out and be noticed? I’m not saying each and every version of the uniforms look good, but it is irrefutable that they are all memorable.
The halcyon days of rappers wearing exclusively athletic jerseys may never return, but if they did I am certain Duck uniforms would permeate hip hop music videos. Considering how rappers today are concerned with frequently changing their image/style and putting out a new product every week, Ducks jerseys would be, no pun intended, a perfect fit. Plus, Crime Mob could mount comeback with a “Knuck if You Duck” remix, and we all know the world needs more Crime Mob.
Verdict: Just like crows, humans are attracted to shiny colors. That’s science. If you’re going to pick one team to root for, you may as well side with the more visually stimulating (especially if you’re watching the game on psychedelic drugs). The University of Oregon wins today’s category, but trails 2-1 for the week.