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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Championship Threads

One of my favorite sports-adjacents (a term I only recently started using but rather enjoy), outside of bands, of course, is uniforms. I'm but a novice that doesn't necessarily explore the finer points, but the subject fascinates me, and as such I keep an eye on Uni Watch, the finest in the business.

Of recent note, Nike, who happened to outfit each of the participants in the first ever College Football Playoff - including its flagship, Oregon - revealed the uniforms for the championship game. Here's what Oregon and Ohio State will be rocking:

from uni-watch.com

There are two observations nearly everyone points out: The first is that Ohio State, the lower seed in this matchup, is in the dark jersey; the second is that Oregon, in silver-white-silver is not wearing either of its school colors, green and yellow. Theories and explanations abound, though none official have been offered. ESPN's Rece Davis, on the Championship Drive podcast, offered an interesting take: The team largely made by the uniform supplier is being outfitted (by said supplier) to imply that it's not the clothes that make the man. I've got two observations, both of which stem from my primary sports adjacent.

I've often stated that there are a handful of things of true beauty in drum corps, and perhaps the most visually stunning is Phantom Regiment's all white uniforms under stadium lights. Phantom , with their assorted horns, buckles, and accoutrements, put on an image of white and silver the truly pops under stadium lights; surely Nike has a feel for how visually appealing something so simple can be, and wanted to harness that for their flagship.

The second is the contrast that will be present at each institution between team and band. While the look of the Ohio State Marching Band is inextricably linked to the school and team, they actually achieve it without using school colors, save for a scarlet and gray plume, so while the team will be representative of the school colors, the band will not be. On the other side of the field, the football Ducks in silver and white will be supported by their marching band, clad in green and yellow by Nike.
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